Cuso International

Advocacy & Engagement Lead-

Cuso International

Job Description

No. of Positions: 1

Sector: Programme Administration

Employment Category: Fixed Term

Employment Type: Full-Time

Contract Duration: One year, renewable

Open to Expatriates: No

Reports to: Executive Director

Start Date: As soon as possible

Location: Accra, Ghana

About us:

Youth Opportunity & Transformation in Africa (YOTA) is an ECOSOC-accredited NGO at the forefront of youth development policy, practice and research in Ghana. For more than 15 years, we have delivered tailored skills to young people, leading to improvements in their leadership, financial literacy, entrepreneurship and life planning skills. Through our service delivery, we have provided education, skills training, and Technical Support to thousands of youth and helped them transition to self and wage employment. Our research has contributed to filling the gap in youth data and the evidence base for public policy. And, we continue to use our national appeal and grassroots constituency, through our Voices of Youth Coalition, to advocate and campaign for youth-inclusive policies at all levels.

Purpose of the role:

As Advocacy & Engagement Lead, you will be responsible for leading and coordinating YOTA’s work in advocacy, communications and stakeholder engagement. You will oversee the organisation’s strategic and policy engagement efforts, while ensuring that advocacy activities remain focused on established priorities and contribute to concrete deliverables. You will further position, build the profile and manage the reputation of YOTA with government, development partners, the media, and the young people we serve, with a particular focus on expanding our digital and social media footprint. You will also oversee key national and international public engagements as they pertain to advocacy and engagement, and ensure that the views and perspectives of young people are fully represented. You will take lead in enhancing YOTA’s influence and position as a leading youth focused organisation in Ghana and Africa. If you believe that young people have a critical role to play both as targets and agents in local and Global Development, and if you enjoy working in a fast-paced and creative organisation, then we would love to hear from you.


a. Advocacy

  • Develop an advocacy and campaign strategy, and policy agenda, ensuring that strategic priorities are aligned to global, regional and national youth agendas
  • Lead advocacy activities based on strategic priorities and campaigns, with a particular focus on the Sustainable Development Goals, Agenda 2063, and National Youth Policy
  • Coordinate documentation of best practices and evidence related to YOTA’s advocacy and campaign activities
  • Ensure that young people’s voices are represented through local level advocacy efforts and through local-national-global linkages
  • Lead the process of assessment and research activities to gather information and Analysis that would inform policy and advocacy briefing documents, assessment reports, and research papers

b. External engagement

  • Build strategic partnerships with donors, governments, private sector, UN entities and other organisations to enhance collective response to young people’s issues
  • Strengthen partnership and collaboration with other civil society organisations at various levels in order to influence and monitor policy implementation to enhance young people’s wellbeing
  • Provide strategic direction for Business Development to pursue advocacy funding, through support in the development and implementation of the external engagement plan as well as via identification of resources, key stakeholders and relationship building and management
  • Work with the business development team to develop advocacy related capacity statements and funding proposals, with particular focus on amplifying youth voices in policy spaces
  • Act as the focal point person for external and media engagement on pertinent youth issues which may require profiling and advocacy interventions

c. Communications

  • Together with the Digital Engagement Lead, prepare and implement a yearly communications and digital engagement strategy and action plan with deliverables in place
  • Ensure that more staff receive training and support so they can more effectively capture information and visuals that can be used across various communications platforms to tell the story from the field and ensure that young people’s voices are heard
  • Ensure increased corporate communications focused on stories and publications that effectively communicate “evidence of impact”, in alignment with the organisation’s strategic priorities
  • Engage local and international media around stories and issues that pertain to YOTA’s core focus on creating opportunities for Africa’s youth to transform their lives
  • Review and enhance internal communications using relevant internal platforms; build an executive communications plan for the executive team to ensure that they are heard and engaged in two-way dialogue with staff; support the Executive Director and other senior staff to serve as key spokespersons and to be positioned as thought leaders on relevant topics and issues
  • Coordinate, monitor and manage reputational risk narrative and brand issues associated with the organisation
  • Facilitate a process of Continuous Learning on appropriate Communication Systems, processes and tools as appropriate for YOTA

d. Project leadership

  • Supervise planning and implementation of activities of the YOTA Network, YOTA Alumni and other coalition building initiatives under the advocacy and engagement portfolio
  • Oversee implementation of project activities, including tracking progress towards core indicators and learning objectives, and identifying the need for support
  • Oversee financial allocations and expenditures and ensure timely payments in accordance with YOTA’s financial management policy
  • Ensure that all project initiatives benefit from YOTA’s operational MEL system, or other MEL systems jointly deployed with partners, and supervise data collection and analysis as needed
  • Ensure timely reporting according to donor requirements and formats
  • Facilitate continuous learning over the different project activities and ensure that outcomes of learning loops are operationalised across projects

e. Team leadership

  • Provide guidance, coaching and mentoring to the Advocacy & Engagement team in the setting and achievement of team goals and individual professional development activities
  • Manage team performance planning and appraisals
  • Ensure space and opportunities to promote team wellness and safety; report critical incidents to the Management Team
  • Identify and recruit appropriate resource persons and service providers to support the team in the accomplishment of team objectives
  • Promote and practice compliance with YOTA’s core values, code of ethics and other standards
  • Ensure and practice team compliance with YOTA’s policies and procedures including those relating to finance, travel, procurement, IT, programmes and specific donor requirements

f. Other duties

  • Perform other duties that may be required from time to time, including responsibilities which require work on weekends and holidays for which time off in lieu (TOIL) may be taken

Person specification:

  • Master’s degree in development studies, international development, social sciences or related fields
  • Knowledge of and experience working with national, regional and global policy frameworks relating to youth, including national youth policy, the African Youth Charter, the Sustainable Development Goals, among others
  • Minimum five years leading Policy Advocacy, campaigns, communications, and engagement with government and other stakeholders
  • Experience working in a similar role in a non-profit or other development organisation
  • Must have ability to manage a multi-disciplinary portfolio
  • Advanced understanding of social accountability methodologies
  • Ability to engage at a strategic level and build collaborative relationships with government, donors, media and civil society organisations
  • Experience developing an array of communication materials and assets, including publications, video segments, web and other new media
  • Strong track record designing and delivering workshops and other training programmes
  • Experience in contract and budget management
  • Experience in Event Management
  • Strong facilitation and presentation skills
  • Excellent planning and organisational skills
  • Demonstrated team management and leadership experience
  • Ability to support cross-organisational projects
  • Fluency in English required; working knowledge of local languages

Salary & benefits:

  • Competitive salary structure
  • Accra Cost of Living allowance
  • 13th month salary
  • Pension contributions
  • Medical and dental cover
  • Group Personal Accident cover
  • Time off in lieu (TOIL)
  • Annual leave
  • Sick leave
  • Parental leave (maternal and paternal)
  • 2 weeks Christmas and New Year break
  • Professional development initiatives

How to apply

If you meet the aforementioned minimum requirements, click here to submit your application. You will be required to upload your updated CV and a cover letter. Be sure to highlight in the motivation letter how specifically you meet the qualifications, skills and experience requirements for this role. Due to capacity constraints, only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

Deadline for applications: Friday, 30 June, 2023.

YOTA is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organisation.

YOTA has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the organisation, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and processes, and discrimination. YOTA also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks, and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles.

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