Ilifa Labantwana: Communications Manager

Action Appointment
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Friday, 22 October, 2021
Opportunity type: 

Ilifa Labantwana works to secure an equal start for all children 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.
Based in Johannesburg, Pretoria or Cape Town – Ilifa Labantwana seeks to appoint a


The Communications Manager will play a lead role in the organisation. Ilifa seeks to appoint an outstanding candidate with extensive experience in strategic social change communication who will help them on their quest to transform the way ECD services are delivered in SA. The role reports to the Director of Policy, Advocacy and Communications and manages the Communication Coordinator.
The incumbent will be responsible for working with the senior management team to design a strategic social change communications strategy and to implement that strategy in support of Ilifa’s mission. He/she will be responsible for supporting all campaign initiatives including Side-by-Side, a partnership with the National Department of Health, the Real Reform Campaign for ECD, a coalition of organisations and individuals advocating for legislative reform and all of Ilifa’s internal and public advocacy to shape public discourse on ECD to create knowledge and demand for the delivery of ECD services and to enhance Ilifa’s work within its ecosystem of partners and across the sector more widely.
Key responsibilities of this position include but are not limited to:

  • 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, including digital and social media strategies
  • Advanced monitoring and reporting on Ilifa’s communications strategies and impact through the development of indicators that can inform Ilifa’s advocacy
  • Content development including op-eds, public service information
  • Manage Ilifa’s brand and reputation, monitor perceptions, track shifts in opinion related to ECD and respond to inquiries
  • 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
  • Build and maintain relationships with media partners
  • Strong digital media engagement experience - both strategy development and execution
  • Copywriting and editing
  • Lead organisation of Ilifa events (online and in-person), including relating to Ilifa-supported programmes in order to deliver results for Ilifa strategy
  • Ensure Ilifa website is kept up to date, is functional and is consistently relevant

The Communications Manager must meet the following criteria:

  • Appropriate tertiary qualification in either journalism or related field in the humanities
  • 5 to 8  years work experience in similar role
  • Knowledge and experience in social change communication strategies in practice
  • Understands key drivers of change processes such as dialogue and debate, action and reflection, social learning and community participation
  • A network of media relationships in South Africa
  • Able to hold key cross cutting relationships with Ilifa’s partners, ECD practitioners, media, experts and build a network of media and communications practitioners across the public, private and civil society sector
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and implement communication strategies in a variety of contexts including for mass media
  • Experience with developing and implementing successful digital media strategies and social media campaigns, in multimedia (infographics, video etc), web usability principles, and digital and online analytics tools
  • Experience in website development and maintenance
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills and humility ability to listen and absorb perspectives from stakeholders and synthesise into thoughtful and well-designed comprehensive communication products
  • 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
  • Willing to travel

View the full job description and application instructions on the Vacancies page at and email your application by Friday 22nd October 2021 to   

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