The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and regain control of their future. The IRC Yemen began its programs in October 2012 and currently operates in the south and north of the country through direct programming and local partnerships in Health, Nutrition, WASH, Economic Recovery and Development, Education, Child Protection, and Women’s Protection and Empowerment. The country program operates from main offices in Aden and Sana’a and field offices in Abyan, Al Dhale’e, and Hodeidah governorates.
Scope of work
Under the supervision of the Country Director, the Advocacy and External Relations Coordinator is responsible for development and implementation of advocacy, communications, and external relations strategies, that support IRC’s access and acceptance, promote a principled and effective humanitarian response and highlight Yemen’s needs and IRC’s response. The Advocacy and External Relations Coordinator will work closely with IRC’s global advocacy and communications teams, IRC Yemen’s senior management and key program and operations staff.
Key qualifications include significant experience in advocacy and external communication, and good understanding of international humanitarian law and the core humanitarian principles. Excellent writing and critical thinking skills are essential, together with the ability to effectively communicate IRC positions as delegated by the Country Director. In addition, this position will act as Head of Office in Sana’a, and expected to travel to IRC’s operational sites 50% of time.
Policy and Advocacy
● Under the guidance of Senior Director International Programs Policy & Advocacy, define the advocacy strategy and policy priorities for Yemen; lead strategy implementation in the field and advise and support colleagues in global capitals in implementing the strategy with targets in London, Brussels, DC/NY, and the region.
● Develop and maintain active working relationships externally and across the IRC to channel the data and knowledge generated by IRC’s programs into policy recommendations and advocacy plans.
● Closely monitor the evolving humanitarian and political context in Yemen, and disseminate written and verbal updates and analysis in a timely manner to Yemen’s senior management and other relevant departments.
● Produce high quality public and private policy and advocacy materials including letters, briefing notes, position papers, and advocacy reports. Provide analysis to Country Director, including inputs and talking points for meetings, as required.
● Promote a principled approach to advocacy, policy and communications among relevant internal stakeholders in Yemen and ensure that external messaging is evidence-based and driven by field realities.
● As agreed with the Country Director and Senior Director for International Programs Policy and Advocacy, support the global policy and advocacy team’s Crisis Analyst in delivery of analysis products on Yemen.
● Disseminate information on IRC’s policy and advocacy strategy to field staff and provide trainings on advocacy and communications as required. Develop the capacity of staff to contribute to impactful advocacy and policy interventions.
External Relations and Communications
● Represent the IRC in humanitarian coordination forums, conferences, advocacy meetings, and other events as requested.
● Support IRC’s bilateral relationships with government counterparts. In consultation and coordination with the Senior Government Liaison Manager, support regular engagement with relevant authorities at Sana’a, Aden or governorate level.
● Work closely with the regional communications lead to raise the profile and influence of the IRC’s work in Yemen. Contribute to content collection for fundraising efforts as required.
● Maintain internal and external context and programming information and update relevant external relations teams as appropriate
● Maintain communication and media policies in consultation with relevant focal points at HQ and region and in close consultation with country management.
● Ensure that IRC’s work is positively reflected amongst wider public both in Yemen and abroad by documenting and disseminating information on IRC Yemen’s program achievements and other notable events.
● Develop briefing packs, factsheets, achievement reports and similar to enhance IRC’s acceptance, access and fund-raising efforts.
● Ensure all communication materials (program/country specific) developed by him/herself is standardized as per the communication policy and is approved as required before printing and/or dissemination, with key vital advocacy and strategic messages appropriately aligned in communication products.
● As required, support grants and program teams to develop and execute communication strategies/plans for individual projects, based on project needs and respective donor guidelines.
● Lead on identification, contracting and management of local photographers and videographers, including developing TORs and feeding into selection process, when required.
● Lead on the development of and train staff on documenting success stories, case studies, speaking to media, pitch write-ups, press releases etc.
● Serve as IRC Yemen’s media liaison and spokesperson if and when requested and nominated by the Country Director.
● Act as Head of Office in Sana’a;
A first-level university degree in political science, social science, public administration, international studies, communications, or another related field is required.
● At least 8 years of relevant work experience of which a minimum of 5 years of advocacy and communication field experience in complex humanitarian crises / conflict situations is required.
● Knowledge of international humanitarian law and core humanitarian principles;
● Demonstrated capacity for analysis, strategic thinking, strong organizational skills, and ability to communicate effectively and build consensus among a range of internal and external stakeholders.
● Experience with training and staff capacity building;
● Ability to develop appropriate broadcast, print and/or social media content and using content management systems.
● Excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to lead and work effectively in team situations.
● Capacity to work well under pressure, and the ability to communicate appropriately and effectively cross‐culturally is critical.
● Politically and culturally sensitive with qualities of patience, tact and diplomacy.
● Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and proficiency in MS Office applications. Fluency in Arabic is highly desirable.
● Knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite (esp. Final Cut, Illustrator, Photoshop and Indesign)
● Experience shooting and editing videos.
The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in the IRC Way – Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, Equality and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.