Expression of Interest: The Development of PASGR’s Communication’s Strategy, a Detailed Implementation Plan and Revamping of Website

  1. Introduction

The Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR) is an independent, non-partisan Pan-African not-for-profit organisation established in 2011 and located in Nairobi, Kenya. Currently engaged in more than 26 African countries, PASGR works to enhance research excellence in governance and public policy that contributes to the overall wellbeing of women and men. In partnership with individual academics and researchers, higher education institutions, research think tanks, civil society organisations, business and policy communities both in the region and internationally, PASGR supports the production and dissemination of policy-relevant research; designs and delivers suites of short professional development courses for researchers and policy actors, and facilitates the development of collaborative higher education programmes.

Our vision is ‘a vibrant African social science community addressing the continent’s public policy issues’.

PASGR’s mission of Advancing research excellence for governance and public policy in Africa is delivered through three core programmes: Higher Education, Research and Professional Development and Training.

PASGR seeks to increase its brand visibility by intensifying strategies that advance its recognition, identity as well as uptake and sustainability of programme outcomes.

The goal is to attract the attention and interest of stakeholders in African research, higher education and training space including: students, scholars, researchers, civil society organisations, private sector, governments, policy actors, the media and donors to support its mission and amplify its vision. Specifically, this is intended to:

  1. Make visible PASGR’s programme outputs and knowledge products and generate interest and engagement from target groups.
  2. Attract strategic partners including funders and Government departments with a genuine interest to share ideas, cutting edge content, best practices and technology in a process of co-creating knowledge to sustain excellence and drive impact in public policy and governance research, training and capacity building;
  3. Build linkages with peer institutions and knowledge systems and broaden PASGR footprint within Africa and internationally
  4. Create and strengthen linkages with private sector, civil society organisations, as well as research and policy communities to ensure that PASGR programmes respond to emerging issues across the continent and globally
  5. Attract donor support for innovative content development and delivery, student scholarships as well as data-driven evidence-based research undertaken by teaching staff.

It is envisioned that this will involve a comprehensive communications strategy that creatively integrates interactive and modern tools and channels for frequent and regular communication of appropriate messages to various target audiences.

PASGR wishes to engage the services of a consultant to review PASGR’s communication needs, current status and advice on opportunities for appropriate interventions, including the identification, development and design of 3-5 years’ communication and branding strategy, its implementation plan for different print and electronic communication channels including the PASGR website, social media, and public forums to reach target audiences. The contracted service provider is also expected to revamp PASGR’s website to increase its visibility and traffic flow.

2. Objective

The main objective of the engagement is to assist PASGR to raise a high level of awareness about its work among stakeholders within and outside the region. The service provider will be expected to draw up a communication and branding strategy that defines means of engagement, nature of information content, channels and tools of communication according to specific target audiences. The service provider will work collaboratively with PASGR staff and selected partners on this project. PASGR will facilitate access to factual information on its programmes, processes, underpinning principles and aims, target audience as well as beneficiary impact stories. Quality will be assured through a process of continuous engagement, review and feedback on materials and messages under development.

3. Scope of Work

The service provider is expected to provide support in four areas:

3.1 Developing a 3-5 years Communication and Branding Strategy and Its Implementation Plan

  • Developing a communication and branding strategy that defines the target audiences, key messages, intended outcomes, channels of communication, frequency of communication and monitoring and evaluation, and required resources. The strategy should also include:
    1. The structure for PASGR’s annual and quarterly mini-reports, and Executive Director quarterly reports to the Board.
    2. The structure of the Communication unit with clear detailed job descriptions for the different positions in the unit
    3. An annex of structures for digestible regular (weekly or monthly) scoops, impact notes and newsletters that PASGR Communication unit can use for engaging with different stakeholders
  • Developing a costed strategy implementation plan providing granular matrixed details on key activities, milestones and metrics of measuring success. The plan should also include;
    1. Standardized slide deck templates for presentations, letter heads, and customized institutional communication infographics, video clips, soundbites e.t.c that can be used for branding and visibility of PASGR’s activities on print and electronic platforms.
    2. A monitoring, evaluation and learning plan including standard tools (Key informant interviews, Focus group discussions and in-depth interviews) for conducting stakeholders’ survey to assess the communication uptake, branding and visibility of PASGR’s interventions and activities.

3.2 Content curation and development of key messages, communication of key messages using various print and electronic channels, and, revamping of PASGR’s website into an attractive and interactive platform.

  • Reviewing of PASGR Strategic Plan and other relevant programme documents, Website and other digital platforms including surveying and engaging with PASGR Board members, management team and staff, partners, donors and other stakeholders crucial selling points to various target audiences and define the key specific programmes marketing messages for their respective targeted audience;
  • Develop comprehensive messages (content) that appeal and also enable target audiences to understand and appreciate their roles in the programme;
  • Develop designed electronic templates for creative promotional materials (e.g. advertisements, brochures, leaflets, banners and articles) that integrate factual information, stories, graphics, photographs and videos as necessary. PASGR can then use these designed templates for printing the promotional materials.
  • Training PASGR’s Board members, management team and staff, and key partners on social media use and how to effectively package key messages for various modern digital apps i.e. Twitter, LinkedIn.

3.3 Communication of key messages and links to major print and electronic media houses and outlets within and outside

  • Work with PASGR to identify the most strategic print and electronic media, as well as other strategic avenues such as media interviews for messages to be delivered – to whom, where, how and when;
  • Establish and facilitate critical entry points into a variety of media in different regions (East, West and South Africa; and, globally).
  • Generate the list and contacts of news anchor, reporters and editors of major print and electronic media houses within and outside Africa where PASGR work could be showcased.

3.4 Revamping the PASGR’s website including the development of the specific programme teams’ microsites and a major corporate website with blog sites.

  • Analyse the current website including conducting a user research with the primary audience so as to develop and understanding of the website ecosystem;
  • Design the functionality of the website based on research and analysis. This includes but is not limited to making the website more interactive, user-friendly and personable, facilitate access to real-time data and other resources and provide a mobile-friendly experience
  • Build an interactive prototype of the selected wireframe and facilitate user testing;
  • Backup the existing site during the transition to the new platform; preserving all current website content and functionality;
  • Develop corresponding user interface components (web templates, style sheets, scripts, images, e.tc,) as needed, integrating social media components, such as Facebook and Twitter feeds and incorporating Google analytics;
  • Ensure the compatibility of the design with major browsers and integrate a search function with autocomplete suggestions. Additionally, the website preview should have a responsive design;
  • Undertake quality analysis testing and bug fixes and establish best performance for any errors or flaws before publishing the website;
  • Secure the website adhering to global security best practices;
  • Train and orient relevant PASGR staff on how to manage and update the content of the new website;
  • Develop a clear and accessible user guide and troubleshooting manual for the website;
  • Make recommendations for backup/restore plan.

4. Key Deliverables

  • PASGR Communication and Branding strategy.
  • PASGR Costed strategy implementation plan
  • Outline of key messages for target audiences and the list and contacts of news anchor, reporters and editors of major print and electronic media houses within and outside Africa;
  • Interactive prototype of the selected wireframe developed and presented for feedback and modification;
  • Electronic templates of creative promotional materials

5. Timeframes

It is anticipated that the assignment will be completed within a total of eight-twelve (8-12) weeks from the date of the signing of the contract between PASGR and the Service Provider. All work must be completed by the 30th of November 2021.

6. Skills and Qualifications

The Service Provider must have knowledge and experience in the following areas:

  • Not less than five years of demonstrable experience in designing Communication strategies and implementation plan for donor-funded organization. Experience in research and education sectors at the regional level or with regional entities in Africa would be an added advantage.
  • Have technical capacity to undertake the task including but not limited to a competent and diverse project team that is able to design, produce and deploy communication materials and tools in various channels agreed with PASGR; also competence in web design and development.
  • Have demonstrated experience of not less than five years’ experience in working across countries, ideally those where PASGR is presently engaged.
  • Not less than 5 years of demonstrable experience of working or consulting with international NGOs in in low and middle incomes countries, especially in Africa.
  • At least a Master level degree in Media studies, Journalism, Communication, Public relations, and Marketing with demonstrable experience in curating information and generating impact stories.
  • Excellent communication skills, both orally and in writing, and fluency in written and spoken English is a must.

7. Budget

The available budget for this exercise is US$ 20,000 inclusive of all relevant and applicable taxes.

8. Reporting

The contracted Service Provider will directly report to PASGR’s Executive Director.

9. Response to the EOI

Please respond to this EOI with not more than 10 pages technical and financial proposal (including all the attachments) to bids@pasgr.org by 12:00pm EAT Monday August 16th 2021.

The EOI proposal should cover:

  • Your understanding of the assignment
  • Evidence of past work experience;
  • A proposed approach and methodology for carrying out the assignment;
  • Core team, responsibilities and level of effort;
  • A detailed work plan, timeframes, milestones and budget;