Technical Communications Specialist

  • Mid-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 4 March 2020
  • Washington, D.C., District of Columbia, United States
  • Closing on 3 April 2020
  • Current

Job Description

The Technical Communications Specialist is responsible for planning, developing, delivering, and maintaining communications products and processes to support FEWS NET’s overall knowledge and learning objectives to deliver sustainable early warning solutions. The Technical Communications Specialist will focus on technical writing for data and web platform documentation used for help systems, operational procedures and manuals as well as branding, messaging and general communications tasks.

The Technical Communications Specialist’s main objective is to refine and extend documentation for operational procedures to build greater use of the Hub’s data and data systems. In addition to supporting specific systems within the FEWS NET data platforms, the Technical Communications Specialist manages messaging and branding across platforms for consistent delivery of high-quality communications products representing the FEWS NET project as a whole. The Technical Communications Specialist achieves this through expertise in communications practices, technical writing and software applications supporting online documentation.

The Technical Communications Specialist is responsible for technical writing for data and web platform documentation used for help systems, operational procedures and manuals as well as traditional message and brand management. Specific responsibilities include:
● Plan, develop, deliver and maintain operational guidance, data documentation, help files, and online manuals for FEWS NET Hub data systems
● Translate complex technical concepts into accessible reporting, communications products, documentation for data visualizations and other value-added products
● Oversee external consultants for translation of systems-level documentation and help files for the FEWS NET data platform
● Support content development for metadata tagging for data domains
● Develop multimedia training content for data analytics systems through brief video tutorials, help systems and online user guides
● Manage social media platforms as part of the broader FEWS NET outreach strategy
● Support routine task order communications such as monthly and quarterly reports
● Write in explanatory and procedural styles for multiple audiences
● Consult with stakeholders to assist in implementing updates to software documentation

The Technical Communications Specialist reports to the FEWS NET Knowledge & Learning Manager.
● The Knowledge & Learning Manager leads FEWS NET 7’s knowledge and learning agenda to ensure that external communications, data and information products meet the project’s advisory, knowledge and learning objectives. The Knowledge and Learning Manager provides management and oversight of all knowledge and communication products.

● Bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, computer science, data analytics, international development or related field and 5 years relevant experience
● Proven experience in technical writing with a focus on data and analysis a plus
● Excellent communication planning skills
● Background in social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook and Youtube
● Knowledge of software documentation tools such as Markdown, Sphinx and Transifex
● Proficiency with GSuite applications
● Excellent written and verbal communications skills
● Strong attention to detail
● Skilled at prioritization and multitasking
● Background in international development and government contracting a plus

SALARY: $60,000.00 to $72,000 Yearly

LOCATION: Washington DC
(Address: 910 17th Street Suite 200 Washington DC, 20006)

The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) comprises a 30-year-old set of integrated activities that produce credible, evidence-driven and timely analysis of food insecurity around the world. It was created by USAID in 1985 under the name Famine Early Warning System (FEWS), in response to a need for better and earlier warning of potential famines. This was immediately following famines that claimed over a million lives in East and West Africa from 1983 to 1985.
FEWS NET 7 continues to serve the same basic goal for which the project was founded: Sustainably prevent food insecurity and famine. FEWS NET is a complex, global activity. The following provides detailed background, which helps to situate where the FEWS NET 7 Learning and Data Hub sits within the broader program.
FEWS NET 7, includes four pillars of activities. These are managed by different contractors.They are as follows:

Pillar 1: Emergency Food Insecurity Analysis: This pillar provides timely, accurate and evidence-based analysis of current and future acute food insecurity worldwide. This pillar requires field office presence in locations of known, or likely, acute food insecurity, as well as the flexibility to respond to unanticipated crises in other locations. It utilizes advanced tools and skills to forecast future acute food insecurity and constantly innovate to incorporate new technologies and methods for assessing current and future food insecurity. This pillar supports the development of local capacities to monitor and assess food security, and provide early warning for decision-making.

Pillar 2: Management of a FEWS NET Learning and Data Hub: FEWS NET is fundamentally an information system and achieving its goal and objectives requires its information to be useful, timely, accessible, and utilized for decision-making. Pillar 2 ensures FEWS NET data and analysis are captured, documented, and made widely accessible for all users through the FEWS NET website and other delivery channels, and develops new methods for delivering FEWS NET data, tools, information, knowledge, and learning to both FEWS NET 7 Team members, and to users and for uses which may extend beyond FEWS NET’s immediate focus on current and chronic food security. The pillar stays abreast of advances in technology and methods and identifies and incorporate innovations that can strengthen and enhance project implementation.

Pillar 3: Analysis of the Dynamics of Food, Nutrition and Livelihood Security: Work under Pillar 3 is intended to deepen an understanding of the causes of persistent or recurrent food insecurity, hunger, malnutrition, vulnerability to food insecurity, and lack of resilience. This pillar utilizes and expands on FEWS NET’s rich understanding of livelihoods, markets, agroclimatology, nutrition, and other physical and socio-economic phenomena - including gender and intra-household dynamics – and applies this understanding to identify solutions which sustainably enhance food, nutrition and livelihood security, and build resilience.
Implementers of Pillar 3 search for more effective ways to create and build sustainable local capacities to understand and address the root causes of food insecurity and vulnerability to food insecurity with innovation in tools and methods for analyzing the dynamics of food, nutrition and livelihoods security.

Pillar 4: Technology and Innovation: This cross-cutting pillar emphasizes the need for FEWS NET 7 activities to continuously identify and incorporate new technologies and innovations, which increase the efficiency, effectiveness, insight, timeliness, and impact of FEWS NET 7 products and services. This pillar is intended to ensure FEWS NET 7 activities keep pace with the rapid evolution of applied information technologies, methodological breakthroughs, and new analytic tools, which may deliver significant added-value to activities within the FEWS NET 7 IDIQ. Some of these innovations and methods may not have been invented yet, or may not be in widespread use, but FEWS NET implementers must stay abreast of advances in technology and methods so relevant advances can be rapidly and appropriately assimilated into the project. Offerors, including those for Pillar 2, should incorporate how they will include this cross-cutting pillar when proposing on all activities.

About the Organization

Formed by a group of former humanitarian and development workers in 2006, Kimetrica is a social enterprise focused on providing policy makers and project managers with the tools and skills they need to do their jobs well. Our work centers on providing knowledge management solutions for governments, bilateral, and multilateral donors, and not-for-profit organizations in the areas of performance management and disaster risk reduction. With offices in the United States and East Africa, Kimetrica employs 80 full-time professional staff and an extensive network of sector specialists with expertise ranging from early warning and contingency planning to social protection and research and data analysis.

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