Technical Assistant – Buy Malawi Strategy (BMS)

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This is a UNV National Specialist contract. This kind of contract is known as National UN Volunteer. It is normally only for nationals. More about UNV National Specialist contracts.

Malawi’s economy is dominated by agriculture which accounts for over 30% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This reliance on agriculture has been a leading cause of high volatility in Malawi’s GDP growth, as poor harvests coupled with regular droughts have significantly impacted on agricultural output. The manufacturing sector is relatively small and contributes just over 10% of Malawi`s GDP. Furthermore, it is concentrated around the cities of Blantyre, Lilongwe and to a lesser extent Mzuzu, leaving most of the country with no industrial development at all. The manufacturing sector is critical to an economy’s growth potential and balance of payments. The lack of a thriving manufacturing sector and over-reliance on primary agriculture increases the need to import value-added goods, whether for consumption or as industrial inputs, and decreases the potential to develop a sustained comparative advantage for exporting such goods. While Malawi has made some important strides in its economic development agenda, it has suffered economic set-backs that are characteristic of a country with a weak productive base. The intermittent weakening of the local currency and a huge trade imbalance speak of an economy that has a big appetite for imported goods and services, even those which are efficiently produced locally. Malawians generally prefer imported over locally produced products and consider goods made in Malawi as second class products. The consequences of ignoring consumption of and patronizing locally produced goods and services have been well documented.

It is against this background that the Malawi Government resuscitated the strategy to promote consumption of locally-made goods and services. To that effect the Government of Malawi, through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, developed an ambitious Buy Malawi Strategy (BMS) in 2015. This strategy builds on gains made in the previous Buy Malawi Campaign (BMC) and comes at a time when there is stiff competition from imported goods and services. The essence of the BMS is to encourage consumption of locally produced goods and services through deliberate interventions, and to change the mindset and negative perceptions towards goods produced in Malawi. Such behavioral change has the potential to substantially enhance competitiveness of local firms, stimulate local production, job and wealth creation and promote industrialization, a key priority of the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy II (MGDS II).

To promote the BMS, to encourage the purchase and consumption of Malawian products and to instill excitement and national pride when it comes to the use of goods and services ‘Made in Malawi’, the Government of Malawi, through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, also developed a Marketing & Communication Plan for the BMS. One key priority in the BMS Marketing & Communication Plan is the development of an attractive, informative, customer friendly and well targeted website. This website is one of the main tools for the BMS Secretariat to reach its target audiences, to enhance participation in the Buy Malawi Strategy and to convince Malawian consumers to preferably buy locally made products. The Government of Malawi, through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, is hence seeking a Technical Assistant to provide professional technical services on and about the newly established Buy Malawi Strategy website.

(a) Communications and Website Management

The Volunteer will be a core member of the Buy Malawi Strategy Secretariat. She/he will work under the supervision of the Director of Trade, in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism and in close cooperation with other members of BMS Secretariat and BMS Executive Committee. The volunteer will be responsible for directing website content development and management, online company and product profiling and promotion, white paper development, documentaries development, online newsletters, general online advertising and communication, branding and outreach activities. Specifically, the Website Management volunteer will be expected to:

Enhance awareness of the BMS website to both consumers and producers

Lead in updating and maintaining of the BMS web-based platform, by:
(1) Assisting in the day-today management of BMS web based platform e.g., communicating with companies, maintenance of web performance statistics, and responding to inquiries from clients; and

(2) Helping to develop new content for the BMS web platform, including its online discussion forums and online communities, in coordination with the Secretariat and the Ministry’s staff.

Assist in tracking and effectively communicating the results and impact of BMS implementation work, via web-based tools or any other means for effective reporting and demonstration of BMS value and impact.

Train assigned staff of the BMS Secretariat on the maintenance and updating of the BMS Website, and involve such staff in the entering of information and uploading of documents on the website, as well as on the use of the subscription, comment, feedback, monitoring and administration functions

Assist the BMS Secretariat to host the website with a reliable and cost effective local service provider

Help in proofreading all the materials published on the website

To share success stories through the website and newsletters

(b) Corporate Outreach The volunteer will be responsible for corporate outreach activities to the private sector with a target of getting the Private Sector Companies to get enrolled in the campaign. He/She will be responsible for ensuring general online advertising and communication, branding and outreach activities. Specifically, Corporate Outreach Volunteer will be expected to:

Enhance Trademark usage of the Buy Malawian Build Malawi logo by the private sec-tor in order to establish impulse recognition of the locally made goods and services

Ensure that companies are registering Buy Malawi Strategy membership and are paying membership fees

Effectively communicate the benefits of BMS membership to all stakeholders

Promote the Buy Malawi Strategy and BMS members through various marketing mix tools including events participation, social media, online and print newsletters, white papers, point of sale displays, road shows, brochures, branded cloth, TV and radio programmes to ensure reach to a wider urban and rural audience

Provide information to companies to perfect quality of their supplied goods and services provided

Enhance awareness of the BMS to both consumers and producers

Meet BMS membership set targets by ensuring the enrollment of companies and other organizations into the BMS to reach out to all business associations in the country

Develop relationships with journalists, publications, and key players in mass media and social circles, with a view of raising BMS brand and sponsors visibility nationally

Assist in tracking and effectively communicating the results and impact of BMS implementation work, via web-based tools or any other means for effective reporting and demonstration of BMS value and impact

Help in proofreading all the materials published on the website, newspapers, newsletters and social media platforms

To share success stories through the website and newsletters.

The volunteer will be further tasked to report and provide advice on the performance of the implementation of the marketing and communications plan of the BMS to the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Executive Committee of the Buy Malawi Strategy, the BMS Secretariat as well as other relevant stakeholders such as the Private Sector in order to achieve optimal results.

Professionalism: demonstrated understanding of operations relevant to UNDP; technical capabilities or knowledge relevant or transferrable to UNDP procedures and rules; discretion, political sensitivity, diplomacy and tact to deal with clients; ability to apply good judgement; ability to liaise and coordinate with a range of different actors, especially in senior positions; where appropriate, high degree of autonomy, personal initiative and ability to take ownership; resourcefulness and willingness to accept wide responsibilities and ability to work independently under established procedures; ability to manage information objectively, accurately and confidentially; responsive and client-oriented.

Integrity: demonstrate the values and ethical standards of the UN and UNDP in daily activities and behaviors while acting without consideration of personal gains; resist undue political pressure in decision-making; stand by decisions that are in the organization’s interest even if they are unpopular; take prompt action in cases of unprofessional or unethical behavior; does not abuse power or authority.

Teamwork and respect for diversity: ability to operate effectively across organizational boundaries; excellent interpersonal skills; ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and harmonious working relations in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, mixed-gender environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity; sensitivity and adaptability to culture, gender, religion, nationality and age; commitment to implementing the goal of gender equality by ensuring the equal participation and full involvement of women and men in all aspects of UN operations; ability to achieve common goals and provide guidance or training to colleagues.

Commitment to continuous learning: initiative and willingness to learn new skills and stay abreast of new developments in area of expertise; ability to adapt to changes in work environment.

Planning and organizing: effective organizational and problem-solving skills and ability to manage a large volume of work in an efficient and timely manner; ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and monitor (own) work; ability to work under pressure, with conflicting deadlines, and to handle multiple concurrent projects/activities.

Communication: proven interpersonal skills; good spoken and written communication skills, including ability to prepare clear and concise reports; ability to conduct presentations, articulate options and positions concisely; ability to make and defend recommendations; ability to communicate and empathize with staff (including national staff), military personnel, volunteers, counterparts and local interlocutors coming from very diverse backgrounds; capacity to transfer information and knowledge to a wide range of different target groups.

Flexibility: adaptability and ability to live and work in potentially hazardous and remote conditions, involving physical hardship and little comfort; to operate independently in austere environments for protracted periods; willingness to travel within the area of operations and to transfer to other duty stations within the area of operations as necessary.

Genuine commitment towards the principles of voluntary engagement, which includes solidarity, compassion, reciprocity and self-reliance; and commitment towards UNDP’s mission and vision, as well as to the UN Core Values.

development of website content and web management, proofreading and copy editing; knowledge and experience in social media management (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, WhatsApp)

Must have a clear understanding of the social fiber of Malawians

Have ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work, manage conflicting priorities; must demonstrate professional competency and mastery of the subject matter; must be conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, and should observe deadlines and achieve stipulated results

Demonstrated ability to take initiative and work independently with limited supervision

Must be able to work in a team and to impart skills and knowledge on team members

Located in Southern Africa, Malawi is landlocked, sharing its borders with Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania. The country has an estimated population of 18.6 million (2019), with over eight native ethnic groups making up the population. The country’s official languages are Chichewa and English, which over half of the population is capable of speaking. Malawi remains one of the poorest countries in the world despite making significant economic and structural reforms to sustain economic growth. The economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, employing nearly 80% of the population, and it is vulnerable to external shocks. The political climate is more stable than it has been in the past. Volunteers moving to Malawi can expect warm temperatures between November and April, when it is also prone to equatorial rain and thunderstorms, with the heavy rains reaching their zenith around March. Malawi is generally a very peaceful country and volunteers should be fairly safe. Nevertheless, there is crime, but it is most often opportunistic. For residential security, UNDP will ensure compliance with Residential Security Measures as defined by UNDSS.

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