The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in over 40 countries, the IRC aims to restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure.
The International Rescue Committee began working in Iraq in 2003. Today we work across 13 of Iraq’s governorates delivering services to help people to survive, recover and gain control of their future. With offices in Baghdad, Erbil, Mosul, Dohuk, Sulaymaniyah, Kirkuk, Tikrit, and Ramadi, our staff support Iraqis and Syrians with programs including cash relief, livelihoods support, specialized services for women and girls, legal assistance, protection monitoring, education, child protection, and the provision of basic supplies.
The IRC plays a strong leadership role in humanitarian coordination in Iraq via our seat on the Humanitarian Country Team and active engagement in cluster meetings. The IRC was instrumental in establishing the NCCI Advocacy Working Group in 2014 and the NGO Early Recovery Forum in 2017 and continues to play a leadership role in NGO coordination via our position on the NCCI board.
The IRC Iraq country program is currently looking for a strong candidate to support in the continued strategic development and implementation of our advocacy strategy as we enter the post-military operation/recovery phase in Iraq. We need a person with advocacy experience, excellent coordination and networking skills, and interest in building the capacity of others to carry out high quality and impactful advocacy activities. We offer competitive salary and excellent opportunities for professional and personal growth.
Under the supervision of the Country Director, the Advocacy Advisor will be responsible for pushing forward implementation of the IRC Iraq advocacy strategy and for further development of IRC Iraq’s advocacy work. The Advocacy Advisor will liaise with IRC’s global advocacy and communications team and supervise the Iraq-based communications manager.
- Under the guidance of the Regional Director of Public Affairs, define the advocacy strategy and priorities for Iraq; lead strategy implementation in the field and advise and support colleagues in global capitals in implementing the strategy with targets in London, Brussels, DC/NY, and the region.
- Produce high quality public and private policy and advocacy materials including talking points, letters, briefing notes, position papers, and advocacy reports.
- Regularly liaise with relevant in-country stakeholders on issues of concern, including UN, donor representatives, diplomatic missions, and peer agencies, and grow the IRC’s bilateral relationships with government counterparts.
- Conduct a robust stakeholder holder mapping and maintain an updated contact list of key targets in-country.
- Promote a principled approach to advocacy and communications on Iraq among relevant internal stakeholders and ensure that external messaging is evidence-based and driven by field realities.
- Serve as a member of the expanded Senior Management Team to ensure a strategic approach to advocacy engagement.
- Contribute to collective advocacy products and initiatives including by serving as co-chair of the NCCI Advocacy Working Group and participating in the NGO Early Recovery Forum
- In conjunction with country program staff and the global advocacy and communications teams, closely monitor humanitarian policy debates and media pertaining to the Iraq crisis, ensuring that relevant information is analyzed and disseminated in a timely and effective manner.
- Provide analysis for Country Director and inputs for Humanitarian Country Team meetings, as well as key cluster meetings.
- Represent the IRC in humanitarian coordination fora, conferences, lobby meetings, and other events as requested; or provide talking points for other senior representatives, including the Country Director and CEO.
- Respond to external inquiries on policy issues, including briefing policymakers and media.
- Provide trainings on advocacy to field staff and develop the capacity of national staff to implement impactful advocacy interventions.
The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in the IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.
Key Working Relationships:
- Direct Reporting to: Country Director
- Indirect Reporting to: Regional Director of Public Affairs
- Supervises: Communications Manager
- Close collaboration with: Program Coordinators, Field Coordinators, Access Coordinator, Emergency Coordinator, Regional Conflict Advisor, field staff, Global Advocacy and Communications Colleagues
- At least four years of professional experience crafting and delivering policy and advocacy work responding to complex humanitarian crises and/or post-conflict situations;
- Demonstrated creativity, ability to apply innovative thinking and problem-solving skills;
- Excellent analytical, presentation, communication and representation skills;
- Fluency in English (written and spoken) is essential, with demonstrated exceptionally strong writing skills;
- Ability to navigate interpersonal and inter-departmental organizational dynamics to keep focus on goals and products;
- Ability to work well in unstable security environments, and under significant administrative and programmatic pressures;
- Flexible to adapt to changing requirements;
- Culturally sensitive, able and interested in working with a multi-ethnic team;
- Strong commitment to the IRC’s mission, purpose and values;
- Must be able to work independently while being a team player;
- Advanced degree in relevant field desired;
- Experience with training and staff capacity building;
- First-hand experience working in insecure conflict settings preferred;
- Middle East regional experience and Arabic language skills preferred.
Returning National Candidates: We strongly encourage national or returning national candidates to apply for this position. If you are a national of the Country in which this position is based and are currently located outside of your home country and possess over two years of international work experience, the Syria Response Region has introduced an attractive remuneration package. The package includes competitive compensation, return flight to post, shipping allowance, temporary housing and a relocation allowance. Certain restrictions may apply. IRC strives to attract, motivate and retain qualified national staff in our programs.
The position will be based in Erbil, Iraq, with travel to field locations where IRC implements programming. The security situation in Erbil remains broadly permissive with continued attention paid to the potential for instability and proximity to insecure areas in other governorates within Iraq. Accommodation is in shared housing with modern amenities and facilities.
IRC is committed to narrowing the gender gap in leadership positions. We offer benefits that provide an enabling environment for women to participate in our workforce including parental leave, gender-sensitive security protocols and other supportive benefits and allowances.
Minimum Education Required