Head of Policy and Advocacy

Job Type

Full Time


Minimum: $62,000
Maximum: $81,000
Details: $62,000-$81,000



Start Date


Application Deadline



United Kingdom


Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage is seeking an experienced Head of Policy and Advocacy to provide a leadership role for this dynamic, results-driven global Partnership. They will serve as a key strategic thought-leader on the management team, with oversight of the policy and advocacy strategy for the Girls Not Brides secretariat.


Girls Not Brides brings together civil society organisations from around the world. The Partnership now counts 1,000 members in 100 countries, based throughout Africa, South Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. Members are united by a commitment to end child marriage and enable girls to fulfil their potential.


Girls Not Brides works to bring child marriage to global attention, build an understanding of what it will take to end child marriage, and call for the laws, policies and programmes that will make a difference in the life of girls. Girls Not Brides was initiated in 2011 by The Elders, a group of eminent global leaders brought together by Nelson Mandela to promote peace and human rights worldwide.

Job Description




  • Leads the policy and advocacy work of Girls Not Brides.
  • Develops and coordinates delivery of an ambitious policy and advocacy strategy for the Girls Not Brides secretariat.
  • Supports and encourages the advocacy efforts of different parts of the Girls Not Brides Partnership including members, national partnerships and key partners.
  • Oversees the work of the Policy and Advocacy Team, and ensures coherence across its work and in alignment with other teams.
  • Contributes to the broader strategic, programmatic and communications work of the Partnership.


Salary range: £48,000 - £62,000 depending on experience, plus a generous benefits package

Office location: 65 Leadenhall Street, London, EC3A 2AD


Main Duties and Responsibilities


Ensures that Girls Not Brides effectively delivers strategic, integrated policy and advocacy interventions to target audiences including governments, leaders, and other relevant decision-makers. Engages members and effectively drives the policy changes that will be crucial to bringing an end to child marriage.


  • With key colleagues in the secretariat, develops and implements an ambitious overall policy and advocacy strategy for Girls Not Brides, ensuring coherence between advocacy activities at the global, regional and national levels. Key relationships include members of the management team both in London and at a regional level.
  • Develops and oversees advocacy campaigns and other initiatives that ensure child marriage remains on the global agenda and that support implementation of SDG Target 5.3 by governments and other stakeholders.
  • Works closely with other members of the management team at Girls Not Brides to ensure that policy and advocacy efforts are aligned with overall strategic goals, and complement our work in learning and partnership.
  • Oversees the secretariat’s policy and advocacy activities related to working with different sectors (e.g. health, education), and ensures coherence with other secretariat activities with these sectors.
  • Works with the Board Chair and other Girls Not Brides Champions to ensure the greatest impact from their policy and advocacy activities.
  • Provides skilled, knowledgeable and effective senior involvement from the secretariat at important international and regional meetings and events.
  • In contexts where national advocacy will have a global impact, facilitates and supports specific national strategic advocacy campaigns (in either high-prevalence or donor countries). While the secretariat does not normally engage in direct national-level advocacy, there are some occasions where our members advise that this approach will be useful.
  • Engages members and stakeholders, including new partners, in campaigns and initiatives.
  • Builds and maintains Girls Not Brides credibility, influence and relationships with key actors, including member coordinating groups, global partnerships, donor countries, international agencies, NGOs and high-profile individuals.
  • Crafts persuasive advocacy messages and authors high-quality written materials for a range of audiences.
  • Manages advocacy related projects and ensures cross-team coordination.
  • Acts as an accessible and knowledgeable resource, sounding board and guide to Girls Not Brides members, partners, donors and secretariat colleagues on advocacy issues, players and dynamics.


Manages the work of the Policy and Advocacy Team (currently two professional staff), and ensures coherence across their work


  • Sets team direction, establishes priorities, and leads planning, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation of impact.
  • Ensures internal team cohesiveness and cooperation, and fosters the involvement of all team members in delivering on the set objectives.
  • Provides management support, conducts regular performance reviews and help team members build their strengths and capacities, including through training.
  • As necessary, manages consultants, interns and temporary staff.
  • Coordinates with other management team members to ensure effectiveness, cohesion and consistency across secretariat teams and identify any modifications required to ensure delivery on the strategy.


Contributes to the broader strategic, programmatic and communications work of the Partnership


  • Helps shape strategic direction of the partnership, particularly in achieving advocacy goals.
  • Works with colleagues to develop the strategic messaging and communications efforts associated with global advocacy.
  • Gives presentations and speeches on behalf of Girls Not Brides.
  • Serves in the management team (which comprises all heads of teams):

Provides strong leadership and active support to the Executive in ensuring that the organisation fulfils its mission, lives its values, achieves its strategic goals and meets its financial targets.

Works with other management team members to address organisation-wide issues or problems, and proactively create systems and a culture that lead to a supportive and effective work environment.

Coordinates with other management team members to ensure effectiveness, cohesion and consistency across secretariat teams and identify any modifications required to ensure delivery on the strategy.


Person Specification




  • Demonstrated senior level experience in developing and delivering policy and advocacy strategies that have led to progress in global development issues.
  • Broad-based experience in building alliances and working relationships in and between UN institutions, other multilateral organisations, bilateral agencies and government ministries, leading international NGOs, foundations, small grass-roots groups, and champions of social change.
  • Graduate qualification or proven experience in a relevant area (such as public policy, development studies, international relations, human rights or gender issues).
  • An inspiring senior-level presence, with the ability to empower others to greater effort, commitment and action.
  • An enthusiastic and proactive attitude, with the ability to identify opportunities and determine creative ways to exploit these effectively.
  • Experience in working with coalitions and the ability to effectively inform international policy discussions with the realities of grass-roots work.
  • Excellent strategic thinking and practical planning ability.
  • Understanding of protocol and effective diplomatic relations in a global and regional context combined with the ability to interact in genuine, effective cooperation with grass-roots actors.
  • Ability to use discretion and maintain confidentiality.
  • Top-notch public speaking, writing and editing skills to effectively reach very different audiences in a variety of contexts.
  • Proven ability to convene, facilitate and translate passionate discussion and commitment into formal decisions and action.
  • A sensitivity for a changing context and the discernment to spot new opportunities; flexibility to reframe views, resolve problems and adapt plans as needed.
  • Experience of directly managing staff.
  • Ability and willingness to work flexibly in a fast-paced team environment and colleagues based around the world.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English.
  • Willingness to travel extensively and often, sometimes at short notice.




  • In-depth knowledge of the issue of child marriage and the advocacy dynamics around gender and children’s rights.
  • Experience of managing consultants.
  • Proficiency in French or other relevant languages.

Safeguarding commitment


At Girls Not Brides we are committed to the well-being, empowerment and rights of children and to safeguarding children from harm in all of our activities. Girls Not Brides aims to promote an environment of trust and understanding where the welfare of children is paramount. You will be expected to adhere to the Girls Not Brides Child Safeguarding Policy and its Code of Conduct and report any concerns relating to the safeguarding of children in accordance with agreed procedures.


Eligibility criteria


Where relevant, Girls Not Brides may consider applying for a Visa Sponsor Licence to enable to successful candidate to work in the UK.



Plus a generous benefits package

  • 10% pension
  • Health and dental insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Travel insurance
  • Generous aannual leave

Level of Language Proficiency

English - fluent

French - desirable

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply


To apply, please send your CV and a brief cover letter demonstrating how you meet the criteria for this position to recruitment@girlsnotbrides.org by 23:00 GMT on 23rd November 2018 clearly stating “Head of Policy and Advocacy” and your name in the subject line.


We regret that due to the large number of applications anticipated, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.