Speak Up Africa is a policy and advocacy action tank located in Dakar, Senegal. Speak Up Africa is looking for a suitably qualified and experienced company (referred to herein as ‘Agency’), to provide communications and public relations services (referred to herein as ‘Services’) for a period of 10 months, from 1 October 2020 to 31 July 2021.
About Speak Up Africa
Speak Up Africa is a strategic communications and advocacy organization dedicated to catalysing leadership, enabling policy change, and increasing awareness for sustainable development in Africa. Speak Up Africa advocates for policy change at all levels of society, engaging with decision-makers and relevant stakeholders to increase awareness, commitment and to foster action.
With a particular focus on issues such as sanitation, immunization, malaria, Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) and Global Health R&D, Speak Up Africa collaborates with partners from civil society, public and private sectors, and multilaterals to strengthen their impact of public health and sustainable development programs across Africa.
We hold long-standing relationships with critical policy and decision makers, champions, cultural and community influencers across the continent and globally:
About the ‘African Voices for Science’ initiative
Vaccination programs and wider research and development (R&D) programmes have been victim to critical public voices in recent years. While morbidity and mortality have declined, so too has the African public’s perception of the importance of some vaccine preventable diseases (measles is a notable exception). Fears of R&D programmes taking place on the continent and the long-term repercussions and side effects of clinical trials and vaccines have grown, while online misinformation has contributed to widespread mistrust of Western medical research. The current COVID-19 pandemic has seen Facebook, WhatsApp and other platforms swamped by messaging characterising potential vaccine trials on the continent as harmful.
Now, as Africa faces the threat posed by the pandemic, it is essential that the spread of misinformation is stopped. Increasing public awareness of ethical research being led and disseminated by African scientists, rather than by foreign programs, and focussing on scientific, evidence-led decision making could play a key role in rebuilding community trust and reducing resistance.
The ‘African Voices for Science’ initiative aims to provide platforms for trusted African science leaders to share reliable information with African populations on research and development and health innovations. In the current COVID-19 context, Speak Up Africa believes that such communication from credible voices will be key in shifting the existing narrative and curbing the growing anti-health science/R&D sentiment. This will help ensure African communities have credible experts they can rely on to access reliable information based on facts.
Africa counts a number of renowned scientists who would greatly benefit from open platforms to communicate about their work in healthcare research and innovation and share their views on the impact of global health crises such as COVID-19. In addition, it is essential that African communities have access to accurate public health information, particularly during this critical time of COVID-19, about vaccines, treatments and diagnostics, as well as the wider societal and economic impact of the pandemic.
Speak Up Africa will engage with 10-15 scientists over the course of one year, offering the opportunity to influence opinion and provide expert commentary and analysis addressing the following topics:
In addition, experts will be encouraged to identify their own topic areas where they can provide a distinctive and knowledgeable point of view that shifts the narrative to focus on the positive impact of increased investment in the sector. This could be related to their own research, for example highlighting new findings or studies being undertaken that will have a positive impact on the African population, or how specific health issues or diseases, such as malaria, are being affected by COVID-19.
This exciting new project will be the first in a series of wider initiatives by Speak Up Africa to promote research and development and encourage scientific innovations as part of public discourse in Africa.
Goal and expected outcomes
Speak Up Africa’s goal for the new African Voices for Science initiative is to create a positive public discourse on research and development in Africa, specifically focussed on four key countries. The expected outcomes for the project are as follows:
Speak Up Africa has appointed a regional agency to develop the overarching communications strategy and approach for the project. It is now looking to appoint four local agencies in the four target countries – Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa – to implement the project.
Objectives and audience
Speak Up Africa is seeking the support of an Agency in Kenya/Nigeria/Senegal/South Africa to:
This project will target a lay audience and African populations in general, to encourage mainstream positive conversation around science, innovations and vaccine development.
The Agency will be responsible for the delivery of these expected outputs, aligned to the following timings:
Appointment and management of science leaders
Project management, reporting and evaluation
1. 20% increase in share of voice for each scientist (social and earned media)
2. 20% decrease in percent of misinformation in each country around COVID-19
A total budget of USD $50,000 per country is available for the implementation of this project Kenya/Nigeria/Senegal/South Africa over the contract period (Oct 2020-July 2021). This budget is inclusive of all fees and costs relating to the project.
Speak Up Africa requests a proposal (maximum 6 pages) from the prospective Agency which includes the following detail:
Any questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 5 October 2020.
All proposals should be sent to email@example.com by Friday 9 October 2020 with the subject line: African Voices for Science communications support.
The expected timeframe for the work is 1 October 2020 – 31 July 2021.
|Deadline for Agency clarification questions||13 October 2020|
|Deadline for Agency proposals||16 October 2020|
|Agency proposal review period||19-23 October 2020|
|Agency appointed in Kenya/Nigeria/Senegal/South Africa1||27 October 2020|
|Speak Up Africa conducts pre-assessment of science leaders||October-November 2020|
|Speak Up Africa and Agency appoint science leaders and develop detailed workplans||By 20 November 2020|
|Agencies develop local communications strategies||By end of November 2020|
|Ongoing development of content authored by scientists placed in top-tier media titles and additional interview opportunities secured by Agency||November 2020 – June 2021|
|Final project evaluation and reporting||July 2021|
The Agency should demonstrate the following:
Responses will be evaluated by Speak Up Africa using the following criteria:
Interested in this opportunity ?