Ilifa Labantwana: Director – Policy, Advocacy and Communications

Ilifa Labantwana
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Friday, 8 January, 2021
Opportunity type: 

Job basis: Full time contract
Level: Senior Management 
Location: Johannesburg, Pretoria or Cape Town
Job description: Director – Policy, Advocacy and Communications
Basis: Full Time
Ilifa Labantwana works to secure an equal start for all children living in South Africa through focussing on early childhood development (ECD). Our mission is to ensure that all children in South Africa are developmentally on track to begin formal schooling and to fully participate in the economy and society. We do this through partnership with government, civil society and the private sector, and focus on four priority areas: 1) data for decision-making; 2) building demand for ECD; 3) regulatory, financing & operational systems design and reforms; 4) systems, products and process innovation.
We seek an dynamic professional to act as Ilifa’s Director, Policy, Advocacy and Communications to play a lead role in our organisation. We are looking for an outstanding candidate with extensive experience in strategic communication, advocacy and policy development, design and delivery and who will help us on our quest to transform the way ECD services are delivered in SA. The role reports to Executive Director and manages the Communication Manager, Campaign Manager, and Campaign Coordinator.
Role overview
This role will be responsible for designing and implementing a policy, advocacy and communications strategy in support of Ilifa’s mission, and directing Ilifa’s public demand initiative, Side-by-Side, a partnership with the National  Department of Health. The role is responsible for working across internal teams and external partners to help leverage an ecosystem of partners in support of Ilifa’s mission. 
Core Responsibilities:

  • Provide communications landscape, political and socio-economic intelligence, and insights to inform Ilifa’s advocacy, policy and communications decisions and approaches. 
  • Based his/her work on international best-practice
  • Work closely with leadership and colleagues in developing long term (2- 3 year) communications strategies that drive achievement of Ilifa’s mission.
  • With leadership and staff colleagues, develop and implement communications plans and campaigns in support of the Ilifa strategy and its communications, programmatic, policy and financing goals. 
  • Develop a plan to support and improve the policy and advocacy capabilities of key stakeholders in the ECD sector in South Africa
  • Manage Ilifa’s brand and reputation, monitor perceptions, track shifts in opinion related to ECD and respond to inquiries. 
  • Represent Ilifa to internal and external audiences, including both formal and informal presentations - explaining and advocating for Ilifa’s priority issues, attending conferences and other meetings as necessary. 
  • Work internally and externally with partners to align strategies, gather information and execute communications projects, including liaising with partners and consultants to deliver communications plans
  • Work with internal and external stakeholders to develop high quality communications content that's needed to fulfil the demands of communications strategies, approaches and plans. 
  • Identify and form strategic alliances with diverse and credible opinion leaders and influential individuals and organizations to help elevate priority focus areas. 
  • Build and maintain relationships with media partners
  • Strong digital media engagement experience - both strategy development and execution.

The ideal candidate:

  • Established leader in policy, advocacy and communications with strong network of government, NGO and media relationships in South Africa
  • Advanced degree with a minimum of 10 years of relevant professional experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to design and implement policy and advocacy strategies aligned with specific programmatic and organizational outcomes.
  • Demonstrated ability in government relations.
  • Demonstrated ability to use policy, finance and stakeholder mapping to shape programmatic, advocacy and communications strategies.
  • Demonstrated experience developing collaborative relationships and effectively engaging with a wide array of stakeholders not limited to government but with influencers, donors and partners
  • Experience in at least one of the five components of the ECD essential package is required.
  • Proven ability to shape, develop, manage and scale strong partnerships, alliances and ventures both inside and outside organizations.
  • Ability to convene, lead and influence others to align to shared strategy goals
  • Demonstrated experience managing conflict and building consensus.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills and humility – ability to listen and absorb perspectives from stakeholders and synthesize into thoughtful and well-designed comprehensive communication products and campaigns
  • Good knowledge of complex program design that involves working with multiple stakeholders including technical experts, government and civil-society partners.
  • Excellent oral, facilitation and written communication skills, able to effectively synthesize information to reach diverse audiences and build consensus.
  • Ability to be self-guided and work effectively and comfortably with sensitivity across barriers such as language, culture and distance.
  • Demonstrated ability to function successfully in a politically demanding environment.
  • Build and nurture leaders in the policy & advocacy space.
  • Excellent organizational skills and demonstrated experience managing coordination mechanisms designed to lead teams through a complex and ambiguous task.
  • Willing to travel (mostly domestic, but very frequently)

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis till January 8, 2021 with an anticipated start date in January/February 2021.
Integration Resourcing has been tasked with handling the response to this advert. Please forward a detailed CV and covering letter to Please do not contact Ilifa Labantwana directly.

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