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NGO/UN Job Vacancy

Organization: Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa
Country: South Africa
Closing date: 07 Jul 2017

The Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) is a regional institution committed to deepening democracy, protecting human rights and enhancing good governance in the region. It‘s vision is to promote and sustain the ideals, values, institutions and practices of open society, with the aim of establishing vibrant and tolerant southern African democracies in which people, free from material and other deprivation, understand their rights and responsibilities and participate actively in all spheres of life.

In pursuance of this vision, OSISA‘s mission is to initiate and support programmes working towards open society ideals and to advocate for these ideals in southern Africa. Established in 1997, OSISA works in 10 southern Africa countries: Angola, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. OSISA works differently in each of these ten countries, according to local conditions.

Role Overview

The Communications Manager will work closely with the Executive office to develop and oversee the implementation of the OSISA communications strategy. The incumbent will manage the communications unit and ensure that it works in line with the overall strategy of OSISA and promotes the institution's vision, goals and objectives.

Key Responsibilities

Internal Communications

The Communications Manager will manage and oversee internal communications in relation to OSISA's programmes, projects and activities. S/he will ensure OSISA staff both in Johannesburg and the country offices are constantly updated with relevant information about OSISA's activities and events. S/he will also ensure that staff of the other OSF Africa Foundations, AfRO and the OSF network are also kept informed about OSISA's work. S/he will also work closely and effectively with Communications colleagues from other Africa Foundations and OSF Communications in New York.

Media Relations

Under the guidance of the Executive office, the Communications Manager will manage and oversee OSISA's media relations work. S/he will enhance the reach and impact of OSISA's work and awareness of key open society issues through proactive engagement with the media. S/he will be responsible for building and maintaining relationships with local, regional and key international media houses and journalists; drafting and issuing press releases; organising press conferences, briefings and missions; and promoting OSISA staff as regional experts in their fields. S/he will ensure the procedures for media events and press releases are circulated and followed.


The Executive Director is the official spokesperson of OSISA. In the absence of the ED or in consultation with the ED, the Communications Manager will act as chief spokesperson and will give briefings and interviews to the media on OSISA issues, programmes and projects. The Communications Manager will work with the ED to produce key talking points about OSISA's strategy, vision and projects for use by staff in interviews, speeches and presentations.

Website and Social Media

The Communications Manager will be responsible for the public face of OSISA and will oversee and manage the website and social media activities. S/he will work with the Web Coordinator to ensure that the website is regularly updated with a wide range of compelling content and that the website becomes the pre-eminent website on open society issues in southern Africa. S/he will work with the rest of the Communications unit to ensure that OSISA maximises its social media presence and impact, through its Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo and Pinterest accounts.


Under the guidance of the Executive office and in consultation with OSISA Programme Managers, the Communications Manager will be responsible for overseeing the commissioning, final editing, translating if necessary, design and printing of OSISA publications, including working with outside companies and consultants. S/he will also oversee the circulation and launch of publications.

Promote OSISA's Brand

Under the guidance of the Executive office, the Communications Manager will be responsible for managing OSISA's brand to ensure that it is unique, representative and boosts the credibility of OSISA. S/he will develop a branding strategy and relevant policies, including use of logos, templates, signage at events etc. S/he will ensure that OSISA staff follow the branding strategy and policies.


In consultation with the Executive Office and Programme Managers, the Communications Manager will provide advocacy support for OSISA campaigns, including providing advocacy advice, editing briefing papers, finalising presentations, and participating in advocacy events and missions both regionally and internationally. S/he will also collaborate with OSF Africa Advocates based in Nairobi, London, Brussels and Washington.


The Communications Manager will oversee - and in some cases conduct - media, social media and advocacy training for OSISA staff to ensure that they are able to provide material for the website, work well with the media and exploit social media to advance open society ideals. S/he will also work to enhance the media, social media and advocacy work of OSISA partners and grantees.

Managing Communications Budget

The Communications Manager will oversee and manage the unit's budget and use the funds to support creative and innovative projects that are clearly linked to the overall strategy of OSISA and to the specific goals and objectives of the Communications unit.

Work Environment and Staff Development

The Communications Manager will ensure the Communication office has an environment that promotes growth, wellbeing, productivity, cohesive teamwork and effective communication. S/he will be responsible for ensuring the integration of the unit within OSISA. The Communications Manager will instill OSISA's values within his/her team and ensure staff are developed to their best potential.

Key Competencies

Proven competence in internal and external communications and media relations, experience as spokesperson in similar organization. Demonstrated expertise in managing website and using social media, and overseeing development of official OSISA publications. Ability to effectively promote OSISA’s brand and lead advocacy efforts as well as manage the communications budget.

Qualifications and Experience

  • A degree in Communications or equivalent qualification or a degree in a relevant subject with media and communications experience
  • 5 years’ experience at this level

How to apply:

Interested applicants should forward a one-page cover letter and a detailed CV to with the relevant position as the subject heading.

Closing date for submission is the 07 July 2017.

Only shortlisted candidates will receive a response.

OSISA is an Equal Opportunity Employer