FARA Vacancy: Communication and Outreach Strategy - Accra, Ghana

REQUEST FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST (REOI)   INDIVIDUAL CONSULTANT SERVICES African Agribusiness incubator Network-AAIN ... thumbnail 1 summary

African Agribusiness incubator Network-AAIN

Title: Consultancy for the Communication and Outreach Strategy of the AfricanAgribusiness Incubator Network 2016 – 2020

Assignment Reference Number: SP2:

Africa Agribusiness Incubation network (AAIN) is an initiative supported by the Forum for Agriculture Research in Africa (FARA) under the Universities, Business and Research in Agribusiness Innovation (UniBRAIN) programme to strengthen agribusiness incubation capacity; commercialize agricultural technologies and innovations and create a robust support system among agribusiness incubators in Africa.

Vision: To be the hub of innovations for African agri-business incubation

Mission: To incubate agri-incubators through advancing entrepreneurial talent, networking, and turning outputs of science and technology into resources for job and wealth creation in Africa.

AAIN business focus
  1. African Agribusiness Innovation fund
  2. Business incubation and Enterprise Development
  3. Market development and linkages
  4. Agribusiness Education
  5. Youth and Women in Agribusiness investment support
  6. Initiate and coordinate  implementation of the bio economy strategy in Africa
  1. To facilitate establishment and growth of sustainable agribusiness incubators
  2. To enhance knowledge, information, best practices and lessons learnt in agribusiness
  3. To facilitate and coordinate innovative business models for agribusiness financing and investment
  4. To promote and enhance access to market for the network agribusiness incubators
  5. Strengthen the capacity of AAIN and its partners to deliver on agribusiness incubation
Given the Mandate of the network stated above, clear and positive visibility results can only come from a deliberate and systematic strategy informed by a strong communications culture within the network and improvements in information and communications techniques, as well as conscious efforts aimed at building bridges to networks that could bring the AAIN closer to its target clients.

A communication strategy is vital to enhance visibility, improve and promote the image/brand of the network, disseminate information and messages from the organisation to the wider public, influence decision making and knowledge sharing and strengthening of the AAIN.

The AAIN therefore seeks to engage the services of a Consultant for undertake the following consultant services:

Consultancy for the communication and outreach strategy of the African Agribusiness Incubator Network 2016 -2020

To articulate the mission of the network by communicating constantly the true messages and goals of its missions while disseminating detailed information about the business activities and the role of the network, in a way to promote its leadership position in Africa.

The Communication Strategy is also expected to mobilise more partnerships and resources while strengthening the impact and brand identity of the network in the area of agribusiness incubation.

The AAIN aspires to be perceived and accepted by all the African institutions and populace as well as the External Partners as the main, unique and credible voice of Africa agribusiness incubators.

The Consultant  will have to work closely with the UniBRAIN/AAIN  facility coordinator and Community officer agribusiness and capacity development. The main task will be to develop a communications strategy which takes into account the o u t r e a c h mandate of the AAIN focusing on its vision, missions and objectives.

The tasks will include among others;
  • Meet with management and board of AAIN, partners and stakeholders to gather information to ensure that its strategy covers all the different communication needs of the AAIN.
  • Consult with UniBRAIN/AAIN facility coordinator on the expectations of the leadership
  • Provide accurate data and information to inform the implementation of the communications function.
  • Outline mechanisms to brand the AAIN internally and externally and enhance recognition of the AAIN identity.
  • Advise and support the Network in avoiding unnecessary risks to its reputation
  • Defined priority lines of communication; Orientate the missions of the AAIN; Multiply and diversify the products and information tools.
  • Broaden the scope of the audiences and define ways to attract public interest on the AAIN;
  • Harmonize the different communication actions: internal, social, institutional, marketing, as well as financial and their contribution to the perceived real image.
  • Coordinate and harmonize these actions to reflect the AAIN vision by elaborating key messages and efficient communication tools.
  • Inculcate the communication strategy on the AAIN staff so as to master and use it well enough to attain the expected goal.
  • Assess the successes and the weakness of the internal and external communication and recommend remedial actions.
  • Develop an online virtual network with information that will provide for a data base for knowledge management, a platform to showcase events and capacity building opportunities, news and success stories, links to support projects and initiatives, and a blog-styled discussion forum (including access to social media and other modern communication technologies) to share best practices and experiences regarding outreach;
  • Organize and facilitate a training session for staff and focal points on areas of business communications with emphasis on: ? Development, editing and publishing of the content of strategic information materials for advocacy and training/capacity building purposes, including press releases, press kits, information packages for national and regional sensitization activities and other public education materials; (See detailing training TOR attached as annex 1)
  • Media advocacy strategies, including liaising with media to communicate key messages to defined target audiences ? Website development, including content creation and the methods for managing a website and other social media platforms suitable for the objective of dissemination and interaction with the stakeholders, utilizing the most appropriate media platforms to meet their needs;
  • Effectively monitoring and evaluating various communications tools and activities, to measure the impact on achieving the overall objectives;
  • Identify and collate a database of regional and international media outlets with which the AAIN could build links to enhance advocacy, outreach and strategic communications;
  • The Consultant will also provide: - Assistance with the development and strengthening of national and regional communications plans/strategies incorporating synergies between the partners and focal points communications strategy.
The Consultant is expected to deliver the following outputs:
  • Submit inception report and draft work plan after two weeks of the date of award of the consultancy
  • A comprehensive communication and outreach strategy including social media strategy
  • A concept and guidelines for an online virtual network
  • Training session with AAIN staff and focal points on strategic communications on the areas articulated in the scope of work;
  • An updated database of contact information of regional and international media outlets;
  • First draft to be submitted after 4 weeks.
  • Travel to two partner institutions to assess the Communication activities on the ground so as to tailor AAIN actual situation on the ground to what is relevant to the AAIN
  • Review the draft after receiving in-puts from the AAIN fraternity gathered from outcome of workshops with assorted stakeholders and Communication personnel
  • Submit final report at the end of the consultancy
The estimated duration of the assignment is 30 consultancy days effective from the date of award of the consultancy.

The Consultant is expected to undertake the services with the highest standards of professional and ethical competence and integrity.

The consultant will work closely with the Officer in charge at AAIN and shall have a primary accountability to the UniBRAIN/AAIN Facility coordinator.

The AAIN will provide internet connection, printing and photocopying facilities as well as working space for the consultant while the consultant works at headquarters and focal/partners institutions

The successful consultant for this assignment must:
  • A  Master’s  degree  in  Information  management,  Knowledge  Management,
  • Communication and Journalism. A qualification /certificate in Communication.
  • Have good experience in the fields of Communication, Journalism, Public Relations, International Relations, Political Sciences, Marketing, and Branding among others
  • Have previous experience in developing an elaborate communication strategy for a multi-stakeholder clientele.
  • Proven experience in dealing with diversified entities, especially multi-lateral organizations.
  • Proven experience in dealing with African issues focusing on socio-economic development of the continent.
  • Proven record of any previous work done not more than 5 years ago.
  • Demonstrate at least 10 years’ experience in the area of strategic communication and international relations.
  • Submit at least a copy of Communication Strategy produced for any competitive organization and explain how it was successful to achieving the goals of that institution.
  • Provide documentary proof of professional and academic qualification and testimonials.
  • Display cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity if any and adaptability.
  • Fluent in English and /or French as well as a good working knowledge of the other working languages of the AAIN is an advantage.
Functional competencies
The Consultant must also demonstrate the following functional competencies:
  • Ability to establish and maintain contacts with officers in the AAIN and stakeholders
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, is required to obtain,
  • Evaluate and interpret factual data and to prepare accurate and complete reports and other documents
  • Builds strong relationships with stakeholders and responds positively to feedback
  • Demonstrate openness to change and ability to manage complexities
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude and is able to handle pressure
  • Ability to work well as part of a multi-disciplinary team and work in a multi-cultural environment Ability to understand a variety of specialized tasks related to communication and information activities.
Interested Individual Consultants should send (via e-mail) to FARA’s address (see further below) the following documents:
  1. Technical proposal detailing their understanding of the assignment and how they would go about conducting the assignment.
  2. Financial proposal providing details of the cost of undertaking the assignment; and 
  3. CV of the consultant demonstrating his/her qualifications, technical competence and experience.
Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo, Executive Director, FARA, PMB CT 173, Cantonments, Accra, Ghana; Email: recruitment@faraafrica.org,.

For further clarification, you may also directly contact Mr. Alex Ariho Email aariho@faraafrica.org; Tel: +233 302 772823 / 779421.

Please indicate the Assignment Reference number as part of the subject of your email. Expressions of Interest must be delivered to the address above by 14:00 hours GMT, 29th January, 2016.
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