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Country Director -- Development Media International (DMI), Burkina Faso

Development Media International (DMI) delivers mass media campaigns to change behaviours and save lives in developing countries. It is an innovative and rapidly growing organisation with an excellent record of improving health outcomes by encouraging positive behaviours. As pioneers in the field, DMI is the first organisation to scientifically demonstrate that mass media campaigns can cause behaviour change using a randomised control trial (RCT). It is also the first media organisation to use mathematical modelling in order to save the greatest number of lives in the most cost-effective way. DMI works at the nexus between science and creativity to build media campaigns that deliver real, measurable change in the societies we work in.

DMI has worked in Burkina Faso since 2011 and run a number of campaigns predominantly focusing on maternal and child health. This included a ground-breaking RCT to test whether mass media could reduce child mortality. Mid-line results published in 2015 show a statistically significant effect of mass media on a number of behaviours, including treatment seeking for diarrhoea and pneumonia. Endline results will be available later in 2016 but initial findings look very positive.

In 2016 DMI commenced a large scale scientific trial in Burkina to test the impact of our mass media family planning campaign on modern contraceptive uptake. DMI is working on this project in collaboration with The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL), who will manage the evaluation of the campaign. Radio broadcasts for this campaign will begin in May 2016 and run until the end of 2018. During 2016 DMI will also be running campaigns in Burkina Faso on nutrition and maternal and child health. 

We work in close partnership with leading experts in health, including WHO, UNICEF and LSHTM and we are funded by some of the world’s most prestigious organisations (The Gates Foundation, UNICEF, Comic Relief, the Wellcome Trust, the Global Innovation Fund). As well as the Burkina Faso office we also have offices in Tanzania and Mozambique. At present, DMI’s focus is on saving the lives of the 6.9 million children who die under the age of five every year, and on reducing the mortality rate among mothers. Therefore we target the big causes of death among these groups, such as diarrhoea, malnutrition and malaria, but we also work across a range of related health issues, including sexual and reproductive health, nutrition, hygiene, environmental health and non-communicable diseases.
The Country Director will assume overall responsibility for managing DMI projects in Burkina Faso, and will be stationed in Ouagadougou. This includes managing a large media production team and large number of outputs, which will include TV, radio and mobile phones. There is also a major research component of the project, which will underpin all media production. The core responsibility of the job will be to ensure that the media campaigns reach a significant proportion of the population and deliver changes in behaviour. 

The Country Director will also be responsible for managing an in-country team of international and local staff, and for reporting on progress and finances to the London office and to project donors. The successful applicant will need to be a superb diplomat: s/he will be the public face of the project in Burkina Faso and will need to ensure effective relationships with government, broadcasters and research partners. Excellent communication skills in both English and French are essential.

The Country Director will assume overall responsibility for the delivery of DMI projects in Burkina Faso and for the management of DMI’s in-country team. This will include:
1. Managing a production team, who will be responsible for delivering (a) waves of 60-second radio spots, produced on various subjects, (b) radio long format programmes on radio stations throughout the country and occasionally (c) short films to be distributed regionally or on TV. These will all be conducted in local languages.
2. Integrating the production and research elements of the campaign into a well-oiled “machine” and ensuring the two teams work well together. It is crucial that all production outputs are closely linked to the research.
3. Providing dynamic, inspirational leadership and management to the production, research and administrative teams. The Country Director will be responsible for recruiting any additional staff required and will also take all HR decisions for national staff, with the assistance of the local HR director and the DMI head office.
4. Developing close relationships with the radio stations with whom we need to work in Burkina Faso, ensuring they respect broadcast deals with DMI and broadcast the campaign at agreed levels
5. Managing the relationship with the Ministry of Health and other Burkinabe government institutions, ensuring that they are supportive of, and beneficiaries of, the project.
6. Maintaining relationships with DMI’s funders. Whilst the funder reporting will be managed by DMI’s London office the Country Director will take part in update calls and will provide written contributions to funder reports.
7. Developing a thorough understanding of DMI’s methodologies and objectives, the project’s objectives, and the scientific aspects of the project.
8. Reporting regularly to DMI’s London office, on editorial, operational, legal and financial issues. To ensure effective management of project office and that finance and administrative functions are carried out in line with DMI policy and local regulatory requirements. To ensure that all initiatives are delivered within agreed standards, timescales and budgets and meet the requirements of funding agencies.
9. Ensuring close coordination between DMI and JPAL who will be conducting the scientific evaluation of the family planning campaign.
10. Developing an understanding of regional trends and political affairs. The Country Director’s insight on political and security matters in Burkina and its neighbouring countries will be a key resource for DMI.
11. Assisting with project development activities in Burkina Faso and West Africa, as required.
12. Assisting DMI with any other activities required.
To apply, please upload a CV and answer some basic questions about the person specification above by Wednesday 30 March at 09.00 GMT.

Requirements

This is a unique job and no single career path will provide all the skills required. We are primarily looking for an outstanding manager and inspiring individual, and s/he may come from a variety of backgrounds although senior experience as an executive/series producer within the media industry will be a distinct advantage, as will experience of working in Francophone Africa.
1. Very strong intellectual ability, as evidenced by a good degree or similar qualifications and performance at interview. Both the media and scientific elements of DMI’s work are intellectually demanding.
2. An excellent understanding of the applications of mass media. Ideally, the applicant will have had senior management experience in the broadcasting industry, but not all suitable candidates will have this. However they must be able to demonstrate excellent editorial instincts, and (in particular) an understanding of what media strategies will work in a developing country context.
3. Excellent written and verbal communication skills in both English and French.
4. Substantial experience of working in a developing country, and ideally with experience of managing locally-hired staff. Experience of working in Francophone Africa is particularly desirable. An ability to cope with the pressures of working in a development context in a demanding environment, and an appreciation of the issues and difficulties involved.
5. Substantial managerial experience. This would ideally be in a media industry. However other backgrounds (international development, public health, private sector management, management consultancy, government) may also have given the experience required. S/he must be familiar with managing large, complex projects or organisations.
6. Strong diplomatic skills, with a track record of having formed productive relationships at senior levels of government and/or media and/or business. Evidence of ability to manage effective collaboration between partners and stakeholders, including those with differing agendas.
7. Strong leadership skills – the individual must be able to inspire and lead a large, cross-cultural team, with good team-building skills, and excellent interpersonal skills.
8. An understanding of public health issues. Whilst the applicant is not expected to have a public health background they will be expected to demonstrate an ability to grasp the public health issues that relate to DMI’s work.
9. Significant experience in the management of budgets, ideally of a large and complex nature. Ability to understand accounts, and supervise the project’s budget effectively.
10. Ability to write in a variety of styles, from formal reports to eye-catching press releases.
11. Proven ability to deliver complex projects to deadlines and within budget, with good track record of donor/client liaison and reporting.

Benefits

£60k salary plus accommodation allowance, health insurance and flight allowance

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