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Knowledge Engagement and Research Communications Advisor (Various Locations) at Christian Aid

  • Full Time
  • Malawi
  • Salary: 000

Christian Aid

The aim of the role is to increase the uptake and impact of our research, evidencing and learning in a way that promotes fairness and social justice, and enables others to use it. To achieve this, the postholder provides strategic and hands-on support to Christian Aid staff to strengthen their capacities in planning and implementing meaningful communication and engagement for their research, programmatic evidence, and learning.

S/he also plans and delivers effective communications for PPRL (and other teams subject to capacity and relevance), producing communications materials/products which are consistent with the Christian Aid brand, profile PPRL’s research and evidencing, and maintain the team’s outward-facing profile in the development sector (digitally and face-to-face).

Key outcomes

  • A range of PPRL communications content is designed, developed, published and promoted internally and externally
  • Christian Aid’s guidance on good practice in research communications for impact and promoting equitable knowledge exchange is widely understood and used by programme and policy staff and global advisors, through effective technical support (advice and/or accompaniment)
  • Global advisors and programme & policy staff in Christian Aid are supported and better able to:
    • understand the importance of evidence engagement and research communication as a distinct part of the research for influencing cycle (including influencing public policy and programme design) which should be anticipated, planned for and resourced
    • include research communication in their research and evidence planning, in particular including robust impact objectives at the outset of the research planning process
    • understand how operational research can inform both policy and practice, and what kind of communication is needed to ensure that it has impact
    • navigate ethical issues in research communication in a practice context in a way that promotes fairness and social justice, and enables others (including the communities we work with) to be empowered from the research process and to use it
    • engage in partnerships with relevant organisations, including academia, to ensure the effective communication of research for uptake
  • That an external network of allies and peers is grown and nurtured as recipients of key research and thematic policy insights through active engagement on digital and social media (including managing the @CAID_research Twitter feed, and the REL webpages), and strategies are put in place to extend Christian Aid’s research and thought leadership profile and impact in this area
  • Lessons and reflections from research practice (including research partnerships) are captured and shared on Christian Aid digital platforms and through face-to-face participation in internal and external events
  • Christian Aid staff are supported to share research findings and reflections on research practice externally via blogs, publications and learning events, to inform/influence international development policy and practice.
  • Active contribution to visioning and strategic development of REL and PPRL through ensuring clear communication of team mandate, remit and ways of engaging.

Role context

The role provides sits in the Research, Evidence and Learning hub, in the Programme Policy, Research and Learning team (PPRL), one of three teams that make up Christian Aid’s Policy, Public Affairs and Campaigns Department. PPRL exists to generate and provide thought leadership to the organisation; offer research and sector-based expertise to support practice across our global programmes; and to enhance the links between national programme delivery and learning, and global policy analysis and understanding. Although located in the Policy, Public Affairs and Campaigns Department (PPC), this team has a cross-organisational remit, with strong links to our country programmes and organisational learning and strategy teams, as well as PPC. It works to provide a bridge between our country-level programme delivery and our global and UK policy, advocacy and campaigning functions.

REL exists to enable and strengthen the generation and use of research, evidence and learning from programming in Christian Aid that is informed and led by those living in poverty. It also works to centralise their voice in our programmes, policies and practices, and in the development sector to bring about Social, systemic and individual transformation for people living in poverty.

It seeks to achieve this by:

  1. Opening up spaces for research, evidencing and learning collaborations in the global South
  2. Producing, promoting and supporting high-quality ethical research and evidencing gathering on poverty that is aligned with Christian Aid’s strategy ‘Standing Together’)
  3. Guiding processes of evidence use and learning in Christian Aid
  4. Strengthening technical knowledge of research, evidence, impact and engagement
  5. Evidence-based influencing and learning from wider debates in the northern and southern academic and development sector around how we understand and conceptualise poverty and development

This is one of five roles in the highly collaborative REL hub – where each person provides advisory services and thought leadership in their own area of work. All five roles both ‘do’ and ‘advise’ – i.e. part of the role is strategic and involves delivery of an agreed agenda; and the other part is responsive and involves technical support to others across the organisation.

All REL advisers provide specialist technical advice (or accompaniment) on research and research methods, evidence assessment and uptake and knowledge exchange both to colleagues who generate and/or utilise evidence in their day-to-day work, including campaigns and advocacy teams, and to external audiences.

The PPRL team emphasises external collaboration with academics/researchers, sector experts, donors, policy makers and peers to encourage innovative programming, bring learning and insight from our practice to influence the wider sector and build the case for practitioner research and learning, it has a particular interest in strengthening links with critical thinkers from the global south who may offer challenge to dominant paradigms, and collaborate with Christian Aid to shift power in whose knowledge counts and how development is understood.

Person specification



1. Educated to postgraduate level or equivalent in a relevant subject.


2. Experience of knowledge engagement, research planning and impact planning (including stakeholder mapping) , messaging, brand management and publishing.

3. Experienced editor, familiar with working with a range of different writing styles.

4. Excellent verbal, written, editorial and presentation skills. Fluent written and spoken English.

5. Previous experience of working in global development or closely related sectors including experience working in or very closely with countries in the Global South, and an excellent understanding of the development sector, its issues and challenges.

6. Previous experience of research and applied research (not exclusively done within an academic setting), and a strong understanding of the whole research cycle; familiarity with debates on research partnership and the politics of evidence.

7. Experience of working with, coaching, training and influencing colleagues across a large or complex organisation.

8. Experienced in the development of communication plans and production schedules, and a proven ability to project manage multiple communication outputs.

9. Prior experience in taking sole responsibility for a Twitter feed.

10. Experience of managing/coordinating complex projects.


11. Confidence to engage with a range of digital channels and platforms (SharePoint, Drupal, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yammer).

12. A confident multi-tasker, the post holder is able to juggle a range of competing projects and priorities.

13. Self-motivated, resilient and persistent. Exhibits high levels of confidence, is able to cope with criticism and demonstrates an ability to work calmly under pressure and to deadline while remaining respectful to the work, deadlines and targets of others.

14. Excellent facilitation skills, ability to promote critical thinking and reflective practice and encourage learning.

15. Excellent interpersonal skills, with demonstrable ability to build effective working relationships across organisations, cultures and geographical locations including online, face-to-face and at a distance.

16. Self-awareness and demonstrable commitment to anti-racist and decolonisation principles and behaviours.


1. Familiarity with partnership working and the role of civil society / faith-based organisations in development

2. Ability to communicate effectively in Spanish and/or French

3. Commitment to epistemic justice (knowledge justice)

4. Experience of working in a complex international NGO

The deadline of applications is on 3 October 2022.

About the Organization

Christian Aid is a Christian organisation that insists the world can and must be swiftly changed to one where everyone can live a full life, free from poverty. We work globally for profound change that eradicates the causes of poverty, striving to achieve equality, dignity and freedom for all, regardless of faith or nationality. We are part of a wider movement for social justice. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance where need is great, tackling the effects of poverty as well as its root causes.

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