Job Title: Lead Writer-Drama

Location: Somalia/Freelancer

Organization :BBC Media Action

Reports to Project Officer with the technical support of the Deputy Country Director

Line Manages:Assistant Writer/Drama and Actors

BBC Media Action

BBC Media Action is the BBC’s international development charity. We use the power of media and communication to help reduce poverty and support people in understanding their rights. Our aim is to inform, connect and empower people around the world. We work in partnership with broadcasters, governments, non-governmental organizations and donors to share reliable, timely and useful information.

We seek to recruit a Drama Writer for a governance project, designed to contribute to ‘increasing participation and trust in political processes among Somali citizens’. BBC Media Action will use media and communications to enhance engagement in political and civic processes in Somalia through increasing knowledge and understanding about political and civic rights, responsibilities, processes and issues, as well as creating space for constructive dialogue. The role will be based in Somalia and frequently travel to Hargeisa Somaliland will be required.

Job Purpose:

To take leadership responsibility for the delivery of the scripts for the radio serial drama part of the project “Bringing Unity, Integrity and Legitimacy to Democracy (BUILD)’’ Somalia.

Main Duties:

  1. To deliver the scripts for the radio serial drama which strictly adhere to agreed storylines, characteristics and characterization to the principles of behavior change drama to the highest quality in terms of language, creativity, dramatization, movement and use of FX to the correct duration and on time.
  2. To take editorial and managerial leadership of the scriptwriting for the radio serial drama, ensuring all scripts follows to BBC editorial guidelines and to be responsible for referring up to the Deputy Country Director any editorial issue that may require consultation.
  3. To write and edit drama scripts.
  4. To be responsible for day to day management of the writing team, ensuring work keeps to the production schedule and to be responsible for resolving any minor problem which interrupts the workflow and immediately referring up to any problem he or she cannot resolve.
  5. To be involved in the design and coordination of monitoring and evaluation and respond to regular feedback sessions, adjusting radio serial drama scripts as necessary.
  6. To assume responsibility for running story lining sessions following correct story lining procedures to ensure full continuity and adherence to the principles of drama behavioral change.
  7. To follow BBC safety requirements and instructions, especially in relation to emergencies and hostile environments.
  8. To travel, if and when required.
  9. To establish and maintain detailed, up to date character bible.
  10. Any other tasks that might be reasonably assigned by the line manager.

Skills, Knowledge and Experience Required

  • Demonstrable experience of drama writing or journalism in Somalia of not less than 8 years.
  • A thematic specialization in political and civic rights in Somalia is desirable.
  • Substantive experience of managing a team of creative and support staff.
  • An understanding of core BBC values of impartiality, independence and accuracy.
  • Strong understanding of the role of communication in development.
  • Ability to work on own initiatives and organize time effectively to multiple deadlines. Capacity to juggle competing priorities and a busy program of work while working to agreed strategy.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and influencing skills.
  • Excellent knowledge of all Somali dialects.
  • Good working knowledge of computer packages including email, Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Commitment to the aims and objectives of BBC Media Action and that of BUILD project.


The following competencies (behaviors and characteristics) have been identified as key to the success in the job. Successful candidates are expected to demonstrate these competencies.

  • Editorial Judgement-demonstrates balanced and objective judgement based on a thorough understanding of BBC editorial guidelines, target audiences, program and department objectives. Makes the right editorial decisions, taking account of conflicting views as necessary.
  • Planning and organization– is able to think ahead in order to establish an efficient and appropriate course of action for self and others. Prioritizes and plans activities taking into account all the relevant issues and factors such as deadlines, staffing and resources requirement.
  • Decision making-Is ready and able to take the initiative, originate action and be responsible for the consequences of the decision made.
  • Resilience-can maintain personal effectiveness by managing own emotions in the face of pressure, setbacks or when dealing with provocative situations. Can demonstrate an approach to work that is characterized by commitment, motivation and energy.
  • Influencing and persuading– Ability to present sound and well-reasoned arguments to convince others. Can draw from a range of strategies to persuade people an approach that results in agreement or behavior change.
  • Gains the respect of the team by the excellence of their work-leads by example and takes the appropriate amount of responsibility for self and others. Plus, the effectiveness of the team above their own personal interests.
  • Communication– Able to get one’s message understood clearly by adopting a range of styles, tools and techniques appropriate to the audiences and the nature of information.
  • Flexibility– Adapts and works effectively with a variety of situations, individuals or groups. Able to understand and appreciate different and opposing perspectives on an issue, to adapt an approach as the requirements of a situation change and to change or easily accept changes in one’s own organization or job requirements.
  • Creative Thinking– Able to transform creative ideas into practical reality. Can look at existing situations and problems in novel ways and come up with creative solutions.
  • Managing Performance– Sets challenging team and individual objectives and trusts people to get with them, shares clear expectations about required performance levels, rewards success and addresses performance issues quickly and fairly, treats team members with honesty, respect and compassion.

How to apply:

Interested candidates who meet qualification should submit their CV together with a signed covering letter which explains why s/he is best suited to the role to the following address: info@so.bbcmediaaction.org with the subject title “Lead Writer”. The closing date for applications is the22nd of October 2019. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.