INGO Forum Policy Adviser - Nigeria
About Mercy Corps
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Program / Department Summary
The Nigeria INGO Forum (NIF) was formed in late 2014 owing to a need for a collaborative platform for effective and principled INGO interaction, engagement and coordination of humanitarian, recovery and development interventions in Nigeria. In 2019 the INGO Forum is a critical platform for ensuring effective information sharing and analysis; leadership on advocacy and policy engagement; and liaison with government/donor/UN engagement and ensuring the perspectives of INGOs and affected populations are ultimately included in decision-making processes. The INGO Forum is governed by core membership of 51 INGOs (and 6 observers), an elected Steering Committee of five Country Directors and a Chair that works alongside a full term Secretariat of eight staff to fulfil the function of the Forum. Until March 2020, the INGO Forum will be administratively hosted by Mercy Corps in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja and main humanitarian hub in Maiduguri.
General Position Summary
The Policy Adviser is a critical position within the INGO Forum. This position will take leadership of the policy and advocacy engagement of the INGO Forum. The Policy Advisor coordinates advocacy for the 51 INGO membership, identifies national, regional and international opportunities and develops key positioning for the humanitarian and development agendas. The Policy Advisor will serve as the critical focal point for external advocacy, networking, coalition building and initiating timely research and analysis.
A leading role for the position is setting the policy agenda and delivering on advocacy initiatives aimed at improving humanitarian and longer term outcomes for people affected by conflict, environmental crisis, poverty and other vulnerabilities in north-east Nigeria.
Essential Job Responsibilities
- Develop and maintain a common Advocacy Strategy and Implementation Plan
- Ensure key tools are developed including analytic tools (stakeholder/power mapping), sign off procedures, events/opportunity calendars, monitoring and tracking of outcomes).
- Provide timely policy analysis and information on key priority topics to support the representation and coordination of the INGO Forum Executive Committee, Country Director Plenary and Humanitarian Managers Working Group.
- Ensure evidence based advocacy and information through frequent visits to the field
- Identify strategic entry points in Nigeria, regionally (Lake Chad Basin) and internationally to elevate Nigeria priorities. Travel regionally and globally as agreed with Director.
- Work closely with the INGO Forum Director and Deputy Director to ensure key representatives in the Forum are well coordinated, informed and able to speak to common issues.
- Develop talking lines on key issues ahead of speaking engagements such as panel discussions and high level meetings.
- Act as focal/liaison point for international and regional advocacy groups, journalists, and other external stakeholders seeking NGO positions on relevant issues.
- Identify and ensure NIF is well prepared to engage in Nigeria focused platforms and events nationally, regionally and globally.
- Lead on developing internal and external communications strategies where required
- Engage in data collection efforts to canvass NGO opinion, perspectives and experiences on key issues related to the enabling environment.
- Work with other members of the Secretariat to support relevant and appropriate information flows to members, NGO representatives, and key stakeholders in Nigeria and externally.
- Representation and lobbying in line with policy strategy and other agreed priorities, when required with local, state and Government of Nigeria; the UN; visiting officials; and donors in line with agreed division of labour with Director and Deputy Director
Accountability to Beneficiaries
Team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work.
Supervisory Accountability: The position reports to the INGO Forum Director.
Supervisory Responsibility: None
Works Directly With: INGO Forum staff, INGO Directors and managers, Mercy Corps finance, operations and security team members.
Knowledge and Experience
- Masters qualifications in International Relations, Politics, International Law (IHL/IHRL), Development Studies.
- At least 6 years progressive experience of leading, managing advocacy and policy engagement portfolios at NGO or UN level in conflict or post conflict contexts
- Able to proactively lead on formulation of policy analysis, strategy, messages and identification of key targets for impact and influence.
- Proven experience in identifying and mobilising national, regional or international opportunities
- Exceptional networking skills and strong experience working with and/or influencing donors, UN, government and other critical stakeholders.
- Excellent English writing skills and proven experience in drafting position papers
- Strong understanding of the interlink between advocacy and communication messaging
- Commitment and solid understanding of humanitarian principles
- Ability to work under pressure and juggle multiple priorities at once
- Team player
- Cultural sensitivity
- Knowledge of Nigeria highly desirable (or complex emergency context)
- Experience of working in a recovery setting and demonstrated understanding of humanitarian and development linkages (highly desirable)
The successful candidates should have a working knowledge of the following;
- Fundamentals of humanitarian action
- International Humanitarian Law an International Human Rights Frameworks
- Conflict Sensitivity and Conflict Analysis
- Operational Enabling Environment issues e.g. Government Regulatory Frameworks
- Humanitarian Access and Civil-Military Issues
- Migration and Displacement
The position will be based in Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria and it requires frequent travel to field locations in North East Nigeria and Abuja. Considering the frequent travel from/to different field locations, this position will require flexibility in terms of accommodation and logistics. Housing in the field will be in hotels or guesthouses where available. Hosting in Maiduguri will be in Mercy Corps team housing. Security in the field locations require additional vigilance and accessibility will be reassessed continuously. Access to good medical services in northeast is limited. Phone communication, internet, electricity and water is available but might be erratic.
The location is eligible for hardship and R&R benefits. Given the nature of the humanitarian response, working hours require flexibility and working through weekends/evenings will be necessary.