Kenya: Strategic Communications Pilot Planning Services

Organization: Development Alternatives, Inc.
Country: Kenya
Closing date: 11 Nov 2016

DAI implements a USAID contract Kenya NiWajibu Wetu (NIWETU), working to reduce violent extremism (VE) among at-risk individuals and communities in VE hotspots throughout Kenya. At-risk individuals and communities include: potential perpetrators of violence; those who sympathize with, advocate for, or materially and/ or morally support VE acts; and those who are unaware of the VE threat and might therefore be easily attracted to VE. NIWETU is anchored on Kenya’s National Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) strategy, and invites all stakeholders into collaborative and coordinated approaches advancing the security of Kenyan citizens.

NIWETU strengthens Kenyan communities’ and government institutions’ to take the lead on CVE by (1) building the capacity of and fostering strong relationships among individuals, communities, and civil society, and (2) supporting county and national government actors.

In support of the overall NIWETU goal, DAI is seeking expert input to design a Strategic Communications Pilot. The goal of the Strategic Communications Pilot is to promote a more conducive environment for rights-based approaches to CVE in Kenya. Messaging and media coverage around VE has been characterized by sensationalized reports on violence, dire warnings of the terrorist threat, and opportunist political rhetoric, all of which exacerbate divisions. There is both need and opportunity for broad-based strategic communications around core themes that support “non-coercive means to delegitimize VE ideologies”, alternative messaging and social cohesion.

The pilot plan will build on three strategic communication principles: Catalyze, Shape, and Amplify:

  • Catalyze: Mobilize Kenyans around the conversations that already occur in their public and private discourse. We will also move quickly to support emerging social movements with broad, organic appeal;
  • Shape: Adapt both message and messenger to fit community-level social realities and current events, reviewing language, idioms, and platform selections for all primary and secondary target audiences; and,
  • Amplify: Work with and through trusted influencers, boosting a human rights-based CVE message over appropriate tools and platforms, ranging from social media to traditional community information-sharing networks.

The components of the plan will include:

  • Preliminary analysis of perceived VE problem set and human rights among target audiences;
  • A media landscape scoping exercise for identified target audiences. This exercise will review influential electronic, audio, and print media outlets, measured by both audience penetration (viewership/listenership/circulation) and credibility in the subject matter (key informant interviews). In the digital context, we will assess “follows,” “shares,” and other active social engagements (the best proxy for trust and behavior change), rather than relying solely on views and other passive behavior alone;
  • A target audience analysis, with results disaggregated by geography, age, socioeconomic status, gender, and education levels. Within target audiences, the analysis will also identify key influencers, highlighting those likely to be receptive to a human rights education and CVE campaigns; and,
  • A Strategic Communications Pilot Plan, including budget, local partners, results framework, and monitoring measures, in addition to the above mentioned components of the plan. The Strategic Communications Pilot Plan must be highly operational, ready to implement as soon as the plan is approved, with recommended partners, inputs, outcomes, etc. The pilot is scheduled to run from March 2016 – July 2016. It is not anticipated that the designer of the strategic communications pilot will be engaged in the implementation of the plan itself, except to potentially play a role in monitoring of results through the pilot.

It is expected that the level of input required to achieve this scope of the Strategic Communication Pilot Plan includes 1-2 individuals working on a full time basis over a 4-8 week period. Should a 2-person team be required, respondents are required to propose both people, as directed below.

This will be a highly collaborative process with DAI and USAID, but the selected party will have primary responsibility for completing the deliverables on time and to a high standard. The final Strategic Communications Pilot Plan must be finalized, and accepted by DAI and USAID no later than end of February 2017.

How to apply:

We would appreciate a response from interested parties by 5pm EAT on Friday 11 November 2016. Packages should be sent to with “**Strategic Communications RFI**” listed as the title of the email. Emails received under a different title will not be reviewed.

Interested parties must include the following information in their responses:

  • Cover letter that clearly and simply states: The geographic areas you are able to work in, 3-5 examples of past performance undertaking an assignment that is similar in nature.
  • Detailed narrative outlining your approach to designing the Strategic Communication Pilot Plan deliverable (no more than 2 pages), including information about roles and responsibilities for your proposed team
  • CVs for ALL proposed team members
  • Completed USAID bio-data (form found at):

DAI will review responses and contact short-listed candidates/teams accordingly.

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