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Sunday, December 8, 2013

ERT Advocacy & Policy Coordinator, International Rescue Committee, New York, NY

ERT Advocacy & Policy Coordinator

Posted on: December 7, 2013
Application deadline: February 6, 2014
Posted by: International Rescue Committee


The Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit (EPRU) is the division of the International Programs Department responsible for maintaining the organization's readiness to respond to emergencies and mounting effective and rapid responses during complex humanitarian crises. The EPRU is made up of the Director of Emergency Preparedness and Response, the Senior Emergency Coordinator and Program Manager, along with the members of the Emergency Response Team (ERT). The ERT, under the leadership of the Senior Emergency Coordinator, consists of fifteen individuals with expertise in health, environmental health, advocacy & policy, operations, and finance.


The ERT Advocacy & Policy Coordinator is a vital part of the Emergency Response Team and the Policy and Advocacy Team. During field deployment this role directly reports to the Emergency Field Director or designated country emergency lead. This position works in close collaboration with other IRC ERT members while in the field and is considered an integral member of the team.

The IRC ERT staff are expected to be deployed to the field - either in an emergency or in a roving capacity - for up to 75% of the time (9 months a year) and must be able to deploy to the site of an emergency within 72 hours of notification.

Members of the ERT can be deployed to either initiate a new emergency program in a crisis zone or support an existing IRC country program. The overall responsibility of the ERT is to rapidly and effectively develop, implement, and manage the IRC's onsite humanitarian response in order to meet the immediate needs of the affected population as well as influencing the global and local policy decisions that affect them.

Between field assignments, the ERT Advocacy & Policy Coordinator will report to IRC's Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy in Washington, DC and function as a member of IRC's Public Policy and Advocacy Department. At all times, the ERT Advocacy & Policy Coordinator will conduct activities in close coordination with and support the advocacy efforts undertaken by the IRC offices in Washington DC, New York, London, Geneva, Brussels, and relevant IRC field offices.

The ERT Advocacy & Policy Coordinator will also work closely with representatives from other organizations in the field on collective action, coalition building, and direct advocacy activities to shape the policy environment and improve the practice of humanitarian action.

The ERT Advocacy & Policy Coordinator is responsible for developing and carrying out a coherent strategic approach to international and national advocacy initiatives targeted at appropriate international governments, national host governments, local authorities, major donors, UN Specialized Agencies, NGO Consortia, and other Nongovernmental Organizations.

  • Work with the EPRU Director, Senior Emergency Coordinator, and ERT members to improve IRC's emergency response by identifying policy trends, reporting on key developments, analyzing ramifications of policy changes, and developing IRC advocacy strategy and actions.
  • Support and coordinate with IRC's Public Policy and Advocacy Department during deployments in close cooperation with IRC London, IRC Geneva, IRC Brussels, and IRC field offices. Maintain an effective communication flow between all relevant IRC offices.
  • Attend and represent the IRC at key meetings and promote IRC's viewpoints while working closely with relevant ERT members and IRC field staff as well as develop advocacy interventions based on IRC's policy and advocacy priorities.
  • Seek to influence the policies of national, state and/or provincial, and local governments and municipal authorities in the field to improve the lives of people affected by persecution, disasters, and conflict. Advocate for policy change among relevant international governments and institutional donors.
  • Liaise with refugees, displaced persons, and community leaders to understand their plight and develop advocacy actions to represent their views and improve their lives.
  • Educate officials and policy makers, facilitate presentations by IRC experts, coordinate high-level meetings, provide field-based briefings, and conduct formal presentations as required.
  • Develop and maintain a network of contacts and good working rapport with various United Nations offices, Intergovernmental Organizations, Host Government Ministries, NGO peer organizations, and NGO Consortia.
  • Serve as one of IRC's public outreach focal points for advocacy and media campaigns as directed including the drafting of relevant communications and participating in public speaking opportunities representing IRC's priority messages.
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of IRC's thematic priorities including durable solutions, urban refugees, humanitarian financing, women's protection and empowerment, refugee resettlement, and humanitarian access. Understand current trends in humanitarian action such as the Transformative Agenda, Humanitarian Reform and humanitarian architecture, Accountability to Affected Populations, Empirical Programming, Do No Harm, and Aid Effectiveness.
  • Establish and convene an internal working group of experts across relevant offices of IRC to formulate organization-wide policy positions on relevant humanitarian issues.
  • Assist IRC program staff with integrating advocacy actions into project design and implementation as well as support staff in empowering beneficiaries to become more effective advocates for themselves.
  • Postgraduate degree in relevant subject including International Development, International Relations, or relevant field of study
  • Minimum 5 years experience working in developing countries with at least 2 years in leadership positions in complex humanitarian and/or emergency settings with diverse geographical professional experience preferred
  • Ability to maintain a flexible schedule that will allow for mandatory travel to crisis situations within 72 hours of notification
  • Capacity to work long hours in stressful and often insecure environments for up to 3 months at a time
  • Strong multi-tasking and organizational skills with an ability to focus both on internal issues as well as external demands
  • Proven team-building and team leadership skills with an ability to maintain esprit de corps with a team that is often geographically dispersed
  • Solid strategic thinking and analytical skills as well as flexibility to a changing work environment
  • Excellent spoken and written English and proficiency in spoken French or Arabic
  • Strong computer skills in Word, Excel, and Outlook
  • Experience with various telecommunications equipment such as HF, VHF, RBGANs, SatPhone and ability to drive manual transmission 4-WDs

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