Swisscontact is the business-oriented independent foundation for international development cooperation. Represented in 34 countries with over 1,200 employees, it promotes - since 1959 - economic, social and environmental development.
Swisscontact invites applications from qualified candidates for the following position:

Title Officer/Sr. Officer - Policy and Communication, ASTHA
  1. Support the policy reformation initiatives;
  2. Maintain project communications and relevant public relations
Location Dhaka with frequent visits to field locations
Reports to Team Leader, ASTHA

Background of ASTHA:
Access to healthcare in rural communities is a major concern in Bangladesh primarily due to dearth of skilled healthcare workforce. There are alarmingly 0.66 healthcare providers per 1000 population in the country while the WHO recommendation is 2.28 per 1000 population. The project “Achieving Sustainability Towards Healthcare Access” (ASTHA; formerly known as TARSAN) was introduced in 2011 to address this gap. Jointly funded by Novartis, Julius Baer Foundation and Swisscontact, the project aims to improve access to quality healthcare service at rural level through development of skilled Community Paramedics.

Phase II is the latest phase of ASTHA which is a four-year project (2019 – 2022) designed to facilitate the improvement and retention of community paramedic services in rural Bangladesh, providing Basic Primary Healthcare services including Maternal and Child Health and Family Planning. The project operates in seven districts namely, Sunamganj, Sylhet, Patuakhali, Barguna, Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat and Rangpur. In phase II, ASTHA aims to reach 183,250 people with quality health treatment, 270,000 community members with information about and access to better healthcare service through Community Paramedics and quality referral to specialist physicians. Moreover, it also aims to facilitate employment of 73% of Community Paramedic graduates (on average) from each annual batch of trainees, where the self-practicing Paramedics will be earning 20% higher income (on average) every year.

Essential Functions & Responsibilities:

A) Advocacy and policy reformations:

  • Assist in liaising with relevant government offices to advocate on project agenda and ensure the acheivements of the systemic policy reform outcomes, targets and results;
  • Support and coordinate policy intervention tasks and manage technical consultants to meet advocacy related objectives of the project;
  • Map out communication channels and strategies to pursue the public-sector stakeholders and network with potential relevant policy makers;
  • Maintain working relationship with industry associations, private sector stakeholders, international development partners, field offices and other project partners.

B) Communications and public relations:

  • Develop communication objectives, strategy, guideline, goals, and action plan incorporating existing strategies and guidelines of Swisscontact Worldwide and donors of the project;
  • Identify target audience and design communication tools to ensure effective and meaningful communication with internal and external stakeholders;
  • Support communication tasks and achieve project objectives through strategic use of communication tools and techniques;
  • Monitor and maintain compliance with communication strategy and guideline throughout all project interventions;
  • Maintain relationship with donors and provide regular update on the project by delivering various communication materials (e.g. photographs, case studies, stories, aide memoire, reports, data etc.) in consultation with Team Leader;
  • Maintain relationship with existing external stakeholders as the focal person and proactively network with potential collaborators and donors;
  • Track media footprints and promote projects in national and international media platforms
  • Support social media communication content development and maintenance, monitor regular positive social media presence;
  • Review various project reports and provide inputs as necessary
  • Ensure gender mainstreaming in all intervention of the project as the gender focal of the project
  • Maintain communication and research agency/consultant(s) to ensure effective delivery of the agreed deliverables
  • Maintain regular correspondence with Swisscontact global office in consultation with team leader and portfolio team of Swisscontact, Bangladesh

Other Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Support the tasks of other departments of the project, especially the capitalisation and business development efforts;
  • Any other task as mutually agreed by supervisor and the employee;

The individual must demonstrate that he/she has the following knowledge and can perform the essential functions, with or without regular supervision, using a combination of knowledge, skills and experience:

  • Passionate and committed about developing career in development and social communication
  • At least a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science; Development Studies; Economics, Business or any other relevant discipline
  • At least 2 to 3 years of professional work experience, preferebly in advocacy & communications
  • Experience in working with the high officials of GO, NGO/INGOs, press, private sector, commercial/ media and donor agencies will be an added advantage
  • Excellent report writing skills
  • Excellent in workshop conduction and moderation
  • Expertise in producing advocacy & communication tools & materials
  • Skilled in graphic designing (i.e.Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, after effects)
  • Good communication skills in both English and Bangla (verbal and written)
  • Excellent computer literacy in Windows Office programs and various communication and visual softwares, particularly for public and social media
  • Ability to work in a team to deliver within deadlines in a dynamic and fast-paced work environment

Physical Demands:

  • Field visits play a large part in the incumbent’s activities; as such, it is expected that the incumbent is willing and able to take part in such activities as and when needed and sometimes within short notice.

Working Conditions and Environment
This will be applicable according to the Swisscontact Staff Manual.

Application details:
Please email your application form along with a cover letter (elaborating your competencies for the position and your expected salary) to addressing to Head of Business Administration,Swisscontact Bangladesh.

Detailed Terms of Reference (ToR) and the application form can be downloaded from our website

Please mention name of the position applied for in the “subject” line of your email. Applications must be submitted on or before 24th June 2019.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for final selection process.

Swisscontact is an equal opportunity employer. Women are strongly encouraged to apply.