Policy and Advocacy Manager
Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq
Type of Position
Full-time Employment Contract (Expatriate)
Length of Contract
Compensation and Benefits
Competitive salary and benefits commensurate with skills and experience. Expatriate compensation package includes relocation expenses and housing and local transportation allowances.
About SEED Foundation
SEED Foundation is a locally registered NGO in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. SEED’s mission is to protect, empower, and support the recovery of survivors of violence and others at risk. SEED is committed to delivering quality and holistic approaches, combining international expertise and local know-how to achieve results for the people of Iraq and Kurdistan. SEED’s programming focuses on three key objectives: 1) the delivery of transformational, comprehensive services including case management, mental health, and legal services, as well as psychosocial support activities; 2) strengthening the capacity of service providers through education, training, and capacity-development programs; and 3) promoting policy and social change to strengthen rights and protections for vulnerable groups and individuals through public awareness, technical assistance, and advocacy.
Role of the Policy and Advocacy Manager
The Policy and Advocacy Manager will be responsible for leading SEED’s Policy and Advocacy Unit, managing its team, and institutionalizing its systems and processes. The Policy and Advocacy Manager will lead strategic planning across SEED’s policy and advocacy portfolio, devising and implementing advocacy strategies in collaboration with SEED’s program teams, communications unit, legal and government relations experts, and executive leadership; contributing to research, technical analysis, and policy recommendations, with a particular focus on strengthening protections and services for vulnerable survivors of the ISIS conflict; and representing SEED in relevant coordination fora, public events and media, and briefings with international stakeholders.
The successful candidate will have experience of working with advocacy-focused civil society organizations in the MENA region, knowledge of current policies and laws on official development assistance, GBV and other developmental related topics, and a good working knowledge of national, regional and international decision-making bodies. The Policy and Advocacy Manager reports to SEED’s President and Executive Director.
Strategic Leadership and Development: (60%)
- Lead strategic planning to develop the vision, purpose, and mission of the department, and ensure all functions of the department are oriented around these commitments and objectives.
- Institutionalize systems and processes to optimize workflow, and develop tools, templates, guidance, and policies as appropriate to standardize approaches.
- Support the program development team to design policy and advocacy focused concept notes and proposals.
- In collaboration with Program Managers, Directors, and the senior management team, provide strategic leadership, oversight, and planning support to guide the implementation of advocacy activities across SEED’s programs.
- In collaboration with Program Managers, Directors, and the senior management team, monitor progress toward advocacy targets and ensure strategic and timely implementation of activities.
- Ensure timely evaluation and efficacy of advocacy interventions to recalibrate, inform future efforts as necessary, and provide analysis and report outcomes to Program Managers, Directors, and the senior management team.
- Coordinate closely with Program Directors, Managers, and the Communications Unit to ensure that awareness raising efforts are strategically deployed and are a synergistic complement to advocacy objectives, messaging, and timelines.
- Design policy and advocacy annual work and spending plans, modifying and amending as needed throughout implementation.
- In collaboration with senior management, government liaison, and technical staff, shape SEED’s policy and advocacy directions and authorize activities in line with organizational and programmatic objectives, as well as government engagement strategy and stakeholder analyses.
Human Resource Management (20%)
- Identify the staff, processes, and platforms required to uphold SEED’s policy and advocacy work and deliver on its strategic vision, and implement plans to secure these resources.
- Oversee staff recruitment, onboarding, transitions, and handover to ensure that the department remains appropriately resourced.
- Conduct periodic department assessments with direct reports and coordinating staff to troubleshoot workflow issues, balance or rebalance workloads, and optimize staff capacity.
- Supervise the policy and advocacy team, provide support and regular feedback, develop team and individual work plans, and conduct performance appraisals.
- Identify staff capacity building needs, provide training and upskilling support, and connect staff to external resources and opportunities as appropriate.
- Conduct regular reflection sessions to identify lessons learned, promote best practices, and foster commitment to growth and innovation.
- Facilitate information sharing among team members about contextual updates, coordination and reporting mechanisms.
- In collaboration with Program Directors and Managers, strategically leverage staff resources on the Policy and Advocacy team to support advocacy objectives and activities across programs.
Technical Leadership (10%)
- Provide technical guidance and orientation to programmatic teams on deliverables, engagements, and initiatives to ensure sound approaches to policy and advocacy work streams from the outset and establish clear expectations.
- Review and provide technical feedback on advocacy materials (reports, policy briefs, policy recommendations, presentations, campaign statements, social media, etc).
- Maintain up to date knowledge and understanding of core human rights and protection concerns in Iraq, and of existing legislation, policy, and regulations, particularly those pertaining to survivors of the ISIS conflict.
- Conduct issue-based and policy research and analysis.
- Stay abreast of international best practice and circulate relevant resources.
- Support the communication teams to develop advocacy materials, including media statements, policy and issue briefs, reports, articles, and op-eds, and their dissemination strategies.
- Lead on relevant advocacy initiatives within areas of thematic expertise.
Organizational Representation and Partnership Management (10%)
- Continue to cultivate active advocacy partnerships and build new strategic partnerships as appropriate.
- Represent SEED in key coordination fora and advocacy WGs, and establish or lead new coordination platforms as appropriate.
- Provide interviews, consultations, and briefings on areas of thematic expertise to researchers, policy experts, NGOs, USG and UN officials, and media, as needed.
- In partnership with government liaison, manage relations, expectations, and engagement with government stakeholders on key policy and advocacy areas.
- Manage donor engagement on key policy and advocacy areas and contribute to technical review and feedback on donor reporting.
- Provide thematic analysis to the senior management team, including inputs and talking points for meetings and interviews, as required.
- Master’s Degree in social or political science, public policy, law, international development, conflict studies, human rights, or another related field.
- At least three years of highly relevant, demonstrated experience with policy analysis and advocacy management in the humanitarian and/or international development fields.
- Experience with managing multitrack relations and a history of successful engagement with government and I/NNGO and CSO mobilization on key policy areas.
- Excellent analytical, writing, and public speaking skills.
- Strong understanding of protection and human rights issues.
- Native fluency in English, with knowledge of Arabic and/or Kurdish a plus.
- Experience in the Middle East and contextual familiarity with Iraq and the Kurdistan Region highly desirable.
- Ability to work in a stressful setting and adapt quickly to changing environments.
- Willingness to live and work in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
How to Apply
- Interested candidates are invited to submit their cover letter and resume via this LINK.
- Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
- Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.