Head of Advocacy

Eurochild
  • Location
    Brussels, Belgium
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Oct 16

Position description

The Brussels-based Secretariat of the Eurochild network is seeking to hire a new Head of Advocacy. It is suited to someone passionate and knowledgeable about children’s rights, and experienced in influencing politicians and policy makers. Familiarity with EU institutions and the EU policy-making process is a distinct advantage.

In the 15 years since its establishment, Eurochild has grown into one of the most influential networks on children’s rights in Europe. Our strength is derived from our membership, the direct involvement of children in our work, and close working relationships with the EU institutions.

These are extraordinary times for children’s rights in Europe. In 2021, the European Commission will adopt a European Child Guarantee initiative, as well as a comprehensive EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child. These developments can bring about significant and long-term improvements to the lives of disadvantaged children across Europe, if they translate into policies, practices and public spending within countries. This only happens if there is also national ownership of the policy agenda. Eurochild plays a unique role in connecting EU policy with national realities. It supports its membership to influence EU policies and to leverage EU policy, legislation and funding in national advocacy efforts.

This opportunity comes at a time when Eurochild is getting to its next stage of development and our advocacy and communications are crucial to our efforts. In the coming months Eurochild will embark on a number of key external facing campaigns with the aim of influencing policies processes with the potential of bringing about substantial positive changes for children in the European region. We will also work to furthering Eurochild visibility, strengthening its profile as a thought leader in new spaces and developing new products to support its membership, fundraising and broader organisational objectives.

Responsibilities

The Head of Advocacy is responsible for designing and coordinating Eurochild’s strategic advocacy and is expected to critically support our positioning in the EU arena and members’ efforts to harness EU driven opportunities incountries. This includes:

  • understanding EU political processes, prioritizing our engagement to ensure that our influencing efforts are strategic, targeted, effective and timely;
  • supporting Secretariat colleagues responsible for Eurochild’s thematic priorities, ensuring alignment and synergies, making sure that our specific policy demands are heard in the policy-making processes (this currently includes early childhood development, children in alternative care and child participation, but new priorities may emerge depending on member interest and funding opportunities);
  • assess and identify effective advocacy tactics, including building or consolidating alliances, ensuring that we achieve our advocacy goals;
  • supporting and building the capacity of Eurochild member organisations to themselves engage in influencing EU policy processes, and to use adopted EU legislation, policy and funding to drive change nationally;
  • use creatively and strategically communication tools (online and offline); craft and refine the content of our messages to ensure we reach the right audiences and achieve our expected impact (in close partnership with the Head of Communications, Secretary General and President).

Support and supervision

The Head of Advocacy is given considerable autonomy to design and lead our advocacy work. The position is supervised and supported by the Director of Programmes who oversees our programmatic work and relationships with donors. However, the selected candidate will also work in close partnership with the Secretary General, Eurochild President (H.E. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca) and the Head of Communications, to build and execute effective advocacy and communications strategies. The position has line-management responsibilities for the EU Affairs Assistant and the Policy Intern (a 6-month rolling programme for young people at an early stage in their career). There will also be task management responsibilities for colleagues working in specific thematic policy areas.

Qualifications

Essential

  • A proven track record in political influencing, ideally at EU level, with a minimum of 5 years relevant professional experience;
  • Experience of working with and/or for the non-profit sector, preferably in the field of children’s rights;
  • Strong political acumen, with demonstrable capacity to work across the political spectrum and to drive evidence-informed advocacy;
  • Ability to multi-task, to prioritise, to work collaboratively and to think ‘outside the box’;
  • Excellent communicator able to assimilate and convey complex information in ways that are compelling and easy to understand;
  • Excellent networking, negotiation and presentation skills;
  • Keen listener who is sensitive to different points of view. High level of tact and diplomacy;
  • Fluency in written and spoken English, other languages are an advantage.

Desirable

  • Knowledge of the European Union and familiarity with the different EU institutions, the policy making process and the role of organized civil society;
  • Knowledge & experience in one or more of Eurochild’s thematic priorities: ending child poverty, ending institutional care for children, child participation, early childhood development.

Application instructions

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