Policy Engagement Manager

Deadline: October 15, 2023
Closed Job


The African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) is a leading Africa-based, African-led, international research and policy institution headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. Our researchers conduct policy-relevant research on population, health, education, urbanization and related development issues in sub-Saharan Africa.

In its 2022-2026 Strategic Plan, APHRC aims to enhance its research-to-evidence and evidence-to-action initiatives to maximize their impact. A vital aspect of this objective is prioritizing the Center’s “signature issues,” a set of niche areas with significant potential for programmatic and policy influence on health and development in Africa.

APHRC seeks to recruit three (3) Policy Engagement Managers to join its Policy Engagement and Communications (PEC) Program. The three positions will be based in the PEC’s Synergy Unit – which contributes to and collaborates with researchers on translating research evidence into different formats for technical and non-academic audiences. It also positions our evidence and experts, contributing to raising the profile of the Center.

Based in Nairobi, the positions will report to the Synergy Unit Manager while collaborating closely with colleagues from the Synergy Unit, the wider PEC program, and research units. Externally, the roles will engage diverse subnational, national, regional, and international entities to maximize the Center’s policy influence efforts.

These are new roles arising from the implementation of the current five-year strategic plan which has, subsequently triggered tremendous growth in our programs and has necessitated a shift to a more strategic approach to policy engagement.

Duties and Responsibilities

The ideal candidates for these roles are dynamic leaders, comfortable working with cross-functional teams and collaborating with colleagues from diverse technical backgrounds. The Policy Engagement Managers will be primarily responsible for leading thematic-based strategic policy engagement efforts using either the Center’ signature issues approach (2 positions) or traditional policy engagement approaches (1 position). Specifically, the incumbents will:

  • Institute a strategic approach to policy engagement across the Center. Develop and implement strategic policy engagement plans for selected programmatic areas.
  • Conduct policy landscaping and mapping to identify opportunities for engagement in line with the Center’s research priorities.
  • Provide technical input into the conceptualization of research-to-policy ideas and actively infuse these ideas into grant applications.
  • Lead the implementation of research-to-policy activities in funded projects underpinned by strategic policy engagement plans.
  • Ensure fidelity to strategic policy engagement plans in designing new projects within assigned research units.
  • Ensure policy engagement activities are adequately resourced by overseeing budgeting during grant applications, forecasting resource needs and submitting timely requests for necessary resources.
  • Leverage national, regional, and international networks to facilitate strategic policy engagement by the Center’s researchers.
  • Identify networking and engagement opportunities with relevant audiences at all levels and coordinate relationship-building for researchers and policymakers in relevant international, regional and national forums.
  • Produce policy outlook papers to support research projects addressing wider policy-relevant research questions.
  • Develop and deliver policy engagement training for research and research-related capacity-strengthening programs.
  • Facilitate learning and knowledge sharing, producing learning materials for continuous improvement and adoption of lessons learned from cross-cutting collaboration.
  • Supervise a team of early career policy engagement and communications professionals.
  • Perform any other duties as required for the role.

Qualifications, Skills, and Experience

  • Master’s degree in Development Communications, Journalism, Public Policy, Public Health, Public Administration, Politics, International Relations, Social Sciences, or other relevant fields.
  • At least twelve (12) years of post-qualification work experience in communication, writing, policy analysis, landscaping, and mapping, preferably at an international or research organization.
  • Demonstrable track record in policy engagement, including landscaping, mapping, and trend analysis.
  • Knowledge of policy-making processes and experience working with policymakers and government officials.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, with the ability to translate complex scientific facts into accessible messages for general audiences, make strong presentations, briefings, and produce high-quality written reports for various audiences.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication.
  • Excellent existing network of contacts at the national and international levels.
  • Experience in policy engagement, knowledge translation, research and science communications, advocacy. Demonstrated experience in policy engagement or advocacy in any of APHRC’s priority programmatic areas will be an added advantage.
  • Understanding of research to policy frameworks and experience in applying them.
  • Experience in strategy development, project design, budgeting, and resource allocation. Demonstrated experience in grant writing will be an added advantage.
  • Knowledge of or experience in research-to-policy organizations and processes is preferable.
  • Knowledge of project management methodologies, and experience applying them to complex projects. Demonstrated ability to work independently and simultaneously coordinate multiple projects will be an added advantage.
  • Excellent leadership and team management skills, with the demonstrated ability to foster a culture of teamwork and collaboration.

This position is classified under Nationally Recruited Positions (NRP), Grade II in our scales.

When submitting applications, please attach your CV and cover letter in one PDF document and put links to your work on the cover letter.

A portfolio of 3-5 samples of relevant written work must accompany every application. Those applications that do not include writing samples will not be considered.

Interested candidates are encouraged to apply and include their letter of application, portfolio of their work, and CV through this link by October 15, 2023.  Only short-listed candidates will be contacted and will be required to submit a Police Clearance Certificate at a certain stage of the recruitment process.


APHRC is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to the protection of vulnerable persons