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Communications Officer – Voices from the Field

Date Posted: Jun 11, 2021

Job Description

Job title:  Communications Officer – Voices from the Field


Place of work:             Lilongwe, Malawi


Grade:                         D


Contract type:             Temporary – 10 months


Reports to:                              Voices from the Field Manager, UK


Liases with:                             All Malawi country programme staff, UK Brand & Creative Content team


Travel:                         Within Malawi





The Brand and Creative Content Department supports WaterAid both in the UK and globally to raise awareness of the global water and sanitation crisis and WaterAid’s work to change this.


The department develops creative communications that have impact and deliver change: ensuring WaterAid leads the way with innovative and engaging storytelling content with clear brand purpose. The department also works across the organisation to identify and develop critical strategic communications activities around key moments. This includes the creation of thematic messages and shared content, as well as developing the processes and procedures to support delivery of these essential communications.


The Brand and Creative Content Department is within the Communications and Fundraising Directorate.


Voices from the Field is WaterAid’s unique storytelling programme that sits within the Brand and Creative Content Department. There are seven Voices from the Field team members based in countries where we work whose role is to gather stories, film and photos that bring our work to life for supporters and donors across a variety of different communications channels.



Job purpose


The Communications Officer – Voices from the Field gathers stories and case studies via interviews, film and photography and shares them on Asset Bank (WaterAid’s multimedia library) for use by different teams across the organisation. The role includes production and post-production of multimedia materials for a variety of audiences and communications channels.


The position is line managed by the Voices from the Field Manager in the UK Brand and Creative Content Department with support on a day-to-day basis from the Head of Programme, Quality Assurance and Accountability in Malawi.


Main duties and responsibilities


Strategic contribution


  • Develop a good understanding of WaterAid’s key stakeholders and audiences, as well as the global and local context in which the organisation operates, and work collaboratively with the UK Brand and Creative Content team and the country programme to produce engaging multimedia content that raises WaterAid’s profile and increases donors/supporters’ understanding and commitment to our work.


Leadership and management


  • Provide feedback from regular field visits to country programme staff to support effective monitoring and evaluation of project work.


  • Share updates on WaterAid’s global communications and fundraising activities with country programme staff.


Responsibilities / delivery


  • Collect and share regular, timely and interesting stories about WaterAid’s fieldwork, illustrating in film, photography, audio and case studies how people’s lives are changing through the provision of safe water, sanitation and hygiene and the problems they face without these services.


  • Identify key spokespeople within WaterAid’s projects, and build and maintain strong relationships with community members and partner staff.


  • Identify key milestones in WaterAid’s programme work that can be easily documented, followed and built upon for storytelling.


  • Ensure all content gathering takes place in accordance with WaterAid’s Ethical Image Policy.


  • Manage and edit all gathered materials, write up transcripts, interviews and project information and translate into English.


  • Upload all content to Asset Bank with appropriate metadata, consent forms and relevant information in English including keywords keywords, transcripts and case studies.


  • Where possible and appropriate, provide training in photography and case study gathering for country programme staff and partners to enable effective communications and documentation in the communities where we work.


  • Provide regular content and updates for member and country programme social media channels (primarily Instagram and Facebook).


  • Support media, film, photo and supporter trips from member countries as required.


  • Undertake any reasonable tasks as requested by the Voices from the Field Manager, Voices from the Field Producer and the Head of Programme, Quality Assurance and Accountability in Malawi.





  • Work collaboratively with the UK Brand and Creative Content team and the Malawi team to ensure joint team and country programme objectives are met and understood.


  • Represent WaterAid during donor and supporter visits to project implementation sites.


  • Act as WaterAid’s ambassador during key supporter/donor meetings and events in member countries through presentations and face-to-face meetings, promoting our work in an engaging and impactful manner.




  • Manage the complex dynamic of being based and supervised in a country programme but reporting to the UK Brand and Creative Content team, with accountability to a variety of teams around the global WaterAid family.


  • Manage and balance time and resources to meet Voices from the Field and country programme requests.


  • Manage the logistics of travelling long distances for extended periods of time to project sites around the country on a regular basis and working to frequent tight deadlines.


Person specification


Experience and technical skills


  • Proven experience as a competent filmmaker and photographer.
  • Experience working in a communications role (preferably in the international development sector).
  • Excellent, accurate written and verbal communication skills in English and Chichewa.
  • Experience of conducting interviews with a wide variety of people for film and/or photography. Ability to understand different audiences and adapt to suit their needs.
  • Excellent IT skills including practical use of editing packages such as Final Cut Pro, Adobe Photoshop or similar (training will be provided but some knowledge is essential).
  • Good administrative skills including word-processing, writing updates and information management.
  • Good understanding of current digital tools and channels.


Skills and abilities


  • Degree in Communication, Journalism or related field.
  • Master degree preffered.
  • Commitment to WaterAid’s values of Respect, Accountability, Courage, Collaboration, Innovation and Integrity, and a working style that reflects these.
  • Ability to represent WaterAid and act as an ambassador to help raise the profile of the organisation.
  • A team player with a positive and flexible approach, able to work with a range of people from different backgrounds.
  • Excellent communication, organisation, project and time management skills.
  • Enthusiastic and able to use own initiative, meet deadlines and work independently.
  • Commitment to travel long distances and spend extended periods of time in the field.

How to apply

Interested applicants should send their current CV with names of their three most recent referees and a motivation letter:

Email: by 26th June 2021.

WaterAid is committed to ensuring that wherever we work in the world there is no tolerance for the abuse of power, privilege or trust. WaterAid reinforces a culture of zero tolerance towards any form of inappropriate behaviour, abuse, harassment, or exploitation of any kind. The safeguarding of our beneficiaries, staff, volunteers and anyone working on our behalf, is our top priority, and we take our responsibilities extremely seriously. All staff and volunteers are required to share in this commitment through our Global Code of Conduct.

Skills Required

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    26 Jun, 2021

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