BACKGROUND: Since 1989, the Women's Refugee Commission has advocated
vigorously for laws, policies and programs to improve the lives and protect
the rights of refugee and displaced women, children and young people,
including those seeking asylum—bringing about lasting, measurable change.
ABOUT THE MATERNAL HEALTH INITIATIVE: Every year, more than half a million
girls and women die during pregnancy and childbirth. For every woman or girl
who dies from a pregnancy-induced cause, an additional 30 women or girls
suffer some form of injury, infection, or long-term disability.
For women in crisis settings, the likelihood of dying in pregnancy or
childbirth is far greater. For example, more than 60% of the world's
maternal deaths occur in ten countries, nine of which are in the middle or
the aftermath of war. Dangers increase for a woman as she flees conflict and
arrives in a newly established settlement for refugees or internally
displaced persons (IDPs), often in the poorest and most rural area of the
Innovations that could greatly reduce maternal mortality and morbidity do
exist, including some that have been specifically designed for humanitarian
settings. For instance, since 1997, the Minimum Initial Service Package
(MISP) has been the standard for reproductive healthcare in emergency
settings. Humanitarian organizations are usually familiar with the MISP but
do not adequately train their emergency responders in its implementation nor
promote its implementation among their first responders.
Humanitarian actors also do not yet fully appreciate the importance of
establishing basic and comprehensive emergency obstetric care, family
planning and safe abortion care services to prevent maternal mortality. The
challenge before the Women's Refugee Commission is to ensure interventions
that can reduce maternal mortality are available and implemented.
ABOUT THE CONSULTANCY: The communications consultant will create a
compelling and measurable communications strategy designed to reach
development and humanitarian practitioners.
The strategy will mobilize field practitioners to adopt and implement the
life-saving reproductive health interventions necessary to reduce maternal
mortality and morbidity in crisis-affected settings.
Communications materials will provide guidance to practitioners on the
importance of refugee and other displaced women and girls' access to quality
care during and after childbirth, the management of maternal and newborn
emergencies and establishment of a 24/7 community referral system to health
Core messages will include:
1. Ensuring access to skilled care during childbirth and access to emergency
obstetric care and family planning as an effective means to reducing
maternal mortality and morbidity;
2. Ensuring the availability of contraceptive supplies at the onset of an
emergency to meet demand;
3. Ensuring comprehensive reproductive health care services, including
family planning, are available as the emergency situation stabilizes;
4. Securing the MISP as a key tool among other interventions necessary to
reduce maternal mortality at the onset of a crisis.
All messages will link this "call to action" to the wider global maternal
mortality and morbidity movement to meet UN Millennium Development Goal 5.
* Develop key messages for communications campaign in collaboration with
Women's Refugee Commission reproductive health program and communications
* Identify a range of communications tools to deliver messaging to target
practitioner audience (e.g., video, print tools) and initiative plans for
* Identify most effective channels through which to promote our messages
(e.g. radio programming, text messaging, humanitarian membership networks,
publications, internet resources and events that are identified as being
important avenues to directly target practitioners).
* Potential travel to the field with Women's Refugee Commission program and
communications team to:
o Survey targeted audience and, identify most effective channels through
which to reach them.
o Collect communications materials--for example, photographs, video,
interviews for campaign communications tools.
* Work in collaboration with Women's Refugee Commission reproductive health
program and communications staff to develop and produce (and sub-contract
when applicable) communications tools.
* Develop strategy to measure impact and reach of communications campaign on
* A comprehensive document outlining a communications strategy that
o key messages
o recommended content and design of communications tools to carry the
o a dissemination strategy
o a methodology for measuring the impact of the communications campaign
o documented findings from field research
* An assessment/interview tool that will be used to collect information from
* A "field" assessment strategy outlining trip objectives and methods that
will be used to collect information/footage during travel to selected field
* If a field assessment is undertaken, a findings upon return from field
* A list of recommended vendors and price estimates for production of
selected communications tools.
* Experience in developing communications campaigns that target
practitioners working in-country.
* International field experience strongly preferred.
* Ability to work independently to set, develop and revise clear and
measurable communication strategy that can be implemented by Women's Refugee
* Ability to analyze and integrate diverse and complex quantitative and
qualitative data from a wide range of sources.
* Experience working in multi-cultural environment with sensitive subject
* Achieves high-level results, working with flexible attitude and with an
eye toward conserving resources.
Position: Communications Consultant
Location: New York, NY
Timeframe: Start June 1, 2010, for approximately 12 weeks. NOTE: The term of
the consultancy agreement is estimated to be 12 weeks. The actual timeframe
will be determined once a consultant is selected.
Deadline to Apply: Until position is filled
To apply, submit résumé, cover letter and salary requirements at IRC
Careers. Scroll to the bottom to apply on site.
Women's Refugee Commission/IRC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women's
Refugee Commission/IRC considers all applicants on the basis of merit
without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual
orientation, age, marital status, veteran status or disability.
Application details may be downloaded at:
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