Terms of Reference | Strategic Communications Project in South Africa

Astraea seeks expressions of interest from organizations with expertise in social change communications to partner with the Astraea Foundation and Gender DynamiX in a project to strengthen GDX’s communications and campaign strategies.

Astraea seeks expressions of interest from organizations with expertise in social change communications to partner with the Astraea Foundation and Gender DynamiX in a project to strengthen GDX’s communications and campaign strategies. The engagement will run from April to October 2019. Expressions of interest are due March 12, 2019.

 About Astraea Foundation
The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice is the only philanthropic organization working exclusively to advance LGBTQI human rights around the globe. We support brilliant and brave grantee partners in the U.S. and internationally who challenge oppression and seed change. We work for racial, economic, social, and gender justice, because we all deserve to live our lives freely, without fear, and with dignity.

About Gender Dynamix
Gender Dynamix is a long-standing national and regional advocacy organization by and for trans people. Gender Dynamix’ long term goal is to ensure that diverse trans and intersex people are able to live openly, without obstruction, and in dignity by being able to equitably participate in the social, political and economic spheres of society. Over the last four years, they have engaged in advocacy campaigns to enforce Act 49 (the existing legal gender recognition law), increase access to healthcare, education, and accountability for violence against trans communities.

About the Strategic Communications Project
This project aims to strengthen the communications capacity of South African LGBTQI organizations to develop evidence-based messaging strategies in support of their self-defined and self-led social change work.  The overall objective is to identify, frame, vet and test persuasive messages that South African LGBTQI activists can use to further their self-determined social change goals.

About the Consultancy
We seek an organization or consultants with expertise in social change communications to work in deep collaboration and partnership with Astraea and Gender DynamiX. With respect to communications expertise, we seek a partner that brings a rigorous social science lens to their work, which may include strategic communications firms that partner with social scientists in their work. The project places a high priority on process, meaning that we are looking for an organization that has the interest, commitment and competence to work in authentic partnership with Gender DynamiX.

We particularly seek a partner who is based in South Africa or who has substantial experience working in the Southern Africa, particularly those with experience working with activists, knowledge on trans and gender diverse rights issues, on LGBTQI issues, and with a social justice approach. 

The partner(s) will lead three main areas of work:

  • Landscape Mapping | With guidance from activists, conduct primary and secondary research to provide a robust understanding of the current landscape of messaging and perceptions of transgender and gender diverse communities in South Africa, in order to: identify some of the key drivers of attitudes and stereotypes, and identify strategic points of entry and opportunities to achieve positive gains and successes. Specific milestones and deliverables include:
    1. Consultations with Gender DynamiX about their research priorities and needs;
    2. Baseline mapping of audience attitudes
    3. Baseline assessment of Gender DynamiX current messaging;
    4. Development of a research workplan that details approach to attitudes mapping and research, and including methods for message testing/validation.
  • Messaging Development & Testing | In close partnership with Gender DynamiX, develop and test messages in support of their communications and campaign priorities. Steps will include building understanding of the contexts and challenges of South African trans and gender diverse people; identifying strategic objectives and key audiences; supporting activists to understand the methodology behind changing attitudes and the steps that need to be undertaken for effective messaging; and identifying and testing messages with key audiences. Specific milestones and deliverables include:
    1. Development of plan for message testing and validation, including detail on data collection and audiences, to be approved by Astraea and Gender DynamiX;
    2. Design, facilitation and delivery of message testing and validation with key audiences;
    3. Share findings and recommendations on how to apply them in communications efforts; and
    4. Provision of follow up support with Gender DynamiX as they implement their own messaging and communications work.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation | Throughout the project, monitor and evaluate the project’s methodology and effectiveness to produce learning and best practices for activist-driven communications and messaging work.
    1. Ongoing evaluation and adjustment to project design, based on ongoing results;
    2. Providing updates on a regular or monthly basis covering project activities and ongoing lessons learned;
    3. Provision of a final narrative report that describes deliverables and achievements; identifies lessons learned, needs, gaps, challenges and opportunities; and makes recommendation for how funders and activists can support strategic communications; and
    4. Provision of a final financial report that comprises a detailed account of all income and expenditure related to the project.

The partner(s) will be supervised by Astraea’s Strategic Communications Project Manager and Program Officer for Africa and Asia, and work in close partnership with staff at Gender DynamiX.

To Apply

Interested organizations should submit:

  • a CV/organizational brief indicating your relevant track record;
  • a letter of interest outlining a) your interest in working on sexuality and gender issues in South Africa, b) your strategic communications and message testing experience, and c) any relevant experience doing this work in meaningful partnership with activist organizations;
  • a proposed budget;
  • two references; and,
  • a writing sample of 3-5 pages.

Proposals should be directed to Raviva Hanser at rhanser@astraeafoundation.org by March 12, 2019.

Apply for the job

Astraea is an equal opportunity employer. Our policy is to select, place, train and promote the best qualified individuals based upon relevant factors such as work quality, attitude and experience so as to provide equal opportunity for all of our employees in compliance with applicable local, state and federal law, and without regard to non-work related factors such as sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, economic status, personal appearance including height and weight, family responsibility, matriculation, political affiliation or any other status protected by applicable law. This policy applies to all activities, including but not limited to, recruiting, hiring, training, transfers, promotions and benefits. This policy governs all aspects of employment, including selection, job assignment, compensation, discipline, termination and access to benefits and training