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Vacancy Details
Published: 05-Jan-2017, 18:46

Interim Policy & Advocacy Adviser

Vacancy details

The Policy & Advocacy team at War Child is part of the rapidly growing Advocacy and Communications team. The Policy & Advocacy team is responsible for developing and implementing strategies designed to ensure that: 

  • the rights and needs of children who have been forced to flee are properly upheld and met;
  • international humanitarian law is upheld, children are not deliberately targeted in warzones, and that such conflicts are brought to an end.  At present this involves a particular focus on the conflicts in Syria and Yemen.  

We are recruiting for two roles to focus on each of these two areas, who will also provide support to each other at times of workload surges. However, it will take time to recruit to these roles, leaving a capacity gap that needs to be filled to ensure that progress is made on our two priority advocacy areas.  We are therefore looking to recruit a short-term Policy & Advocacy Adviser to cover this gap. Both roles will have the opportunity to lead and shape their own strategies with the Head of Policy & Advocacy, as well as provide support to the other.  

Working with the support of the Head of Policy & Advocacy, this role will lead War Child’s work to finalise its strategies to deliver change against our two priority areas of focus: ensuring that the rights and needs of children who have been forced to flee are met, and to ensure that IHL is upheld in warzones, that children are not deliberately targeted, and that such conflicts are brought to an end.  This will involve a particular focus on Yemen and Syria.    

This role is critical in ensuring that War Child is well placed to deliver against the advocacy objectives that it has identified as organisational priorities, and establish the organisation as a well-respected and impactful force for change. It will involve significant external engagement, developing extensive relationships with decision-makers, high-level influencers, and individuals across the sector.  The role will act as a major external ‘face’ for the organisation, helping to develop War Child’s reputation as a bold organisation with the expertise and clout to influence political and policy change to benefit the millions of children caught up in conflict worldwide. 

  • Developing an in-depth understanding of international humanitarian law, the dynamics of conflicts in areas where War Child is operating, and the extent and means by which IHL is being broken
  • Developing an in-depth understanding of the rights and needs of children who have been forced to flee by conflict, the scale of the challenge, and what needs to be done by whom to address these needs
  • Commissioning and conducting high quality and research and policy analysis to support and evidence War Child’s advocacy priorities and enhance our credibility and impact
  • Developing advocacy strategies that identify those with the power to implement our policy recommendations - and those who can influence decision-makers – and deploy tactics that have the best chance of influencing them to support our advocacy objectives 
  • Liaising with our in-country teams and Programmes Department, develop policy recommendations that build on War Child’s understanding of particular conflicts and draw on our field expertise
  • Working closely with the digital communications and campaigns team to develop digital campaign strategies that leverage the voice of War Child supporters to further our policy and advocacy objectives
  • Building relationships at multiple levels with decision-makers and influencers in government, parliament, the UN and the media to convey our priority advocacy messages and establish War Child’s reputation as a major player – both as an expert on policy, and as an impactful advocate for change on behalf of children in conflict
  • Representing War Child at a high level as required, at meetings, events, roundtables etc – with Ministers, parliamentarians, senior UN leaders and high profile journalists – and building our reputation in the sector through developing an extensive network of contacts.
  • Ensuring that our policy and advocacy is informed by and profiles the voices of the children and young people that we work with
  • Working closely with the Press and PR team to ensure that media strategies are developed that best further our policy and advocacy objectives, with occasional opportunities to speak directly to the media 

Person Specification:

War Child’s office is a lively and fast-paced environment made up of a team of extremely dedicated staff. We’re looking for someone who can fit in well and bring their personality, creativity and professionalism to our policy and advocacy work and the wider charity. 

You will have significant experience of working on both policy research and analysis, as well as advocating for the implementation of these policies by decision-makers.  This will include working on issues relating to conflict, humanitarian intervention and international development, and a demonstrable understanding of, and detailed expertise in, the conflicts taking place across the Middle East. 

You are proactive, building relationships with key decision-makers and influencers who have the capacity to affect change, as well as developing a strong network or contacts across the humanitarian and development sector. 

You are inquisitive, keeping up-to-date with the news agenda and ensuring that our policy priorities are constantly up-to-date and informed by evidence, and capable of responding to the rapidly changing international and national environment. 

You are passionate, concerned at the fate of children who are targeted and caught up in violent conflicts.  Respect for their rights, and recognition of their particular needs, will lie at the heart of all that you do.  And your work will always consider the rights of children to have a say in the decisions that affect their lives, ensuring that the voices of children inform the policies that we develop, and are heard in the advocacy tactics that we deploy.  

You are a critical thinker, mining down into the complexities of an issue to develop robust and well-considered policy recommendations. 

You are a great communicator, confident in speaking to a range of audiences, unintimidated by advocating towards those in positions of power, and capable of tailoring your style accordingly.  

You are great under pressure, able to juggle multiple tasks and manage heavy workloads whilst simultaneously maintaining a positive attitude, and contributing to a positive working environment.  


  • Working on issues relating to conflict, humanitarian issues and/or international development.
  • Established reputation as an expert in the humanitarian and conflict sector
  • Commissioning and conducting qualitative and quantitate research, critically analysing research results, and developing robust, impactful policy recommendations on the back of them.
  • Developing intelligent advocacy strategies that respond to the political and public environment and influence decision-makers to pursue political and policy changes
  • Drawing on the experience and expertise of country programmes in developing detailed policy recommendations
  • Working with colleagues across a range of functions – media, digital, programmes, fundraising – to develop campaign and advocacy strategies that meet multiple objectives and appeal to a range of audiences and targets.
  • An established network across the humanitarian and conflict sector, and a demonstrable ability to continuously maintain and expand this network
  • Proven ability to develop relationships with key decision-makers and influencers who have the capacity to affect change
  • Representing an organisation at a high level – with key decision-makers at multiple levels, and with powerful influencers across the sector, e.g. the media, parliamentarians, senior UN figures/leaders and high profile journalists
  • Devising advocacy strategies that are informed by and profile the voices of children and young people
  • Commitment to War Child’s aims and objectives and to working within values of the organisation
  • Right to work in the UK
  • Educated to degree level 

Skills and Competencies

  • Knowledge and understanding of humanitarian and development issues – ideally in the areas of conflict, international humanitarian law, and children’s rights – OR knowledge and understanding of child rights and protection issues – ideally in the humanitarian and international development area
  • Ability to get up-to-speed quickly with new issues and develop an authoritative voice on a policy area
  • Ability to respond quickly to a rapidly changing international environment and to proactively respond to opportunities as they emerge, constantly looking for opportunities to develop an organisation’s profile, and to further its strategic goals
  • The ability to develop positive, productive working relationships with a range of colleagues and internal functions e.g. press & PR, programmes, fundraising and digital, as well as external decision-makers and influencers
  • Capable of distilling complex research and information into priority policy recommendations and advocacy asks that are clear, concise and evidence-based, and developing advocacy strategies that lead to policy change
  • Ability to advocate confidently and authoritatively with those in positions of power – such as parliamentarians, Ministers and senior officials
  • Skilled at communicating with a range of audiences – from the general public through to government officials – and ability to represent an organisation’s position in the media and on public panels
  • Effective team-player, with the ability to thrive in a busy office, and juggle competing deadlines and occasionally heavy workloads.
  • Willingness to occasionally work anti-social hours to ensure pressing deadlines are met, and opportunities fully exploited. 
  • IT literate with the main Microsoft office programmes.  

Desirable Experience/Criteria:

  • Experience of campaigning using social media tools and tactics
  • Experience of utilising political monitoring tools
  • Ability to speak a second language (French or Arabic preferable)
  • Educated to degree standard in a subject related to international politics, international development and/or human rights 

Contractual Terms

Working Hours:           Full time (37.5 hours per week)

Probation:                    1 month

Start date:                   From Jan 2017 onwards

Travel:                         Occasional based on operational need and subject to security

Salary:                         £34,650 to £39,375 per annum (depending on experience)

Leave:                         28 days pa pro-rata, increasing by one day for each year’s service up to a maximum of 5 additional days

Pension:                      All eligible employees are automatically enrolled into a Group Personal Pension Plan. Contributions will be made on a salary exchange basis as follows: employees contribute a minimum of 3% of basic monthly salary to receive a contribution of 5% from War Child.

Other:                          As defined in standard War Child contract terms

Application process 

  • Download War Child Application Form from Application deadline is 12th January 2017 and applications must be sent to or the War Child office by this date. Please note CVs will not be accepted.
  • Due to limited resources War Child HR will contact only the shortlisted candidates
  • First round interviews will be held on Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th January 2017
  • Second round interviews, if held, will take place the week commencing 23rd January 2017
  • Any offer made will be conditional on receipt of 3 favourable written references, (from your most recent employer, any other previous employer and a character reference). War Child reserves the right to call the referees, in case clarification is required post the receipt of complete reference forms.
  • The successful applicant will be expected to undergo a DBS Police check and/or international police check, a medical check for overseas travel purposes, be compliant and sign up to War Child’s Child Safeguarding Policy prior to a final offer being made.

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