Advocacy & Policy Specialist

Danish Refugee Council, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh

Skill Required:, Policy/ Advocacy and Campaign
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
20th January, 2019

Job Description

Overall purpose of the role:

Are you passionate about working for the most unprivileged populations in the world in complex crises? The Rohingya in Bangladesh are a stateless population lacking legal status and some of the basic rights, having survived abuses in Myanmar that the UN Fact Finding Mission judged to have been carried out with genocidal intent. Close to 1 million people from this minority arrived in several influxes in the last decades with by far the largest and the fastest one of August 2017 and settled in one of the poorest districts of Bangladesh causing strains on the host community. The Rohingya are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.

The Bangladesh Rohingya Response NGO Platform was established in mid-2018 and groups together over 100 local, national and international NGOs active in the humanitarian response in Cox’s Bazar. Its key functions comprise information sharing and coordination, humanitarian advocacy, representation, capacity strengthening and enhancing partnerships and accountability among NGOs. The Secretariat currently consist of one international and one national coordinator and is supported by the Steering Committee of three local/national and three international NGOs. Danish Refugee Council is the host of the NGO Platform.

The Secretariat is planning on expanding to be able to deliver on the key functions of the Platform and make a meaningful improvement in the lives of the Rohingya and the affected communities. We endeavour to work through a strong and effective NGO voice working in both camps and host communities delivering life-saving assistance across all humanitarian sectors. Currently the Platform has mostly delivered on its formal start-up, information sharing, coordination and representation functions. Several joint NGO advocacy initiatives were undertaken, however in 2019 the NGO Platform envisages to develop and implement a strategy together with its members to guide its work. More focus is required on evidence-based advocacy, capacity strengthening and partnerships among its members: local, national and international NGOs.

The post holder will play a key role in preparing analysis and contents of advocacy together with advocacy focal points of NGOs. S/he will coordinate an NGO advocacy working group and will lead the development of its strategy under the guidance of the Steering Committee. S/he will support any group of NGOs that will want to conduct humanitarian advocacy compatible with the goals of the NGO Platform. S/he will also contribute to the capacity strengthening and partnerships functions of the NGO Platform, supported by the NGO Platform Manager and the rest of the Secretariat. S/he will work together with an Advocacy & Program Coordinator and an Information Management Officer, that are expected to join the Secretariat at a later stage.

Advocacy & Policy

Consult with Members and the Steering Committee to shape the NGO Platform’s Advocacy Priorities and Strategy, and to liaise with relevant members and stakeholders to support on influencing activities and advise on and help implement advocacy initiatives.

  • Jointly develop an advocacy strategy for the NGO Platform in conjunction with the NGO Platform membership, Secretariat and the Steering Committee, as well as in conjunction with NGO counterparts in Myanmar dealing with Rohingya crisis.
  • Develop common positions and advocacy/communication products adapted to the different targets and audience locally, nationally and internationally, especially on key national policy/responses and frameworks, as well as other factors such as protection concerns, funding for the response, localization of the response, UN coordination, current and future challenges that have an impact on affected populations and their access to humanitarian assistance and protection services as well as medium -long term durable solutions.
  • Pro-actively attend, contribute to or convene strategic discussions and meetings on key humanitarian issues in Cox’s Bazar response in line with Members’ objectives and the Platform’s Advocacy Priorities.
  • Set up and coordinate NGO Platform Advocacy Working Group; provide guidance or technical support to resulting advocacy initiatives when requested.
  • Retain an overview of and suggest ways to pro-actively respond to key developments in Cox’s Bazar response, with particular focus on the areas identified within the Advocacy Priorities.
  • Lead on Platform’s advocacy engagement with national offices of relevant stakeholders to maintain a good understanding of issues and initiatives in the country and ensure that advocacy efforts and messages are coordinated and aligned at national level and informed by insights from NGO management staff.
  • Consult and coordinate with external stakeholders such as the UN and donors to align advocacy and influencing activities when feasible.
  • Remain up-to-date on key issues at the national and Cox’s Bazar level, through engagement with relevant stakeholders, in order to inform the NGO Platform Manager and the Steering Committee.
  • Commission and oversee research to build an evidence base for key advocacy issues and initiatives. Analyse relevant documentation and contribute to deepened analysis of the crisis, and durable solutions for it.
  • Pro-actively engage with relevant existing advocacy fora or mechanisms in Bangladesh.
  • Regularly liaise with counterparts in Myanmar to ensure regional understanding of the context and an effective strategy with a regional dimension.

Representation & Communication

  • Develop communication plans accompanying advocacy initiatives; liaise with NGO communications focal points.
  • Help prepare communications contents for the media with the support of NGO communications focal points. Act as a focal point for the media, where required.
  • Establish strategic relationships with media outlets to ensure push of key advocacy messages and communication materials.
  • Build networks of key informants and stakeholders in country.
  • Represent the NGO Platform in different fora, especially advocacy-related, or as otherwise delegated by the NGO Platform Manager.
  • Ensure dissemination of information and analysis related to the crisis among Members through supporting preparation of periodic highlights. Support the Secretariat with updates for the website and ad-hoc communication.

Management and support to others

  • Line manage staff, ensuring that there is adequate performance management against agreed performance management guidelines and that appropriate and timely feedback to staff regarding their performance is provided.
  • Increase advocacy capacity of relevant NGO Platform members.
  • Contribute to the capacity strengthening and partnerships functions of the NGO Platform.
  • Perform other duties as requested by the NGO Platform Manager.

Experience and technical competencies: (include years of experience)

  • An excellent professional track record with a minimum of 5 years’ experience working in advocacy on humanitarian issues, refugee rights, human rights, and/or development issues.
  • Advanced degree in Public Policy, International Law and/or knowledge of refugee and international law.
  • Experience of research, influencing and advocacy work including lobbying, policy development and information provision in humanitarian issues with a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Extensive knowledge of human rights and international humanitarian law.
  • Understanding of UN and donor operations at country and regional level.
  • Proven analytical skills and ability to work with others to develop strategy into action and communicating and influencing this to a wider audience.
  • Demonstrated ability to work creatively, innovatively and effectively with limited direct supervision.
  • Excellent organizational, problem-solving and negotiation skills. The ability to remain calm whilst deal with conflicting priorities/work under pressure is essential.
  • High-level interpersonal and communications skills; with the ability to write clear, concise reports. Strong diplomatic and networking skills, ability to influence and liaise effectively with key stakeholders.
  • S/he must be able to plan and manage her/his own time effectively. The holder must exercise a strong work ethic and take responsibility for his/her own actions.
  • Commitment to humanitarian principles and actions.
  • Experience in working in the Rohingya crisis highly desired. Experience in working in Myanmar or other South and Southeast Asian contexts will be an asset.
  • Experience working in other NGO coordination fora an asset.

Education: (include certificates, licenses etc.): University or graduate degree in relevant field

Languages: (indicate fluency level)

  • English – fluent
  • Bangla – highly desired

In this position, you are expected to demonstrate DRC’ five core competencies:

  • Striving for excellence: You focus on reaching results while ensuring an efficient process.
  • Collaborating: You involve relevant parties and encourage feedback.
  • Taking the lead: You take ownership and initiative while aiming for innovation.
  • Communicating: You listen and speak effectively and honestly.
  • Demonstrating integrity: You act in line with DRC’s vision and values.


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