Policy and Advocacy Adviser - Conflict and Migration

International Rescue Committee
  • Location
    Brussels, Belgium
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Sep 27

Position description

This position will focus on the overlaps between conflict and migration with reference to Europe, and West and North Africa, especially Libya and Niger. The postholder will work in concert with a field-based advocacy coordinator to conduct detailed policy analysis and development, produce policy briefings and other products, and write and oversee the implementation of an advocacy strategy to help bring about changes in policy and practice in the way that European institutions and member state governments are responding to migration and conflict in these regions. This means promoting change agendas across the humanitarian-peacebuilding-development nexus. Through building new relationships and increasing the IRC’s profile, it will influence senior European policy makers and decision-makers who hold responsibility for EU foreign policy, and for the EU’s approach to migration.

This position will be based in Brussels, and will work closely with field teams in Europe and North and West Africa to translate learning from the ground to inform and influence ongoing EU policy debates around migration, including refugees and asylum seekers, along the “Central Mediterranean Route.” The position will also support the work of a new NGO consortium, focusing on key outcomes:

  • Migrants and refugees in transit, particularly the most vulnerable, are protected from harm, are able to meet their basic needs and are informed about the risks of irregular migration;
  • Governments, humanitarian agencies and national organisations have improved understanding of migration trends and improve their response.

Scope and Authority


  • Jointly design and implement IRC’s European policy and advocacy strategy to influence the EU policy response to migration and migration in North and West Africa, with a view to improving outcomes for our clients;
  • Working closely with field colleagues, drive forward IRC policy and advocacy activity around priority country and crisis contexts along the North African migration routes (including but not limited to, Libya and Niger), ensuring this is firmly grounded in evidence from our programmes and a good analysis of our advocacy targers that have the power to make change happen;
  • Brief senior colleagues internally on priority countries and issues, and represent the IRC externally to high profile policy-makers, practitioners, think-tanks, academic partners, the media and the public;
  • Identify and develop relationships with key European policy and advocacy targets, and develop and lead policy and advocacy coalitions of NGOs.


  • Work closely with the Europe and North Africa and West Africa regional teams to translate learning from our programmes on the ground into policy recommendations for the EU institutions and European governments;
  • Provide policy research and analysis on:
    • conflict contexts in the region (including analysis of humanitarian crises and ongoing political/peacebuilding processes)
    • migration along the Central Mediterranean Route (including analysis of protection concerns and vulnerable groups),
    • humanitarian and related debates (including analysis of current and proposed legislation and political narratives)
  • Produce reports, briefing notes and other materials on key focus countries in West and North Africa, and on the policy environment in Europe;
  • Work closely with IRC Europe Communications team to develop and coordinate policy products, advocacy and public campaigns on IRC priority themes and countries.

Key Working Relationships

  • Reports to the Head of Brussels Office;
  • Works very closely with the Refugee Resettlement Policy and Advocacy Adviser, the Advocacy Coordinator for the DFID Migration Project, as well as the Europe Policy and Advocacy Team in London and Brussels and field teams in West and North Africa;
  • Close co-ordination with Policy and Advocacy colleagues in New York and Washington DC, and with IRC Europe Media and Communications colleagues.

Key Accountabilities

Advocacy strategy development and implementation (50%)

  • Work closely with field colleagues to identify priority needs on the ground and identify areas where a change in EU/member state policies could improve outcomes for our clients;
  • Work with colleagues based in European capitals and international hubs (New York and Geneva) to identify key change objectives for international diplomacy to support improved European migration and foreign policy;
  • Together with field-based advocacy leads, develop and implement an advocacy strategy for migration along the Central Mediterranean Route, , including identifying policy change goals, advocacy targets and campaign activities;
  • Conduct advocacy with high-level European/EU advocacy targets on these key priorities, and where necessary provide support to other staff conducting advocacy on these issues;
  • Lead co-ordination with European and global colleagues on implementing the strategy.

Policy advice and guidance (25%)

  • Monitor and analyse the latest developments with regard to global displacement and the EU/European countries’ policy response; advise on IRC’s policy lines on these developments;
  • Draft policy reports, briefing papers, submissions to government consultations, web content and materials for advocacy, communications and media purposes on IRC policy priorities, through close cooperation with field colleagues and desk based research;
  • Ensure that colleagues, including those involved in communications, are kept informed of up-to-date policy messages and advocacy asks.

Networking and profile-raising (25%)

  • Identify, create and act upon opportunities to raise awareness of IRC’s work in responding to the global displacement crisis on the ground;
  • Build relationships with senior stakeholders and advocacy targets in EU and other appropriate institutions, particularly the European External Action Service, DG NEAR, DG Home and ECHO, the European Parliament;
  • Raise IRC’s profile as a European thought leader and go-to organisation on migration and humanitarian issues, conflict and crisis;
  • Plan and oversee events as part of the above, including with think-tanks, other NGOs and partners;
  • Identify and develop opportunities to work in coalition with other NGOs/international organisations;
  • Represent IRC at European networks, fora, conferences and events.

Person Specification


Skills, Knowledge and Qualifications

  • Relevant Masters degree or equivalent qualifications/experience;
  • Proven political judgment, and detailed knowledge of EU external policy, the workings of EU institutions, in particular the EEAS, the AFET committee and Council working groups, the UN institutions and processes and current EU debates;
  • Extensive network of contacts with stakeholders in these bodies;
  • Excellent understanding of the discourse on conflict, fragile states, humanitarian response, post-conflict issues, and development effectiveness, and policy issues related to asylum and migration, as well as the international policy environment in which these issues are addressed;
  • Excellent writing skills and the ability to translate complex material and data into coherent narratives;
  • Excellent negotiating skills, and the ability to communicate effectively with internal and external stakeholders;
  • Strong networking and presentation skills;
  • The ability to travel, to work to tight deadlines, and on own initiative;
  • Commitment to IRC’s vision, missions and values.


  • Significant experience of working on foreign and/or migration policy in a relevant EU institution, in particular the EEAS, Council of Ministers or the European Parliament, international organisations, EU Permanent Representations or in a relevant public affairs role;
  • Proven experience of developing and implementing successful influencing strategies – including identifying actors with the power to influence conflict dynamics, and in working closely with communications colleagues to shape opinion;
  • Experience of working on complex policy issues, ideally on migration, foreign affairs, humanitarian issues and/or home affairs;
  • Experience of working as part of an interdependent team, and of quickly forming effective working relationships to deliver results.


  • Experience of working in a humanitarian setting;
  • Experience of coordinating EU advocacy strategies in coordination with other organisations;
  • Experience organising public events and conferences;
  • Experience of working with the media (including writing and broadcast interviews);
  • Strong networking and presentation skills;
  • Understanding of EU and/or international law, especially as relates to migration and asylum;
  • Useful political and institutional contacts in the EU;
  • Knowledge of other European languages, in particular French and/or German.

Application instructions

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