Job Opportunity: Communications Short-Term Consultant (STC) for Lighting Global

Job Title: Short-Term Consultant (STC) Communications Lead, Lighting Global (150 days)

Department: IFC Energy and Water (Cross-Industry Advisory Solutions)

Location of Role: Washington, DC

Start Date: March 2018

Background on IFC 

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity.

Background on Off-Grid Energy Access 

Today, there are 1.2 billion people worldwide living without access to the power grid and modern energy services. About half of these people reside in Sub-Saharan Africa alone. Collectively, they spend about US$27 billion each year on lighting and mobile phone charging with kerosene, candles, battery torches or other fossil fuel-powered technologies. These traditional solutions are expensive, harmful to health, hazardous and polluting. They resign the poorest people on the planet to a life of energy poverty which constrains economic development and impedes access to education, livelihood development, health, and basic services including communications, water, and transport.

Background on Lighting Global 

Lighting Global is the World Bank Group’s platform to support sustainable growth of the international off-grid solar market as a means of rapidly increasing energy access to the 1.2 billion people without grid electricity. Through Lighting Global, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank work with the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA), manufacturers, distributors, and other development partners to develop the modern off-grid energy market. The Lighting Global program supports market development by working with private companies to lower first-mover risk and mobilize private sector investment through market intelligence, quality assurance, business support services and consumer education.

To date, more than 131 million people have benefited from using Lighting Global quality verified solar lighting products, and more than 39.5 million people have had their basic (Tier 1) lighting needs met. More than 26 million quality verified products have been sold since 2008, and in 2016 alone, more than 1.75 million tons of GHG has been avoided due to the use of quality verified products instead of kerosene. Learn more about our impact. The strength of the Lighting Global program comes from a programmatic approach addressing specific needs across the supply chain. The program toolkit includes:

Quality Assurance: We created an international quality standard for affordable solar-powered devices and solar home systems, and we also advise manufacturers on the quality standards.

The 2018 Global Off-Grid Solar Forum and Expo 

Lighting Global and GOGLA are co-hosting the 2018 Global Off-Grid Solar Forum and Expo from January 22-24 in Hong Kong. This is the first time that the biennial event, which started in 2007, will take place in East Asia—acknowledging the growing and critical role Asia plays in the development of the off-grid solar market worldwide. As the essential meeting place for the sector, the Forum and Expo is the place where the industry holds its seminal conversations, and the pivot point for the next two years of the market’s development. More than 600 key stakeholders including manufacturers, distributors, investors, entrepreneurs, donors and policymakers will explore industry developments across five important areas: business development, access to finance, technology, quality assurance, impact and policy. The event will also be an opportunity for companies to showcase their latest products, services and innovations at the industry’s leading exhibition.

General Description of the Role: 

IFC’s Lighting Global is seeking a seasoned communications strategist to execute our global communications strategy in partnership and coordination with communication leads for Lighting Africa and Lighting Asia. The communications lead will be responsible for:

• internal communications (aligning our efforts with corporate communications priorities and working closely with internal counterparts to promote our efforts internally across IFC, while also responding to corporate requests as needed)

• external communications (day-to-day and long-term strategy with respect to digital engagement/web management, media relations, marketing new research and reports, working closely with our partners including GOGLA, CLASP and others on events, research and outreach, writing and editing articles, reports, case studies and other materials, working with vendors to produce multimedia, as well as other related tasks.

The candidate should be able to work independently and as a team player, including with colleagues based around the world. They must possess excellent organizational, time-management and English language written communications skills.

Duties and Responsibilities: 

Communications Strategy 

• Execute the global communications strategy for Lighting Global, which is intimately tied to Lighting Africa and Lighting Asia—and covers positioning, top priorities, target audiences, key messaging, branding, core communications activities, milestones/success metrics, and a timeline for implementation among other buckets. As needed, the communications consultant will be supported in these efforts by the larger Lighting Global team.

Media Relations 

• Manage a proactive and reactive media relations program by responding to media requests, preparing spokespeople with talking points for interviews and manage the interview process, leverage media articles both internally and externally, develop a list of relevant target journalists, and proactively elicit media coverage for

Lighting Global and related programs—in coordination and alignment with communication leads for Lighting Africa and Lighting Asia.

• Draft and publish op-eds and press releases tied to new research, reports or news about Lighting Global and related programs—pitching them to national and international media outlets.

• Monitor media for references to Lighting Global, leadership and related programs, leveraging mentions internally and externally.

Research and Report Promotion 

• The 2018 Off-Grid Solar Market Trends Report is being released at the 2018 Off-Grid Solar Forum and Expo in Hong Kong—this report will need a long-term strategic communications, outreach and media plan to keep audiences engaged and informed about the sector and our work.

• Lighting Global and GOGLA produce six-month market updates of the off-grid solar sector, each of which requires a comprehensive communications strategy and workplan.

• Other efforts, including current work being done on PAYGO KPI’s, among other research being produced in Lighting Global or within country teams may also need global communications, marketing and outreach support.

Website/Digital Management 

• Manage the Lighting Global website with respect to uploading news, impact information, the list of associates and other items. This work also includes serving as the web focal point for both corporate IT security and managing our vendor relationship with a local web maintenance and support form. This also involves reporting on digital analytics. • Manage email campaigns via MailChimp including list management, content authorship, campaign execution and metrics evaluation.

Team and Budget Support 

• Take a leadership role in organizing bi-weekly calls between communications leads of Lighting Global, Lighting Africa and Lighting Asia, as well as participating in team calls that include the entire Lighting Global team.

• Ensure invoices related to communications are paid and captured in the budget—this includes ongoing web maintenance and feature enhancements, MailChimp, plugins for WordPress and communications activities including production of materials, multimedia and related items.

Selection Criteria: 

• BA or BS plus at least 8 to 10 years of relevant work experience in marketing, communications, or media relations specifically in the private sector, a large institutional environment and/or multilateral institution focused on international development, energy access or related topics. Prior experience as a journalist is highly valued.

• Superior verbal, writing, and analytical skills. Able to produce written materials including press releases, op-eds and other content relatively quickly while coordinating their publication and pitches with communication counterparts in Lighting Africa, Lighting Asia and IFC Corporate.

• Ability to think strategically, capitalizing on moments of opportunity throughout the year to showcase, promote and highlight the work of Lighting Global nationally and internationally.

• Strong understanding of the role of digital engagement in promoting the work of Lighting Global with respect to online publishing, content partners, newsletter creation, blogger/media outreach and other activities.

• Solid understanding of how communications work is best evaluated and measured in terms of effectiveness, and implementing timely reviews of the strategy to course-correct as needed.

• Excellent computer skills and proven ability to use standard technology packages: Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Intermediate graphic design skills and proficiency in Adobe Photoshop or similar software desired.

• Ability to thrive under pressure and function effectively under tight deadlines, while managing multiple projects simultaneously.

• Ability and willingness to travel to country programs as necessary.

• Excellent organizational, planning, and project management skills.


To apply for this position, please send a cover letter and a detailed CV with the Subject Title: “Application Communications Lighting Global” to The deadline for this application is Friday, 2nd of March.