We’re hiring – Regional Director Africa

Published:

22.12.22

Author:

Ifpim.org

Share:

Published:

22.12.22

Author:

Ifpim.org

Share:

Job Title: Regional Director Latin America

Application Closing Date: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and the role will remain open until filled. We will only respond to shortlisted candidates.

Location: Flexible, with a preference to be based in the region

The International Fund for Public Interest Media is looking for an outstanding individual with an in-depth understanding of media markets in Africa and a vision for the future of journalism to lead our work to sustain and rebuild public interest media in Africa and to contribute to building the newly established Fund as a member of its leadership team.

 

The Challenge

Around the world, public interest media faces fundamentally challenging conditions, from
deteriorating business models as a result of declining revenue to the worrying rise of
government crackdowns on journalists. In particular, the evolution of digital advertising has
severely hampered traditional funding models for journalism. These existential challenges have
been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic which, for many communities, will be a “media
extinction event.”

Public interest media is particularly endangered in low- and middle-income countries, where
media infrastructure is most fragile and audience engagement has decoupled from advertising
revenue. As news outlets struggle to stay afloat, media ecosystems begin to collapse — an
outcome linked to increased corruption, conflict, violent extremism, and human-caused
disasters like famines and epidemics. Now more than ever, public interest media is a key pillar
of democracy, good governance, and sustainable development.

A feasibility study conducted by BBC Media Action showed that an International Fund for Public
Interest Media would be an effective vehicle for bolstering public interest media, especially in
low- and middle-income regions in the next decade or two, until new business models can be
developed to address challenges faced by both individual news outlets and entire media
ecosystems. That fund has now been established and has received extensive political support
and seed funding, including at the December 2021 Summit for Democracy, organized by
President Biden, and at the November 2022 Paris Peace Forum.

 

The International Fund for Public Interest Media

IFPIM, currently fiscally sponsored by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, provides a fresh,
ambitious, coordinated, and well-resourced strategic international response to the crisis facing
independent media around the world. IFPIM aims to radically increase the amount of funding
available to support ethical, non-partisan, fact-based journalism, and to enable the media to
work for democracy. The Fund will support media through this period of existential threat and
aims to develop lasting solutions to the current media market failure. The Fund will
complement existing efforts in the media development sector and will catalyze new money as a
globally coordinated but fully independent vehicle that can act quickly to provide critical
funding and support to hundreds – if not thousands – of public interest media organizations
worldwide.

IFPIM has received significant seed funding from a range of philanthropic, corporate, and
government donors, including the U.S. government, which announced its contribution of up to
$20 million USD at the 2021 Summit for Democracy. The Government of France also indicated
its support for IFPIM at the 2022 Paris Peace Forum, announcing a contribution of up to 15
million EUR and an agreement to host IFPIM’s international headquarters in Paris. More
information about current donors to IFPIM is available online, and additional funders are
expected to finalize commitments in the first half of 2023. In total, IFPIM is targeting a first
funding round of approximately $60 million USD to support its proof-of-concept phase (initial two years of operation) and aims to significantly increase its annual grant-making budget in
subsequent years.

 

The Fund has been designed to minimize interference in the internal affairs of the countries it
supports. Its governance arrangements and international nature ensure funds are allocated
efficiently and in ways that command maximum legitimacy in the eyes of media institutions and
other democratic stakeholders in beneficiary countries.
The Fund is co-chaired by Maria Ressa, journalist, CEO of Rappler and 2021 Nobel Peace Prize
laureate, and Mark Thompson, former CEO of the New York Times Company and former
Director General of the BBC.

 

Regional Centres

IFPIM has been designed with a decentralized regional structure, with leadership on grant-making activities sitting squarely within these regional centres. A number of regional offices for the Fund, covering sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean will be established. The location of these offices is yet to be determined and will depend on a number of factors including the relevant country’s governmental commitments to media freedom, appropriate regulatory and legislative environments, attracting excellent human resources and other enabling factors.

National funding strategies will be designed and administered from this regional base. The purpose of any national media funding strategy would be to provide resources to enable media institutions to serve a public interest independent of political and economic influence. Their strategic focus would be designed to complement and, where appropriate, financially contribute to existing capacity-building strategies by national and international media support actors, but their central purpose would be to increase the financial or human resources available to independent public interest media. These strategies will explicitly focus on a long-term time horizon and regional offices will need to build their knowledge, legitimacy and in-country relationships, and tailor their strategies carefully to the complex and distinct realities of the countries in which they are working. They will also need to include a proactive and reactive strategy, focused on finding solutions to a set of market challenges that are currently largely insoluble.

IFPIM has been designed to minimize interference in the internal affairs of the countries it supports. Its governance arrangements and international nature ensure funds are allocated efficiently and in ways that command maximum legitimacy in the eyes of media institutions and other democratic stakeholders in the countries within which it operates.

 

The Role

The Regional Director, Africa is a critical role and will sit at the heart of the leadership team for IFPIM. Reporting directly to the CEO, it will:

  • Develop, drive and oversee the implementation of IFPIM’s strategy for the region, including the strategy for individual countries within the region. All strategies need to be context-specific, rooted in a clear political economy analysis of the countries concerned (including a deep understanding of local institutions, behaviours, customs and governance practices) and familiarity with respective country market dynamics.
  • Develop an approach to ecosystems-change across the medium to long term through analysing the enabling conditions, examining shortcomings, engaging a broad set of partners including those with currently limited engagement on media, and prioritising solutions.
  • Build a pipeline of partners/grantees, leading outreach, making and managing grants including overseeing monitoring and evaluation, in close collaboration with the regional and national teams under the Regional Director’s leadership.
  • Collaborate closely with Fund colleagues, particularly on monitoring and evaluation & lesson learning on what works with respect to funding and supporting public interest media.
  • Develop partnerships between CSOs, media development organisations, media and government (where appropriate) to improve strategies focused on improving public access to information in the region. These processes could provide a model for developing a clear strategic framework that would inform the IFPIM’s priorities for spending within any one country.
  • Ensure coordination, collaboration and partnership with other media funders and media development actors active in the region
  • Build active and vocal support for and legitimacy of the Fund among key stakeholders from those countries it is designed to benefit as well as from the broader media and media support and international development and diplomatic communities.
  • Externally represent IFPIM in the region and globally, where required, as an ambassador to the fund.
  • Monitor risks and take relevant actions to maintain our ‘license to operate’ in the regional centre and across countries
  • Manage a small team, including country leads, based in the region.

 

Candidate profile

Required Experience:

  • Minimum 10+ years of relevant experience
  • A deep understanding of journalism, media, media markets and business models, and development context in the region and a vision for the future of journalism and media in the region
  • Commitment to public interest journalism
  • Strong networks and in-depth knowledge of concepts and approaches relevant to supporting and sustaining public interest media in the region
  • Character and background to command credibility, legitimacy and respect across media, media development and donor sectors in the region
  • Experience managing a team of professionals
  • Ability to work collaboratively with colleagues in other regional centres and headquarters and mentor others in areas where you are particularly skilled.
  • Ability to develop, implement, and articulate a clear strategic vision and business plan to steer the direction of a unique and new initiative and ensure both short-term viability and long-term impact. Strategic outlook and ability to understand strategic dilemmas and being prepared to adopt different approaches in different contexts.
  • An entrepreneurial mindset, with a willingness to contribute to the creation of a new institution and to operate in contexts with possible high levels of uncertainty
  • Ability to develop and manage partnerships with a variety of stakeholders in the region including media organisations, media development actors, as well as also technology companies, civil society organisations and governments
  • Excellent communications and storytelling skills

 

Desirable experience:

  • Experience in financing or providing grants to media organisations or civil society organisations
  • Experience working with bilateral and/or multilateral donors
  • Experience designing, implementing or overseeing monitoring, evaluation and learning frameworks and tools
  • Experience managing teams across multiple geographies

Education:

  • University degree (Masters’ Degree or Doctoral Degree would be an advantage)

Working language:

  • The working language of IFPIM will be English, but additional regionally relevant language skills would be preferred.

 

CONTACT INFORMATION  

Interested candidates should send their CV and a cover letter to michael@shortlist.net 

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