Education Policy and Advocacy Specialist At Plan International

The Organisation

Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls.

We believe in the power and potential of every child. But this is often suppressed by poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination. And it’s girls who are most affected.

Working together with children, young people, our supporters and partners, we strive for a just world, tackling the root causes of the challenges facing girls and all vulnerable children.

We support children’s rights from birth until they reach adulthood. And we enable children to prepare for – and respond to – crises and adversity. We drive changes in practice and policy at local, national and global levels using our reach, experience and knowledge.

We have been building powerful partnerships for children for over 80 years, and are now active in more than 70 countries.

The role of education to bring about a sustainable, just and equal future for the worlds’ children and youth has never been more urgent and crucial.

The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the gross inequalities and the fragility of societies and the planet, leaving the world at critical cross-roads. At its peak, COVID-19 disrupted the education of over 1.6 billion learners – 90% worldwide – creating an education emergency at a scale not experienced in living memory. At least one-third of children worldwide have had no access to remote learning opportunities, missing out on education entirely during school closures.

This year alone, 70 million children are at risk of not acquiring basic literacy skills, and the most marginalised, particularly girls, children with disabilities, displaced and refugee children, have been most impacted. For girls and young women around the world, lockdown and school closures have hit particularly hard. Increases in gender-based violence and exploitation, the disproportionate burden of care and domestic work, and other gendered barriers risk leaving over 20 million girls at risk of never returning to school. Not only will this further entrench gender gaps in education, but it increases the likelihood of child marriage and adolescent pregnancy, and undermines girls’ longer-term social, political and economic opportunities.

Yet, COVID-19 is not a one-off crisis. The climate crisis, conflict and displacement are causing mass disruptions to education, exacerbating existing inequalities and continue to pose the greatest threat to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and gender equality. As with COVID-19, it is the world’s most marginalised, many of whom are girls and young women, who suffer the most during times of crisis. Thus, it is critical that educational continuity is prioritised during times of crisis and that education systems become more resilient, adaptable and gender transformative.

The education sector has an important opportunity to not only “build back better”, but to “build back equal”. This will require a more strategic and harmonized approach to bridging the humanitarian development divide and operationalising nexus approaches, recognizing that the sector is facing a global protracted crisis that requires innovations in resilience and adaptation when it comes to educational planning and delivery, while keeping gender equality and inclusion as a top priority.

The Opportunity

Plan International seeks an education policy and advocacy expert who has experience with policy analysis and advocacy strategies and initiatives that span both development and humanitarian contexts. The role will be key to advancing Plan International’s influencing on gender transformative education and building resilience of education systems in order to ensure continuity of learning during times of disruption. This will be done by leveraging global, regional, and country level opportunities and processes. The role will ensure Plan International becomes a recognized thought leader on education in all contexts – including development, humanitarian, and protracted crises – and will offer analysis and recommendations to both internal and external sectoral stakeholders on the global education crisis that has been brought on and exacerbated by COVID-19 and climate change. The role will help connect and bridge education policy and advocacy efforts for acute emergencies, with longer term efforts for recovery, resilience, and adaptation.

About You

Proven advocacy and policy influencing experience in education, gender equality, and/or humanitarian systems is essential in this role as is an understanding of concepts of the right to education, inclusion and quality within education both in development and humanitarian contexts. You have a strong understanding of humanitarian systems and policy landscape, both globally and at a country level.

Experience with external representation and effective relationship building at a senior level and a consultative, collaborative approach will be critical.

You have excellent analytical and problem-solving skills and the ability to manage multiple demands, meet deadlines and prioritise workload whilst remaining adaptable and flexible.

How to apply

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