JOB DESCRIPTION Communications Coordinator, Southern Africa

By Published On: 3rd September 2021
Role Communications Coordinator, Southern Africa
Responsible for The Communications Coordinator, Southern Africa, works closely with the Head of Communications in driving publicity and managing communications of Afrobarometer National Partners      in the Southern African region
Location South Africa
Reports to Head of Communications, and indirectly to the Research and Policy Director at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR)


Organizational Overview

Afrobarometer (AB) is a pan-African, nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization that tracks political, economic, and social conditions in Africa. Guided by the vision that African societies thrive when African voices count in public policy and development, AB provides high-quality data and analysis on citizens’ evaluations and experiences of democratic governance and quality of life. This is provided as a public benefit and is free to policymakers, policy advocates, civil society organizations, academics, news media, donors and investors, and ordinary Africans.

Launched in 1999 in 12 countries, AB has completed over 200 discrete surveys and more than 330,000 interviews in survey rounds in up to 39 countries. AB data from these surveys has represented the opinions of more than 70% of the continent’s population. Round 8 surveys have just ended and covered 34 countries, and Round 9 is about to commence. AB currently conducts face-to-face interviews in the language of the respondent’s choice with nationally representative samples, as well as phone surveys as part of our response to COVID-19. Effective analysis and communication of survey findings, as well as capacity building for survey research, analysis, and communications skills, are integral parts of AB’s work. Respondents’ views have been communicated to policymakers, development actors, civil society, and the general public through hundreds of dissemination events and AB publications, as well as thousands of published news reports.

Among AB’s key achievements are proving that citizen research can be conducted even in fragile, post-conflict, and closed political environments in Africa; legitimating public opinion as a pillar of African democracy; and building a network of researchers that has earned the reputation as the go-to source for reliable data on what Africans are thinking.

AB’s organizational values are independence, excellence, collaboration, and commitment. AB individuals value integrity, respect, responsiveness, cooperation, inclusion and fairness. Funders and other stakeholders are treated as partners in the advancement of AB’s endeavors. Relationships, non-partisanship, trust, and accountability are at the core of our work. AB staff and network members appreciate benefiting from colleagues’ creativity, diligence, and enterprise, and value the ability to work individually and as part of a team. The qualities of leadership, initiative, and excellence are nurtured and rewarded. In pursuance of these values, all staff are required to abide by the AB Statement of Personal and Professional Standards of Conduct.

Role Overview

The Engagement Unit, established in 2019, plays a critical role in the success and sustainability of the AB network. There are two teams in the unit: Communications Team and Resource Mobilization Team under a Director of Engagement. The former comprises a longstanding team, including the Head of Communications, Communication Managers in Southern, East, Francophone, North and West Africa. The role is exciting, challenging and rewarding, working for an organization that is considered the premier African citizen research organization globally. The latter team is responsible for forging partnerships built on trust and mutual accountability and for attracting philanthropic contributions to support AB’s goals. These two teams work closely together in disseminating Afrobarometer findings, raising the profile and securing the sustainability of Afrobarometer.

The Communications Team commits itself to:

  • Ensure effective, timely dissemination of survey findings
  • Develop and maintain a world-class website that enables access to and use of
  • Ensure inventive, effective data-visualization expertise in the communications
  • Strengthen other communications unit capacities
  • Enhance dissemination of survey findings through new formats, technologies, audiences,
  • Effectively demonstrate how AB data is used to shape policy or
  • Liaise with Capacity Building unit to build capacity among stakeholders/potential users in data analysis and use, including the use of online data analysis tools.
  • Monitor and respond rapidly to opportunities to inject Afrobarometer data into contemporaneous or emerging national, regional or global events or
  • Explore new opportunities for partnerships to enhance the uptake and impact of AB data
  • Strengthen National Partner communications capacities

In addition, the Communications Coordinator, Southern Africa, has responsibilities to the Institute of Justice and Reconciliation, Afrobarometer’s Core Partner for Southern Africa, based in Cape Town.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

Core Function 1 – Leading Afrobarometer’s National Partners (country-based partners) in Southern Africa with matters relating to their communication requirements

  • Reviews and edits publications based on statistical analysis of survey results from National Partners
  • Supports National Partners to plan, organize and manage their outreach projects
  • Promotes National Partner presentations, events and media interviews and programmes
  • Works with National Partners to build their communications skills, to develop dissemination and media engagement  strategies and plan and prepare for dissemination events
  • Works with the Head of Communications and other staff in training National Partners in communications

skills, public speaking, use of social media and related skills.

Core Function 2 – Spearheading the tracking, use of Afrobarometer data and the dissemination of the survey data in South Africa and other countries under the jurisdiction of the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation

  • Prioritizes and attends regional governance meetings related to Afrobarometer convened by NGOs, government and donors, among other institutions
  • Co-creates and executes outreach and other projects to keep generating coverage for Afrobarometer

following the close of official disseminations

  • Plans and executes project-oriented media and NGO outreach/community events
  • Utilizes various computer programs to track data and create presentations, charts, graphs, tables, and memos
  • Works with the Digital Communications Manager, the Head of Communications, and other Afrobarometer Communications Coordinators to keep constant flow of new materials for website
  • Builds relationships with influential individuals to engage them as partners and collaborators in

Afrobarometer work

Core Function 3 – Communications and media relations

  • Initiates, builds and maintains relationships with journalists and civil society and governance organizations
  • Monitors media outlets within jurisdiction for news that relates to Afrobarometer
  • Works with Head of Communications and other Managers to tweet regularly (either directly or through the Digital Communications Manager) about dissemination events, Afrobarometer-relevant conferences and meetings, and related events
  • Assists National Partners with the rolling out of social media in their operations
  • Prepares reports: quarterly, annually, (Afrobarometer only)
  • Creates and executes outreach and other projects to keep generating coverage for Afrobarometer following the close of official disseminations
  • Under the direction of the Network Communication Manager, initiates and maintains relationships with journalists and civil society and governance organizations
  • Monitors media outlets within countries under Core Partner jurisdiction for news that relates to


  • Works closely with the Communications Team, Publications Manager, Digital Portfolio Manager, Central Management Team and other partners on global releases for each round
  • Participate as researcher, analyst, author or co-author at national, regional and network level
  • Researches specific issues or inquiries regarding program- or project-related topics and reports back findings to Institute of Justice and Reconciliation project team and Head of Communications

Core Function 4 – Monitoring and Evaluation

  • Ensures that all Afrobarometer communications-related M&E is captured to Afrobarometer’s Google Shared Drive
  • Helps maintain dissemination, press releases and report calendars
  • Analyzes the effectiveness of National Partners’ work in communications to assess the need for coaching and follow-up

Core Function 5 – Stakeholder management and partnership building

  • Proactively identifies opportunities for Afrobarometer and its partners to:
    • Injects data into emerging and ongoing policy debates by tracking current events in partner countries, engaging with relevant policy actors and media, (e.g., “hot” issues in supported countries, international/national observances, platforms for engagement with key government officials, media leaders, civil society organizations working in relevant areas)
    • Builds and strengthens partnerships with stakeholders, policy actors, and potential donors at local,

national, regional, continental, and global levels.

Core Function 6 – Duties and responsibilities to Afrobarometer’s Core Partner in Southern Africa, the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR)

  • Provides editorial support to the IJR
  • Writes articles for the IJR
  • Provides media representations on behalf of the IJR
  • Helps strengthen the IJR’s social media presence
  • Provides communication support to specific projects
  • Follows all IJR protocols

Selection Criteria

Minimum experience, knowledge & skills

  • Bachelor’s degree in social sciences and preferably postgraduate studies or degree in journalism/communications/public relations
  • At least 5 years of related work experience, or a combination of education and experience that would provide for the following knowledge, skills and abilities:
    • Experience in networking with policymakers such as members of parliament and local government leaders
    • Experience developing and implementing communications strategy
    • Thorough knowledge of media relations strategies
    • Thorough knowledge of electronic and print media systems
  • Strong interpersonal and communications skills and demonstrated ability to work in a multinational environment are essential
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Skills in quantitative data analysis is desirable
  • Demonstrated capacity to continuously develop knowledge and skills related to use of technology
  • Strong time management skills
  • Ability to handle multiple “priority” projects and set and meet deadlines, and use communications skills to ensure that National Partners and senior leaders do the same
  • Must have demonstrated ability to manage own work with minimal supervision
  • Skilled in the use of personal computers including Microsoft Office Suite; G-suite; experience in SPSS is desirable but not required; experience with Final Cut pro or other video editing software is an advantage but not
  • Some experience with Twitter, Facebook and other other social media platforms
  • The ability to communicate fluently in English is required; French/Portuguese proficiency is a strong advantage, but not required
  • Willingness to travel across Southern Africa, and occasionally beyond, on a regular basis
  • Short-listed applicants will be asked to complete a writing, presentation and basic data analysis test


  • African citizenship or heritage
  • Knowledge of survey research
  • Multilingual, ideally fluent French, Portuguese and African languages

Personal qualities

  • Alignment to Afrobarometer core values including equality, diversity, and inclusion
  • Attention to detail and persistence to ensure thoroughness and accuracy
  • Self-starter with the ability to set priorities, meet deadlines, and manage multiple tasks
  • Highly organized, with the ability to deal with lots of information
  • Diplomatic with a cooperative, problem-solving, and positive ‘can-do’ attitude
  • Ability to build rapport with both leadership and other colleagues
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to maintain privacy and confidentiality

The main duties and responsibilities, person specifications and the technical/functional competencies that are included here are not intended as an exhaustive list of all functions, responsibilities, skills, and abilities pertinent to the post. Additional functions maybe assigned by the Head of Communications/Director of Engagement as circumstances require.


The salary for this post will be competitive with the market and based on the skills and experience of the successful candidate.

How to Apply

The deadline for all applications is 15 September 2021.


Please send your application to Include your name and position title in the

subject field of your email. Example: “Subject: [YOUR NAME] AB Communications Coordinator S/Africa” Documents to include:

  1. An up-to-date curriculum vitae with contact details (your email, phone, postal and WhatsApp Number)
  2. A personal statement describing:
    1. your interest in the post and in working with Afrobarometer
    2. evidence of how your skills, experience and knowledge meet the Selection If you lack experience or evidence in any area listed, please state how you would gain the knowledge or competency needed to succeed in the role.
    3. your availability for the post (notice period in your current role) and preferred working


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