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Communications Officer

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Last update: Jun 7, 2023 Last update: Jun 7, 2023


Deadline: Jun 23, 2023 Deadline for applications has passed
Location: Timor-Leste Timor-Leste
Job type:Contract, 12 months +
English, Portuguese, TetumEnglish, Portuguese, Tetum
Work experience: Min 10 years
Date posted:Jun 5, 2023
Expected starting date:Aug 1, 2023


Job Description

About Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) Timor-Leste

MCA Timor-Leste, collaborating with the Government of Timor-Leste and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) of the Government of the United States of America, is responsible for implementing the $420 million Timor-Leste Compact, together with an additional contribution of $64 million from the Government of Timor-Leste—representing a total $484 million investment in Timor-Leste. The Compact aims to address human capital development as a binding constraint to economic growth in Timor-Leste through two projects: the Water, Sanitation, and Drainage (WSD) Project and the Teaching and Leading the Next generation of Timorese (TALENT) Project.

The Communications Officer is responsible for leading the MCA Communications and Public Relations Team under the guidance of the Executive Director. The Communications Officer is accountable for the successful communications surrounding the implementation of the project (from initiation, to execution and completion), building collaborative relationships with project stakeholders, and overseeing communication team budgets, contracts and staff. The Communications Officer ensures the alignment of project execution with the overall objectives of the Compact and the judicious management of its resources.

Duties and Responsibilities

Lead the Communications and Public Relations across all project activities and ensure that these are aligned to the established strategies, frameworks, budgets, and resources defined by the Compact; this includes leading and managing events, media and stakeholder outreach, and public information campaigns.

Develop an integrated communications strategy including outreach to local and national media, government officials, stakeholders and other audiences relevant to the success of projects throughout the life of the compact. The strategy should consider how to amplify Compact work and utilize communications to advance project success through events, media, materials, and other channels.

Develop a crisis communications strategy and evaluate ongoing projects for possible public risk, responding and acting accordingly as needed.

Establish a workplan to guide and track work against the communications strategy.

Evaluate project components and activities as these are developed to ensure their relevance to the country context and ensure that they are adapted to address requirements on the ground.

Develop a cohesive messaging framework to inform all aspects of Compact and project outreach and create tools, which may include talking points, fact sheets, presentations, and other materials, to support outreach undertaken by staff and managers across the MCA.

Work closely with MCA directors, managers, and staff to provide clear key messaging for the Compact for use in all communications with Stakeholders including local communities, administration and project affected parties—all in support of established communications strategy.

Develop strong relationship with the media. Serve as the official spokesperson for MCA and the compact. Identify opportunities to amplify compact successes and convey information via media.

Develop and manage the MCA brand throughout the life of the compact while adhering to MCC’s branding guidelines.

Represent Communications and Public Affairs as an integrated component of the Country MCA program to project stakeholders (e.g. with national/local government counterparts, civil society, project beneficiaries, etc.) ensuring that collaborative relationships are built and maintained to facilitate the delivery of the program.

Support the Social and Behavior Change Manager in the management and oversight of the media outreach component of the Social and Behavior Change activities including coordination with external implementers.

Collaborate with the Monitoring and Evaluation Director and WSD and TALENT Project Directors to strategically keep stakeholders and audiences apprised of progress via targeted channels (i.e., blogs, reports, newsletters, social media) to provide updates on Compact and project impacts, including highlighting beneficiaries and progress.

Establish, manage, and leverage channels, including the MCA website and social media, to ensure public access to information on MCA and compact activities, such as upcoming procurement activities, MCA environmental and social policies, and health and safety bulletins. Develop and implement market outreach activities for procurements when relevant.

Coordinate closely with MCC Resident Country Mission (RCM) and MCC Headquarters (HQ) on communications strategy, planning, high-profile issues, and ensuring consistency in messaging and data shared across MCA, MCC RCM and MCC HQ reporting and promotional platforms. Coordinate high-profile efforts with the local US Embassy.

Develop and maintain a library of communications tools, including photos, videos, and other materials, as needed to strategically support the communications strategy.

Guide the Communications and Public Relations team to ensure the use of resources and the implementation of project activities are aligned to the overall project plan;

Build the Communications and Public Relations team through recruitment, training and development, and performance management of staff to ensure a capacity to deliver the project’s objectives.

Seek out and manage communications-related contracts with third-party companies or consultants that support the communications strategy.

Requirements (Education, Experience, Technical Competencies)


A Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, Journalism, Community Development, Business Administration or related field (advanced degree preferred).

Experience and Technical Competencies

10 or more years of relevant working experience in corporate and public communications, community and public outreach, or advocacy communications, approximately 3 years of which should be at a senior management level.

Ability to think strategically and manage projects.

Experience working with national and local media; previous on-the-record experience.

Demonstrated knowledge and expertise in managing public information campaigns.

Demonstrated knowledge and expertise in crafting and delivering messages to diverse stakeholders.

Demonstrated knowledge and expertise in navigating public relations risks and maintaining positive brand reputation, experience addressing mis or dis-information a plus.

Strong and documented writing skills.

Experience coordinating communications across technical teams.

Experience managing a team of communications professionals, PR firm contracts and/or outside consultants.

Strong computer skills (MS Office, Social Media).

Fluency in Tetum, English and Portuguese, both spoken and written.

Experience working with international organizations or donors a plus.

Applications documents must include: 1). A cover letter highlighting the candidate's background and work experience related to the requirements (education, experience, competencies); 2). A CV describing the candidate's qualifications and experience related to the PDs.; 3). Electronic copy of the relevant Academic Certificate(s); and 4). A list of 3 professional references (including at least 1 former supervisor), including name, title, relationship with the candidate, telephone number, and e-mail address.

To ensure equal opportunity and neutrality, application documents should not include details related to: age, marital status, political and religious affiliation, family information.

Short-listed candidates will be expected to submit samples of relevant past work assignments and demonstrate English proficiency. All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and security checks, results of which will form the basis for the final hiring decisions. For any queries, please contact: TimorLeste@developmentaid.org

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