Over the past 80 years, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has developed unparalleled expertise in responding to emergencies and helping uprooted communities to rebuild. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster.
IRC is a global network, which has its headquarters in New York and London. The IRC is on the ground in more than 40 countries, providing emergency relief, relocating refugees and rebuilding lives in the wake of disaster. Through over 20 regional offices in cities across the United States, the IRC also helps refugees resettle in the US and become self-sufficient.
The IRC is committed to a culture of bold leadership, innovation in all aspects of our work, creative partnerships and, most crucially, accountability to those we serve. The IRC is a tireless advocate for the most vulnerable.
Our European headquarters, IRC-UK, were established in London in 1997 to support the organisation’s global activities and particularly to diversify its donor base and be able to better advocate with European policy-makers on behalf of the people we serve. Since its establishment IRC-UK has grown rapidly and is now acknowledged for its high quality project management, technical expertise in governance and rights and economic recovery, and innovative thinking on early recovery and gender based violence. IRC-UK comprises approximately 100 staff across five departments.
The IRC also has offices in Brussels, Berlin, Bonn, Geneva and a sister organisation in The Hague, as well as programme offices in the Balkans, Greece and Italy, in addition to Germany.
The Policy & Advocacy Department
The P&A team is a small, dynamic team located in London, Brussels and Berlin. The core purpose of the Policy and Advocacy (P&A) department is to increase the IRC’s influence and profile in Europe, and to establish the IRC as a thought leader that can drive transformational change in the humanitarian sector.
Violence Prevention and Response Unit (VPRU)
The Women’s Protection and Empowerment (WPE) team is part of the wider Violence Prevention and Response Unit, supporting 32 country programs to facilitate the safety of vulnerable populations and the healing, dignity and self-determination of women and girls who have experienced violence.
The Purpose of the Role
This is a strategic position which is instrumental in driving IRC’s policy and advocacy work in London, Berlin, Brussels and selected other European capitals. As Policy Advisor – WPE you will:
- Lead on the implementation of IRC’s policy & advocacy agenda on women’s protection and empowerment in Europe, with a particular focus on gender based violence.
- Design and implement IRC’s European policy and advocacy strategy on WPE
- Be responsible for the implementation of the policy & advocacy components of two specific WPE projects, the European Policy & Advocacy Pillar within the IRC-Irish Aid strategic partnership on GBV in emergencies, and the policy & advocacy component of IRC’s new Listen Up! Project in coordination with our US-based WPE advocate.
- Lead the development of policy positions and messaging on WPE in Europe, act as IRC’s policy expert on WPE and represent the organization at policy and political events and meetings and with the media in Europe.
- Identify and develop or strengthen relationships with key UK and European policy and advocacy targets and develop and/or lead policy and advocacy coalitions of NGOs.
Scope and Authority
In this position you will have the authority to brief senior leaders in the humanitarian and development sector as well as ensuring the IRC is represented at key stakeholder meetings. You will represent the IRC at external advocacy meetings, events and forums, and act as convening chair of NGO consortium events as needed.
Responsibility for Resources:
The post holder will be responsible for monitoring the Irish Aid partnership budget implementation advocacy activities, field support, production of learning and reporting related to the IRC-Irish Aid partnership and for leading on the development and implementation of the deliverables of selected Listen Up’s policy and advocacy activities.
Key Working Relationships
Internal communication/collaboration with:
- Senior Policy & Advocacy Officer, WPE based in Washington DC
- Violence Prevention & Response Senior Technical Director/ Women’s Protection & Empowerment
- Women’s Protection and Empowerment Technical Advisors, Coordinators and specialists.
- Brussels, London, and Berlin Office and other European focal points
- WPE country program teams
- Fundraising, communications and media
External Working Relationships
- Think tanks
- NGOs and NGO coalitions
The post holder’s key accountabilities are based on the requirements from the two projects they are responsible for implementing and which sets out clear deliverables to be set out in a workplan.
Policy and advocacy work (70%)
- Drive the development and implementation of a European WPE policy and advocacy strategy.
- In conjunction with the US-based WPE advocate provide advice and support to the development of the methodology of the Listen up! Index, ensuring that the Index becomes a useful tool to support our advocacy efforts on women’s protection.
- Lead the development of WPE policy positions and messaging for Europe, including through writing policy and advocacy resources based on new or existing research and evidence from the field, feeding into policy documents, developing briefings for senior IRC staff, and attending or convening consultations/events,
- Engage as required with European policy makers and support advocacy colleagues in their engagement with political targets.
- Lead the organisation and delivery of successful policy and advocacy events – working closely with advocacy colleagues.
- In Europe, act as IRC’s WPE policy expert in key networks/coalitions fora, conferences and events and lead the organisation of WPE policy events (in Europe and globally as required)
Coordination and Communication (20%)
- Manage the successful delivery of high quality research commissioned to think tanks and/or consultants.
- Develop advocacy communications resources that support our policy asks and contribute to raising the visibility of our advocacy on women’s protection.
- Ensure that our WPE messaging for Europe is included across all of IRC’s policy and advocacy thematic areas, including livelihoods and countries in crisis, and organisational advocacy strategies.
- Provide regular WPE policy updates and analysis of relevant European and global policy developments to IRC colleagues.
- Work with the fundraising team on WPE policy and advocacy content as required and with the communications team to develop content for the public, the media and other audiences.
- Work with Award Management Unit colleagues to ensure accurate grant management of Irish Aid and other institutional grants’ policy and advocacy projects, including managing budgets, writing narrative report and assessing impact against log frames.
- Attend and contribute to internal meetings including the bi-monthly Europe Policy & Advocacy Team Meeting, and VPRU/ WPE meetings.
- Undertake other tasks & responsibilities that the Head of Policy deems necessary and appropriate.
Skills, Knowledge and Qualifications:
- Masters degree in public policy, law, international relations, gender studies or a related field or equivalent experience
- Extensive experience in policy and advocacy in Europe and globally
- Deep understanding of humanitarian policy.
- Deep understanding of women’s rights and gender equality in humanitarian contexts.
- Excellent writing skills and the ability to translate complex material and data into clear and concise policy and advocacy briefings and resources.
- Excellent communications and presentation skills.
- Strong networking skills.
- Excellent interpersonal skills and proven ability to work in close collaboration with team members and remote field offices
- Good analytical skills, and first-class attention to detail
- Commitment to team work – working in a collaborative manner and contributing to a positive team environment
- Highly motivated self-starter
- Flexible and able to shift quickly to changing priorities
- Able to plan and prioritise activities to meet deadlines
- Strong demonstrable experience working on policy in a European and/or global context.
- Experience in developing and implementing policy and advocacy strategies.
- Experience working with policy-makers in a policy and advocacy function.
- Experience of networking and contact building in political, academic or NGO settings
- Experience in policy analysis and development of policy briefings and reports.
- Experience in coordinating internal working groups.
- Experience in policy and advocacy on violence against women and girls and an understanding of gender in fragile and humanitarian settings.
- Experience working in other related humanitarian protection areas (refugee/migrant protection, child protection, etc).
- Knowledge of other EU languages, particularly German.
- Experience of public speaking and working with the media (including writing and broadcast interviews)
- Passion for the empowerment of women and girls in refugee contexts and beyond
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