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Advocacy Advisor– Early Childhood Development

New York City (United States of America)

  • Organization: IRC - International Rescue Committee
  • Location: New York City (United States of America)
  • Grade: Senior - Internationally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Legal - Broad
    • Political Affairs
    • Children's rights (health and protection)
    • Communication and Public Information
  • Closing Date:

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Requisition ID: req7624

Job Title: Advocacy Advisor– Early Childhood Development

Sector: Education

Employment Category: Fixed Term

Employment Type: Full-Time

Open to Expatriates: No

Location: New York, NY HQ USA

Job Description

IRC reaches over a million children annually with education and child protection programs in 20 countries around the world. Sitting within IRC’s Crisis Response, Recovery & Development (CRRD) Unit, the Education Technical Unit defines the vision and strategic priorities for all of IRC’s education programs. The team provides evidence-based and contextually-relevant technical support to programs, with the goal of ensuring they are technically sound and achieving meaningful outcomes.

Early Childhood Development-which is based within IRC’s Education Technical Unit but with strong linkages to Child Protection, Health and Nutrition-- is a core organizational priority at the IRC.  As a part of the IRC’s ECD portfolio, the organization is working closely with Sesame Workshop, the creators of Sesame Street, to implement a life-changing, multi-year intervention to bring vital early learning and nurturing care to children and families affected by conflict and crisis in the Middle East with a specific focus on the ongoing civil war in Syria as well as the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh. Further information about the initiative can be found here: http://refugee.sesameinternational.org/.

Job Overview/ Summary:

The IRC is seeking an Advocacy Advisor for the Early Childhood Development technical support team, to lead global communications and advocacy efforts to bring attention to the developmental needs of young children in conflict and crisis settings, raise the profile of IRC and partners’ work in this area and influence change in the ways in which ECD is prioritized and funded in humanitarian contexts. Reporting jointly to the Senior Technical Advisor, Early Childhood Development and the Senior Education Policy Advisor, the ECD Advocacy Advisor will work in close collaboration with other relevant members of the IRC’s technical units to define and implement a strategic approach to ECD Advocacy for IRC.

Major Responsibilities:

 Inform ECD strategy

  •  Continually review IRC’s existing ECD Advocacy strategy to identify areas that require updating, expansion and improvement.
  • Liaise with key advocacy focal points across IRC’s Crisis Response, Recovery & Development (CRRD) Unit at the global, regional and country level, as well as IRC’s Policy and Advocacy and Communication units, to keep abreast of strategic ECD initiatives and opportunities that may inform the global ECD Advocacy strategy.
  • Conduct external stakeholder analyses to better understand ECD funding and strategic priorities of key donors and identify and recommend opportunities for engagement, advocacy and communications tactics directed at strategic decisionmakers.

Project Management

  • Track and continually update requests for IRC participation or representation in advocacy-related meetings and events, providing recommendations for engagement and participation.
  • Develop an ECD Advocacy workplan aligned with the strategy and track the progress of objectives and activities.

Internal Capacity Building and Communications:

  •  Develop, support and/or lead advocacy capacity building workshops and meetings for IRC staff and/or relevant partner staff at the global, regional and country level.
  • Develop and continually update ECD Advocacy briefs to provide updates to key internal stakeholders on relevant activities and accomplishments.
  • Assist in the development and finalization of ECD Advocacy talking points and presentations for events and meetings.
  • Support in scaling initiatives and ensure links between the advocacy and scaling work streams.

External Representation and Relationship Management

  • In coordination with the STA ECD and the SPA Education, liaise with advocacy focal points at key partner organizations (Sesame, BRAC) as well as with ECD advocacy focal points at peer organizations and UN agencies.
  • Represent IRC within appropriate interagency groups, including the Thrive coalition and Nurturing Care Framework advocacy working group.

Qualifications

Minimum Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree required; post-graduate degree preferred in a discipline relevant to Global Early Childhood Development
  • 5+ years of experience working in advocacy related to children, education, health or other relevant fields
  • Excellent interpersonal and oral and written communication skills; demonstrated ability to successfully work in a fast-paced environment, within and across departments/functions and develop positive relationships with locally and remote based staff.

  • Strong facilitation skills and ability to lead meetings and workshops with diverse stakeholders.

  • Self-directed, able to independently set priorities and solve problems with minimal guidance; comfortable working for a supervisor who is remotely located

  • Excellent writing and editing skills: the ability to draft and edit memos, letters, reports and proposals.
  • Good critical thinking; ability to synthesis a wide scope of information.
  • Solid organizational skills, with a proven ability to prioritize projects with attention to detail.
  • Flexible work attitude: the ability to work productively in a team environment, problem solve with minimal guidance and support any range of projects at a moment’s notice;
  • Knowledge of early childhood development, education, humanitarian programming and relevant international policies and stakeholders
  • Arabic language skills a plus

Working Environment:

  • Standard office working environment
  • Position is based out of HQ-NY

  • Travel: Approximately 30%

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