Deadline: August 18, 2023
Open Job

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

APHRC is implementing a four-year research-to-policy program called ‘challenging the politics of social exclusion’ (CPSE). The program seeks to support the full domestication and translation into practice of continental commitments forged collectively by the African States. This is to enhance sexual and reproductive health and realize the rights of all, including young people and women, in pursuit of the aspirations of Agenda 2063 and development that leaves no one behind.

The CPSE program aims to act as a critical and neutral knowledge partner to the constellation of actors working towards the full domestication and implementation of continental commitments on sexual and reproductive health and the rights of Africa’s young people and women. As a knowledge partner, CPSE will work to support these actors in developing and deploying effective, evidence-based advocacy, specifically on three focal SRHR issues:

  • The sexual and reproductive health and the rights of adolescents.
  • Access to safe abortion and post-abortion care.
  • The discrimination of marginalized sexual and gender minority groups.

Project approach 

CPSE’s work is anchored on partnerships with key government and civil society bodies at the regional and sub-regional levels in Eastern, Southern and Western Africa in seven countries: Kenya, Rwanda, Zambia, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, and Liberia. Across these geographies, CPSE encompasses three key pillars of work, namely:

  • Research – generating policy-relevant evidence.
  • Supporting the use of evidence in advocating for change and
  • Strengthening capacities of policy partners to use evidence and learning to achieve change.

The APHRC seeks to recruit a Senior Advocacy Officer to work in the CPSE project within the Policy Engagement and Communication (PEC) Program. The Senior Advocacy Officer will report to the Head of Advocacy, PEC, while working closely with the CPSE project team, the Policy Engagement and Communications Program (PEC) and other APHRC units.

Externally, the Senior Advocacy Officer will work closely with national parliaments, Civil Society Organizations, UN agencies, regional and sub-regional policy bodies such as AU, EAC, EALA, SADC PF and ECOWAS/WAHO among others. S/he will also participate in regular meetings with Sida, the project funder. This role’s country scope includes Kenya, Rwanda, Zambia, Malawi, Burkina Faso, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

The Senior Advocacy Officer will be responsible for the following objectives:

  • Policy and Advocacy: Development and implementation of targeted advocacy and communication strategies, contributing to making key changes in political commitment, priorities, policy, funding and implementation, representing APHRC in advocacy and policy work at key international, regional and national events, in collaboration with other project staff and key stakeholders.
  • Network and Partnership Engagement: Establish, manage and maintain relations with key decision-makers and engage/facilitate engagement with international, regional and national policy makers, UN agencies, civil society organizations, research and academic institutions among others to facilitate evidence-based advocacy and uptake of research.
  • Capacity Strengthening: Develop and implement robust capacity strengthening strategies for partners and APHRC teams on the broader areas of evidence use, advocacy, communication and monitoring and evaluation.
  • Communication: Together with the Communication team, ensure clear, internal and external communication of the policy and advocacy work.
  • Knowledge Translation: Developing key advocacy knowledge products such as: concept notes, conference outcome statements, call to action statements, evidence briefs, policy briefs, policy analysis reports etc.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation: Document the progress and impact of key policy and advocacy interventions to influence timely decision making at donor and project levels and promote learning.

Main areas of responsibility will include:

  • Creating and implementing strategies for advocacy and policy work at the regional, sub-regional and nationals, including policy proposals and analyses, advocacy meetings, and interventions in key global institutional moments and events and with key stakeholders (AU, GIMAC, ACHPR, ECOWAS, WAHO etc.).
  • Working closely and consulting with CPSE team, and partners, to develop and continuously refine the strategy, develop policy recommendations, and accurate messaging.
  • Building or reinforcing partnerships, policy dialogue and joint efforts with key regional, sub-regional a d national networks and actors on SRHR.
  • Conducting/facilitating training workshops, and other technical and advocacy consultations, and mentoring, for knowledge transfer and capacity building.
  • In collaboration with the Outcome Harvesting consultant, ensure consistent generation of quality data for timely decision-making at all levels and track performance of all project indicators, and delivery of quality narrative reports to the funder.
  • Work closely with the CPSE research team to develop knowledge translation products such as evidence briefs, policy briefs, fact sheets, and others for partners.
  • Organize and lead policy engagement forums in liaison with research teams to disseminate research findings and promote the use of evidence in policy engagement.
  • Work closely with the project team in ensuring compliance with donor requirements such as keeping track of outputs and outcomes for advocacy and policy engagement, writing annual progress reports and updates to the project funder.
  • Provide support to the broader policy engagement and communication division as requested, including writing the division’s reports and fundraising efforts.
  • Perform any other tasks required to advance the project and the division’s objectives.

Qualifications, Skills, and Experience 

  • Bachelor’s degree in public health, public policy, public administration, social policy, anthropology, economics, communications, international development, politics and internal relations, sociology, social transformation or related sectors. Master’s degree will be an added advantage.
  • At least eight (9) years’ post-qualification experience in advocacy and policy engagement, working on SRHR and health policy within the international development sector at a senior level; those who have worked on ASRH, LGBT and access to abortion preferred.
  • Demonstrable experience in managing budgets, development of project log frames, reporting to the funder, annual work planning, project risk management working on sensitive issues, and solid experience of people management with excellent people soft competencies.
  • Ability to manage research and promoting its use in policy/advocacy work.
  • Experience working with different stakeholder, including NGOs, CSOs, and government bodies such as EAC, AU, SADC and ECOWAS/WAHO to inform and influence policy development would be an advantage.
  • Ability to prepare high quality and impactful publications and reports for specialist and non-specialist audiences, including policymakers.
  • Excellent engagement, coordination, and communication (written and spoken) skills to be able to absorb complex information and present it to different audiences in a clear and accessible way.
  • Good interpersonal skills, to work and build relationships with a wide range of people and partners holding different views.
  • Experience in policy development and advocacy in social or economic policy areas at a national level, regional or international level.
  • Production of high quality written work to influence policy outcomes.
  • Experience and evidence of fundraising work.
  • Good organization skills, to track priorities, work to deadlines and manage projects.
  • Flexible and adaptable approach to responding to shifting priorities and a rapidly evolving external environment.
  • The ability and desire to acquire and maintain knowledge of a policy area or areas with a focus on sexual and reproductive health.
  • Experience and skills in external communication for vast audiences will be an added advantage, and so is an existing network in the SRHR space in Africa.

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

Interested candidates are encouraged to apply through this link by August 18, 2023. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted; shortlisted candidates will be required to have a Police Clearance Certificate.

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