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Advocacy & Communications Manager


South Africa, Gauteng

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Do you have the skills to command the attention of governments and NGOs in South Africa?

And are you ready to be the voice of children’s development and learning as you lead the implementation of advocacy and communication initiatives for the LEGO Foundation?

Are you ready to contribute to make a vision come to life?

The LEGO Foundation shares a mission with the LEGO Group: to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow. We are a Danish corporate foundation with a core team of dedicated employees with one shared passion: to make children’s lives better – and communities stronger – by making sure the fundamental value of play is understood, embraced and acted upon. We are dedicated to building a future where learning through play empowers children to become creative, engaged, lifelong learners.

Join a team in the making

Since 2009, the LEGO Foundation has worked with local partners to launch Learning Through Play initiatives in South Africa. Now, we are establishing a local team to better support our projects and partners, and to maximise our long-term impact. Through external partners, we have already built a strong relationship with the Department of Basic Education – now we need to further strengthen our relationship with government departments and NGOs.

Demonstrate the value of learning through play

The Advocacy and Communications Manager is a key resource for the South Africa programme. In order to advance our advocacy agenda, this role will have the responsibility to help shape and implement a communications strategy across the projects and initiatives of the LEGO Foundation in the country. This will require to work closely with key stakeholders – government, partners, other Foundations or non-profit organizations and medias. This role will also serve to “bridge” the overall advocacy and communication strategy of the LEGO Foundation to the specific setting of South Africa. More specifically, the role of the Advocacy and Communications Manager will be split under three headlines:

• The Advocacy and Communications Manager will be responsible for driving projects as part of an initiative under development aimed at implementing Learning through Play in education systems at scale.
• Develop and maintain a central library of SA communication assets and tools
• The Manager will support implementation of key Lego Foundation events in SA
• The Manager will advise and support colleagues across the Foundation (programmes and research teams) on advocacy for improved quality and consistency of advocacy efforts across the LEGO Foundation – and to strengthen the impact of our advocacy.

You will work on further pushing our Learning Through Play agenda by driving advocacy and communication activities within scope, time and budget within South Africa. Part of your job is to demonstrate the value of play, as you help develop cross-sector dialogue, secure commitment from local stakeholders, influence government institutions and work towards the inclusion of play in learning environments.
More specifically, you:
• Build and manage relations with authorities, influencers and other strategic partners, especially the government, the Ministry of Education and NGOs
• Build relationships with our Advocacy Lead in Denmark to secure optimal collaboration between the South African and Danish divisions
• Develop a communications and advocacy strategy for South Africa in collaboration with the central communications team based in Denmark
• Implement the communications strategy - including digital and written press, social media and internal communications
• Provide input on the aim, objectives, plans and target audiences to the communications team in Denmark
• Advocate for and work towards the inclusion of Learning through Play in all learning environments around the child, to illustrate the synergetic effect on the child’s development towards becoming creative, engaged, life-long learners.
• Create commitment and engagement from all local stakeholders into the Learning through Play agenda.
• Develop best practices for cross-sector dialogue and collaboration through new models for partnerships.

Key activities and task

Although we have been working for several years in South Africa, we acknowledge that today we have been depending on our partners to do any communication in South Africa. It is therefore critical to build our understanding of the sector’s opportunities for play and learning through play, while at the same time starting to build our own capacity to better advocate for play based on the current activities. As Advocacy and Communications Manager, you are responsible for the Advocacy and Communications strategies in South Africa. You will achieve this through the following key tasks and activities:

• Advocate for and work towards the inclusion of Learning through Play in all learning environments around the child, to illustrate the synergetic effect on the child’s development towards becoming creative, engaged, life-long learners.
• Manage and expand current network/relationship with national and local authorities, other key stakeholders, strategic partners and influencers including participation in relevant working groups and committees.
• Develop a communications strategy in collaboration with the central communications team. This strategy will support the advocacy agenda, by sharing the activities and results on the ground and the knowledge base from global partners
• Lead on high-quality data analysis and research to map existing LEGO Foundation work related to influencing the implementation of Learning through Play in education systems at scale and extract key learnings and potential future opportunities for advocacy.
• Conduct regular reviews of the progress and performance of portfolio under delivery to identify problems and delays, and work with partners to develop effective solutions.
• Collaborate with Advocacy Lead and colleagues across the LEGO Foundation on initiative plan(s) ensuring strong collaboration and synergies across the LEGO Foundation’s work for the development and delivery of this initiative.
• Implement the communications strategy, including digital and written press, social media and internal communications
• Work with partners to map out key events that could be used to leverage projects
• Ongoing collaboration and information sharing with other LEGO Group entities, particularly with the Government and Public Affairs team
• Represent LEGO Foundation at relevant events, working closely with the Lead to undertake power mapping and research to develop and deliver advocacy plans for annual key events - such as conferences and partner meetings including supporting, and occasionally directly writing, Lead briefings and speeches. Additionally, supporting media work to make optimal use of national and international media to influence key advocacy targets and public opinion.

Communication skills and experience in working with the government

We are looking for a colleague who has an in-depth understanding of the education sector and children’s development and learning in South Africa including key players and policies. With your excellent socialising and networking skills, you are able to build solid relations with opinion leaders and decision makers alike. You know the ABCs of PR, policy work and networking, and you can develop and implement communication strategies that fit the overall strategy of our organisation as well as the local South African market. Deliver according to your deliverables while proactively seeking new opportunities for LF in SA.

Furthermore, you:
• Have 3-5 years of experience working with communications, influencing government institutions and delivering advocacy impact via high-level, political global summits and conferences
• Hold a relevant master’s degree in public policy, Education, international development or similar. • Communicate fluently in English
• Understanding of the education sector in South Africa including key players and policies
• Good working knowledge of impact measurement in advocacy, and programme monitoring, evaluation and learning.
• Ability to speak and write articulately about programmes for children and gain credibility with a variety of audiences.
• Will need to travel domestically and internationally
• International experience and having lived abroad desirable.

Embark with us on our journey

If you would like to join our team in Johannesburg, South Africa to embark with us on our journey, then please send us your complete application, including your CV and a short motivation letter in English.

• This position was posted Mid-May
• We review applications as of June
• We take candidates into the recruitment process continuously and fill the position once we have found the right candidate.
• We start with the interviews in the end of June

To apply, click on the following link: