STARS Strategic Communications Officer

we are looking for an experienced and high-performing Strategic communications officer (part time) for our STARS program

ICCO Cooperation is an enterprising global development organization, that seeks motivated colleagues to support our mission. Are you committed to create a world where people can live in dignity and secure their livelihoods? Then we would like to meet you.

From a coherent Theory of Change ICCO Cooperation designs, manages and implements
programs with focus on economic empowerment, food and nutrition security and emergency response. Responsible business and inclusiveness are cross-cutting issues. We not only implement programs that help farmers and small agribusinesses grow, we also offer brokering services for public-private partnerships. ICCO Cooperation is experienced in working with a wide range of financial tools. 

The Strengthening African Rural Smallholders (STARS) program is implemented by ICCO Cooperation and ICCO Terrafina Microfinance in partnership with Mastercard Foundation; targeting 210,000 rural farmers in Rwanda, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and Senegal. STARS is addressing challenges that smallholder farmers (SHFs) face such as limited skills, minimal access to markets and limited access to appropriate financial products such as loans. The STARS program runs till beginning of 2021 and applies the Market Systems Development approach (M4P) in its interventions with partners.

In order for ecosystems to develop in their local context, STARS influences market sectors by building and showcasing successful market-models and interventions that can scale-up, ultimately creating wealth for more SHFs. Communications is therefore an intrinsic element of our implementing model. Therefore, we are looking for an experienced and high-performing:

Strategic communications officer (part time)

As STARS’ communications officer you are responsible for developing and implementing our communications strategy. The objectives you will work on include:


  • To have the communications role collaborate and integrate with the monitoring evaluation & learning role, as well as with program implementation, in order to create a well-structured collection, synthesis and dissemination of information.
  • To shape our communications in order to be regarded as a thought leader and sector influencer
  • To determine optimal channels and delivery methods to disseminate our messages
  • To use communications as a way to generate staff enthusiasm and commitment to a learning cycle based on the collection, synthesis and dissemination of information

Content gathering

  • In collaboration with the teams, condense large amounts of information into key insights 
  • To create key messages intended for key audiences (both internal and external) and align these with our internal processes. 

 You will work with our program staff, stakeholders on the ground in the implementing countries and partners including Microfinance Institutions (MFI), Banks, Producer Organizations (POs), NGOs, agri-businesses, donors and corporates who share an interest in advancing the professionalism of POs. You will collaborate closely with the operations team to ensure our communications help us increase STARS’ visibility, to strengthen our role as sector influencer, and to enhance stakeholder satisfaction. You will be part of an international and ambitious team, working locally from the four country offices and from our global office in The Netherlands. While developing and executing the communication strategy and plan you cooperate and align your work with the communicators of ICCO in the two African regional offices and the global office.

You are a creative professional and you have the drive to take ICCO-STARS to the next level both online and offline. You will set and manage our communication agenda, while doing hands-on work to improve and co-create our products and services. 


  • You will create our communication strategy. Based on your vision of the opportunities and considering the available resources, you can translate this vision into an actionable roadmap, setting clear priorities.
  • You will execute the communication strategy. Maintain, develop and improve our communications products and services. This will focus on two areas: 
    • Collecting information on the program from our program staff, and strengthening their capability to deliver good content.  
    • To use this content to develop communications outputs to reach key audiences.
  • You are a sparring partner to the STARS Management Team. You will help the MT to develop the program’s learning and reporting processes, and influencing strategy. 
  • The communications officer reports to the program manager of ICCO STARS. The position can be filled as an employee or as a freelancer.


  • Thinks strategically, sees opportunities to use communications to influence internal and external stakeholders;
  • Understands the development sector at large, preferably experienced in MSD programmes or economic development, microfinance or value chain development;
  • Excellent critical thinking, has journalist skills and demonstrate experience with (impact) stories, reports and interviews;
  • Is a team player, has a ‘can do’ and hands-on mentality, imperative for a small team;
  • Is an extravert, confident, as well as a good listener and a good communicator;
  • Is fluent in English and preferably French;
  • Can, if necessary, take up tasks outside the job description if they are imperative for ICCO-STARS.

We offer

Be part of a motivated group of colleagues with ambitious goals and working in a professional, though informal, working environment;
International travel and a competitive salary / payment.

How to apply 

Please send your CV of not more than 3 pages and a motivation of interest to Mrs. Victoire Umutesi: Only email applications shall be considered. All applications should be clearly marked: “ICCO Cooperation – communications officer “STARS” and no email should exceed 3MB. Please note that only those selected will be contacted. Any form of lobbying will lead to automatic disqualification.  Deadline for applications is Monday February 18, 2019

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