Advocacy and Policy Advisor

Summary of Role

The Secretariat currently seeks a dynamic and passionate Advocacy and Policy Advisor to join our team in New York City. The Advocacy and Policy Advisor plays a key role leadership role in helping the Secretariat advance the network’s strategic priorities, of which global advocacy is paramount. The incumbent will advance the Secretariat’s mission to advocate for children, with a particular focus on ending violence against children throughout the world. S/he will work to strengthen advocacy capacity across the Alliance. S/he will lead policy research and monitor existing and emerging trends and issues as related to violence against children and the protection and advancement of their rights and well-being. S/he will represent and engage in UN processes, global coalitions and key partnerships. S/he will identify opportunities or initiatives to advance the advocacy goals and/or the profile of ChildFund.

Job Description
Title: Advocacy and Policy Advisor
Location: New York City


About the Organization

ChildFund Alliance is a global network of 11 child-focused development organizations working in more than 60 countries. We help nearly 13 million children, youth and their families to overcome poverty and the underlying conditions that prevent children from achieving their full potential, with an annual expenditure of almost US $500 million. ChildFund was founded in 1938.

The Alliance works in partnership with children and their communities to create lasting change. We support long-term community development, promote children’s rights and child protection, prepare for natural disasters and respond to humanitarian emergencies. Our work is carried out within the framework of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and in support of the Sustainable Development Goals which are laid out in Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

We work in partnership with children and their communities to create lasting change, and the participation of children themselves is a key component of our approach.

The ChildFund Alliance Secretariat oversees the day-to-day operations of the Alliance. The Secretariat develops and works with members to implement Alliance-wide strategy, standards and policies, and represents the network at international forums including the United Nations and the European Union. The Secretariat is located in New York City in close proximity to the United Nations, and our European Office is located in Brussels. 

Background on Ending Violence against Children

In September 2015, the United Nations unanimously adopted Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a set of universal goals, targets and indicators to frame the global development agenda for the next 15 years. The Agenda includes a stand-alone target (16.2) on violence against children: End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children. ChildFund Alliance worked assiduously for the inclusion of SDG 16.2 in the global agenda through its Free from Violence and Exploitation Campaign and in partnership with others.

For the past several years, the Alliance has focused its activities on ending violence against children through the implementation of three strategic priorities identified in Toward a Safe World for Children: Five Year Strategic Plan 2016-2021, approved by the ChildFund Alliance Board of Directors in May 2016. We believe every child has an inherent, universal right to survive and develop, in a life free from violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect. Yet today, more than one billion children — more than half of the world’s children — are exposed to violence each year. In Toward a Safe World for Children, we made a commitment to do all we can to prevent violence at all levels, from the domestic to the community to the global; protect children from violence and exploitation; and enable children to meaningfully participate in decisions related to achieving the SDGs.

Guided by this plan, we serve as a united voice with and for children and we mobilize to address threats totheir lives, safety and well-being. We advocate for ending violence against children; work to ease the harmful impact of disasters; expand our expertise in emergency response, with a focus on child protection; and work with children and youth to influence change. Starting in July 2019, the Alliance Secretariat will undertake a new strategic planning process that will shape the network’s strategic priorities for the years 2021-2026.

Summary of Role

The Secretariat currently seeks a dynamic and passionate Advocacy and Policy Advisor to join our team in New York City. The Advocacy and Policy Advisor plays a key role leadership role in helping the Secretariat advance the network’s strategic priorities, of which global advocacy is paramount. The incumbent will advance the Secretariat’s mission to advocate for children, with a particular focus on ending violence against children throughout the world. S/he will work to strengthen advocacy capacity across the Alliance. S/he will lead policy research and monitor existing and emerging trends and issues as related to violence against children and the protection and advancement of their rights and well-being. S/he will represent and engage in UN processes, global coalitions and key partnerships. S/he will identify opportunities or initiatives to advance the advocacy goals and/or the profile of ChildFund.

Advocacy and Policy Advisor: Purpose

Within Strategic Priority 1 of the strategic plan, the Advocacy and Policy Advisor provides leadership for Objective 1: Strengthen advocacy capacity across the Alliance. The Advisor works in consultation with the network’s Advocacy Task Force to support Alliance members to advocate for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 16.2. The Advisor provides oversight for resources to support members including those posted on relevant sections of the website.

S/he will also provide support to the Child-friendly Accountability Task Force as needed. S/he will work closely with the ChildFund Alliance Representative to the United Nations to identify and follow the UN sessions and processes required to fulfil his/her role. As a member of the Secretariat, the Advisor will contribute to enhancing ChildFund Alliance’s global presence as a thought leader on child protection and the prevention of violence against children.

As the Alliance embarks on a new strategic plan for the period FY 2021 – 2026, the Advisor will have a unique opportunity to shape the future direction of the Alliance’s Advocacy Strategy. S/he will work closely with the Strategic Alliance Program Manager to resource three distinct working groups set up to advance the plan’s formation and participate in the programmatic working group. S/he will work with the Strategy Integration Team to support the external research necessary to inform the future direction of the Alliance.

Advocacy and Policy Advisor Responsibilities

Advocacy Coordination and Support

  • Provide leadership for the Advocacy Task Force. Periodically update Terms of Reference (ToR) for the Advocacy Task Force. Key responsibilities of the Task Force include:
    • Giving guidance on the Advocacy Asks over the course of the next three years;
    • Providing guidance on the resources, tools, research, and report topics that would be most relevant and useful;
    • Developing methods for Members to share information related to advocacy, report on advocacy work and support each other’s work; and
    • Developing publications (such as ChildFund Building Momentum) that document ChildFund’s programmatic work on ending violence against children.
  • Collaborate with the Secretariat team and Advocacy Task Force on the development and implementation of the Advocacy Strategy to guide and coordinate advocacy across the Alliance.
    • Oversee the development of a monitoring and evaluation framework for the Advocacy Strategy.
    • Develop, in consultation with the Secretariat team, resources to support advocacy efforts at the national, regional, and global levels.
    • Develop, in consultation with the Member offices, a framework to obtain timely information from the field that can inform our advocacy. Support flow of relevant information in two directions from member offices to the UNHQ level through the Secretariat and from the Secretariat to member offices.
    • Coordinate and support the development of global position statements on children in crisis around the world.
  • In consultation with the Strategic Communications Advisor, produce collaterals to implement the strategy including:
    • Free from Violence updates (issued monthly)
    • Tools to advance national and regional advocacy
    • Policy briefs on subjects related to Ending Violence against Children and other global issues
    • Messaging on a variety of advocacy initiatives
    • Q&A documents
  • In consultation with the Strategic Communications Advisor, manage relevant sections of the website:
    • Prepare written content for the site based on established criteria.
    • Post articles, resources and member updates to refresh content.

Representation and Engagement in UN processes, Global Coalitions and Key Partnerships

  • Support members to participate in the official SDG review processes including the High-level Political Forum, Regional Forums for Sustainable Development and the Voluntary National Reviews.
  • Represent ChildFund Alliance at the United Nations and its related agencies, including UNICEF. Identify and participate in meetings, briefings and events that contribute to ChildFund Advocacy objectives and prepare timely updates on meetings and events for members.
  • Follow UN sessions and processes that are relevant for ChildFund’s advocacy, in consultation with the Representative to the UN. In consultation with the Secretariat, facilitate engagement of representatives of member offices (as appropriate) in relevant UN sessions and processes.
  • Support the UN Permanent Representative to represent the Alliance in coalitions such as the monthly meetings of the Child-Focused Agencies, the Civil Society Organization (CSO) Forum to End Violence against Children, and the NGO Committee on UNICEF.
  • Support engagement with other child-focused coalitions such as Child Rights Connect that are relevant to ChildFund’s mandate.
  • Regularly inform the Secretary General of key developments and opportunities that relate to role as Chief Advocate for the Alliance.
  • Support the Secretary General in assessing emerging opportunities to participate in joint initiatives.
  • Provide support for and facilitate member inputs to the Joining Forces initiatives (Ending Violence against Children and Child Rights Now!) that emerged from the 2017 JF meeting at Bellagio Center.

Support to the Alliance Secretariat

  • Support the Alliance in the development of a global campaign grounded in member’s programmatic work, advancing policy advocacy objectives and integrating communications and fundraising.
  • Provide support for the process to develop the next Strategic plan for ChildFund Alliance (2021-2026).
  • Participate in the review of communications materials such as videos, brochures and other publications.
  • Participate in the review of internal guidance and memos of policy concern.
  • Play key role in the development of the 2021-2026 strategic plan.
  • Assist in responding to requests from Alliance members.
  • Identify opportunities or initiatives that require high and/or sustained engagement by the Secretary General that would advance advocacy goals and/or the profile of ChildFund.
  • Inform the direction of the membership growth strategy based on advocacy and UN representation.

Support for Other Initiatives, Meetings and Events

  • Provide support for internal and external meetings and events, including CEO and Board meetings.
  • Provide support to the Child-friendly Accountability initiative, as needed.
  • Assist with member engagement with entities such as Keeping Children Safe and Accountable Now.

Qualifications

  • Passionate about the Alliance vision, mission and strategic priorities. Highly motivated, energetic and robust. Optimistic and resilient and maintains a positive attitude in all settings, manages change and setbacks well.
  • Five to ten years’ consistent experience in government relations or advocacy, particularly in an international NGO. Experience in child protection is a plus.
  • Strong knowledge of global development issues and human rights.
  • Understanding of influence. Strong networking and partnership skills. Possesses a sophisticated understanding of global advocacy, understands the UN System and points of intervention for influence and change.
  • Coalition building skills. Experience working with coalitions to advocate for global policy change and resource mobilization.
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills with a meticulous attention to detail.
  • Excellent research and writing skills. Experience in preparing briefs on complex issues and the ability to present them in public settings. Demonstrated ability to write policy briefs, research papers, opinion pieces, etc.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills. Listens and respects the views and expertise of others, is empathetic.
  • Team player. Works well with others and appreciates the impact of teamwork. Willingness to work well within the Alliance leadership structure, respectful of the global decision making process, and adept at taking initiative to achieve concrete outcomes.
  • Multitasks. Effective at managing multiple tasks concurrently. Can think strategically, handle ambiguity and work well in a multicultural environment.
  • Fluency in oral and written English.
  • Legal and personal ability to work in the USA.
  • Ability to travel abroad.
  • Understands the need for flexibility to accommodate needs of members in multiple time zones.
  • The employee will perform all tasks in line with the ChildFund Alliance’s Child Safeguarding Policy Guidelines: https://childfundalliance.org/resources/publications/tools-guidelines/1469-keepingchildren- safe. Any employment with ChildFund Alliance will be subject to a set of pre-employment checks prior to start date. (4)

Educational Requirements:

Bachelor’s degree required and a Master’s in Advocacy and Social Justice; International Relations; Human Rights; or Social Work is preferred.

Employment will be subject to the following checks prior to start date:

  • Satisfactory police record check to include a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and/or an International Criminal Record Check (if applicable);
  • Receipt of satisfactory references;
  • Proof of eligibility to work in the United States;
  • Range of pre-employment checks in conformity with ChildFund Alliance’s child safeguarding policy.

Application procedure 

To apply, send a résumé and cover letter to jobs@childfundalliance.org, with the subject line “Advocacy and Policy Advisor.” This will remain posted until the position is filled.