Terms of Reference Lead Communication Expert(s)

Published on April 13, 2017


Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) in partnership with the Association Atina (Serbia) and the Macedonia Lawyers Association (MLA) started with implementation of the project Building Together: Community Monitoring and Advocacy which is financially supported by the European Union. The overall objective of the project is to improve the position of refugees and other migrants, especially children and women in local communities in Serbia and Macedonia. During the project KAS, ATINA and MLA will develop participatory community-based mechanisms for continuous monitoring and advocating for the implementation of effective integration and protection policies and services for migrants, especially women and children.

The expected outcomes of the projects are that: Local Monitoring and Advocacy Networks are able to monitor local policies and protection practices in regards to integration of migrants; Local policies and services for migrants (especially children and women) are improved; similar initiatives gathering CSOs and institutions are implemented in Macedonia, Serbia and the region.


The migrant and refuge crises in Europe from 2015 became the worst humanitarian crises since the Second World War. Since the breakout of the crises over 1 million migrants and refugees crossed into Europe in search of better opportunities. The main countries of origins of the migrants are: Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. With its central geographical position Macedonia and Serbia played a crucial role within the Balkan Route of movement of migrants toward Western European countries.

The crises posed a serious challenge to both countries in terms of facilitating their journey and accommodating their temporary residence. With this being the case, both countries establish temporary registration centres in August 2015 as entry points where migrants and asylum seekers had their data recorded with the possibility to stay in the country for 72 hours.

However, the situation changed dramatically in October/November 2015 when the main countries of destination (Austria, Germany and Sweden) reversed their welcoming policies for the migrants and began to negotiate with Turkey for stemming the influx of migrants through Greece and the Balkan route further on. Finally, after months of negotiations the EU and Turkey struck a deal for stemming the flow of migrants from Turkey and in early March 2016 the Balkan Route was effectively closed which left the migrants in limbo.

The situation left several thousand of migrants in the temporary centres in Macedonia and Serbia who were left with two options: apply for asylum or head back to Greece and return to their home destination.

As was the case with other countries in the region, the Governments of Serbia and Macedonia were initially overwhelmed with the large influx of new arrivals. While Serbia and Macedonia had recently established reception and asylum systems, the implementation of the asylum law has been deficient and services inadequate, the more so as these systems were designed for much smaller numbers. In an effort to better cope with the situation and prompted by international actors and national NGOs, in the autumn of 2015 both Macedonia and Serbia adopted emergency plans in case of mass influx of migrants, with the support of international actors. However, the plans focuses on the immediate priority of increasing accommodation  capacity and winterizing shelters and, as UN Women observed, while      referring to the need of special assistance for vulnerable groups, they are weak in addressing protection and gender concerns.

Recently, there have been some promising developments at the policy levels in both countries. For instance, in Macedonia, Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) have been developed for processing unaccompanied children (November 2015), and for other categories of vulnerable refugees and migrants, including the elderly, pregnant women, single parents (April/May 2016), while SOP for the prevention and response to SGBV in the refugee crisis are currently under consideration.11 The Serbian government adopted the “National Strategy for Gender Equality for the period 2016-2020”, which includes women refugees as a vulnerable group at risk of discrimination. A new draft Law on Asylum and Temporary Protection is currently being considered, which should improve the asylum procedure.

Migrants’ protection is a complex issue involving a wide range of aspects which need to be addressed by adopting a multidisciplinary and intersectoral approach. Dominant discourse in policy debates emphasises migration aspects, transnational collaboration and national actions, leaving out human rights and protection aspects and the most relevant actors in protection of migrants, especially the most vulnerable ones – local communities.


The Communications Expert(s) will be responsible for developing communication strategy for the project Building Together: Community Monitoring and Advocacy that is appealing to the general public in terms of substance, form, extension and sensitivity, adapting the messages to each of the communication outlets.

General tasks are as follows:

  1. Participate in the work of Project Team;
  2. In close cooperation with the Project team implement project activities aiming at awareness raising and advocacy;
  3. Coordinate activities with a National Communication Expert in Macedonia and supervise her/his work and other relevant engaged professionals (web maintenance, production of a documentary, etc.);
  4. Coordinate activities with other staff engaged in communication,
  5. Design, formulate and lead the development of the Project Communication Strategy and Media Plan in cooperation with the Project Team and a National Communication Expert in Macedonia;
  6. Implement Communication Strategy and Media Plan in cooperation with the Project Team and a National Communication Expert in Macedonia;
  7. Enhance the Project’s media and online presence and information dissemination by upgrading the quality and use of existing media/information platforms (webpage, Facebook, twitter, YouTube, press releases, articles, video documentaries, etc.);
  8. Consult and meet with national project counterparts, stakeholders and beneficiaries to ensure their views are captured in outreach activities to reflect the human element and development results of the project;
  9. Organize and support project events with a view to issue actionable recommendations to improve event management, outreach and advocacy around key project results;
  10. Advise on, organize and support the organization of publicity/outreach for the project, and promotional opportunities;
  11. Contribute to identifying new and creative ways to enhance visibility and outreach of project deliverables and results;
  12. Develop communication materials in close cooperation with the Project Team respecting EU Visibility Guidelines.


Specific tasks are as follows:

  1. Develop draft Project Communication Strategy and Media Plan and submit it for approval;
  2. Develop final Project Communication Strategy and Media Plan based on the developed communication framework;
  3. Participate and monitor project activities in order to create adequate and timely communication and media content;
  4. Provide contents of the KAS and partners’ websites and Facebook pages related to the Project implementation;
  5. Develop content for press kits, media releases, newsletters, other communication materials related to the Project implementation;
  6. Organizing press conferences and support organization of other communications events: round tables, conferences, etc. and preparing all needed communication materials;
  7. Liaison with contractors engaged in preparation of the documentary film;
  8. Liaison with designers and printers as required;
  9. Developing a regular newsletter to keep all stakeholders informed of the Project progress;
  10. Building relationships with key media and keeping them informed of progress, findings and recommendations; and ensure that the Project team has a well maintained and continually developed contact list of journalists and media outlets covering all media – print, TV, radio, web etc.;
  11. Collaborate with mass media through activities such as organizing project site visits, facilitating photo coverage and TV footage and utilizing both web-based and traditional media as appropriate;
  12. Develop and manage social media activity as relevant for the Project;
  13. Ensure rapid and accurate information dissemination to the national and local media, and other appropriate audiences;
  14. Plan and monitor the use of communication budgetary resources. Take appropriate actions to optimize use of funds;
  15. Support the implementation of the local advocacy campaigns to be implemented by the sub-granted organizations;
  16. Ensure that the Project team is provided with professional expertise and advice on all aspects of external relations communication as required; opportunities are identified and addressed for building communication capacity among project partners and engaged professionals;
  17. Ensure proper documentation of all activities undertaken, as well as compile articles/write-ups after each activity


  • University degree in media relations, journalism, international relations or related studies;
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience with a proven professional record in working in the field of media and communication, with media channels and online communications platforms;
  • Experience in the usage of media technology, social media for public information/advocacy, and good knowledge and experience in handling of web-based management systems;
  • Experience at the national or international level in public relations, communications or advocacy would be desirable but not a requirement;
  • General understanding of the position of refugees in the Balkans;
  • Ability to produce a wide range of communication content, including texts, infographics, newsletters, etc.
  • Fluency in English
  • Excellent team-building and interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent analytical skills.
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.




The assignment period is from 5 May to 31 December 2018 (56 days in total). The Inception report including detailed Communication Strategy and the Media plan (based on the prepared communication framework and all relevant project documents) are due on 15 May 2017. Detailed timeframe will be agreed after the Inception meeting, following the submission of the Inception report.


There will be two-step selection process. Based on the following evaluation criteria, three shortlisted consultants/teams with highest points will be invited to present their concept to the Project team. The winning offer will be selected after the presentation of the 3 experts/teams.

Evaluation criteria are as follows:

1. Experience in similar activities: description of previous work, including references from previous clients: 20%.

2. Brief presentation of the consultant/team, with CVs and functional responsibilities of the key people to be engaged: 20%

3. Proposed methodology and approach (creative and innovative ideas) and brief implementation plan: 40%.

4. Financial proposal – daily fees per specific activities: 20%.


The expert/team will work closely with the Project manager of the KAS project and the co-managers in Atina and MLA. All reports and draft documents/resources will be submitted to the Project manager within dates specified in the Communication Strategy and the Media plan as agreed during the inception meeting. It is the responsibility of the consultant/team to ensure timely and quality reporting for each phase and deliverable in the assignment. All inputs reports will be reviewed within KAS and input will be provided for best execution of the task at hand. Reports should be sent via email to aleksandra.galonja@kas.de.


Interested consultant/team should develop and submit the bidding proposal in English language to respond to above mentioned specific tasks no later than 26 April 2017. The bidding proposal should include:

1. CV of expert(s) involved emphasizing relevant experience, description of previous similar work and at least three references from previous clients;

2. A clear description of the approach (creative and innovative ideas) and brief implementation plan;

3. Writing samples of the past performance in similar areas;

4. Financial proposal – daily fees per person(s) and per specific activities.


All bids need to be submitted no later than 26 April 2017, at 17:00h in electronic version, to the email aleksandra.galonja@kas.de. Presentation of the proposals of the three short listed candidates will be organized on 3 and 4 May and the assignment is to start on 5 May 2017. Only short listed consultants/teams will be contacted.