Communications Consultancy Opportunity Under the Arise in Nairobi, Kenya

The African Academy of Sciences 

Position Title: Communications Consultant Under the Arise

Terms of Reference

ARISE The African Research Initiative for Scientific Excellence

Consultancy Period

January – December 2024 (up to 120 days per year) with a possibility of extension based on need, performance, and availability of funds

Reporting The Consultant shall work with the Communications Officer for the AAS but report to the Programme Manager for ARISE

Location This job can be performed remotely or physically at the AAS Offices in Nairobi, Kenya. In case of remote working, the consultant shall maintain core hours corresponding with the teams located in Nairobi. There may be a need for travel (at AAS’ cost) to provide support to in-person events, including opportunities to visit ARISE project sites across Africa.

Schedule The successful candidate is expected to work 2-3 days per week from January – December 2024, with a limit of 120 days per year. This appointment is renewable subject to the service need, performance, and availability of funds.

About the African Academy of Sciences (AAS)

The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) is a non-aligned, non-political, not-for-profit Pan- African organization headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, with a hosting agreement with the government of Kenya. The AAS’ vision is to see transformed lives on the African continent through science. It is the only continental Academy in Africa enjoying the support and recognition of the African Union, as well as several governments and major international partners. It has a tripartite mandate: to recognize excellence through its highly prestigious fellowship and award schemes; to provide advisory and think tank functions for shaping the continent’s Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) strategies and policies; and to implement key STI programs aimed at addressing Africa’s developmental challenges.


ARISE is a €25.5 million programme supporting 47 early- to mid-career African researchers hosted in 38 countries in Africa with research grants of up-to €500,000 to implement 5-year cutting-edge research projects in contribution towards the transformation of Africa into a knowledge-based and innovation-led continent. The programme is funded by the European Union and Carnegie Corporation of New York and implemented by the AAS with support from the European Commission and the African Union Commission.

ARISE fellows represent the best research talent on the continent, competitively selected from 929 applicants. Their research is diverse, ranging from providing renewable energy solutions and addressing climate change, to tackling food security and targeting health and environmental problems that are most acute for people living in African countries. More information available at:

Scope of Work

The AAS shall engage a Science Communication Consultant (SCC) to provide branding, visibility, and science communication services for the ARISE programme and the AAS in general. The SCC shall work closely with the Communications Officer and other AAS Programmes staff to deliver the following:

  1. Communication & Public Relations Strategy
    1. Develop and continuously refine an overall Communication Strategy for the AAS as well as its implementation tools including annual plans and monitoring, evaluation, and learning templates.
    2. Develop and continuously refine a Communication Plan for ARISE and other programmes of the AAS, based on the overall AAS Communication Strategy.
    3. Maintain a monthly editorial calendar for events and online communications.
  2. Science Communication
  3. Develop key messages for AAS's tripartite mandate, its programmes and promotional items.
  4. Adapt technical content such as reports and presentations into accessible digital content including blogs and social media posts.
  5. Lead the development of technical briefs, knowledge products, blogs, and other content for science communication and dissemination.
  6. Lead the conceptualization of any other commissioned science communication content, when required.
  7. Plan, draft, and schedule social media content for the AAS’ social media channels, ensuring consistent and appropriate voice depending on the audience/channel.
  8. Commission, write, edit, schedule, and publishe a pipeline of blogs, including managing relationships with interna and external blog authors and editing their work
  9. Monitor the AAS’ social media channels, amplify appropriate partner content, flag sensitive content, and respond to questions and messages when needed.
  10. Track key events such as relevant global and regional events and international days to time publications and maximize visibility of relevant content for the AAS.
  11. Lead on an overhaul, and subsequent regular updating, of the AAS website content
  12. Lead on the design and development of new webpages as needed, ensuring posting of accurate and regularly updated content on the webpages
  13. Lead on the generation of content, design, drafting, editing, and publishing AAS’ monthly newsletters as well as other products including flyers, digital postcards, presentations, and other visual assets as needed.
  14. Co-conceptualize and coordinate the production of infographics and multimedia assets
  15. Maintain a set of PowerPoint templates with a consistent style and branding.
  16. Support ARISE and other AAS events, including editing and distributing the summary reports, presentations, and any press releases.
  17. Compile and report quarterly communications metrics from AAS’ website and social media channels, applying insights from the metrics to improve online content and engagement.
  18. Ensures all communications products comply with AAS’ communication policy as well as donor and/or partner guidelines and standards.
  19. Media Engagement
    1. Organize and facilitate strategic interviews on relevant media platforms such as print, TV, Radio and Online. Media interviews on major African and international TV, Radio and print outlets.
    2. Spokesperson training: prepare the Academy’s Management, Executive Director and Governing Council for media interviews and who can serve as media spokesperson(s) as necessary or as may be guided. Provide a media briefing document based on key messages. Do’s and don’ts.
    3. Organize and facilitate the Academy’s Management to meet Journal Editors and Senior Reporters to enable AAS build a strong rapport with various local and international media. Develop Thought-leadership articles and Opinion Editorials (OpEds).
    4. Run digital campaigns periodically to articulate the Academy’s goals for each of its programmes and respond to issues raised through various digital platforms relating to the AAS.
    5. Isolate and address any contentious issues that revolve around the AAS operations; provide regular progress reports indicating activities implemented, their outcomes and the way forward for the organization.
  20. Capacity Building

Develop and conduct media training for the AAS’ spokesperson /people: Managers, the Executive Director, and the Governing Council on media handling and related issues. This shall guide ways of capacity enhancement to journalists reporting on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI).

  1. Perform any other tasks that may be requested for by senior management/supervisor.

Necessary Skills and Experience

The lead consultant should have the following education, experience, and competencies:

  • At least a master’s degree in communications, International Relations/Public Affairs, Journalism, Marketing, Political Science, or other related disciplines.
  • 10 years of work experience in the field of media relations, journalism or/and science communication.
  • Demonstrable strong writing and editing skills, and an ability to convey complex ideas in a creative, clear, and lively style, evidenced through publications.
  • Ability to collect web and social media analytics, interpret trends in data, and understand implications for intended audiences.
  • Excellent organizational skills. Ability to prioritize, work well under pressure and capably juggle multiple tasks with tight deadlines.
  • Strong diplomatic, interpersonal, and team skills; demonstrated client orientation; sensitized in working in a diverse and multicultural environment; ability to work effectively and respectfully with writers of different skill levels, from writers who simply need a copy edit to writers who struggle with message and structure.
  • Experience working in an international development and/or research and innovation for development space is preferred.
  • English is the primary working language for the AAS. Knowledge of other African Union languages, especially French, Arabic, or Portuguese will be an added advantage.

Evaluation criteria

Evaluation Criteria

The communication consultant must meet the mandatory requirements/constraints, if any, as set out in The AAS specifications. The requirements include the following:

  • Technical Evaluation Criteria -60%
    1. The Communication Consultant should outline previous experience with media relations, content creation, event branding and video productions, attach evidence-10%
    2. At least two of the Communication Consultant’s media projects must have won national and/or international excellence awards from reputable institutions, attach evidence- 10%
    3. Three references for large scope projects, attach evidence -5%
    4. The Communications Consultant must demonstrate having fundraised or mobilised resources from at least two major donors or commercial sponsors for the media programs undertaken, attach evidence-10%
    5. The Communications Consultant must have attended at least two PR and crisis management trainings offered by renowned organizations, attach evidence -5%
    6. The Communications Consultant must have taken part in major media projects in at least two African countries, attach evidence-10%
    7. The Communications Consultant’s media projects must have featured in major media outlets in at least two African countries, attach evidence -5%

h) CV of the communication consultant to be engaged relevant to the task, Attach CV-5%

  • Bidders who pass technical evaluation stage shall be invited for presentation. This constitutes 30% of the rating.
  • Commercial Evaluation-10%
  1. The cost estimate should be provided according to the set-out tasks and objectives. This will be discussed in more detail with the selected Communications Consultant. The Consultant has to provide their standard rate structure, including hourly rates for staff roles required to service the scope described by The AAS. The Request for Proposal (RFP) submissions without this information will be automatically disqualified.
  2. The lowest in price will get higher rating and vice versa.

Criteria for Selection of the Best Offer

  • Combined Scoring method – where the technical evaluation will be weighted 60%,

presentations 30% combined with price offer which will be weighted a max of 10%.

The highest scoring bidder will be recommended for award.

Budget and Payment

  • The Consultant will be compensated based on a daily rate for services for up to 120 days per year. The daily rate will be determined based on the qualifications and prior experience of the consultant per the AAS HR Guidelines. The Consultant will also be reimbursed for miscellaneous expenses directly related to the work performed pursuant to these TORs with prior written agreement of the Programme Manager for ARISE. Payment will be made following receipt of the payment request and its approval by the Programme Manager for ARISE, following the following schedule:

Reporting period and key milestones

Task due date Payment percentage

Review and approvals

Mobilization fees Payment within 5

working days upon signing of contract by both parties

30% Programme Manager, ARISE

Payment upon submission and acceptance of quarterly reports

30 days after end of reporting period

60% (15%

per quarter)

Programme Manager, ARISE

Payment upon submission and acceptance of final reports

30 days after end of reporting period

10% Programme Manager, ARISE

Ownership of Work

All materials produced or acquired during the appointment—written, graphic, film, digital audio/video or otherwise—shall remain the property of the AAS unless and to the extent such rights are explicitly relinquished (in whole or in part) by the AAS, in writing. Furthermore, the AAS retains the exclusive right to publish or disseminate reports arising from such materials in all languages. In the event of early termination of the appointment or non-renewal upon its expiration, the Consultant shall, if requested by the AAS, deliver to it copies of all materials and data developed with AAS funds. Any material developed by the Consultant under these TORs may not be used without written prior approval from the AAS.

Authorship and Acknowledgement

AAS staff will generally be listed as the authors of any publication or other communication that is produced as a result of the research conducted during the appointment. The Consultant’s contribution in conducting this research will be acknowledged in any such publication. If, in the reasonable view of the reporting Manager, the Consultant contributes significantly to the conceptualization and drafting of any documents created, the Consultant will be listed as co-author, along with the relevant AAS staff.


All knowledge and information not already within the public domain which the Consultant may acquire from AAS or its employees, or by virtue of the assignment, shall for all time and for all purposes be regarded by the Consultant as strictly confidential and held in confidence, and shall not be directly or indirectly disclosed by the Consultant to any person whatsoever excepting with the AAS’ written permission. All outputs of the work and materials produced in the course of the work, and all by-products shall remain confidential unless the AAS authorizes public release.

How to apply

Application process

All applications should be submitted to the email address; indicating the following reference “RFP-Science Communication consultant by 6th February 2024.