The Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI) was established in 1990 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and thirteen governments of Asia-Pacific countries. It is a membership-based, apolitical, multi-stakeholder, and inter-governmental regional organization. As an important intermediary in the region, it is bridging national, regional and global stakeholders to bring about collective change in agri-food systems of Asia-Pacific. APAARI’s wide network of members and partners comprises of national agricultural research institutes (NARIs) and national agricultural research organizations (NAROs), international agricultural research centres, higher education institutions, civil society (farmers’ organizations – FOs and non-governmental organizations – NGOs), international development organizations and the private sector. APAARI is mandated to coordinate collective actions to strengthen agricultural innovation systems (AIS) in the Asia-Pacific region.
In this context, APAARI is seeking talented, compassionate candidates with high-integrity to strengthen the Secretariat’s capacity to effectively and strategically communicate with its members, partners and other stakeholders, improve the outreach and visibility of collective actions, and advocate for the role of AIS in sustainable development of the Asia-Pacific region. As such, APAARI is looking for a dynamic individual with strong records in communication (including journalism and media) to lead the communication work of the Association in strategic manner.
Duties and responsibilities
The Communication Officer will work under direct supervision of the Executive Secretary, APAARI, and in a close collaboration with all APAARI coordinators and staff. He/she will implement the Communication Strategy of APAARI while ensuring APAARI’s visibility and positioning as a key regional platform for agricultural innovation. The following specific duties will be undertaken:
Maintaining APAARI’s key public communication tool, ensuring its constant updates, quality and accuracy of public information.
- Actively checking the consistency and news worthiness of website content, and re-organizing it accordingly e.g. assuring that outdated news are archived.
- Re-designing the website based on consultations and agreement with APAARI staff.
- Independently uploading and organizing various APAARI documents on the website in line with the set naming conventions and existing categories.
- Updating the website based on: (i) e-mails forwarded to APAARI by the members and partners; and (ii) independently identifying and sharing key news from the websites or Social Media of APAARI members and partners.
- Reporting any technical issues to the IT service provider and web developer to assure timely fixing of such issues.
- Developing and maintaining a statistic record of the website visitors, downloads and traffic.
- Adapting multi-media material for the website, e.g. re-sizing and cropping photographs and videos.
- Developing and sharing new ideas on the website content and its management, web-based applications, and new templates and databases that could be integrated.
- Maintaining the project-related pages in collaboration with responsible coordinators and officers.
Social media management
Promoting online engagement through sharing of interesting content, building interest and encouraging new stakeholders to follow APAARI.
Actively searching for relevant content of interest to the APAARI Community (within the APAARI projects and members’ resources).
- Preparing short introduction paragraphs (standfirsts) based on the shared content in a catchy language.
- Sharing and re-sharing the content through the APAARI Social Media.
- Actively promoting APAARI Social Media during various events, presentations; and promoting engagement by encouraging comments and discussions on the shared content.
- Approaching key stakeholders to follow or/and connect APAARI Social Media; searching for key stakeholders on the Linked In platform, targeting their connection and engagement with APAARI.
- Actively promoting APAARI’s events, activities and publications through mini-campaigns, as well as those of members and partners.
- Linking APAARI social media tools with those of the members, partners and other stakeholders.
- Promoting engagement on APAARI social media.
- Maintaining statistics record to enable comparison of results with past periods.
Working closely with the Executive Secretary and Coordinators on communications initiatives and messaging for key events.
Developing communication materials e.g. artwork for banners, templates for presentations, agenda and other materials including in the meeting package.
- Initiating and conducting pre-event campaign to attract attention of APAARI stakeholders.
- Capturing key messages to feed into social media and final report.
- Consolidating event synthesis following the events.
- Developing a communication plan for each key event of APAARI in consultation and collaboration with the Coordinators. This will include plans for engagement of local, national, and regional media; organization of media briefings; development and schedule for press releases; Social Media engagement during the event; and reporting plan.
- Developing and maintaining media/journalist database.
- Responding to media enquiries.
- Developing news-worthy messages for dissemination.
- Building dialogue with individual journalists, and editors.
- Organizing press events and media briefings with journalists.
- Drafting, finalizing and disseminating press releases for key events.
Researching, preparing, fact-checking, editing, and producing media and communications materials for various audiences and ensuring their timely dissemination.
- Drafting short article stories for the website on every key project and programme activity in collaboration with the coordinators. These should be based on: (i) available documents emerging from APAARI workshops, consultations, and training activities e.g. concept notes, and reports; (ii) own initiative of preparing content based on the participation in such activities; (iii) other partners’ content in case of jointly implemented activities.
- Editing and proofreading key APAARI publications.
- Developing the APAARI newsletter, including writing and editing of articles, organizing and finalizing content, and dissemination.
- Compiling the APAARI Network Highlights (ANH) and ensuring its bi-monthly dissemination.
Identifying and implementing innovative ways of using multi-media to address APAARI’s communication priorities and enhance visibility of the collective actions.
- Organizing and maintaining the APAARI photo library.
- Developing short videos (e.g. about APAARI).
- Developing infographics on different technical areas in collaboration with the coordinators.
Developing capacity of the APAARI Secretariat in strategic communication, and project staff in priority areas of communications.
- Providing considered professional communications advice to all APAARI staff.
- Preparing and delivering communications workshops and training, especially the context of APAARI’s projects.
Furthermore, the Communication Officer is expected to develop and implement annual work plans in line with the needs of the technical coordinators and projects; prepare communication budgets for new initiatives; and contribute to the Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Learning (MERL) system of APAARI.
- Degree in communications, political sciences, public information, international relations/development or social sciences.
- At least five years of relevant experience in communication in a regional or international organization closely related with external relations contexts. Experience in agricultural and environmental domains is an asset.
- Very good technical affinity for media contexts including knowledge of a wide range of multimedia, web and digital tools.
- Outstanding news-writing and editing skills with attention to detail.
- Excellent communication skills, including social media and multimedia skills, plus strong interpersonal skills.
- Excellent command of English, (written, oral, comprehension) including highly developed drafting skills.
- Excellent computer skills (MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint essential) and e-learning systems.
- Ability to manage a communication programme with competing deadlines and achieving results.
- Ability to synthesize complex organizational and scientific information and convert into a language understandable to APAARI staff and external stakeholders.
- Highly motivated.
- Ability to work in diverse multi-cultural setting with a variety of stakeholders.
- Demonstrate team spirit and positive attitude.
Salary and Allowances: Salary and allowances are subject to relevant qualifications, and experience in line with the job requirements. The overall salary and benefits will include medical insurance, contributory provident fund, accommodation allowance, and annual leave and leave fare. The salary will be paid in US dollars and will be tax free.
Period of assignment: Three years (starting 1 January 2022).
Location: Home-based, with the possibility to be re-located to the APAARI Secretariat in Bangkok, Thailand, in due course.
Submission of Application:
Applications should include a CV with contact details and be accompanied by a cover letter. They should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The covering letter should provide a short statement on candidate’s suitability for the position vis-à-vis the selection criteria, role and responsibilities of the post. Interested applicants from APAARI member countries, especially women, are encouraged to apply.
The deadline for receipt of applications is 31 October 2021. No applications will be accepted beyond this date.