Call for Expressions of Interest: Development and Implementation of a Communications and Engagement Strategy for the “Data Science Without Borders” Project

Deadline: July 7, 2024
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The African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) is a leading international research institution based in Nairobi, Kenya. APHRC conducts policy-relevant research on population, health, education, urbanization, and related development issues in Sub-Saharan Africa.

APHRC aims to develop a comprehensive communications and engagement strategy for the Wellcome Trust Data Science Without Borders (DSWB) project (henceforth referred to as “DSWB”) where APHRC is leading implementation. In this call for Expressions of Interest (EOIs), APHRC seeks a public relations (PR) agency to create and implement this strategy. The DSWB project is a collaborative effort involving several partners, including the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (ACDC), the Armauer Hansen Institute (AHRI) in Ethiopia, the Duala General Hospital (DGH) in Cameroon, the Institute for Health Research Epidemiologic and Training (IRESSEF) in Senegal, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), CODATA, and the Alan Turing Institute in the UK.

The project aims to enhance data science capacity in Cameroon, Ethiopia, and Senegal through advanced data analytics, artificial intelligence tools, and capacity building in machine learning. The goal is to improve health outcomes by bridging gaps in data accessibility, infrastructure, and expertise across these countries.

Key deliverables for the communications strategy will include supporting and amplifying the project’s objectives, enhancing project visibility, stakeholder mapping and engagement, and raising awareness of data science to attract a broad range of participants, partners, and stakeholders. Measures aimed at overcoming challenges such as reaching diverse audiences and stakeholders across different regions and creating relevant communication tactics for varied geographical locations will be critical.

APHRC is looking for a PR agency to help raise awareness of DSWB activities, attract partners and participants, and create strategic communications. The selected agency will work closely with the APHRC project team to implement the strategy effectively across the continent.

About the EOI

APHRC invites EOIs from qualified and experienced communications/public relations agencies to develop and implement a comprehensive communications and engagement strategy for the DSWB Project. The strategy will cover Sub-Saharan Africa (Anglophone, Francophone, and Lusophone regions) and involve multiple communication assets and platforms to maximize partner and stakeholder engagement.

Project Implementation Period: 2024-2026

Geographical Scope: Cameroon, Ethiopia, and Senegal, coordinated in Nairobi, Kenya

Submission Deadline: 7th July, 2024


This communications and engagement project aims to optimize the visibility of DSWB and attract the interest of a critical mass of diverse African participants. The objectives will be to:

  • Enhance awareness and increase the visibility of DSWB across diverse regions, languages, and platforms in Africa.
  • Ensure meaningful engagement with researchers, data scientists, policymakers, and other relevant stakeholders.
  • Generate interest in the DSWB Project activities to increase data use and re-use to inform population health and livelihoods in Africa.
  • Facilitate cross-disciplinary collaboration and knowledge exchange among participants and stakeholders.
  • Create interactive platforms for meaningful interactions among participants and stakeholders to enhance networking.
  • Share insights generated from DSWB widely to inform and educate various audiences.
  • Craft strategy for exploring partnerships and funding opportunities for long-term impact of the DSWB project.
  • Establish mechanisms to track progress, measure impact, and gather feedback.

Target Audience/Stakeholders

The primary target audiences/stakeholders for the communications and engagement strategy include but will not be limited to:

  • Researchers and data scientists
  • Technology and innovation communities
  • Policymakers and government officials
  • Civil society organizations (CSOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
  • Community-based organizations and advocacy groups
  • Universities and academic institutions
  • Media practitioners and influencers
  • Funding and donor agencies
  • The general public

Key Engagement Activities

The communications and engagement strategy should involve but will not be limited the following activities:

  1. Messaging and branding: Develop clear and compelling messaging that resonates with the African target audience/stakeholders and establishes a cohesive brand identity for Data science and DSWB project.
  2. Robust online presence: Create engaging webpages on Wellcome Trust, APHRC and other relevant partner websites, maintain active social media profiles, and utilize online ads for updates and resource sharing.
  3. Data showcase with high-quality content creation: Produce compelling data visualizations, articles, case studies, success stories, policy briefs, blogs, and reports that illustrate the impact of the project and attract stakeholders.
  4. Interactive workshops: Promote conduct of hybrid (hands-on or online) workshops to provide participants with a lived experience of data analysis tools.
  5. Develop tailored strategies to engage and involve stakeholders, including organizing workshops, webinars, and conferences.
  6. Media relations: Cultivate relationships with media outlets to secure media coverage, interviews, and press releases that amplify the project’s message.
  7. Pitching to a generalist conference audience/exhibition: Utilize social media platforms to encourage attendees to share their thoughts, insights, and experiences related data science.
  8. Host focused roundtable discussions on specific aspects of the project to gather expert insights and feedback.

Monitoring and Evaluation

To ensure more comprehensive and sustained reach, data-driven decision-making, and continuous improvement, APHRC will require a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation plan. Indicative metrics and evaluation methods may include but will not be limited to the following:

  • Website Analytics: Use Google Analytics to track web traffic and user engagement.
  • Social Media Analytics: Measure engagement on social media platforms.
  • Participant Feedback: Collect feedback through surveys, interviews, and focus groups.
  • Media Coverage: Monitor media coverage and its impact.
  • Stakeholder Feedback: Engage stakeholders for feedback and recommendations.
  • Progress Reports: Document achievements, challenges, and lessons learned.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

APHRC will evaluate the submitted EOIs based on the following criteria:

  1. Overview of the agency: Provide a brief overview of the agency’s background, expertise, and experience in developing and implementing communications and engagement strategies for similar initiatives.
  2. Experience: Demonstrated experience in developing and implementing communications and engagement strategies for initiatives related to data science, or similar fields.
  3. Proposed approach: Outline the agency’s proposed approach, including methodologies, tools, and strategies, to achieve the objectives and engage the target audience/stakeholders effectively.
  4. Expertise in Communication Channels: Demonstrated expertise and capability in utilizing various communication channels, engaging diverse audiences, and leveraging digital platforms and traditional media relations.
  5. Team composition: The qualifications, experience, and relevance of the critical team members proposed by the agency.
  6. Timeline: Provide a high-level project timeline, including key milestones and deliverables.
  7. Budget: The reasonableness and competitiveness of the proposed budget estimate.
  8. References: The feedback and satisfaction level of at least three previous clients indicated by the provided references.

APHRC may request additional information or clarification from shortlisted agencies before making the final selection.

Application Procedure and Submission Deadline

Applicants are encouraged to submit the following documents:

  • Cover letter
  • Detailed CV of the lead consultant
  • A proposal outlining suitability based on the eligibility criteria above

Interested applicants are advised to submit electronic copies of the above documents via email to copying with the email subject: “Development and Implementation of a Communications and Engagement Strategy for the DSWB Project.” All inquiries related to the EOI can be made in writing to

The deadline for submission of applications is July 7, 2024. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Cover letters should be addressed to:

People & Culture Business Partner

African Population and Health Research Center, Inc

APHRC Campus, Manga Close, off Kirawa Road, Kitisuru

P.O. Box 10787-GPO, Nairobi

General Information

  • This document serves as a call for Expressions of Interest and does not constitute a commitment by APHRC to award a contract or pay any costs incurred in preparing a response. APHRC reserves the right to accept or reject Expressions of Interest received.
  • The result of the shortlisting will be communicated to qualified Agencies within three (3) weeks of the deadline.
  • Field verification will be done only for the shortlisted Agencies.
  • Failure to submit the necessary documents will disqualify the respective organization.
  • APHRC reserves all rights to cancel the EOIs process without giving any reasons whatsoever.

Special Notice

APHRC is an equal opportunity employer that is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. Reasonable accommodation may be provided to applicants with disabilities upon request, to support their participation in the recruitment process.

Applicants are not required to make any payments to anyone during any stage of the recruitment process.