International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Regional Policy, Advocacy and Communications Director

International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Job Description

IRC’s work in the Middle East and North Africa Region is among our most challenging and innovative.

Over a decade of conflict in Syria has pushed millions from their homes and into poverty, and millions more have become refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and further afield. Equally complex are the emergencies in Libya and Iraq, where waves of fighting and displacement have overwhelmed infrastructure and services and pushed communities to the brink. Lebanon is struggling to cope with a so-called ‘triple crisis’, consisting of a pre-existing refugee crisis, near financial and economic collapse and a global pandemic. These crises were only exacerbated by the devastation caused by the Beirut explosion in 2020. In Jordan, like across the world, the virus added to the already existing challenges caused by a recent history of rapid population growth due to instabilities in the region and further economic challenges, and as always, the most vulnerable have been hit the hardest. The economic, social, and health effects of these crises have impacted the entire region.

The IRC responds to people’s acute and longer-term needs with integrated programs that improve health and safety, prioritize women and children’s protection, foster economic wellbeing, and empower communities to regain control over their lives. Our work gives rise to some of the most pressing issues facing contemporary Humanitarian Action, including questions of access, conflict sensitivity, Coordination, and impact.

Position summary

The Director of Policy, Advocacy and Communications is a key member of IRC’s regional senior management team, charged with developing and coordinating regional policy positions, strategically positioning IRC on key humanitarian policy debates and raising its profile locally and internationally. He/she oversees the development of appropriate, coherent and compelling policy Analysis and messaging at local, national and international levels, with the aim of influencing the policies or practices of key actors, enhancing the impact and increasing the coverage of IRC’s work.

Reporting to the Regional Vice President, the Director of Policy, Advocacy and Communications works closely with global Policy and Advocacy as well as Marketing and Mobilization colleagues, and supervises and supports regional and country level communications and advocacy/policy staff. The Director is based in Amman with frequent travel in the region, and as needed to New York, Washington D.C., London, Brussels, Geneva and elsewhere.

Specific responsibilities

1. Overall Strategy and Team Management:

• In close coordination with the Regional Vice President, lead the development and implementation of policy, advocacy and communications strategy for the region.

• In close coordination with the global Policy and Advocacy Team and the Mobilization and Marketing team, contribute to and support the implementation of organizational strategies.

• Ensure the MENA strategy and organizational strategies are aligned and ladder onto each other.

• Build and maintain relationships with diverse organizations and individuals to develop networks and increase collective impact. In particular, liaise with the Syria International NGO Regional Forum (SIRF) Advocacy Working Group and other coordination bodies such as ICVA and InterAction as required.

• As lead for the PAC Team, maintains overall accountability for the team cohesion and ensure all products meet the quality and standard set by the organization.

2. Advocacy and Policy:

• Working in collaboration with advocacy colleagues in the United States, United Kingdom and Europe, develop and drive policy and advocacy messages and products for in-country, regional and international stakeholders and policymakers, ensuring that field priorities and perspectives are integrated.

• Coordinate and support the policy work of country-level advocacy and policy staff and program staff providing training when necessary and ensuring that country-focused information and materials are widely disseminated within the organization, as well as with relevant external stakeholders.

• Support the development of policy and advocacy material for regional and headquarters use including talking points, briefing notes, position papers and advocacy reports.

• Provide policy review for organization positions and materials related to key issues in MENA.

• In coordination with the Regional Vice President, represent IRC in regional advocacy, policy and coordination forums, as well as at key lobbying meetings.

• Provide analysis and produce content for executive and regional leadership and ensure the Regional Vice President is briefed on all relevant policy developments.

3. Communications and Media:

• Partner with global Mobilization and Marketing team to develop an annual regional communications plan that delivers on IRC organizational priorities.

• Expand IRC’s reach and increase its impact in the region, with regional/national level policymakers and with Arabic speaking media. This includes and is not limited to developing a Social Media Strategy with HQ; target regional speaking opportunities for IRC leaders and measurable metrics related to IRC-driven features in already-identified priority/top-tier regional (including Arabic) and global news outlets.

• Lead rapid, real-time Communications response for emergency/crisis situations in the region.

• Partner with Global Communications to manage reactive messaging, ensure swift dissemination of news and updates from the field, and act as regional spokesperson as required.

• Work with the Regional Communications focal points to ensure that website and communications material is compelling, accurate, updated, and in line with IRC’s strategy in the region.

Supervisory Responsibilities: Direct supervision Regional Communications Manager; Regional Humanitarian Context Analyst. Management in Partnership with the Associate Director of Global Communication of Regional Media Manager. Management in Partnership with the Ahlan Simsim Director of the Regional Early Childhood Development Policy Advisor. Management in Partnership with CDs of country-level advocacy staff.

Key Working Relationships

Internal: Regional Vice President; MENA regional management team; MENA Country Directors; global policy staff with close coordination with the DC based Senior Director International Programs Policy and Advocacy; global communications staff with close coordinate with the Associate Director of Global Communication; HQ staff as appropriate.

External: Public and private donor agencies, international and national NGOs, UN agencies, national and foreign governments, regional and international media representatives.

Requirements

• University degree in Communications, Marketing, International Affairs, Policy & Advocacy, Political Science, or any other relevant field. Masters degree is preferred.

• At least ten years of increasingly responsible professional experience responding to complex humanitarian crises and/or post-conflict situations, with a track record of delivering change through highly impactful policy, advocacy and communications strategies • Minimum five years of supervisory experience in a high-performance environment • Solid communications and media relations experience required • Fluency in English (written and spoken) is essential, with demonstrated outstanding writing skills. Fluency in Arabic is highly desirable.

• Superb interpersonal, communication, relationship-building and negotiation skills • Proven ability to persuade and influence diverse audiences • Excellent analytical, presentation, communication and reporting skills • Ability to respond to multiple priorities in a timely manner, producing high-quality outcomes • Ability to navigate interpersonal and inter-departmental organizational dynamics to keep focus on goals and products • Must be willing and able to travel regularly within the region and occasionally internationally • Culturally sensitive, able and interested in working with a multi-ethnic team • Strong commitment to the IRC’s mission, purpose and values • Must be able to work independently with minimal supervision, while being a team player • A keen understanding of political complexities in the MENA region is required; previous experience working in the Middle East is strongly preferred • Ambition and drive to ensure IRC is viewed as a leading NGO working in the MENA region Other Information: Amman is currently not assessed as a high-risk environment and it remains a generally safe city as long as IRC security protocols are observed. The post is fully accompanied and housing will be provided by IRC according to the IRC Jordan housing policy. Travel at approximately 25% is anticipated.

Attention Returning National Candidates: IRC strives to attract, motivate and retain qualified national staff in our programs. We strongly encourage national or returning national candidates to apply for this position. If you are a national of the country in which this position is based and are currently located outside of your home country and possess over two years of international work experience, the Syria Response Region has introduced an attractive remuneration package. The package includes competitive compensation, return flight to post, shipping allowance, temporary housing and a relocation allowance. Certain restrictions may apply.

Standards of Professional Conduct: 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 Anti-Retaliation and Combating Trafficking in Persons.

Gender Equality: IRC is committed to narrowing the gender gap in leadership positions. We offer benefits that provide an enabling environment for women to participate in our workforce including parental leave, gender-sensitive security protocols and other supportive benefits and allowances.

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