Communications Consultant (Short-Term)

Amazon Conservation Association | Washington, DC

Background

Project: Building capacity for deforestation monitoring in Peru

Organization: Amazon Conservation

Location: remote due to COVID-19 considerations, ability to work on EST time zone schedule

Duration: Four working months between September 2020 – December 2020

Type of Contract: Competitive tender bid

Organization:

Amazon Conservation’s mission is to unite science, innovation and people to protect the Amazon—the greatest wild forest on Earth.

For the past 20 years Amazon Conservation has had a boots-on-the-ground approach to our work in the Amazon, working as an Alliance of local sister organizations. Our on-the-ground efforts are geographically focused in the headwaters of the Amazon basin, where the Amazon forest meets the Andes mountain range in southeastern Peru and northern Bolivia. Our work protecting wild places, empowering local people and putting science and technology to work has been shaped by the people and land where we began. Two decades in, we have protected over 8.3 million acres of rainforest; provided cutting-edge tools to government and forest users to protect their lands; empowered hundreds of indigenous communities to develop forest-friendly livelihoods; and hosted thousands of scientists pioneering innovative research at our three conservation hubs. As the organization enters its next stage of growth with a new strategy for the following decade, we will be deepening our impact in the region as well as expanding it across the wider Amazon.

For more information, please visit www.amazonconservation.org.

Job Summary

The Project:

Amazon Conservation has implemented this project for the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) through its International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) since 2016. Our Norad project aims to help counteract increasing deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon by boosting near real-time monitoring capabilities of government, civil society, and local landholders.

The Peruvian Amazon still maintains large tracts of mega-diverse, carbon-rich forest, making it one of the top conservation priorities in the world. However, the array of threats facing Peru’s remaining forests is constantly increasing and new techniques are needed to minimize future loss.

Our project directly confronts four key problems that are hindering conservation and management efforts in the Peruvian Amazon. First, there is a lack of timely deforestation information and synthesis. Second, there is a need to improve coordination with government regarding how deforestation information is utilized to impact policy.

Third, there is a lack of capacity to verify and identify drivers of deforestation identified by remote satellites. Fourth, forestry concessionaires in the southern Peruvian Amazon (department of Madre de Dios) are poorly equipped to monitor their land and deter invasions by miners and squatters.

Amazon Conservation Association, in close collaboration with our Peruvian sister organization Conservación Amazónica-ACCA, led several innovative initiatives designed to effectively address all four problems stated above and is now consolidating these efforts as the project reaches its close in December 2020.

Firstly, Amazon Conservation developed and improved our independent near-real time deforestation monitoring system based on satellite imagery, known as MAAP, while concurrently working with Peruvian national government to establish its own satellite monitoring and deforestation control system. Secondly, we created a functional national-level working group between government and civil society to discuss key technical, political, and applied issues related to near real-time deforestation information. Thirdly, we established a drone training center in the department of Madre de Dios in the southern Peruvian Amazon. Finally, we strengthened the capacity of local forestry concessionaires to monitor their concessions and present strong technical information to solidify legal complaints.

As a trusted ally of the Peruvian government, we also improved the capacity of public environmental prosecutors to detect and prosecute environmental crimes using cutting edge technology, such as drones and satellites. Our theory of change, based on previous experience of both lead implementing organizations, is that employing a multidisciplinary approach (field work, remote sensing, and policy) at both national and regional scales is essential to overcoming complex problems of deforestation and degradation in the Amazon.

Our key results:

At the national level, Peruvian government and civil society will have an effective and transparent near real-time deforestation monitoring and control system. At the regional level, civil society, private sector, and government officials will have the technical capacity to use drones to monitor deforestation and use this information to protect landholdings from invasion.

Reports To

Project partners:

Project led by Amazon Conservation Association in partnership with our local sister organization Conservación Amazónica-ACCA in Peru, and Sociedad Peruana de Derecho Ambiental (SPDA).

Responsibilities

Objective:

Amazon Conservation is seeking a short-term consultancy to undertake the development of a Communications Strategy for end-of-project results.

Scope of Work and Expected Outputs:

Build communications capacity in the Alliance

  • Draft guidance on written voice, tone, and style for the Alliance to align all project partners and to prevent turnover issues (e.g. with new staff/leadership at the organization, our writing style changes)
  • Provide writing training to staff including materials and curriculum, focusing on taking technical content and translating it into content for different audiences (specialized foundations, individual donors, biological station visitors, etc.).
  • Provide training including materials and curriculum, focusing on how to communicate and present Norad project results within the framework of Amazon Conservation’s Strategy 2020.
  • Provide training including materials and curriculum, focusing on improving staff presentation skills for presenting project results in various fora, with a current focus on webinars and online presentations for the upcoming AmazonTec regional webinar

Brand Refinement of project results

  • Refine and contextualize our Alliance’s core messaging of project results within our strategic framework
  • Coordinate and advance the development of the Alliance’s position on key controversial topics important to properly communicate project results (roads, climate, etc.)

Public Relations

  • Help us build concrete relationships with key journalists for article placement
  • Provide media training with materials and curriculum
  • Develop/ghostwrite thought-leadership pieces that can elevate our project results to a wider audience
  • Help develop a communications crisis management protocol and template content

 

Expected Deliverables (to be fully built out after discussions with finalist candidates)

  • Facilitate three communications trainings on communicating project results, as detailed above
  • Produce a comprehensive strategy document on the project communications themes as detailed above
  • Provide at least four article placements with key journalists to communicate importance of project results

Contract Scope:

  • The consultant will strictly follow the work plan and the time schedule agreed with Amazon Conservation in undertaking the contract assignment.
  • An appropriate methodology will be determined by the consultant in consultations with Amazon Conservation.
  • The consultant will be overseen by and work closely with the Amazon Conservation project team in DC while coordinating with our sister organization in Peru as needed. S/he will document their work and submit and share progress of activities as agreed.
  • The consultant will undertake collection of all the required data/information from various sources, including previous project results reporting, and project partners.
  • The consultant will undertake review, assessment and judgment of the data/information in close consultation with Amazon Conservation.
  • The consultant will facilitate trainings and preparation for staff presentations as per the agreed work schedule.

Qualifications

  • At least 5 years’ professional experience in communications, marketing, journalism, PR, or related field
  • Proven ability to create and place articles in major media outlets
  • Previous experience with social media strategy and content creation
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Experience with coordinating and developing communications strategies and concrete deliverables for project results
  • Ability to perform well in fast-paced, cross-cultural, multi-country team environment
  • Previous experience communicating issues and developing messages related to biodiversity conservation and deforestation issues preferred
  • Proficiency in Spanish preferred but not required (would allow Consultant to reach out to Peruvian colleagues for clarifying information)
  • Experience working with Latin American organizations or causes preferred but not required

Compensation

Competitive tender bid contract

The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum amount (including a breakdown of costs for time and number of working days estimated). Payments will be made in installments based upon satisfactory submission of deliverables in accordance with a payment schedule to be determined upon signing the contract. 

How to Apply

Email your resume, letter of inquiry (LOI), 2 relevant article examples, a financial proposal, and a list of 3 references to applications@amazonconservation.org with the subject line “Norad Project Communications Consultant Application.” These documents should outline the applicants previous experience with specific media outlets and established connections with key journalists.

The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum amount (including a breakdown of costs for time and number of working days estimated). Payments will be made in installments based upon satisfactory submission of deliverables in accordance with a payment schedule to be determined upon signing the contract. 

Applications without all required materials will not be reviewed.

We regret that due to the high volume of applications we are unable to acknowledge every application. No phone calls, please. EOE.

Applications will be reviewed weekly and are accepted through September 28, 2020.

Amazon Conservation Association

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