Head of Communications - Uniting to Combat NTDs (24 month FTC)

Flexible: UK/ US/ Canada/ Germany/ South Africa/ Kenya/ Senegal
Dependent upon experience and location
29 Jun 2018
20 Jul 2018
Full Time
Contract Type

Flexible location: UK/ US/ Canada/ Germany/ South Africa/ Kenya/ Senegal

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a mixture of treatable and preventable diseases that continue to affect over a billion of the world’s poorest and most marginalized people. They are a consequence and cause of poverty as they thrive where access to clean water, sanitation and healthcare is limited. Their impact on individuals and communities can be devastating. Many of them cause severe disfigurement and disability. They impact on life expectancy, education and economic opportunities of affected individuals and the communities they live in.

In 2014, Sightsavers was awarded a grant by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to host the secretariat for Uniting to Combat NTDs, a coalition of invested and dedicated organisations working to support the achievement of the WHO 2020 goals in respect to 10 NTDs. In October 2016, an additional grant was provided to build the communications and advocacy capacity of the Support Centre towards the delivery of key advocacy priorities.

The Head of Communications is a new role that will play an essential part in delivering on core communications objectives.

The Head of Communications will create and execute a communications strategy to tell the story of Uniting to Combat NTDs, developing and sharing messaging across a range of issues and leading the team to establish and implement a media strategy to raise awareness of neglected tropical diseases and support for the partnership.

This role is a chance to think big and be ambitious. By 2020 we aim to reach control, elimination and eradication targets for NTDs. Reporting directly to the Director of the Support Centre and responsible for a small team, the Head of Communications will keep the big picture in focus and tie all communications activity back to this central goal.

Key responsibilities:

Working with the Director of the Support Centre, team and partners to:

  • Lead the communications strategy and activities, including piloting ideas, to tell the story of Uniting to Combat NTDs
  • Creatively utilise media and technology platforms
  • Provide key stakeholders with advice on communications strategies, messaging, channels and output
  • Ensure consistent messaging and branding for public relations work, spokespeople and all program materials
  • Identify and execute opportunities to insert Uniting to Combat NTDs’ views and/ or information in relevant news cycles and monitor, analyse and report on resulting coverage
  • Line manage the Communications and Social Media Producer

About you:

You’ll be a highly competent, passionate communications professional who is able to communicate complex and often jargon-riddled global health stories and developments in an engaging way.  You will have the ability to spot angles and stories and creatively utilise available assets to engage new audiences.   You’ll have a demonstrable history of creating communications campaigns which target key audiences with compelling calls to action and increase their engagement and support.  

You will have:

  • A university degree in a relevant field or equivalent work experience
  • Substantial strategic experience in journalism, communications, media relations or a role that incorporates these skills with a proven ability to influence debate
  • Experience of creating and executing media and social media strategies
  • Strong knowledge in development communications with a health/ science background either at university level or gained whilst working for other NGOs
  • The ability and confidence to work effectively and collaboratively with a variety of stakeholders
  • A strategic, proactive, creative and well organised approach, with the ability to meet tight deadlines and manage multiple priorities
  • Excellent project management capabilities
  • Good writing and editing skills, including an eye for detail
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Understanding of the relationship between NGO, government and private sector
  • Understanding of and a commitment to equality of opportunity for disabled people
  • Fluent English and proficient French would be desirable

Closing date:               20th July 2018

Interview date:             30th July 2018 (to be held in the UK or via Skype)