Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian non-profit organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. We support children’s rights from birth until they reach adulthood, and enable children to prepare for – and respond to – crises and adversity. We believe in the power and potential of every child, but know this is often suppressed by poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination.
Reports to: Country Director
Type of Role: 5-year fixed term contract (contingent on proposal award)
Plan International seeks an outstanding Advocacy Lead [Contingent on proposal award] to lead the Consortium’s influencing work, positioning it as a reliable partner for FGM issues at international level and building the movement to eliminate FGM in Africa as part of the anticipated Supporting the Africa Led Movement to End FGM Programme across 6 countries (Kenya, Somaliland/ Somalia, Nigeria, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Mali) with an expected budget of approximately £35 million over five years. Advocacy Lead will provide advice and capacity building support to Country Offices, and Consortium partners (networks and organisations) at multiple levels, with a particular focus on youth-led and women-led organisations, to strengthen their organisational and activism capacities; to enable their active participation in campaigning; and to increase their leadership on FGM.
The project will focus on accelerating the pace of change to end FGM and achieving results at scale. The programme looks at achieving change at scale in the chosen countries, but also reinforcing this with a more global approach to grassroots networks and campaigns/advocacy. The programme will deliver community-level projects to end FGM by changing attitudes and behaviours towards harmful practices, empowering communities to protect the safety, rights and choices of women and girls.
- Undertake in-depth power and policy analysis of the structures, systems and networks in participating countries, regional and international levels to identify key influencers and key opportunities for changes in law, policy, budget and behaviour that will drive the achievement of the strategic goals and objectives set by the consortium, in close consultation with the component 2 lead within the UN Joint Programme
- Collaborate with media and campaigns lead within the consortium to agree key campaigning and advocacy targets and approaches and messages
- Lead and manage the design and implementation of an FGM Influencing Strategy, in coordination with staff and partners, by taking an integrated approach to influencing. Review and update the Influencing Strategy as appropriate in response to the evolving context
- Ensure strong linkages with the Programmes and Monitoring, Evaluations and Research (MER) staff so that advocacy and policy approaches are based in evidence, well monitored, and adapted based on assessment
- Identify and build strategic partnerships and engagement to advocate and negotiate with diverse, relevant external actors’ such as organisations, networks, political contacts, technical experts, civil society, and other key stakeholders to further the delivery of the FGM influencing agenda and build a stronger movement
- Making use of policy analysis and to support its recommendations, lead on the establishment and maintenance of dialogue with key decision-makers within government and other relevant institutions such as ECOWAS/ regional bodies, African Union etc.
- Lead the development of Influencing tools such as briefings and key messages; guidelines; training modules; and awareness raising material/communications in collaboration with the COs, Influencing focal points and local implementing partners for a variety of stakeholders.
- Facilitate the sharing of best practice, case studies and learning from other experiences, including the design and delivery of conferences, workshops and other events.
- Work with Country Offices, Regional Offices, National Offices and Global Headquarters to strengthen and support influencing on FGM, collaborating on region-wide and global initiatives.
- Provide Influencing advice across the consortium during programme design/co-creation phase and implementation to support the successful integration of Influencing into operations.
- Coordinate collective action efforts across the participating countries, including supporting and building CO capacity, and connecting national level initiatives to regional/global opportunities and spaces such as Day of the Girl, ECOWAS/ regional bodies, African Union, Women Deliver etc.
- Provide support and capacity building to country Influencing focal points/programme teams to deliver influencing training with staff and partners
- Coordinate with Safeguarding Advisor to ensure that safeguarding risk identification and management strategies are developed for sensitive activities
- Engage and collaborate with activists, regional children and youth/girl-led movements to mutualise resources and capacities to influence the state of girls in the region.
- Coordinate the youth-led advocacy programme: Working with COs, build the capacity of local partners, especially youth- led organisations on advocacy and influencing and support the development of advocacy action plans
- Design and implement training sessions for young people and girls on leadership and as well as seeking influencing opportunities in line with their priorities
- Participate in relevant networks and coordination meetings and contribute to or lead advocacy activities within working groups where relevant. Build linkages between FGM advocacy work and Plan’s broader advocacy work to extend FGM messaging.
- Monitor and report on Consortium progress in influencing and its contribution to change making.
In order to succeed in the challenging and varied role, you will have extensive experience in the following areas:
- Demonstrated experience in using with success key influencing strategies such as advocacy, lobbying, movement building, or policy development
- Demonstrated experience in identifying and engaging with external power holders, for example ministers, officials, parliamentarians, high level positions in various media outlets, public figures, human rights activists
- Preferably experience in influencing on FGM or related issues such as gender equality, harmful practices, VAWG
- Familiar with key international human rights frameworks and their relevance for change actions and opinions of power holders and social behaviour.
- Experience of working directly with children and youth in participatory ways to develop youth-led influencing strategies and campaigns for change including experience of developing and delivering advocacy strategies and/or campaigns preferably with a gender equality or girl-led focus an advantage
- Practical knowledge and competence of in identifying risks and mitigation processes that are associated with youth influencing - understanding of youth safeguarding and child rights, current issues and best practice including protection issues associated with campaigning and advocacy including digital safety
- Experience of policy processes affecting the realisation of gender equality and inclusion and engaging in key mechanisms to shape the agenda of governments, institutions, multi-laterals and donors.
- Experience in carrying out power, policy and political analysis to inform strategies and projects
- Experience in developing and delivering robust policy and advocacy strategies in development and/or humanitarian contexts, and working with policy makers, technical staff and multi-lateral institutions
- Experience of working with coalitions and networks, building effective relationships, demonstrating leadership and exerting influence with various stakeholders through acting in an advisory capacity
- Understanding of movements and activism approaches and trends across Africa including intersectionality with youth movements and of strategies to support cross-movement and intergenerational learning, collaboration and influencing.
- Experience in strategic youth advocacy and activism at the local, national and/or global level
- Good understanding of development sector and socio-cultural contexts in which Plan International operates across West and East Africa and ability to interact effectively with youth advocates and activists and adults in cross-cultural environments
- Experience preparing young people for advocacy engagements, activities and opportunities e.g. meetings with decision-maker, speech development, key messages development, communications plans.
- Experience in project cycle management, implementing community level social norms and FGM/HTP interventions and/ or acting as a technical advisor to such programmes an advantage
- Experience of working with/ through partners, including building technical capacity of partner organisations
- Experience of working in one or several of the proposed countries and strong understanding of context and contextual challenges faced by communities in the country is an advantage
- Able to consult, gather and integrate feedback into internal and external influencing briefings and materials, such as policy briefs, campaign messages, blogs, articles, presentation, speeches
- Strong public presentation skills and ability to represent the programme to a variety of audiences. Able to lead or coordinate delivery of internal and external policy and advocacy briefings and materials.
- Advanced verbal and written communication skills.
- Advanced degree in a relevant field, for example, Gender Studies, Development Studies, Humand Rights, or Sociology.
- Fluency in English
- Knowledge of French/Arabic/local languages would be an advantage
Competitive salary and package available.
Method of Application
Interested and qualified? Go to Plan International career website on jobs.plan-international.org to apply