Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within.
Drawing on Mercy Corps’ experience implementing the AgriFin Mobile, AgriFin Accelerate and AgriFin Digital Farmer programs, GIZ has engaged Mercy Corps to understand how young technology innovators can be supported in scale and operational viability by engaging with emerging models of digital platforms. The GIZ smart development hack is a six-month, €1,300,000 initiative to work with a cohort of partners in Kenya and Nigeria to develop digital solutions that address challenges in the agriculture sector especially brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn attention to the complex fragility of many countries, highlighted most clearly in the interplay of public health, markets and food systems. Early warning signs are emerging that the continent is on the brink of an unprecedented food security crisis. In Kenya it is estimated that there are sufficient strategic reserves for three months, but disrupted food systems, logistics and evidence of food hoarding may shorten that timeline, particularly as the largest desert locust invasion in 70 years.
This project aims to promote zero contact and prevent the spread of COVID-19 by utilizing technology to expand access to food, improve distribution of agriculture outputs by consumers through support farmers utilize updated agriculture extension information to bolster production, cultivation, marketing and distribution of food in Kenya.
The Sprout Smart Farmer Innovation (SSFI) Program intends the Sprout Platform to play the role of a global public good, where content can be consolidated and shared with farmer-facing organizations and distributed to smallholders through their various digital channels, supporting farmers to leverage the information to build their capacity and become more resilient. The program aims to develop and pilot the delivery of hyperlocal services for farmers via the Sprout Platform.
Sprout, The Open Content Agriculture Platform, a project of Mercy Corps Agrifin (MCAF), is partnering with KALRO to provide a content marketplace/exchange for expert content developers to offer high quality digital-ready, farmer-friendly content that can be used free of charge by content distribution partners. The goal of Sprout is to enable MCAF partners to cost effectively, acquire and use this content to build productivity, earned income and resilience of farmers at scale.
Purpose / Project Description:
The consultant will lead all communications, marketing, and strategic partnership efforts related to the Sprout Platform. This consult will also think creatively about longer-term initiatives, events, and ways to develop the Sprout Platform’s brand among its partners, online, and within the international development community.
Mercy Corps AgriFin (MCAF) is seeking a Senior Communications, Marketing, and Partnerships Consultant who will be the lead supporting day-to-day communications, marketing, and strategic partnership efforts related to the Sprout Platform. The consultancy requires an individual who will also think creatively about longer-term initiatives and ways to develop the Sprout Platform’s brand among its partners, online, and within the international development community.
The Consultant will:
- Manage the Sprout Platform, implement their internal and external communications and social media strategy, draft and publish bi-weekly newsletters, document, socialize, and share Sprout Platform major achievements, milestones, and updates.
- Develop marketing and branding initiatives, conduct research related to targeted audiences and regional competitiveness.
- Writing and substantive language editing which aims at improving the overall coverage and presentation of the Sprout Platform. Provide suggestions on improvements for the author(s) to make or may rewrite and rearrange the material. This will also involve checking for consistency, checking quotations or illustrations that may need permission from the owner, creating, when applicable, the list of acronyms and the table of contents as well providing guidelines for the indexer, when applicable, ensuring the clear presentation and format of the material.
- Proofreading, by carrying out a final and thorough check for consistency especially in terms of spelling, style and headings; checking spelling and grammar, font sizes and fonts, bullet listings and spaces, making sure that no text has disappeared or was cut out accidentally during layout, checking all numbering, paragraphs, headings, sub-headings, to make sure they correspond to the table of contents.
- Put communications vehicles in place to create momentum and awareness, as well as to test the effectiveness of communications activities.
- Manage the design, content, and development of the new branded collateral (booklets, infographics, videos, etc.)
- Develop, prepare, and distribute marketing materials, social media campaigns
- Ensure properly use Sprout, Mercy Corps AgriFin, and donor graphics and branding.
- Working with the Sprout and Mercy Corps AgriFin on communication and learning opportunities: a. Annual events/workshops/visits Prepare relevant communications for learning products such as briefs, op-eds, case studies, short videos etc. for dissemination.
- Streamlining of program reports and deliverables to highlight impact and learning across counties, or topics.
- Events, workshops, and meetings: coordination, facilitation and rapporteuring
- Support the Sprout Platform achieve a strong, visible social media presence by developing concepts with viral potential and act as an advocate for the company in social media spaces, engaging in dialogues and answering questions where appropriate.
- In coordination with the Sprout Lead, publish content on social media and the AgriFin website, maintaining continuity of themes, designing layout, streamlining navigation, and increasing online presence to potential partners.
- Manage the Sprout Platform mailing lists and internal file storage system, through the CRM, ensuring its upkeep and organization.
- Engage in other communications-related activities, as and when required.
The Consultant will:
- Develop Sprout Branding Guidelines
- Develop annual communications strategy and plan to promote the Sprout Brand, successes, and offerings.
- Develop a Sprout communications profile that includes an audit of target audiences and competitive analysis -
- Set up systems and processes for:
- Internal communications and information sharing to support the Sprout brand and messaging.
- Writing, editing, and proofreading content.
- Creation and production of communications materials for internal and asexternal use
- Develop templates and guidelines for program reporting and sharing.
- Develop and maintain donor and partnership Outreach & Stewardship programs.
- Provide assistance to communication related activities as assigned by the task manager.
Timeframe / Schedule:
- Develop Sprout Branding Guidelines - Apr 15, 2023
- Develop annual communications strategy and plan to promote the Sprout Brand, successes, and offerings. - May 30, 2023
- Develop a Sprout communications profile that includes an audit of target audiences and competitive analysis - Jun 30, 2023
- Set up wide sets of systems and processes for internal/external communications, writing/editing, internal/external communications materials - July 31, 2023
- Develop templates and guidelines for program reporting and sharing - Sep 15, 2023
- Develop templates and guidelines for program reporting and sharing - Oct 30, 2023
- Provide assistance to communication related activities as assigned by the task manager - Ongoing.
**Payments will be made based on days worked capped at a maximum number of 80 days within the period of March 15th -November 10th, 2023.
The Consultant will report to:**
Mercy Corps AgriFin’s D-CSA Director, Sprout, and Ethiopia Lead
The Consultant will work closely with:
The Mercy Corps Agrifin Technical team and Sprout Consultants
Required Experience & Skills:
- 5-10 years of experience in a technically relevant field.
- Bachelor’s degree in social sciences or development Studies, Communications, Social Psychology, Behavioral Economics, Micro-finance, Business Administration, Communications and Marketing, ICT4D, Organizational Development, or Banking and Finance;
- Professional experience in leadership, operations, communications, relationship building, strategic planning roles.
- Experience in marketing in agricultural sector is a plus.
- Demonstrated ability to manage websites and social media.
- Demonstrated ability to carry out independent data analysis and presentation of results to a wide variety of audiences.
- Demonstrated ability to multitask, excellent attention to detail and ability to take ownership of tasks, being accountable for their completion with minimal supervision.
- Strong written and oral communication skills in English, including report development, writing, and editing.
- Demonstrated ability to work constructively in teams.
- Demonstrated experience in collaborating with an international organization.
- Demonstrated experience in producing public-facing communication and marketing outputs for a professional client.
- Understanding and experience in developing communication and marketing products or written material (as applicable) to appeal to both commercial audiences and NGO, government and CSO audiences.
- Experience working in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Nigeria and/or Zambia preferred.
- Excellent computer, verbal, and written communication skills, including report development, writing, and editing.
- Demonstrated competence used shared document platforms including GSuite, as well as Microsoft Applications (Word, Excel and PowerPoint). Ability to use flow-chart / decision-tree design software is an advantage.
- Demonstrated analytical and problem-solving skills, attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.
- Excellent interpersonal skills.
- Willingness to travel.
- Able to manage team and clients remotely.
Required Application documents:
- Resume and cover letter including the daily rate quotation in USD.
**Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
**Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.
We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.
Equal Employment OpportunityWe are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.
Safeguarding & EthicsMercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our stakeholders and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.