Communications and Policy Engagement Manager

African Institute for Development Policy Policy Communications Manager
Location Nairobi, Kenya or Lilongwe, Malawi
Application deadline 1 March 2022
Contract type Fixed term
Hours Full-time
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The African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) is a regional non-profit research and policy Institute established in 2010 to help bridge the gaps between research, policy and practice in development efforts in Africa. Our primary purpose is to contribute to sustainable development through using evidence and advocacy to strengthen political commitment and resource allocation for development issues; inform the design and implementation of effective interventions, and strengthen governance and accountability structures for tracking development challenges in Africa. AFIDEP is registered as a Non-Governmental Organisation in both Kenya and Malawi (where it has offices) and as a non-profit institution in the USA with 501(c)3 status.

The role

The Communications and Policy Engagement Manager will lead the work of AFIDEP’s communications and policy engagement department, overseeing the design and implementation of innovative communication and policy-influencing strategy that will raise AFIDEP’s profile as a regional development policy institute and enhance the role of research evidence in development processes in Africa.

Key roles and responsibilities

Communications, Visibility, and Profiling

  • Design and oversee the implementation of AFIDEP’s communications and policy-influencing strategy;
  • Oversee the development of a recognizable AFIDEP brand as a leading policy institute in promoting and enabling evidence uptake in development efforts in all sectors
  • Support evidence synthesis, packaging and use in five areas, namely: population change and sustainable development; health and wellbeing; transformative education and skills development; environment and climate change; and governance and accountability.
  • Identify and develop relationships with key media outlets to stimulate increased use of evidence in public policy debates;
  • Disseminate evidence and encourage critical debate on development issues based on evidence.

Partnerships and Resource Mobilisation

  • Build and maintain collaborative partnerships with governments, academic institutions, research institutions, implementing agencies and funders;
  • Build relations with potential end-users of evidence and other institutions that generate and promote the use of research evidence;
  • Contribute to AFIDEP’s fundraising plans through concept and proposal development.

Capacity Strengthening

  • Support internal and external capacity strengthening efforts aimed at improving the communication and utilisation of research evidence in decision-making in development efforts.

Experience and skills

A Master’s Degree in either Communications, International Relations, or Policy Studies with at least five (5) years experience in policy research communication and advocacy in the development sector or a related field, including at least three years at an international level.


  • Excellent writing and technical editing skills, especially policy-oriented publications, media products
  • Excellent presentation and public speaking skills
  • Technical skills in publications design, web design and management, and social media platforms
  • Ability to negotiate and form credible relationships within the organisation as well as with senior decision-makers in external institutions
  • Skilled communicator, able to dialogue effectively with a wide range of audiences/constituencies and to represent the organisation with authority and credibility to the outside world, including the media
  • Ability to convey technical arguments in clear and vivid prose.
  • Proven skill in translating research and evidence into effective advocacy strategies that have achieved policy change at a national or international level
  • Ability to develop and implement innovative communication and influencing strategy that, among others, builds on our past and current achievements, harnesses our capacities and partnerships, and the ever-evolving digital technologies to promote sustained engagement and uptake of evidence in development efforts in Africa.


  • Excellent understanding of public policymaking and legislative processes, and the role of research in these processes
  • African context and how this influences decision-making in the areas of health, population and development
  • Global developments in development policy, global health, among others
  • Good knowledge of current issues and debates in development policy and international development politics


  • Experience in policy engagement and advocacy work;
  • Experience in research communications and research evidence translation;
  • Proven success in developing and delivering effective country, regional or international policy engagement and influencing strategies;
  • Well-networked with a strong knowledge of regional and pan-African development and socio-economic issues;
  • Competency in facilitating national and international advocacy activities.
  • Having knowledge of French (reading, writing, speaking) will be an added advantage.