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Development Outreach and Communications Specialist

Development Outreach and Communications Specialist

Open to:-All Locally Employed Staff (LES) – All Agencies

            Current employees serving a probationary period are not eligible to apply

            -All Zimbabwean citizens or legal Zimbabwean permanent residents, with the required

            visa/permit to work and live in the country (proof of this paperwork will need to

            be provided)

Please Note: This position has specific funding applicable only to Zimbabweans or legal Zimbabwean residents, therefore eligible family members are not eligible to apply.

Functional Title:     Development Outreach and Communications Specialist

– (DOC) Position

Grade:                        FSN-11

(US$42,311 - US$61,351 basic salary grade range)

The US Mission in Zimbabwe provides equal opportunity and fair and equitable treatment in employment to all people without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation, marital status, or sexual orientation. 

Opening Date:  December  12, 2012

Closing Date:  January 23, 2013; 5pm local

Work Hours:  Full time; 40 hours per week


USAID/Zimbabwe (hereafter the Mission) manages the USG development program in Zimbabwe, with an annual program budget of approximately $130 million.  The Mission portfolio includes a broad range of program activities.  The DOC supports the Mission to achieve its objectives by strategically producing and disseminating public information about USAID activities and by supporting the Communication Specialists of Implementing Partners (IPs) to define and achieve their communication goals. The DOC is responsible for collecting, investigating, and distributing information associated with USAID programs in Zimbabwe, and serves as the primary Mission point of contact for information requests.  The DOC reports to the Program Officer and/or his/her designee, and collaborates closely with the Mission Director, DO Team Leaders, and IPs to develop and implement the overall Mission communications strategy.  The DOC facilitates information access and sharing within the Mission, amongst USAID partners, as well as collaborates with other Mission agencies to ensure that personnel are properly apprised of USAID public activities and projects.  The DOC serves as principal liaison with the USAID/Washington Bureau of Legislative and Public Affairs (LPA) and remains in close communication with other USAID/Washington stakeholders. 


a. Communications Strategic Planning – 10%

The DOC is responsible for the implementation of a USAID/Zimbabwe Communications Strategy.  He/she is expected to consult with USAID Team Leaders, the Program Office, the Mission Director and Public Affairs Office to determine strategic communications goals and assumptions as well as to develop an outreach and communication budget to support the strategy.   The DOC is responsible for overseeing a monitoring, learning, and evaluation plan.

b. Branding and Marking – 20%

The DOC serves as Mission Point of Contact (PoC) for Agency Branding Graphic Standards, within USAID/Zimbabwe and among partners.   

c. Media – 30%

The DOC is responsible for planning and coordinating Mission media activities, in accordance with the USAID/Zimbabwe Communication Strategy. 

d. Visitors – 5%

The DOC assists the Mission in preparing for high-level visitors, including the preparation of briefing materials, strategic planning of site visits, scheduling, and media participation.  The DOC ensures that all event information (e.g., scene setters, documents to be publicly signed, talking points, speeches) have been prepared, and meet quality standards and time requirements. 

e. Publicity Materials – 35%

The DOC is responsible for the production of high-quality print and electronic communications products that translate complex messages and technical information into understandable, meaningful messages that resonate with a variety of audiences, both host-country, regional, and American.  The DOC serves as editorial director of all published and website materials, including information brochures, special publications, and the external USAID/Zimbabwe website.  


1) Education (10 points):  A Bachelor of Arts Degree in journalism, public relations, communications, English, or a related field is required.  A degree from an American university will gain more points, because writing for International audiences is an essential component of this position.

2) Experience (20 points):   A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in communications, public relations, or journalism, in an English-language work environment, is required.  Previous work with a USG or other international development organization is highly desirable.

3) Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (70 points):

The knowledge skills and abilities will be evaluated based on both the paper review and the written and oral interview process.  

  1. Language Proficiency: English fluency, both written and oral, is required. 
  2. Knowledge: The DOC must have a thorough knowledge of the principles, methods, practices, and techniques of communication, and skill in applying such knowledge to develop written information materials for dissemination through a variety of media, in order to determine and effectively use the most appropriate means for transmitting information, and to evaluate the effectiveness of plans developed to communicate with targeted audiences.  This includes an understanding of the use of written communication in developing news releases, feature stories, background statements, fact sheets, media spots, and scripts that effectively transmit information about complex USAID/Zimbabwe programs and activities. The work requires a solid understanding of communication strategies, products, and methodology; an excellent knowledge of English grammar and American word usage and spelling; a good knowledge of graphic design, printing, and publishing processes, and the ability to oversee printers and/or publishers; a general understanding of procurement processes; and, a broad understanding of issues related to international development.  Familiarity with APA or MLA citation styles is desired.
  3. Skills and Abilities: Work requires skill in developing and maintaining effective relationships with media representatives, and the public affairs personnel of organized groups, and in establishing and enhancing communication between USAID and its audiences using media and groups; skill in making oral presentations designed to seek cooperation of specialized groups and media in providing fuller coverage to USAID/Zimbabwe activities, and to encourage open communication between USAID/Zimbabwe and its audiences; and, skill in analyzing the effectiveness of communication plans once implemented, and developing recommendations to change the nature of the USAID/Zimbabwe public affairs program. 

The work requires excellent oral and written communications skills, including news and technical writing, editing, and research skills; strong organizational and project management skills, that may be applied within a multi-cultural work environment. 

The work also requires excellent photography skills.

The work requires the ability to work independently, taking initiative once guidance is provided, and managing several activities simultaneously and under pressure to meet deadlines. 

The DOC must have strong interpersonal skills.  The ability to establish and maintain collegial relations with press and media contacts, as well as Embassy and IP counterparts, and to exercise sound judgment in representing the USG is demanded, along with the ability to manage interactions with high-level dignitaries and officials with maturity and confidence. 

The ability to travel throughout the host country, in order to organize and implement outreach events and visit project sites, is a requirement of the position. 

Very good computer skills, including the use of MS Office, MS Outlook, MS PowerPoint, and Word are required.  In addition, a basic familiarity with web design and management software, such as DRUPAL, DreamWorks, Acrobat, or other page making software is highly desired.

Scoring of the selection criterion detailed above will be done through paper review, an oral interview and/or written exercise.


Please read this section carefully and follow the instructions closely.  Interested applicants must address all the above qualifications in their application.  An application should be addressed to the Human Resources Office and include:

1.       An application letter, detailing how the applicant meets the above minimum qualifications.  Please type in the letter your response to each item, e.g. Education, and state how you meet the requirement.  Failure to do this will result in you not being shortlisted.  Your letter must address each of the qualifications listed above.

2.       A current resume relevant to the position (no more than 2 pages)

3.  Any other documentation that addresses the qualification requirements of the position listed above.   

Portfolio of Work:  USAID/Zimbabwe requests all applicants submit examples of communications work to include, but not limited to, writing samples such as communications strategies, press releases, newsletters, speeches, and photographs, videos, and/or outreach campaigns samples.  You may provide links in your email application as a form of submission.

Selection Process:  After an initial application screening, the best qualified applicants may be invited to a testing process, which may include an oral interview and a written exercise.  The written exercise may consist of a timed session, where the candidate will work on the computer and answer a specific question, using either word or excel or both. 

The final phase of the selection process is the probationary period of one year.  Medical and security clearances are also required before employment can begin. 

Please note: only short listed candidates will be contacted with the results of the final selection.  If you do not hear back from us by February 15, 2013, you were not shortlisted.  Due to the great number of applications received, we are not able to contact each applicant.


Both email and hand delivered applications are accepted.  Please submit email applications via email to:   

Please note:  Applications should not be more than 1mb in size if emailed.

Please indicate Reference: 13-05 Development Outreach and Communications (DOC) Specialist in the subject line of the application email and in the subject line of your application letter. 

Hand delivered applications should be addressed to the Human Resources Office and submitted to 1 Pascoe Avenue, Belgravia, Harare. 

Applicants who fail to follow all the application requirements stated above will not be short listed. 

Applications should be received no later than 5pm January 23, 2013.

For any queries Contact the HR Office on 252401 or 252420 Ext. 256 or 235.

Issued by

Executive Office

Robert Appiah

Supervisory Executive Officer