Strategic Communications Specialist

Kenya | Somalia | Nairobi, Kenya
Apply by 18 August 2018
Posted on 18 June 2018

Job Description

AECOM International Development implements the Transition Initiatives for Stabilization Plus (TIS+) Program for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), promoting good governance and community cohesion. The four objectives of this TIS+ Program are to:

1) Increase confidence in governance based on equitable participation in decision making and management of community assets

2) Empower community and government representatives to engage with private sector and development actors in a collaborative process for community growth

3) Increase Somali engagement in creating a more stable future

4) Support inclusive, sustainable development by reducing gender gaps in stabilization and development.


The Strategic Communications Specialist will manage, implement and modify the TIS+ overall approach to communications, which includes the monitoring (and modifying, as appropriate) of social media protocols and engagement, as well as the clarification and institution of branding and marking guidance for all multi-media products. The Strategic Communications Consultant will build the capacity of TIS+ staff; roll out and archive products and deliverables; and work with awardees, contractors, and beneficiaries on communications plans, products and workshops. This position is expected to identify and implement the right strategies to work on the strategic messaging related to stabilization in the ever-evolving context of Somalia is an important focus of the position, as well as ensure the project’s relevance to USAID for their advocacy and strategic focus.


The Strategic Communications Specialist will undertake the following core responsibilities.

Strategic Leadership and Direction

  • At a minimum, as part of this core responsibility, the Strategic Communications Specialist will develop, implement and update (quarterly and as needed) a Strategic Communications Strategy and Action Plan (SCSAP). The SCSAP must include:
  • Overall strategic approach to communications
  • Conflict, gender and social-inclusion sensitivity
  • Communications protocol to guide Field Offices, Nairobi Office, Home Office and interactions with USAID
  • Social media approach and protocols
  • Engagement with and support to TIS+ awardees’ communications plans and products
  • Media engagement
  • USAID branding and marking guidance for all multi-media products

Product Production and Dissemination

  • Develop external communications including, but not limited to, success stories, reports, and other materials that communicate project’s lessons and successes over the years.
  • Lead the process and produce and/or solicit, finalize and disseminate (to appropriate individuals) a range of regularly required written products for the TIS+ Program, including, but not limited to: TIS+ Program Quarterly, Annual and Final Reports, Quarterly Newsletters, USAID Weekly Updates, success stories, Big Events/Big Meetings Reports (from Field Personnel).
  • Develop “Transforming Lives” stories using the USAID guidelines to be submitted monthly to USAID and included in quarterly reports.
  • Produce and/or solicit, finalize and disseminate a range of multi-media products, including over social media.
  • Copy-edit a wide range of written products.
  • Implement the Program’s Branding Strategy and Marking Plan, and ensure that project deliverables are in compliance with the Plan.
  • Establish and maintain TIS+ social media presence, including Twitter, Facebook, and other outlets, if approved by USAID.

Product Management

  • Develop and utilize a product archive system.

Process Management

  • Coordinate the timely preparation for, development and submission of substantive Program documents, especially quarterly, annual and final reports and other seminal documents (consultant reports, etc.).
  • Monitor, evaluate and report on timeliness and effectiveness of Strategic Communications Unit and of the TIS+ Program personnel expected to collaborate with the Strategic Communications Unit.
  • Explore solutions and/or upgrades to Program communications, such as improved teleconferencing and web-based communications products.

TIS+ Program Personnel Capacity Building

  • Provide regular and ad hoc informal opportunities to develop TIS+ Program personnel’s ability to contribute to the work of the Strategic Communications Unit.

Awardee and Contractor Communications Plans, Products and Workshops

  • Provide technical expertise and input to improve the quality of awardees’ communications plans and awardee and consultant products that are for dissemination beyond the TIS+ internal environment. For example, collaborate with the Strategic Communications Technical Coordinator based in Mogadishu.

Contract Management

  • Manage the contract with the Translation and Editing Company and any other relevant contractor and oversee the quality of the services and products provided.

General Communication Responsibilities

  • Disseminate stories collaborating with and using donor channels;
  • Monitor the Somali and international press for the evolving development in Somalia.
  • Develop and manage Program events calendar and collaborate with team to collect, maintain and distribute current content appropriately.
  • Liaise with USAID’s GIS focal person to produce maps and other GIS-based communications products.
  • Take photographs and video and produce graphics/visuals and maintain these items, ensuring accurate credits, permissions, and descriptive captions for photographs.
  • Liaise with AECOM’s home office communications team to share photos, stories, and other marketing material for AECOM’s website or newsletters.
  • Provide copy editing support on a variety of digital, audio and print deliverables.
  • Coordinate materials printing with TIS+ Program team and external vendors where appropriate.
  • Manage contractor contracts related to communications needs.
  • Other duties, as assigned and agreed.


The Strategic Communications Specialist will collaborate closely with:

  • AECOM TIS+ Program Home Office personnel, especially the Senior Engagement Manager and the Senior Program Officer
  • AECOM Headquarters Graphics Design Team
  • TIS+ Program Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Unit personnel
  • TIS+ Program Field Coordinators

The Strategic Communications Specialist will liaise with and serve as the TIS+ Program point of contact with the:

  • USAID Communications Officer
  • External Media Personnel


The Strategic Communications Consultant will report directly to the TIS+ Deputy Chief of Party (DCOP)


Education: Bachelor’s Degree (Master’s Degree strongly preferred) in Communications, Journalism, English, Marketing, Behavior Change Communications

Work Experience: 5+ years of relevant experience designing and managing communications and outreach strategies for complex international development program(s)

Demonstrated Ability: Provide sound leadership and creative direction for the Strategic Communications Unit

Work successfully in a conflict-, crisis- and crime-affected contexts under changeable and complex circumstances

Craft and disseminate a range of high quality and engaging products in English in a range of media

Manage multiple tasks and deadlines simultaneously

Utilize social media effectively

Monitor other sources’ products and use to inform the SCU work

Function as a technical resource and build capacity of colleagues and other stakeholders

Work collegially in a multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural, multi-lingual team

Interact effectively with USAID communications personnel

Take direction from supervisor and continuously improve

Skills: Software (specifically in Microsoft Word, Excel, Publisher, other graphic design such as Adobe Creative Suite


Distribution channels (including radio, Internet-based and social media applications)

Demonstrated motivation and willingness to learn and adapt

Interview skills

Media evaluation metrics including at least a basic knowledge of Google Analytics

Communications for Behavior Change and Communications for Development is strongly preferred.

Language: Native speaker or native-like command of English (written and oral)

About the Organization

AECOM is a premier, fully integrated professional and technical services firm positioned to design, build, finance and operate infrastructure assets around the world for public- and private-sector clients. With nearly 100,000 employees — including architects, engineers, designers, planners, scientists and management and construction services professionals — serving clients in over 150 countries around the world, AECOM is ranked as the #1 engineering design firm by revenue in Engineering News-Record magazine’s annual industry rankings, and has been recognized by Fortune magazine as a World’s Most Admired Company. The firm is a leader in all of the key markets that it serves, including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, oil and gas, water, high-rise buildings and government. AECOM provides a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation and technical excellence in delivering customized and creative solutions that meet the needs of clients’ projects. A Fortune 500 firm, AECOM companies, including URS Corporation and Hunt Construction Group, have annual revenue of approximately $19 billion. More information on AECOM and its services can be found at


AECOM’s Global Support Services (GSS) organization resides within AECOM’s Government business line and is comprised of three divisions — International Development, Operations and Mission Support, and Global Programs. GSS has the international presence, personnel networks and procurement infrastructure to deliver support for any mission, anywhere. We optimize the reliability, availability and sustainability of equipment, logistics systems and facilities for clients around the world. GSS supports the U.S. Government, non-U.S. Governments and industry clients with worldwide program management, planning, design, operations and maintenance, logistics, aviation services, security, international development, environmental and civil engineering and mission and intelligence support.

What We Offer

AECOM is a place where you can put your innovative thinking and business skills into high gear and work alongside other highly intelligent and motivated people. It's a place where you can apply your skills to some of the world's most challenging, interesting, and meaningful projects worldwide. It's a place that values the diversity of our areas of practice and our people. It's what makes AECOM a great place to work and grow. AECOM is an equal opportunity employer and Minorities, Females, Veterans, and Disabled persons are encouraged to apply. For further information, please click here to view the EEO Is The Law poster.

Similar Jobs

More Jobs from this Organization