Communications Intern

Nairobi, Kenya
[Closing date: 2 March 2018]


Established in 2003, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is a not-for-profit research and development (R&D) organization that develops new, improved, and affordable medicines for deadly neglected diseases that afflict millions of the world’s poorest people.

DNDi focuses on discovering and developing treatments for sleeping sickness (human African trypanosomiasis), Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, filarial infections, paediatric HIV, mycetoma, and hepatitis C. Since its inception, DNDi has developed seven new treatments for neglected patients for malaria, sleeping sickness, visceral leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, paediatric HIV with several new drug candidates in the R&D pipeline including two for sleeping sickness. Our objective is to deliver 16 to 18 new treatments by 2023, ensure equitable access to these treatments, and build a robust pipeline of new drug candidates.

DNDi Africa was established in 2003 in Nairobi to ensure connection with our founding partner KEMRI and support clinical development programmes. This DNDi regional office conducts R&D projects in the Eastern Africa region (esp. Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Tanzania), including clinical activities and data management for clinical trials for treatments for leishmaniasis, paediatric HIV, mycetoma, and others. It also leads capacity strengthening initiatives through multi-country research platforms with the objective to ensure sustainable R&D capacities for DNDi projects. The team has grown to approx. 30 people today. As part of the global strategy, DNDi is further empowering its regional teams to ensure a coherent regional development across disease areas and activities, while reinforcing coherence among disease clusters.


Purpose of the position

Support the Regional Communications Manager to contribute to DNDi’s global communication strategy and coordinate and manage communication activities in Africa aimed at:

  • Developing a communications strategy and plan of action for all DNDi activities in Africa
  • Reinforcing DNDi corporate communications by assessing current issues and developments in neglected diseases – including social and political issues, research, health policy, epidemiology, and civil society – in neglected-disease endemic countries in Africa
  • Leading DNDi advocacy activities in Africa, including boosting government engagement in R&D, access to medicines, positioning of African decision makers with respect to international initiatives and agreements etc.
  • Developing and maintaining strong media relations in national and regional media.


Specific job responsibilities

Media relations

  • Developing and consistently updating a media database including regional bureaus of global media houses, regional and national media houses
  • Establishing and building press relationships (broadcast, radio, print, social)
  • Pitching the press periodically, creating releases, advisories and quick story ideas in collaboration Regional Communication Manager
  • Organizing media tours, desk side briefings, editorial meetings for key spokespeople
  • Tracking media and selecting stories daily relevant to the office to share with stakeholders

Corporate publications

  • Collecting content through speaking to staff, patients, other stakeholders and reviewing content sources towards compiling publications such as factsheets, brochures, and briefs.
  • Periodically compile success stories for DNDi’s online platforms and publications
  • Contribute content to DNDi’s existing tools such as the LEAP Newsletter, E-News, Annual Report among others
  • Provide regular updates of DNDi Africa activities to the organization’s social and online media platforms in liaison with Online Manager and Regional Communication Manager
  • Compile periodical Communication/Programme reports and updates

Communication support

  • Support the Regional Communications Manager with strategic planning and decision-making
  • Regularly undertake photography and compiling of reports/summaries during key events
  • Coordinate relationships and follow up communication service providers to ensure that they accomplish duties provided to them
  • Manage all communications databases including photography, service providers, contacts, and video
  • Perform other communications related tasks as needed
  • Any other duties assigned


Job requirements

Skills and attributes

  • Skills in database management
  • An understanding of and commitment to poverty-related global health, scientific research, medical innovation, and access to medicines issues in developing countries, especially in Africa
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills and ability to work effectively as part of an international, multi-cultural team
  • Excellent organizational skills and proven ability to produce high quality results under tight deadlines, while simultaneously managing multiple projects and assignments
  • Deep understanding of and commitment to poverty-related global health, scientific research, medical innovation, and access to medicines issues in developing countries, especially in Africa
  • Independence, initiative, good judgment, strong interpersonal skills
  • Language: fluent written and spoken English
  • Excellent computer skills, including proficiency with publishing, database, and web editing software


  • Experience of working in communications and public relations is desirable
  • One-year relevant experience such as a newsroom or media environment is desirable


  •  At least a Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Journalism, Media studies or related field


To apply

  • Deadline for application: Accepting applications until 2 March 2018
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.