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Senior Publications Officer

Posted 18 days ago


Senior Publications Officer 

The Senior Publications Officer is a critical role in ODI. Working within the Public Affairs and Communications team, the primary purpose of this role is to maintain ODI’s high standards in publications and our publications quality control function. The role also manages the development, layout, production of priority ODI publications. They provide expert publishing advice, guidance and support to research teams and other public affairs and communications colleagues, ensuring that staff across ODI are working to best practices and within our publication templates, formats and guidelines, including branding and style guides. They also work with teams from across ODI to ensure the smooth and timely publication of outputs and have an important publications review functions to ensure that all ODI publications deliver their objectives in terms of external impact. 

Main Duties and Responsibilities

Production, review and quality control 

Uphold the production process for key ODI publications across the Institute, coordinating day-to-day activities with authors, programme and communications colleagues, and freelance editors and designers as required.
  • Responsible for maintaining ODI’s high standards in publications, ensuring coherence with our best practice, templates and guidance.
  • Provide an institutional quality control function for publications. 
  • Provide publications advice and guidance to colleagues and where necessary, external providers such has editors and typesetters. 
  • Co-ordinate with programme staff on planned publications and advise on suitable publication formats and workflows to meet agreed deadlines and budgets 
  • Manage or oversee the development, production and typesetting of key priority publications using Adobe InDesign, including design, branding and data visualisation. 
  • Advise on production schedules for flagship ODI publications, from submission of the first draft to launch of the final product.
  • Act as first point of contact for ODI programme staff that are using InDesign to create publications.
  • Provide quality assurance across ODI publications, ensuring house style and brand consistency across publications.
  • Review content that has been uploaded to the ODI website using the Drupal content management system and advise colleagues of the creation of landing pages for new publications.
  • Provide relevant input and advice on digital and design outputs, as well at other printed ODI-branded materials. 
  • When necessary, develop and roll-out updates to publication templates, guideline and other resources, and provide advice and guidance on their use. 
  • Undertake small design and branding tasks using InDesign and Illustrator. 

Coordination with external suppliers 

  • Source new suppliers for ODI’s publications preferred suppliers list and where necessary, liaise directly with external contractors and relevant suppliers. 
  • For institutional publications, brief printers, obtain competitive quotes, source new suppliers, and place print orders for flagship publications and other outputs.
Training and support to staff

  • Coordinate and deliver training to staff on core publications schedules, procedures and systems, including InDesign. 
  • Oversee the development and maintenance of publications support materials and guidelines.
  • Trouble shoot on specific publications and InDesign issues as necessary. 
  • Support brand implementation and quality assurance of publications across ODI.

General administration and other communications tasks

  • Review submissions to the website to ensure content meets ODI standards.
  • Support the use of InDesign across the institute, developing templates and liaising with external agencies and freelance suppliers as required.
  • Share key stats on publications for monthly and quarterly reports
  • Participate in weekly and monthly communications team meetings.
  • Support the public affairs and communications team in other tasks as required.

Person Specification


  • An expert typesetter and artworker, with advanced experience of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite (InDesign and Illustrator, minor Photoshop work).
  • Experience in a similar internal advisory role for publications. 
  • A background in managing a publications quality control function, including the development, maintenance and updating of templates, guidelines, style guides, etc. 
  • A proven background in publications coordination and production, preferably for a research or academic institute or publishing house. 
  • Significant publications project management experience, planning and managing multiple parallel publications and negotiating with senior stakeholders.
  • Specialist skills in publications production processes (print and online), 
  • Strong IT skills, with excellent knowledge and experience of Microsoft Office applications (MS Word in particular) 
  • Strong organisational skills and the ability to manage and prioritise tasks.
  • A confident communicator, able to work efficiently and diplomatically with a variety of internal and external stakeholders
  • The ability to work independently, as well as part of a dynamic team.
  • A keen eye for detail and the confidence to own the design of new publications.
  • Knowledge and enthusiasm for the latest trends in publishing, specifically developments to support moves from print to digital publishing, driving forward ODI’s publications to align with shifts and innovations in the sector.


Knowledge of and interest in wider public affairs and communications activities (digital, events, public affairs, media).

  • Knowledge of and interest in international issues.

  • Degree level qualification or equivalent.

Closing date:  13th June

Interview Date: Week commencing the 24th June 2019


ODI is an equal opportunities employer                                                                                          Charity Reg. No.228248


Overseas Development Institute

Position details


£33 - £40