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Chemonics International Inc. is looking for a Communications Expert

Chemonics International Inc. is looking for a qualified professional to fill the position Communications Expert

Estimated Period of Performance/Level of Effort
45 days.

The USAID Democratic Governance East Activity (DG East) aims to strengthen the connection and trust between citizens and their government in eastern and southern Ukraine by promoting an inclusive civic identity, common civic values and a unified Ukraine by addressing the divisive impacts of the ongoing unjustified war against Ukraine through increased citizen participation, improved service delivery and more responsive governance. DG East works to (1) develop greater acceptance of a shared civic culture based on common values and understandings, and to (2) increase participation to improve Ukraine’s governance and reform processes and help to resolve community problems. DG East provides opportunities for citizens to engage with their government, provide government with resources to support their citizens, and create opportunities for citizens of Ukraine to create hope in their future and positive changes in their daily lives. DG East activities are implemented across four regional portfolios and a physical office located in Kyiv.

Mykolaiv located in the South of Ukraine is one of the 10 largest cities in Ukraine with a population of 470011people before war. The city of Mykolaiv and Mykolaiv oblast have been affected as a result of full-scale invasion of Ukraine. In 2022, from March 4th until March 23rd, Russia's military made numerous attempts to enter the city and take control over it. Starting March 2nd, the city was regularly subjected to rocket fire and bombing. However, on March 24th, Russia's military was driven back to the border with the Kherson oblast. Now Mykolaiv is one of cities that is the closest to the front line. Due to these circumstances the threat of missiles, artillery attacks and bombing of the city remains high.

Since Mykolaiv remains one of the largest Ukraine government-controlled cities in the southern Ukraine it became a safe haven city for internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Kherson, Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts. The city is a base for IDPs, who can stay there for few days, receive much needed support, and continue on their way to safer parts of Ukraine. Currently, 380,000 people live in the city of Mykolaiv. 45,000 IDPs have found temporary protection in the city. In addition, Mykolaiv became a humanitarian and military logistics hub.

The Mykolaiv City Council Mayor's Office played an important role during the beginning of the full-scale war including fighting disinformation that emanated from various information sources. The Mayor's Office posted daily streams and publications in Telegram channels, on its official Facebook and Instagram pages to debunked enemy propaganda.

Residents of Mykolaiv city who are under constant shelling, need support from authorities including informational support. Therefore, reporting local authorities and the city Mayor activities on their official website is an important component of communication between the government and residents. It is important for residents to know what is happening in the community in terms of restoration, humanitarian support, and development of their community. Communication plays a very important role in overcoming the crisis and the consequences of war in the community.

The issue of transparency was put on the back burner at the beginning of the full-scale war. Undoubtedly, during the full-scale war, the Ukrainian authorities can’t ensure the pre-war level of transparency of their work. This is influenced by a number of factors related to wartime restrictions. Admittedly, for the past 2 years, local governments have been working under unprecedented round-the-clock pressure. The safety of citizens has obviously become the main task, which is far greater than the demands of transparency.

Protecting people is not something that can be postponed or delayed. These are tasks that require a lot of involvement and resources, and such conditions are not productive for comprehensive and systemic work to increase the level of transparency. At the same time, Ukrainian city councils should stay on the path towards transparency as much as possible. This is what their voters and international partners expect, considering their interest in the transparency of Ukrainian authorities has only increased following the invasion. An important prerequisite for cooperation with international partners during reconstruction is, transparency and accountability of the authorities. Moreover, the demand for transparency and accountability during the country’s recovery only becomes more critical since it directly affects investments and the implementation of joint reconstruction projects. And, like potential investors, local residents are also interested in understanding the procedure for restoring certain objects in their city.

Due to the daily shelling during 2022, Mykolaiv City Council premises were closed as the City Council building became a target for the enemy. Equipment and documents were damaged or taken to another place and some equipment was stolen. The Mayor’s Office has prepared a list of necessary IT equipment and furniture that were stolen and without which the Mayor’s Office cannot fulfil its tasks and responsibilities in full. The equipment will improve the capacities of the Mayor’s Office. In addition, DG East plan to support the Mayor’s Office and expand the staff skills by conducting an analysis of the Mayor’s Office effectiveness, conducting training for the staff, and developing a communication plan and the guidance on crises communication.

Purpose of Assignment:
The purpose of the activity is to improve the capacity of the Mykolaiv City Council Mayor's Office to promptly inform the population about vital activities of the city of Mykolaiv. The activity will help to ensure the openness and transparency of the Mayor of Mykolaiv City Council.

The selected expert will be expected to provide support and expertise to the Mykolaiv City Council Mayor's Office, in particular in developing of a communication plan and guidance on crisis communications for the Mayor’s Office and will conduct trainings for the 20 staff on the following topics:

  • Crisis communications
  • Developing an information campaign
  • Social Media Marketing (SMM)

The task can be conditionally divided into several stages as follows:

  1. Evaluate the Mayor’s Department of the Mykolaiv City Council capacities, tasks and duties performance and engagement with the public and constituencies.
  2. Develop methodical materials for conducting an informational and educational event. The training includes three modules.
  3. Conduct thematic training after approval of pre-developed materials.
  4. Provide mentor support to train personnel.
  5. Develop the Communication Plan and Guidance on Crises Communication.
  6. Write a report based on the work done.

Detailed Tasks:
The Crises Communication Expert will be responsible for performing the following tasks:

  1. Study existing regulations of the Mayor's Office. Conduct a series of interviews and strategic sessions with the Mayor’s Office staff and the senior management staff of the Mykolaiv City Council to analyze various aspects of the activities of the Mayor's Office as a whole, individual departments, namely: developed content, communications with the audience, content analysis of the city's web resources. The analyses will also include the strengths and weaknesses, which the Mayor’s Office has shown since the beginning of the full-scale war until today, cooperation with other structural subdivisions.
  2. Develop methodical materials for conducting trainings and training materials, include the following: Curriculum, PowerPoint presentations, practical demonstrations, and visual training materials, such as handouts and fliers.
  3. Conduct three-day offline training for 5- employees of the information support Unit of the Mayor's Office and 15 communication managers – SMM managers of the structural divisions of the Mykolaiv City Council, communal institutions, and city council enterprises) 20 in total. The training course consists of three modules as follows: Crisis communications; Developing an information campaign; Social Media Marketing (SMM)

The first module should cover the following aspects:

  • Crisis communication of local government bodies
  • Internal and external communication
  • Organization of the crisis communication system
  • Peculiarities of communication with different target audiences in crisis, and cooperation with the mass media during the crisis
  • Content development
  • Fight against fake information and how to counter information manipulation

The second training course will cover the following aspects:

  • Effective communication campaign
  • Target audience, structure, and main elements of successful communication campaign
  • Media planning and press releases
  • Content development

The third training course will cover the following aspects:

  • Main communication methods and channels
  • The role of social media in local government and benefits
  • Communication content

Methodology of the training course:

  • Theory – approximately 50% of the time
  • Practice – approximately 50% of the time

4. Develop a communication plan. It will be internal document for the Mayor’s Office staff, approved by order of the head of the Mayor's Office.

The document should include the following chapters: Introduction, Communication Plan objectives, Situation analysis, Target audience and Stakeholder analysis, Communication campaign. Recommendations.

5. Develop a Guidance on Crises Communication.

6. Provide mentor support for the trained personnel.

7. Provide the final report.

The expected deliverables of the assignment include the following:

  1. Activity program and timeline.
  2. Analysis report that includes evaluation of the Mayor’s Department of the Mykolaiv City Council capacities, tasks and duties performance and engagement with the public and constituencies.
  3. Methodology of the interactive training with the detailed program.
  4. Training materials for the trainings – PP presentations, training evaluation forms, list of participants, including screenshots.
  5. Three-day training for 20 participants.
  6. Communication Plan
  7. Guidance on Crises Communication
  8. Expert’s final report, which should include description of all stages of work with recommendations to DG East on how to use the results obtained by the trainings and any improvements and modifications needed in the future to address issues of gender equity more effectively.

Supervision and Reporting:
The Crises Communication Expert will report to the Regional Director and will work closely with the Governance Specialist.

Level of Effort:
A total of 45 days of LOE.

Place of Performance
The assignment will take place in Kyiv/remote with occasional short-term travel to Mykolaiv if security permits.

The timeframe for this assignment will be on/about March 2024 – September 2024.

Interested and qualified candidates should send their CV to [email protected] with  Communications Expert listed in the subject line by May 31, 2024. Candidates must ensure that CV does *not* include a photograph, date of birth, and/or marital status information. 
No telephone inquiries, please. Candidates will be considered on a rolling basis, and only finalists will be contacted. 
Chemonics is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in its selection and employment practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, or other non-merit factors.


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