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IITA Is Recruiting

Date Posted: 24/Apr/2014
Deadline: 31/May/2014

Research Communication Specialist (Ref: DDG-PCD/AR/RCS/04/14)

Background: The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) invites applications for the position of Research Communication Specialist. This position is funded by USAID under the Program Africa Research In Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation / Africa RISING.

IITA is an international non-profit agricultural research-for-development (R4D) organization established in 1967, governed by a Board of Trustees, and a member of the CGIAR Consortium. Our R4D approach is anchored on the development needs of the tropics. We work with partners to enhance crop quality and productivity, reduce producer and consumer risks, and generate wealth from agriculture. We have more than 100 internationally recruited scientists from about 35 countries and 900 nationally recruited staff based in various stations across Africa. Please visit for more information on IITA.


The Research Communication Specialist will report to the Head of the IITA Communication Office and the Africa RISING Project Coordinator for East/Southern and West Africa.

In collaboration with the Africa RISING Coordinator, the research teams, and the IITA Communication Office the successful candidate will:

  • Lead the Africa RISING East/Southern and West Africa communication and knowledge management.
  • Develop, coordinate, and implement a detailed communication strategy for the two regional Africa RISING projects.
  • Support the collection, evaluation and capitalization of research findings through specific documentation (case studies, best practices, lessons learnt, factsheets, articles for website and web2; etc.).
  • Document and communicate news, updates and stories from the two projects for wider dissemination.
  • Develop and package project information and knowledge outputs for wide access and application in various forms: print, digital, video or audio and contribute these to the open sharing platforms and tools established at the Africa RISING Program level.
  • Support and facilitate collaboration and communication within and across the two projects. This includes support for online tools, face to face meetings, workshops and facilitation, as needed.
  • Develop and maintain good working relationships with the media including national, regional, and international newspapers, magazines, radio, and television; and mobilize them for Africa RISING project public awareness events.
  • Assist with organization and facilitation of country and regional learning events bringing together project partners.
  • Support networking and engagement activities with other actors in the target countries as a specific contribution to Africa RISING’s wider alignment and scaling objectives.
  • Support the innovative use of information, communication and knowledge-based interventions and approaches across the projects, making use of, for example, participatory communication approaches, emerging ICTs, and working with partners in these areas.
  • Plan and implement, information campaigns organized to promote Africa RISING generated findings and knowledge as needed.
  • Contribute to the dissemination of knowledge and experiences of the project through participation in related events and exchange meetings.
  • Develop and maintain good working relationships with the media including national, regional, and international newspapers, magazines, radio, and television; and mobilize them for Africa RISING public awareness events.
  • Contribute to donor reporting, evaluation and planning processes.
  • Evaluate annually the impact of the project communication activities.
  • Be a member of the steering committees for Africa RISING East/Southern Africa and West Africa.
  • Liaise with the Program Communication Team at ILRI in Addis Ababa to ensure Africa RISING-wide consistency in publication styles.
  • Support the Program Communication Team in planning and organizing Program-wide events and products.
  • Perform any other communication activities as may be assigned by the Project Coordinator.

Educational Qualifications

The candidate should have MSc or MA degree in communications, journalism, public affairs, or fields related to agricultural science.

Core Competencies:

  • At least 5 years of working experience in communicating agricultural research and science to different audiences.
  • Good understanding of poverty and sustainability issues in rural areas in Africa.
  • Proven ability to conceptualize, design and implement communication campaigns, strategies and programs.
  • Proven track record in analysis, writing up in English language, and dissemination of agricultural research findings.
  • Experience in working with different national and international media.
  • Experience in implementing monitoring & evaluation and impact assessment systems for communication activities.
  • Excellent knowledge of modern communication tools and approaches, and solid experience in knowledge management, including ICT and web2 tools.
  • Outstanding client service orientation.
  • Excellent team worker and facilitator in an international environment, with good interpersonal and networking skills.
  • Ability to integrate in and adapt to an existing complex project set-up.
  • Excellent spoken and written English, knowledge of French is an additional asset.
  • Willingness and ability to travel within Africa.
  • Previous experience in developing countries or international organizations, and particularly a successful record in a position similar to that advertised are of advantage.

Duty station: Ibadan, Nigeria

General information: Initial appointment is for two years. Subsequent renewal of the contract will be decided based on communication outputs, performance, and productivity, continued need for the position, and available funding. IITA offers a competitive remuneration package paid in US dollars.

Applications: Applications must include covering letter which should address how the candidate’s background/experience relates to the specific duties of the position applied for, curriculum vitae, names and addresses of three professional referees (which must include either the Head of the applicant’s current or previous organization or applicant’s direct Supervisor/Superior at his/her present or former place of work). The application should be addressed to the Head, Human Resources Service. Please complete our online application form using this link:

Closing Date: 31st May 2014

IITA is an equal opportunity employer and particularly welcomes applications from women candidates.

Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Method of Application

Interested and qualified? Click the Apply now button to send your application

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