The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is one of the world’s leading agencies working in post-conflict and development contexts, supporting communities in over 40 fragile, failed and developing states. In this capacity, we work to restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted, struggling to endure and wishing to advance on a path of development. The IRC began working in Myanmar in May 2008 with emergency response and early recovery interventions for communities affected by Cyclone Nargis. Since then, the IRC has broadened its portfolio with health, protection, livelihoods, and social development programs aiming to employ a holistic approach to meeting the needs of crisis affected and vulnerable communities to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. In conjunction with longer-term programs working in system strengthening, participatory community-driven development, and local stakeholder capacity development, the IRC works in emergency preparedness and response, supporting its staff and its partners to be able to become more resilient and responsive to shocks when they occur.
SCOPE OF WORK
IRC Myanmar seeks a Senior Humanitarian Policy and Advocacy Advisor to support country program leadership in developing and implementing an advocacy strategy as part of IRC’s response to ongoing humanitarian and protection crises in Myanmar. The Senior Humanitarian Policy and Advocacy Advisor will continuously monitor the evolving humanitarian context in Myanmar and regionally, including through extensive use of IRC data and field reports, as well as external sources, and will work with senior management to define and drive targeted advocacy actions in support of refugees, displaced, stateless and other vulnerable populations in Myanmar. It is expected that the advocacy strategy will encompass key issues including: promotion of international humanitarian law (IHL) and core humanitarian principles to issues of displacement in and from Myanmar; responsible programming in conflict environments; issues of refugee returns; durable solutions and underlying rights and protection issues driving displacement; and effective strategies to bridge humanitarian and development interventions. Working closely with IRC’s senior management team and technical program leads in Myanmar, the Senior Humanitarian Policy and Advocacy Advisor will support the generation of evidence based in IRC’s field experience to inform advocacy and policy positions, including through significant engagement with IRC Bangladesh on the Rohingya refugee crisis specifically. In coordination with senior management, the Senior Humanitarian Policy and Advocacy Advisor will also represent IRC in a range of external discussions and working groups to contribute to the development of shared positions and standards for principled engagement across the humanitarian response. Additional responsibilities include working with IRC’s communications teams locally and in HQ to ensure public messaging is in line with country program advocacy priorities and objectives.
The Senior Humanitarian Policy and Advocacy Advisor reports to the Country Director (CD), and collaborates closely with senior program and operations staff. Key qualifications include a very solid foundation in international humanitarian law, core humanitarian principles, and standards for the protection of refugees and the internally displaced. Excellent writing and critical thinking skills will be essential, together with the ability to effectively communicate IRC positions and contribute to discussions and deliberations with external parties on shared messages and commitments. Demonstrated prior experience in developing advocacy strategies, including mapping of targets, tactics and key messages, is required. Field experience in a complex humanitarian context, including high level coordination and representation with donors, Embassies, UN agencies, and NGOs, is highly desirable.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
• In close collaboration with country program senior management, lead the development of a targeted advocacy strategy that promotes the application of IHL and core humanitarian and protection principles to refugees and displaced populations in Myanmar
• Continuously monitor the evolving humanitarian and political context in Myanmar, and provide written and verbal updates and analysis to senior staff in the country program and HQ
• Draft analysis papers, briefing notes, key messages, articles, presentations and other documents for internal and external use in support of IRC’s advocacy locally, regionally, and globally
• In close coordination with the CD and senior management team, represent IRC in external discussions within the humanitarian community in Myanmar as appropriate
• Contribute to building a shared understanding of IRC’s advocacy goals and position across the country program, and work with senior staff and program leads as needed to ensure programming approaches and strategies are in line with agreed principles of engagement
• Conceptualize and support the generation of evidence to support and inform advocacy messages, based on IRC field presence in Myanmar and Bangladesh
• Work with technical leads and country program management on developing approaches that effectively link humanitarian and development work, in line with IRC’s overarching Myanmar program strategy
• Oversee development of communications products to advance IRC’s key messages in line with the advocacy strategy
• Together with senior management, coordinate with IRC’s global advocacy team and Bangladesh country team to ensure consistent and harmonized messaging on key topics, and contribute to development of targeted talking points for use in public and private settings
• Master’s degree in international relations, law, social science, human rights or other relevant fields, with at least five years of relevant experience.
• Thorough knowledge of international humanitarian law, humanitarian principles and international standards for the protection of refugees and IDPs; field experience with protection and rights-based programming is highly desirable.
• Demonstrated capacity for strategic thinking, strong organizational skills, and ability to communicate effectively and build consensus among a range of internal and external stakeholders.
• A thorough understanding of the international humanitarian coordination and response architecture, and appreciation for how to mobilize influence towards defined policy outcomes
• Excellent oral and written communication skills in English.
• Knowledge or prior work experience in Myanmar or Bangladesh is desirable.
• Excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to lead and work effectively in team situations.
• Capacity to work well under pressure, and the ability to communicate appropriately and effectively cross‐culturally is critical.
Level of Language Proficiency
Minimum Education Required