International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Regional Policy & Advocacy Advisor

International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Job Description

Background/IRC Summary: PlayMatters is a new, ambitious initiative funded by the LEGO Foundation that reimagines childhood for refugees. It will bring play-based learning to 800,000 children across Ethiopia, Uganda and a to-be-confirmed third country in East Africa. The program will redefine education and cultivate a generation of lifelong builders. PlayMatters is inspired by LEGO Foundation’s call to challenge the status quo, to offer children the quality education they dream of. In the contexts where PlayMatters will operate, refugee and host community children are not gaining the skills they need, teachers are under-supported, and parents are overwhelmed. The systems built to serve them are failing them. PlayMatters proudly offers something different. It will be delivered by a coalition with a track record of thinking and delivering differently. Job Overview/ Summary: The IRC is seeking a Policy and Advocacy Advisor for the PlayMatters regional support team to lead creative efforts to bring attention to the developmental needs of children aged 3-12 in settings where PlayMatters operates, raise the profile of IRC and partners’ work in this area and influence change in the ways in which education integrating play is prioritized and funded in PlayMatters contexts and globally. Reporting to the Senior Technical Advisor, the Regional Policy and Advocacy Advisor will be a critical member of the regional project team, based in the Kampala office. During inception period (through June 2020) the Policy and Advocacy Advisor will participate in the preparation of key project inception deliverables including the advocacy and communications plan, implementation plan, the work plan, the monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL)plan, and the research agenda. This will involve participating in regular communication and meeting routines within IRC as well as with partners and the LEGO Foundation. Following the inception period, the Policy and Advocacy Advisor will be responsible for designing and implementing a policy and advocacy strategy across the project’s country programs as well as connecting the policy and advocacy work to the other technical aspects of project implementation and to IRC’s global education strategy. This will involve close communication with the research and MEL teams and the implementation teams to understand the interventions being used and the lessons stemming from them. Ensuring regular timely and relevant communications with ministries, partners, and relevant coordination working groups (such as the Education Cluster) will be essential. Both the inception period and long-term scope of major responsibilities for the Policy and Advocacy Advisor are presented below. Major Responsibilities:
  1. Design and Implement Learning through Play Policy and Advocacy strategy

• Support IRC’s global education advocacy strategy by identifying and participating in key moments to promote PlayMatters • Liaise with key advocacy focal points across IRC’s Crisis Response, Recovery & Development (CRRD) Unit at the global, regional and country level, as well as IRC’s Policy and Advocacy and Communication units, to keep abreast of strategic initiatives and opportunities that may inform the PlayMatters advocacy strategy. • Conduct and maintain stakeholder analyses and power mapping to identify and recommend strategic decisionmakers to target with advocacy and communications opportunities • Develop and oversee advocacy and communications tactics for influencing and supporting donors, ministries, and the cluster and working groups – as well as ways to influence and engage the humanitarian coordination decision makers and partners external to the PlayMatters consortium - to reach the 800,000 children, including: o Collaborate with Communications (project-based and Education TU) to develop and continually update compelling print and digital products on relevant activities and accomplishments. o Initiating presentations at key points in the project cycle for updates and when research findings are complete o Maintaining relationships through providing regular updates and convening meetings o Tracking and continually updating requests for IRC participation or representation related to PlayMatters in advocacy-related meetings and events, providing recommendations for engagement and participation. • Develop a Learning through Play Advocacy workplan aligned with the strategy and track the progress of objectives and activities.
  1. Internal Capacity Building and Communications:

• Develop, support and/or lead advocacy capacity building workshops and meetings for IRC staff and/or relevant partner staff at the global, regional and country level. • Assist in the development and finalization of PlayMatters talking points and presentations for events and meetings.
  1. External Representation and Relationship Management

• In coordination with the STA and the SPA Education, liaise with advocacy focal points at key partner organizations as well as with advocacy focal points at peer organizations and UN agencies. • Represent PlayMatters within appropriate interagency groups, as appropriate/feasible. Key Working Relationships: Position Reports to: Senior Technical Advisor, Play Matters Position directly supervises TBD Indirect Reporting: Country Policy and Advocacy coordinators Other Internal and/or external contacts: Internal:  Headquarters & Global Field Teams – multiple departments  Senior Policy Advisor, Education TU Qualifications Minimum Requirements • Bachelor’s degree required; post-graduate degree preferred in a discipline relevant to Global Education in humanitarian settings (such as education, psychology, etc) • 5+ years of experience working in policy and/or advocacy related to children, education, health or other relevant fields • Excellent interpersonal and oral and written communication skills; demonstrated ability to successfully work in a fast-paced environment, within and across departments/functions and develop positive relationships with locally and remote based staff. • Strong facilitation skills and ability to lead meetings and workshops with diverse stakeholders. • Self-directed, able to independently set priorities and solve problems with minimal guidance; comfortable working for a supervisor who is remotely located • Excellent writing and editing skills: the ability to draft and edit memos, letters, reports and proposals. • Good critical thinking; ability to synthesis a wide scope of information. • Solid organizational skills, with a proven ability to prioritize projects with attention to detail. • Flexible work attitude: the ability to work productively in a team environment, problem solve with minimal guidance and support any range of projects at a moment’s notice; • Knowledge of early childhood development, education, social and emotional well-being and psycho-social support, humanitarian programming and relevant international policies and stakeholders Working Environment: • Standard office working environment • Position is based out of Kampala, Uganda PlayMatters Regional Office • Travel: Approximately 30% The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation. IRC et les employés de IRC doivent adhérer aux valeurs et principes contenus dans le IRC WAY (normes de conduite professionnelle). Ce sont l’Intégrité, le Service, et la Responsabilité. En conformité avec ces valeurs, IRC opère et fait respecter les politiques sur la protection des bénéficiaires contre l’exploitation et les abus, la protection de l’enfant, le harcèlement sur les lieux de travail, l’intégrité financière, et les représailles. IRC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. IRC considers all applicants on the basis of merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status or disability.
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