IRRI-Africa Business Innovation & Communications Strategist (Officer III)

  • Nairobi, Kenya
  • Full-time
  • IRRI

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to recruit a Business Innovation & Communications Strategist (Officer III) on behalf of International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to design and apply a range of communication tools and channels to achieve organizational development goals.

ILRI works to improve food security and nutrition and reduce poverty in developing countries through research for efficient, safe, and sustainable use of livestock. It is the only one of 11 CGIAR research centers dedicated entirely to animal agriculture research for the developing world. Co-hosted by Kenya and Ethiopia, ILRI has regional or country offices and projects in East, South, and Southeast Asia as well as Central, East, Southern, and West Africa.

IRRI is dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger through rice science; improving the health and welfare of rice farmers and consumers; and protecting the rice-growing environment for future generations.


The focus of the role is to build strong recognition of the work of IRRI in Africa and the need to invest in IRRI and its rice systems to contribute to overcoming poverty and inequality, food and nutrition insecurity and environmental issues.

The successful candidate will demonstrate the ability to identify and bring attention to the scientific advancements and the impacts on the ground that IRRI achieves, as well as the critical issues relevant to IRRI’s work. This requires excellent writing skills, being able to capture scientific achievements in easy to understand and compelling language, and being able to write about impacts on the ground in an engaging and compelling way.

The successful candidate will be able to identify the key issues and solutions and pitch the value of investing in IRRI-Africa. Also important is the ability to reach key stakeholders – including donors, research collaborators and governments - with these stories, messages and pitches, through the media and other means.


  • Ensure IRRI’s audiences in Africa are appropriately engaged by managing and developing a communication and messaging portfolio in coordination with the global communications team and the Africa Director.
  • Develop communications material for resource mobilization, including investment pitches and stories that support the pitches.
  • Contribute to and accelerate making a significant increase in funding for IRRI-AFRICA. For example, be a key contributor to prospects (funders and/or proposals) developed, working with relevant research teams and Directors.
  • Contribute to broadening the base of IRRI funders for IRRI-AFRICA.


  • Under the overall direction of the global Communications Head, work hand in hand for the workplan priorities, strategies and implementation with the Deputy Director General of Strategy Engagement and Impact and the Regional Director.
  • Work collaboratively with the Country Representatives and all regional staff to ensure that communication for resource mobilization needs are addressed
  • Secure linkages and collaborate with regional project partners, other CGIAR centers, donors, communication subgroups, and the media to ensure timely delivery of outputs, information dissemination and technology


  • Active and responsive communications and messaging portfolio for IRRI-AFRICA
  • Targeted stories and case studies capturing IRRI's scientific advancements and impacts in Africa for resource mobilization use and for corporate communications (in newsletters, website, social media, media, and the annual report, etc.). 
  • Set of IRRI solutions for Africa prepared for pitching to funders.
  • Funder intelligence collated for Africa, in collaboration with PDMO, the Director for IRRI-AFRICA, Country representatives, SEI DDG and others as required.
  • Regular donor connections and follow-ups made, and relationships built.
  • Coordination with scientific teams for funder requests. 
  • Dashboard to track efforts and targets.
  • Perform any other relevant duties as assigned by supervisor.


  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Development, Communications, Journalism, or related field with minimum 7 years of relevant work experience. Qualifications in agriculture also highly regarded.
  • Experience in developing communication products and in packaging them so they are applicable for different audiences and channels, especially for resource mobilization.
  • Experience in resource mobilization and engaging with funders.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to influence others.
  • Knowledge of the Africa media landscape highly regarded.
  • Knowledge and experience in agriculture.

Post location: The position will be based in Nairobi, Kenya. IRRI is hosted at the campus of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).

This position is at job level HG 15 and it is only open to Kenyan nationals. The position is a 3-year contract, renewable subject to satisfactory performance and availability of funding. ILRI offers a competitive salary and benefits package which includes pension, medical and other insurances.

How to apply: Applicants should send a cover letter and CV expressing their interest in the position, what they can bring to the role and the names and addresses (including telephone and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience to the Director, People and Organizational Development by clicking on the "Apply Now" tab above on or before 10 April 2024. The position title and reference number REF: IRRI/ 12/2023 should be clearly marked on the subject line of the cover letter.

We thank all applicants for their interest in working for ILRI. Due to the volume of applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Neither IRRI nor ILRI charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing or training). Neither IRRI nor ILRI concern themselves with information on applicants' bank accounts.

To find out more about IRRI visit our website at

 ILRI is an equal-opportunity employer.