Regional Policy, Advocacy and Research Advisor. At Plan International

Reports to: Regional Head of Influencing and Strategic Communication

Direct reports – No direct reports but technical supervision of CO policy, advocacy and research teams

Office location: Nairobi or Any of MEESA offices,

Travel required: 40%

Geographical scope of role: MEESA RH

Effective Date: ASAP


Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organization 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 its 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.

Plan International is embarking on an ambitious and exciting change process, to make the organization more relevant, bold, engaging and effective in a new global context. Our ambition for policy and influencing work is to drive changes in policies, behaviours and practices at international, regional, national and local levels, so as to advance children’s rights and equality for girls. Plan International’s new Global Strategy aims to transform the lives of 100 million girls and implement a programme and influence approach to achieve it. Regional level influencing – in MEESA and related country offices – will play a key role in delivering results at scale. To help achieve this, Plan International is currently recruiting a Regional Policy, Advocacy and Research Advisor.

The position is a lead technical expert to Plan’s Policy, Advocacy and Research work. S/he ensures that the regional advocacy areas are prioritized in our strategic partnerships and engagement with actors and stakeholders through influencing activities at the regional level. S/he collaborates with the Global Policy and Advocacy Department at our international headquarters, with our UN Liaison Offices and particularly with the Pan-African Liaison Office and the West and Central African Regional Office to ensure that global policy and advocacy, research priorities and campaigns effectively support our goals. S/he supports capacity development and quality assurance measures for influencing staff in Eastern and Southern Africa and represents Plan MEESA Regional Office in Plan’s global Influencing network and other networking fora.

management scope, reporting lines, key relationships

Key relationships **


Regional Hub Management Team (RHMT)

Pan-African Office

West and Central African Regional Office

Global Influencing and Policy Department

Country Office and National Office Influencing and Communications staff


Global and regional Media houses and networks

Sub-regional inter-governmental institutions, such as SADC, EAC and IGAD

Like-minded international and regional NGOs and CBOs

UN Agencies in the development and humanitarian sector

Private Sector companies and foundations with a sub-regional or regional reach

Level of contact with children

Mid contact: Occasional interaction with children

Physical Environment

Typical office environment with (40%) travel to various Country offices


Program and Influence 20%

  • Lead and manage the design and implementation of the Advocacy priorities that align to and complement the Pan African and Global Advocacy Strategies.
  • Support the alignment, design and implementation of influencing plans and the building of influencing capacity throughout the region to achieve desired large- scale improvements in girls’ rights and gender equality
  • Maintain a strategic overview of issues effecting girls’ rights in the MEESA, monitoring trends in the external environment and inputting and/or leading as required to organisational strategy and planning processes, in coordination with other team members.
  • Support a strong feedback loop and link between advocacy at the country, regional and global levels by providing inputs and collaborating with global initiatives and/or Liaison Offices.
  • Contribute to monitoring and evaluation of advocacy work, in particular, assessing the impact and extent of gender integration.

Policy and Advocacy (including influence multilaterals and donors) 25%

  • Undertake in-depth power and policy analysis of the structures, systems and networks in the region and Countries to identify opportunities for changes in law, policy, budget and behaviour that will drive the achievement of advocacy goals and objectives in the region
  • Identify and contribute to the convening and organization of high-level public policy platforms and dialogues and support senior Plan International staff in integrating an advocacy perspective into talking points and other materials.
  • Lead the development of key advocacy messages, defining effective tactics to leverage influencing strength and mobilize support for change making in MEESA
  • Represent Plan International at advocacy and policy meetings and events where necessary.
  • Undertake a range of lobbying, communications and other activities to inform and persuade policy makers, including donors and politicians, of the value of Plan International’s policy recommendations.
  • Working closely with the MEAL team, build systems for research, analysis and documentation that underpin evidence based advocacy and influencing at national and international levels.
  • Develop dissemination and communication strategies for key advocacy messages, together with the communications team.
  • Produce or manage the production of reports, briefing papers and presentations for internal and external audiences, as needed

Influencing in Emergencies and humanitarian settings 20%

  • Ensure a robust overview, ongoing analysis, and development of key messages around protecting girls in conflict issues with the particular focus on education and protection, movement and access, humanitarian and operational space issues affecting Plan International’s ability to deliver quality programs for targets we serve.
  • Coordinate with Plan International humanitarian advocacy staff to ensure complementarity and consistency across policy positions and advocacy platforms.

External networking and outreach 20%

  • Develop and cultivate value-added strategic partnerships and engagement with key stakeholders such as civil society organisations, multilateral institutions, relevant coalitions and networks, and other influencers to further Plan International’s delivery of its influencing agenda.
  • Design and deliver strategic influencing activities, such as workshops and events through mapping out key moments in time (events, report launches, consultations) at the national, regional and sub-regional levels to spotlight advocacy work and present Plan International as a leader in children, in particular girl’s rights, to a diverse range of stakeholders.
  • Represent and profile/position Plan International as a leading, international, humanitarian and peace-building actor in relevant NGO networks and other coalitions
  • Develop and maintain a network of external contacts with key individuals in the government, donors, NGO sector, civil society and the media.

Young people as Influencers 10%

  • Lead on youth participation efforts to ensure that voices of youth especially girls are integral to Plan International’s advocacy, including in planning and implementation. Acquire information and understanding of social policy and adapt strategies as necessary.
  • Promote the role of youth in influencing regional governance to ensure their survival, learning, and protection

Safeguarding Children and Young People (Safeguarding) and Gender Equality and Inclusion (GEI) 5%

  • Understands and puts into practice the responsibilities under Safeguarding and GEI policies and Plan International’s Code of Conduct (CoC), ensuring that concerns are reported and managed in accordance with the appropriate procedures.**
  • Leads the orientation of programme staff to ensure that they are properly inducted on and understands their role in upholding Plan International’s safeguarding and GEI policies;**
  • Ensures that Plan International’s global policies for Safeguarding Children and Young People and Gender Equality and Inclusion are fully embedded in project design, during implementation and as principles applied in day-to-day work of Programme team; **
  • Ensures that Plan Kenya contributes to Plan International’s global efforts to ensure safeguarding and GEI, including making sure that relevant reporting and data are submitted. **

Leadership Competencies

  • Courageous, taking a lead, challenging myself and others to achieve purpose, safeguard others and role model values, inside and outside work. Responsible for my work and learning, striving to improve. Self-aware, resilient and constructive in embracing change. Striving to achieve significant and lasting impact on the lives of children and young people, and to secure equality for girls. Challenging myself to be bold, courageous, responsive, focused and innovative.
  • Communicates clearly and persuasively with large and diverse groups of people, giving them the understanding and motivation to succeed and involving all staff in reflection, innovation and improvement.
  • Respecting all people, appreciating differences and challenging inequality in programmes and the workplace. Supporting children, girls and young people to increase their confidence and to change their own lives. Empowering other staff to give their best and develop their potential.
  • Builds strategic relationships with key leaders, experts and stakeholders across the Plan International federation and externally, navigating political and power interests and negotiating positive outcomes.
  • Makes timely decisions, even in uncertainty and when information is imperfect. Manages opportunities and risks and adjust actions as situations unfold and we learn more.
  • Understanding Plan International’s purpose, priorities, values and approaches in our work context. Adhering to relevant policies, processes, practices and standards, and being pro-active in continuing technical and professional development

Business Management competencies

  • Understands relevant sectoral context including how the sector operates in terms of funding and governance and awareness of Plan’s purpose, values, and global strategy
  • Manages legal and reputational risk including risk assessment, communication, risk management and reporting in full compliance with risk-related standards, including in areas such as Child and Youth Safeguarding and Protection, Gender equality and inclusion, Counter Fraud, Safety and Security
  • Managing activities and resources including skills in strategic thinking, planning and organising, financial planning and monitoring, negotiation and programme and project management
  • Managing people and information including skills in assessment and coaching, evidence-based management, communication skills, both speaking and writing, and digital working, including personal digital skills

Technical expertise, skills and knowledge

Knowledge and experience

  • Hold a university qualification in political science, international law, international development, communications or an equivalent qualification
  • Experience in developing and delivering advocacy strategies in development and / or humanitarian contexts. Demonstrated experience in using key influencing strategies such as advocacy, lobbying, movement building, or policy development
  • Understanding of causes and consequences gender discrimination, exclusion and inequality and how they contribute to the non- realization of children rights and developing practical strategies to address them.
  • Familiar with key international human rights frameworks and their relevance for change actions and opinions of power holders and social behavior
  • Familiar with influencing tactics, such as advocating governments for policy change, campaigning with CSOs for budgetary revisions, strategic engagement with power holders via media outlets, including digital.
  • Understanding of basic techniques strategies and tools to advance social justice campaigns targeting a range of key audiences
  • Understanding of youth movements and youth activism approaches and trends
  • Experience in carrying out power, policy and political analysis to inform strategies and projects
  • Strong knowledge of child and women’s rights and gender justice.
  • Knowledge of how to maximize awareness of Plan International’s purpose, work and objectives via a range of communications channels and tool i.e external media, online, social media, etc
  • Good understanding of the development and NGO sector.
  • Experience of working with coalitions and networks.


  • Analytical, strategic thinking and negotiating skills
  • Ability to build effective relations for influencing
  • Excellent organization and prioritization skills
  • Ability to write clearly and concisely – translating complex issues for a variety of audiences (e.g. general population and policy-makers).
  • Excellent verbal communication skills.
  • Creative thinking and problem solving skills
  • Proven IT skills: Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint etc
  • Ability to prioritize and multitask work when dealing with competing deadlines, sometimes with limited resources


  • Promotes equality, including gender equality, inclusion and girls’ empowerment in Plan’s work and in its work with partner **
  • Ability to work collaboratively with others **
  • Ability to thrive in a cross-cultural environment **
  • Discreet when engaging with external powerful external stakeholders (such as representatives of politics and the media)**
  • Flexible, self-starter, team player, able to work without supervision **
  • Enthusiastic, focused**
  • Excellent relationship building skills – networking, influencing and stakeholder management skills**
  • Promotes equality, including gender equality, inclusion and girls’ empowerment in Plan’s work and in its work with partners**
  • Uses evidence-based results to make choices and drive change, capacities and developmental stages of children, adolescents and young people**


  • Program and Influence; Understanding of the processes, institutions and organizations that shape the development and humanitarian context and standards within the countries which plan international operates.
  • Policy and Advocacy (including influence multilaterals and donors): Understanding of working with government, institutions and / or key governance mechanisms and processes for policy making and budget allocation and how to influence these.
  • Human Rights accountability mechanisms and reporting processes: Knowledge of international human rights system and its mechanisms, and their role in strengthening national advocacy with the participation of civil society. Understanding of how to consult with all relevant stakeholders, including children and young people, in the process of engaging with human rights mechanisms.
  • Campaigning and external mobilization: Strong knowledge of and interest in current events, including those related to politics, economics, social and cultural affairs, technology and media. Familiarity with constantly shifting political, economic, social, tech and media trends and dynamics of relevance to effective campaigning.
  • Young people as Influencers: Demonstrated experience of developing and delivering advocacy strategies and/or campaigns preferably with a gender equality or girl-led focus advanced practical understanding of child and youth safeguarding and child rights, current issues and best practice including child protection issues associated with youth campaigning and advocacy including digital safety.
  • Influencing in Emergencies and humanitarian settings: Strong knowledge of potential entry points for humanitarian influencing at all relevant levels, including within UN bodies, agencies, regional mechanisms and with donor governments, as well as relevant national, regional, and international, legal and policy frameworks and processes.

Plan International’s Values in Practice

We are open and accountable

We create a climate of trust inside and outside the organization by being open, honest and transparent. We hold ourselves and others to account for the decisions we make and for our impact on others, while doing what we say we will do.

We strive for lasting impact

We strive to achieve significant and lasting impact on the lives of children and young people, and to secure equality for girls. We challenge ourselves to be bold, courageous, responsive, focused and innovative.

We work well together

We succeed by working effectively with others, inside and outside the organization, including our sponsors and donors. We actively support our colleagues, helping them to achieve their goals. We come together to create and implement solutions in our teams, across Plan International, with children, girls, young people, communities and our partners.

We are inclusive and empowering

We respect all people, appreciate differences and challenge inequality in our programmes and our workplace. We support children, girls and young people to increase their confidence and to change their own lives. We empower our staff to give their best and develop their potential.

How to apply

If you meet the above skills requirements and are interested in applying for this position, please send your online application using the link below by 14 April 2022.

Plan International is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate applicants on any basis. We also don’t charge Job seekers any fee at any point of recruitment.

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