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Country Director

Development Media International
Location: Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Last Date: November 15, 2010

Development Media International (DMI) is a London-based organisation which uses mass media to change behaviours and improve health in developing countries ( ). In early 2011, DMI will launch the world’s first scientific trial to examine how many lives can be saved using mass media campaigns alone. This major, 4-year project will take place in Burkina Faso, West Africa, in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).

Overall Purpose of the Job:
The Country Director will assume overall responsibility for managing the DMI project in Burkina Faso, and will be stationed in Ouagadougou. This includes managing a large media production team and large number of outputs, with a particular focus on radio. There is also a major research component of the project, which will underpin all media production. The core responsibility of the job will be to ensure that the media campaigns deliver changes in behaviour on a scale large enough to save many lives.

The Country Director will also be responsible for managing an in-country team of international and local staff, and for reporting on progress and finances to the London office and to project donors. The successful applicant will need to be a superb diplomat: s/he will be the public face of the project in Burkina Faso and will need to ensure effective relationships with government, broadcasters and research partners. Excellent communication skills in both English and French are essential.

Main Duties
1. To assume overall responsibility for the delivery of the DMI project in Burkina Faso and for the management of DMI’s in-country team. This will include:
2. Managing a production team, who will be responsible for delivering (a) waves of 60-second radio spots, produced on a different subject every month, and (b) twice-weekly radio phone-in programmes on radio stations throughout the country. These will all be conducted in local languages. This is not only a large volume of outputs (600+ spots, 200+ phone-ins), it is also crucial that they are closely linked to the research. There may, in addition, be TV spots, depending on our investigations into TV penetration in rural areas.
3. Managing the qualitative research team, who will conduct formative research on a different subject every month, identifying barriers to behaviour change. The team will also pre-test the next month’s scripts on audiences, before production starts. It will be important to integrate production and research into a well-oiled “machine”, and ensure that the two teams work well together. The Country Director will also be responsible for the production of a “message brief”, which will serve as a research-based set of instructions for all creative outputs.
4. Ensuring close coordination between the DMI project and the LSHTM-supervised surveys (of 100,000 households) that will measure the project’s impact.
5. Recruiting and managing a local team for the project (see organisation chart for details).
6. To develop close relationships with the radio stations with whom we need to work in Burkina Faso, forming production partnerships in return for cut-price or free airtime deals.
7. To manage the relationship with the Ministry of Health, ensuring that that are supportive of, fully involved with, and beneficiaries of the project.
8. To develop a thorough understanding of DMI’s methodologies and objectives, the project’s objectives, and the scientific aspects of the project. To work in close collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
9. To report regularly to DMI’s London office, on editorial, operational, legal and financial issues. To ensure effective management of project office and that finance and administrative functions are carried out in line with DMI policy and local regulatory requirements. To ensure that all initiatives are delivered within agreed standards, timescales and budgets and meet the requirements of funding agencies.
10. To provide dynamic, inspirational leadership and management to the production, research and administrative teams.
11. To assist with project development activities in Burkina Faso, as required.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience Required
This is a unique job and no single career path will provide all the skills required. We are primarily looking for an outstanding manager and inspiring individual, and s/he may come from a variety of backgrounds, although senior experience as a executive/series producer within the media industry will be a distinct advantage.

1. Very strong intellectual ability, as evidenced by a good degree or similar qualifications and performance at interview. Both the media and scientific elements of this project are intellectually demanding. While a science background is not required, the applicant must be able to demonstrate at that s/he is capable of leading a project that has a scientific basis.
2. Substantial managerial experience. This would ideally be in a media industry. However other backgrounds (international development, public health, private sector management, management consultancy, government) may also have given the experience required. S/he must be familiar with managing large, complex projects or organisations.
3. Substantial experience of working in a developing country, and ideally with experience of managing locally-hired staff. An ability to cope with the pressures of working in a development context in a demanding environment, and an appreciation of the issues and difficulties involved.
4. Strong diplomatic skills, with a track record of having formed productive relationships at senior levels of government and/or media and/or business. Evidence of ability to manage effective collaboration between partners and stakeholders, including those with differing agendas.
5. Strong leadership skills – the individual must be able to inspire and lead a large, cross-cultural team, with good team-building skills, and excellent interpersonal skills.
6. An excellent understanding of the applications of mass media. Ideally, the applicant will have had senior management experience in the broadcasting industry, but not all suitable candidates will have this. However they must be able to demonstrate excellent editorial instincts, and (in particular) an understanding of what media strategies will work in a developing country context.
7. An understanding of public health issues. While the applicant is not expected to have a public health background (although this would be an advantage) they will be expected to demonstrate an ability to grasp the public health issues that relate to this project.
8. Significant experience in the management of budgets, ideally of a large and complex nature. Ability to understand accounts, and supervise the project’s budget effectively.
9. Excellent written and verbal communication skills in both English and French.
10. Ability to write formal reports to donor satisfaction.
11. Proven ability to deliver complex projects to deadlines and within budget, with good track record of donor/client liaison and reporting.

Application Process
To apply please send your CV (max. 2 pages) and a cover letter (max. 2 pages) which systematically outlines why your experience fits the job description and skills requirements. Please send to  by end of 15th November. Shortlisted candidates can expect to attend the first round of interviews on the week beginning 6th December, and the second round of interviews will be held the following week (13th-17th December).

Three presentations will be held on DMI’s work and the Burkina Faso project in particular in North London towards the end of October/start of November. For further details on the presentations and to request a 4-page project summary and the project’s organisational chart, please email 

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