TaRL Africa Communications Manager

Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Education: Undergraduate degree
Application deadline: 21 September 2020

Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) Africa is a new high-profile initiative jointly led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) and the Indian Education NGO Pratham. TaRL Africa works to improve basic reading and arithmetic skills of children on the African continent and aims to reach 3 million children in the next five years. Key countries of operation including Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Zambia.

TaRL Africa is looking for a dynamic, enthusiastic, and committed candidate for the Communications Manager role. The Communications Manager will develop and manage a communications strategy for TaRL Africa. This will include global awareness building, fundraising support (when required), and country-specific communications support.  The communications manager role will also support TaRL Africa country offices by developing and implementing communications, media and advocacy strategies. The position will be based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Major Functions:

  • To develop and implement communications and support advocacy to raise awareness of key program issues in TaRL Africa.
  • Provide strategic media counsel and support to the country offices.
  • Support donor engagement and reporting.
  • Manage a small communications team and support communications staff in supported countries.
  • Oversee and support all internal and external communications activities for TaRL Africa.

Duties and Responsibilities


  • To coordinate the development and deployment of an engaging and compelling TaRL Africa internal and external communications plan and structure for the organization
  • To develop and implement comprehensive joint media and advocacy strategies that raise awareness of key program issues.
  • To develop and implement strategic, creative, and proactive media and outreach mechanisms to highlight TaRL Africa’s work, activities, projects, and its overall mission to ensure all children in Africa attain basic reading and arithmetic skills.
  • To coordinate and execute the delivery of a digital communications and social media strategy.
  • To position TaRL Africa staff as subject matter experts and issue spokespersons.
  • To proactively identify communications needs of country offices and support in hiring and development of communications staff in countries as needed
  • To provide hands-on crisis communications support and counsel at the country level
  • Lead in the development of Africa communications and media work plan and budget
  • Take lead in media outreach and coordination of high-level visits to Africa region by senior staff, donors and partners, and support the preparation of briefing materials, as required.

Media Relations

  • Provide on-going strategic media counsel and support to the country offices and liaise with media houses.
  • Support the development of communications messaging, materials, and campaigns for use in-country.
  • Lead in the generation of meaningful press coverage with key country, regional and international media that highlights TaRL Africa’s programs.
  • Respond to media requests promptly; use these opportunities to insert TaRL Africa’s messages, shape proposed story ideas and suggest appropriate sources that advance a story or concept.
  • Work with country teams to develop and disseminate press materials that integrate key messages, to include the development of press releases & backgrounders.
  • Prepare staff (and partners/sub-grantees) in the field for media interviews, speaking engagements as appropriate.
  • Keep Communications and Advocacy officers, Country Managers and senior-level staff informed of significant shifts in programmatic field procedures, media mentions, or potential coverage.


  • Identify, recruit and supervise technical resources and consultants (photographers, freelance writers) as necessary to enhance visibility on TaRL Africa’s work, programs, and initiatives specifically, as well as education issues in countries across the continent where TaRL Africa has a presence.
  • Work with country offices on to develop and write country-specific stories and photographic assets, to be shared across various digital platforms (blog, social media and websites).
  • Liaise with Country Managers to secure appropriate feedback and approvals of materials and ensure proper sign-off procedures are followed.
  • Obtain relevant programmatic and statistical information for Nairobi office and in-country offices as needed to incorporate into selected products; share this information regularly with countries.
  • Ensure TaRL Africa’s branding and messaging is consistent in all TaRL Africa’s documents and collateral; monitor adherence to agree upon branding policies.
  • Edit materials prepared by other writers or in-country staff to ensure they are consistent with TaRL Africa’s messages and policies.
  • Manage all content generation and editing for social media and website.

Required Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, Marketing, New Media or Public Relations with a strong bias in Digital Media.
  • 5 years of relevant work experience in a similar role.
  • Written, verbal and non-verbal communications in English.
  • French will be an added advantage.
  • Displays in-depth knowledge and understanding of social media platforms, their respective participants (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube) and how each platform can be deployed in different scenarios.
  • Demonstrates creativity and documented immersion in social media.
  • Experience with print and/or electronic and broadcast media and developing strategic communications initiatives.
  • Demonstrated history of successfully building critical, long term, engaging relationships with stakeholders and relevant partners for positive change.
  • Willing to travel within Africa (up to 30-50%).
  • A team player who can skillfully coordinate activities with senior leadership, management, project directors, and staff, and who has the sensitivity and interpersonal skills to work cooperatively with a group of diverse personalities.

Required minimum skills and competencies:

  • Interest in children’s learning and education.
  • Familiarity with major Africa press.
  • Ability to synthesize feedback quickly and efficiently.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent communications and organizational skills, with demonstrated success working in a team environment.
  • The pleasant, flexible, and efficient communicator must have credibility, good judgment, honesty and integrity.

How to apply?

Please fill in this application form by 21 September 2020. Only applications submitted through the form will be accepted. Please note that, due to the large volume of applications, we will only be able to respond to short-listed applicants. Please email recruit@teachingattherightlevel.org if you have any questions.

TaRL Africa is an equal opportunity employer and committed to having a diverse workforce.