Communications Assistant (23-2021)

Hours per week: Full Time, 35 hours per week
Contract Type: Permanent
Grade: Grade 4
Salary: £22373 to £25628  per annum
Closing Date: 23.59 hours GMT on Sunday 21 November 2021
Interview Date: 09/12/2021

Who We Are

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) is a global leading institution for research, teaching and learning, and impact and communications, based at the University of Sussex.  We are ranked first in the world for development studies by the QS University Rankings, together with the University of Sussex. We are also ranked best international development policy think tank.

Our Vision

Our vision is of equal and sustainable societies, locally and globally, where people everywhere can live their lives free from poverty and injustice. We contribute to this by transforming the knowledge, action and leadership needed through our world-class research, learning and teaching.

Our Values

We aim to ensure that our core values based on respect, resourcefulness, excellence and inclusivity are reflected in the environment we work in. 

Our Commitments 

•           Upholding climate and environmental justice 

•           Reducing extreme inequities 

•           Fostering healthy and fulfilling lives 

•           Nurturing inclusive, democratic and accountable societies 

Our Priorities

•           Collaborate across sciences, sectors and communities to do research that brings about progressive change

•           Build future leadership for development

•           Champion the use of evidence for social and environmental justice

•           Work with partners to expand international research and mutual learning networks for development

•           Create a sustainable, resilient and equitable institution.

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Job Description

About ICTD 

The International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD) is a global research network dedicated to improving the quality of tax policy and administration in lower-income countries, particularly in Africa and South Asia. We are principally funded by the FCDO and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and recognised as a leading organisation in the field of taxation for development. Our main objectives are: 

• Generating research evidence that will help make taxation policies and practices more conducive to pro-poor economic growth and good governance 

• Disseminating our research findings and implications to key stakeholders and informing and deepening the public debate about tax issues 

• Building the capacity of researchers in lower-income countries through training, research grants, collaboration, and mentorship 

The ICTD works on a number of research themes, addressing questions such as: 

• How can local governments efficiently raise the revenues they need to sustainably finance public services? 

• How can tax policy reform at the national level reduce inequality, enhance citizens’ welfare, and increase government accountability? 

• How can developing countries navigate ongoing international tax reform negotiations to enable them to better tax large multinational companies? 

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The Role 

The ICTD team has expanded rapidly in the last few years, growing into an international and dynamic team. As a core part of our work, we are seeking to increase our capacity in communications and engagement. 

The Communications Assistant will be responsible for supporting the ICTD team to deliver high quality communications outputs and activities that promote its leading research, policy engagement, and capacity building work. The job will involve working closely with the ICTD's Communications Manager and Communications Officer, playing a full and active role as a member of the ICTD team, and working with colleagues across the Institute of Development Studies, as required. 

The post holder will use their excellent communications and organisational skills to provide the full and varied support needed to deliver against the Centre’s goals and objectives. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to get directly involved in a range of communications work, combining good communications skills with a passion for publishing and promoting development research to a wide audience. 

Key responsibilities: 

· Produce and publish news, events, blogs, publications, project updates and more to the ICTD and IDS websites 

· Draft posts for the ICTD’s social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) using Buffer 

· Draft newsletters to the ICTD network in MailChimp, based on existing templates 

· Support the planning and hosting of virtual events 

· Monitor the ICTD's general email inbox and respond to enquiries or pass them on to relevant team members 

· Attend weekly IDS editorial meetings  

· Monitor the ICTD's social media accounts and help respond to direct messages 

· Support the production of various communication materials, including leaflets, banners, visual assets, and multimedia content 

· Support ICTD’s attendance at conferences and other fora, including mailing out materials to events and stakeholders, as required 

· Collect data on the reach of the ICTD’s work, including from Google Analytics, media mentions, and other channel-specific metrics 

· Produce quarterly reports collating data on the ICTD's communications activities and progress against KPIs 

· Provide support for planning and promotion of ICTD conferences, workshops, and other events 

· Providing general administrative duties including collating and preparing documents. 

· Take the lead on all administrative processes, including the management of comms-related invoices and expenses and be the first point of contact for all related queries. 

· Assist with the process of publishing ICTD working papers and briefs including: keeping track of publication drafts and completed papers in Excel-based tracking systems, uploading documents to shared folders, repositories, the ICTD website and social media accounts, assigning tasks to external contractors and liasing with authors to ensuring an organised and timely publication process.


Person Specification

Skills and experience
Selection Criteria Description Essential [E] or
Desirable [D]
by *
• A degree and/or training in journalism, communications, international development or relevant areas

• Coursework and/or training in international development, political science, economics, public finance, public policy, or African studies
• A good working knowledge of Microsoft applications (Word, Access, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook), including a good understanding and practical experience of using databases, spreadsheets and the Internet
• Understanding of financial spreadsheets in Excel
• Understanding of digital communications tools and methods (i.e newsletters, social media, etc.)
• Knowledge and interest in international development issues including taxation for development
• Grasp of design principles for print and electronic media
• Knowledge and skills of audio / visual editing and related software including Canva, Adobe Premiere Pro, InDesign, Photoshop
• Knowledge and skills in publishing research papers and other academic publications
• Experience of using MailChimp, Word Press, Google Analytics and Yoast
• Website management skills
• Strong all-round communication skills, including an eye for detail and clear and effective writing
• Ability to craft effective social media posts and manage social media accounts
• Strong interpersonal skills including working sensitively with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds
• Numeracy
• Strong Organisational skills
• Editing and proofreading
• Graphic design
• Multimedia skills including video and audio editing production
• Skills in a language other than English, ideally one spoken in Africa or South Asia
• Experience of communications or marketing work
• Experience of editorial and publications processes
• Experience in organising or supporting online or in-person events
• Experience in volunteering or working overseas, preferably in Sub-Saharan Africa
• Experience of working in communications in the research or non-profit sectors
• A team player with energy, enthusiasm, flexibility and a “can-do” attitude to work.
• A highly organised self-starter with an ability to work to deadlines by setting priorities and managing work loads
• Diligent and meticulous, with a conscientious approach to work and attention to detail.
• Interest in global development and issues of justice equality
• Respectful and gracious to colleagues and partners
• 2 A Levels / NVQ or equivalent E A/I
*A - Application I - Interview

Information to Candidates

Benefits At IDS we offer a number of additional benefits to staff. These include:

The successful candidate will be based at the Institute of Development Studies on the University of Sussex campus. The University of Sussex is located 10 minutes away from the lively and cosmopolitan seaside city of Brighton on the UK South Coast, 60 minutes away from central London, 30 minutes away from London Gatwick Airport and is surrounded by the beautiful countryside of the Sussex South Downs. Situated between the sea and the South Downs, Brighton is one of the most vibrant and unique cities on the South Coast, for more information please go to

How to apply

Please apply using the online application form.