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Mercy Corps is a global humanitarian aid agency engaged in transitional environments that have experienced some sort of shock: natural disaster, economic collapse, or conflict.
The Position Summary
The Director of Policy and Advocacy will be responsible for leading policy influencing initiatives with the government of Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia. S/he will conduct a deep political and policy analysis for each country to understand the policy framework relevant to P/CVE, peace and stability, identify potential policy changes that could support a more holistic and comprehensive approach to achieving stability in the borderlands, and will support policy makers with resources and technical guidance to support the policy process. S/he will engage closely with policy-makers across the 3 target countries at different levels to support policy and legislative reforms, and will build the capacity of civil society actors within the target countries to undertake advocacy and policy engagement. S/he will drive the policy and advocacy strategy for the programme, working with the programmes, research and learning teams to ensure that research and evidence is used to inform policy initiatives.The Director of Policy and Advocacy will be a key member of the programme management team, and will work with other technical sector leads to ensure that community-level interventions, government policies, and research are delivered in a complementary and mutually-reinforcing way to achieve maximum impact.
Essential Job Responsibilities
STRATEGY AND VISION
- Lead development of the programme’s policy and advocacy strategy by leading a deep political and policy assessment of each target country and identifying key legislative and policy interventions that could strengthen the government’s capacity to improve stability and counter violent extremism in the borderlands
- Contribute to shaping the programme’s research and influencing agenda, working with the Research Director to integrate and advance research, learning and advocacy in order to deepen the contextual understanding of drivers of violence and extremism in the borderlands of Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia and the sources of community resilience.
- Stay abreast of the policy and political environment and emerging challenges, and be ready to engage with policymakers in each context to represent the program’s recommendations on how to tackle evolving dynamics. Ensure that team members in the region are on message with our vision and position.
POLICY AND REPRESENTATION WORK
- Represent the program in advancing policy issues related to PCVE, stabilisation and violence prevention including by building strategic partnerships, holding influencing meetings with government and other stakeholders, and by presenting policy and research at external events.
- Build a network and establish and maintain strategic relationships with relevant local and international stakeholders, to continually inform, challenge, and improve Mercy Corps’ advocacy, strategy, and program development.
- Engage stakeholders at the community level to inform advocacy action planning, ensuring that program strategies and policy advocacy are driven by and aligned with community priorities.
- Lead in the structuring of partner roles and responsibilities for policy and advocacy work, oversee their activities and provide continuous technical support and capacity building as required.
- Build a network of local organizations to engage on policy initiatives at the sub-national and County level.
- Track global policy developments affecting VE in the East/Horn of Africa Region, including policies of regional states, donor policies and UN policy.
- Work with the field teams and global P&A team to plan and produce effective, thoughtful and timely written products that advance policy perspectives important to our mission.
TRAINING AND CAPACITY BUILDING
- Enhance the programme team’s capacity on policy and advocacy by designing and leading technical training sessions for Mercy Corps staff and local partners and providing ongoing coaching and mentoring.
- Promote active learning and adaptive management, and contribute to agency-level networks and working groups, through documentation and knowledge sharing around best practices and lessons learned in P/CVE programming.
- As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve, we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.
Accountability to Beneficiaries
- Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically
to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
- Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.
Minimum Qualifications & Transferrable skills
- Master’s degree in Peace Building and Conflict Resolution or related discipline.
- At least 8 years experience working on countering violent extremism programming, conflict mitigation and resolution, and/or violence reduction and prevention programs.
- Demonstrated experience working to influence local and national government policies to promote peace-building and development outcomes.
- Solutions-oriented individual, with strong strategic thinking capabilities.
- Demonstrated effectiveness managing a diverse team of staff, consortium partners and local implementing partners, building a cohesive and results-oriented team to deliver on complex programming result.
- Experience working with a diverse range of community members to discuss sensitive and delicate topics in a conflict-sensitive manner.
- Excellent writing and reporting skills.
- Excellent verbal and inter-personal communications skills.
- Demonstrated sensitivity, skill, and experience working within different cultural settings and navigating public affairs and communications on sensitive issues.