External Affairs Officer
World Bank (World Bank)
Close on 1 Oct 2020
Location: Freetown (Sierra Leone)
Grade: GF, Entry Professional
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Added 1 week ago
Job Description


Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? Working at the World Bank Group provides a unique opportunity for you to help our clients solve their greatest development challenges. The World Bank Group is one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries; a unique global partnership of five institutions dedicated to ending extreme poverty, increasing shared prosperity and promoting sustainable development. With 189 member countries and more than 120 offices worldwide, we work with public and private sector partners, investing in groundbreaking projects and using data, research, and technology to develop solutions to the most urgent global challenges. For more information, visit www.worldbank.org

Regional Context
The World Bank Central and West Africa Region, comprised of approximately 1139 staff mostly based in about 22 country offices, is committed to helping African countries to realize their considerable development potential and become more competitive in the global economy by focusing on the following priorities:
• Creating Jobs and Transforming Economies: We are working with countries across Africa to stimulate job creation and economic transformation by leveraging all sources of finance, expertise, and solutions to promote investment.
• Building up the digital economy: We are supporting Africa’s vision to ensure that every African individual, business, and government is connected by 2030.
• Institutions more Efficient and Accountable: Our support is helping governments strengthen public policy processes, manage resources effectively, and reinforce fair and reliable delivery of public services.
• Investing in People: We are at the forefront of helping African countries accelerate human capital gains and empower women by improving their access to education and skills acquisition, sexual and reproductive health services, and employment opportunities.
• Supporting Climate Change Mitigation and Adaption: In the face of increasing climate-related risks, we are working with African countries to advance efforts to adopt renewable energy, climate-smart agriculture, and green infrastructure.
• Addressing the Drivers of Fragility, Conflict, and Violence: Given the cross-border nature of conflicts in Africa, we are employing an approach that simultaneously focuses on the drivers of fragility while also supporting well-targeted regional initiatives to create opportunities for peace and shared prosperity.
• Building Partnerships and Working across the African Continent: We are scaling up our work on regional integration, taking a holistic view of the continent that covers both North and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The World Bank is a dedicated partner for Central and West African countries, helping them deliver strong development outcomes for their people. A brighter future for the region is a better future for the world.

Country Context
Sierra Leone has an advantageous geography and abundant mineral and blue resources, yet the country has among the worst development outcomes globally. The World Bank’s current portfolio stands at $597 million covering 13 national and three regional projects/operations. Energy and extractives account for 28% of the portfolio; health, nutrition and population - 27%; followed by transport and social protection and jobs - 8% each. Sierra Leone’s new Country Partnership Framework will cover the period FY21-FY26 and presents a unique opportunity to structure WBG support around three focus areas: (i) Human Capital Acceleration, (ii) Economic Diversification and Competitiveness, and (iii) Governance, Institutions and Resilience. This is consistent with the government’s new National Development Plan launched on February 28, 2019.

External Communications Africa West (ECRAW) employs an extended team of professionals in World Bank Headquarters and across country offices, including Sierra Leone, to support the overarching goal of advancing inclusive growth in West and Central Africa. ECRAW uses the full array of communications tools and methodologies to build awareness and understanding and mobilize support for development goals. Work programs cover dissemination through traditional and online media, relationship building, analysis of political and project risks, and design of programs to manage those risks. A strategic renewal within ECRAW emphasizes closer alignment with operations in the region, and coordination with the World Bank’s External Affairs network, to ensure that ECRAW services are critical to regional and corporate priorities, and that they employ state-of-the art communications tools to disseminate information, build understanding, and connect the World Bank to a variety of actors involved in poverty reduction and development.

Recognizing that Africa’s economic and social context is rapidly changing, and that communications technologies have revolutionized the ways that information travels, ECRAW is building a team of dynamic and innovative professionals prepared to use traditional and digital tools, including social media and multi-media production, to shape the debate on development priorities and trade-offs.
The External Affairs Officer will be based in the World Bank Office in Freetown, strengthening the country communications program, with particular attention to providing strategic communications support to complex development projects the World Bank supports in Sierra Leone. Working with ECRAW professionals in the region and in Washington, the External Affairs Officer will also support corporate communications priorities, including dissemination of World Bank flagship publications, executive visits to the region, and the World Bank's Annual and Spring meetings.

The External affairs Officer will report to the EXRAW Manager based in Washington, D. C but work day to day with the WB Country Manager based in Freetown. As part of the larger ECRAW team, the External Affairs Officer will interact regularly with colleagues in Headquarters and in other field offices, as well as with operational teams in the Freetown office. A willingness to share knowledge, draw on expertise and help create a supportive work environment is critical.

ECRAW is seeking an experienced, creative and hands-on communications professional whose primary role is to support the implementation of effective communications and outreach strategies to support the World Bank’s priority in Sierra Leone. This is a locally recruited staff position based in Freetown.

Duties and Responsibilities:
The External Affairs Officer plans, develops, and implements effective communications and outreach strategies to support the WBG’s corporate, internal, and operational priorities, using the full range of modern communications tools including social media, digital publishing, and multi-media production. It is critical that the External Affairs Officer be equipped to gauge risks associated with complex projects and to design and implement strategies to minimize those risks. The External Affairs Officer will report to the ECRAW Manager based in Washington, D.C.

His/her specific duties and accountabilities include:
• Strategies: Responsible for significant portions of planning, design, and implementation of strategies to promote effective communications with external and internal audiences on World Bank-financed operations, research products, and campaigns. Helps determine the most effective content and communications interventions to address particular challenges.
• Risk management: On high-risk operations in the country, must monitor perceptions, track shifts in opinion, and respond to inquiries, while publishing and updating key facts about project goals and milestones as well as results. Must be able to interact with operations staff and project teams, organizing meetings with media and civil society as appropriate. Must be able to take the pulse of the country and advise country teams, with analyses on the political economy, especially during election years, and regular monitoring of the media.
• Relationships: Must be prepared to identify opinion leaders and influential organizations in Sierra Leone and guide a strategy of engagement with these various stakeholders, which might range from parliamentarians to faith-based organizations to business associations. Responsible for convening stakeholder groups for consultations and structured dialogues around projects, knowledge outputs, and country development priorities.
• Products: Responsible for planning and delivering a range of written products on the World Bank's operational goals, results and knowledge. Outputs range from traditional press releases and Op-Eds to web features, brochures, Q&As, briefing notes, and speeches. Responsible for updating the World Bank's internal and external websites for the country.
• Events: Coordinates communications activities and events ranging from press conferences to large seminars and town hall meetings, involving external and/or internal audiences.
• Representation: Must be prepared to represent the World Bank, and Freetown office, before external and internal audiences, explaining WBG policies and operational goals.
• Technical and advisory support: Advises World Bank managers and project teams on trends, news developments, or changing circumstances that may impact the WBG and its work and helps determine strategic responses. Provides regular communication support to WBG operational teams and government implementing agencies to assure that project goals are well-explained and that affected stakeholders are engaged at all stages.
• Resource management: Employs appropriate methodologies for handling simple and complex procurement tasks and/or issues. Manages specific line items of unit budget.
• Mentoring, leadership: May provide technical coaching to staff members or guidance and support to junior staff. May serve as a team leader, responsible for managing performance of team members.

Selection Criteria

• Master’s degree with 5 years of relevant experience or Bachelor’s degree with 10 years of relevant experience, in a relevant discipline (communication, journalism, international relations or other related fields)
• Excellent written and spoken command of English, and the ability to convey complex ideas in a creative, clear, direct, and lively style
• Proven knowledge of visual communications principles and fluency with design software.
• Strong understanding and experience with digital content and social media analytics.
• Strong writing skills; ability with minimum supervision to prepare and edit simple online communication products and develop drafts of moderately complex products in a clear, concise, and web-friendly style.
• Acute eye for detail.
• Understands project management concepts sufficiently to propose and develop drafts of online communications plans and strategies with minimal supervision; can apply standard project management tools, methodologies, and processes; is able to identify and mitigate project risks as well as manage project issues.
• Experience working in an international organization and on conservation and sustainable development issues.
• In-depth knowledge of international trends and political/economic issues related to development
• Strong diplomatic, interpersonal, and teamwork skills; sensitivity to working in a multicultural environment.

The candidate will also be expected to have the following competencies:
• Communication Strategy and Execution in International Development: Demonstrates a working proficiency to lead the planning, development, and execution of a communication strategy for moderately complex projects. Leads research efforts to identify and map project stakeholders or intended audiences; leads media and audience outreach, identifying audience needs. Independently implements communication strategies for moderately complex projects and can use feedback from evaluation tools to strengthen programs. Helps others develop this competency. A key skill in this area will be the adoption of digital strategies and marshalling of social marketing techniques to respond to the online communications environment that is increasingly embraced by Sierra Leonese audiences.
• Broad Business Thinking: Capable of distilling an in-depth understanding of the long-term implications of decisions, both for Sierra Leone and for the World Bank. Involves the key players in identifying operational needs, challenges and immediate solutions. Ensures that decisions are supported by relevant stakeholders and can explain the business case for decisions.
• Client Understanding and Advising: Looks at issues from the citizen’s perspective and advocates for citizens. Works with others across the VPU to define client needs and develop the best approaches to meet them. Asks probing questions to understand unmet needs. Focuses on achieving sustainable results for clients and proposes solutions to mitigate risks.
• Content Development and Editing: Takes full responsibility for the development of content for dissemination. Can ensure the development of communications products meeting WBG standards on structure, clarity, quality, and persuasiveness.
Social Media, Information Channels, and Communication Tools: Demonstrates working knowledge of current media channels and tools, including social media. Modifies communication strategies and products to leverage innovative communication tools and channels.
• Relationship Management, Political Awareness and Diplomacy: Builds strategic relationships with critical internal and external constituencies, fostering partnerships that strengthen support for development objectives and mitigate reputational risks. Maintains and leverages high-level communication networks and contacts within key constituencies. Provides guidance to other internal WBG groups on how to best manage critical relationships.
• Lead and Innovate: Contributes new insights into development challenges and fashions solutions to complex problems. Adapts as circumstances require.
• Collaborate Within Teams and Across Boundaries: Appropriately involves others in decision-making and communicates with key stakeholders. Approaches conflicts as common problems to be solved. Actively seeks and considers diverse ideas and approaches, displaying a sense of mutuality and respect. Integrates WBG perspective into work.

Poverty has no borders, neither does excellence. We succeed because of our differences and we continuously search for qualified individuals with diverse backgrounds from around the globe.

About World Bank

With 189 member countries, staff from more than 170 countries, and offices in over 130 locations, the World Bank Group is a unique global partnership: five institutions working for sustainable solutions that reduce poverty and build shared prosperity in developing countries.

World Bank's mission is to end extreme poverty by reducing the share of the global population that lives in extreme poverty to 3 percent by 2030, and to promote shared prosperity by increasing the incomes of the poorest 40 percent of people in every country.