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Senior Advisor, Strategic Partnerships - DFID

London, Greater London (On-site)
£50,000 per year
Job description


Over the past 80 years, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has developed unparalleled expertise in responding to emergencies and helping uprooted communities to rebuild. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. The IRC responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and is on the ground in more than 40 countries providing emergency relief, relocating refugees and rebuilding lives.

The IRC is committed to a culture of bold leadership, innovation in all aspects of work, creative partnerships and, most crucially, accountability to those served. The IRC is a tireless advocate for the most vulnerable.

The Global Awards Management Unit (AMU)

Established in January 2016, the Global Awards Management Unit (AMU) is a global unit spanning New York, Washington DC, London, Brussels, Berlin, Bonn, Stockholm, Dakar and Bangkok. It has responsibility for identifying, securing and managing all funding from statutory donors, and was designed as an end-to-end business process owner and support structure for IRC’s grant lifecycle. The Unit is organised into five ‘pillars’: Strategic Partnerships; Program & Grants Support; Compliance & Policy; Business/Programme Development; and Training & Curriculum Development.

The Global AMU is a bridge between donors and the field: providing expert technical advice to the field, while maintaining portfolio-level visibility to ensure consistency and compliance, and manage risk. This unit ensures that donor compliance policies and procedures are implemented consistently, and supports all staff working across the grants management cycle for all restricted funding from global government sources. The unit operates within a matrix management system across the teams in the UK, US, and Germany, driving functional integration between all relevant units and staff, in collaboration with the Senior Vice President of the Global AMU and the Senior Vice President for Europe in relation to overarching issues with European donors.

The Senior Advisor - DFID is part of the Strategic Partnerships Team, which has responsibility for relationship management of IRC’s key institutional donors.

Purpose of the Role

DFID is a long-standing and strategic partner for the IRC. The Senior Advisor will lead, guide and coordinate IRC’s funding focused engagement with DFID. The Senior Advisor will provide an internal and external “account management” function to support engagement with DFID, including acting as IRC’s focal point for DFID’s Strategic Relationship Management Programme. The role is responsible for providing expertise and leadership on donor and partner relations, and acknowledging the needs, interests and time constraints of colleagues in the delivery of that content.                        

Scope and Authority

The Senior Advisor will, in consultation with key stakeholders, develop and implement strategies for proactive relationships with DFID, on behalf of the IRC. The Senior Advisor is also expected to develop and maintain positive working relationships and standards of collaboration with colleagues within IRC-UK, AMU Programme Development, Programme & Grants Support, Compliance & Policy, Country Teams, Technical Units, Policy and Advocacy, and IRC’s Senior Management.


  • Informs and implements DFID engagement strategy
  • Informs Senior Management in the AMU, IRC-UK and across the global organisation on stakeholder engagement priorities.
  • Initiates engagement and develops strong relationships with DFID and partners.
  • Represents IRC in external meetings with key DFID stakeholders such as Director-General, Heads of Department and other civil servants.
  • Works closely with IRC leadership and Policy & Advocacy team, which leads on engagement with UK political stakeholders.

Responsibility for Resources:

  • This role will not have staff management or budget responsibilities in the long-term.

Key working relationships

  • Reports to the Director, Strategic Partnerships. There will be approx. 3-month overlap with the current post holder. During this time, clear division of responsibilities will be identified.
  • Close co-ordination and working with the other units within the AMU, including its senior management, Regional Grants Director and Business/Programme Development leads; IRC-UK Executive Director, Policy and Advocacy and other IRC-UK staff, and senior IRC staff on DFID relationships.
  • Works closely with the Senior Advisors in the Strategic Partnerships Team.
  • Liaison with President’s Office on engagement with key DFID stakeholders for Strategic Partnerships and delivery of briefings.
  • Supports other teams to understand relationship management (structures and processes) within the global organisation.


Information and Knowledge Management (60%)

  • Proactively identify and broker relationships with DFID stakeholders.
  • Maintain up to date knowledge of IRC’s position relevant to DFID, including portfolio, pipeline, implementation and compliance issues, advocacy aims and the status of senior level HQ-HQ engagement.
  • Maintain up to date knowledge of DFID strategies and policies relevant to IRC’s areas of work, such as funding priorities, geographical interests and political climate, providing analyses and synopses of press releases, policies and other announcements, and disseminating this information internally.
  • Map donors’ organisational structure and key contacts.
  • Manage and input information for DFID on the contact management database and IRC’s Intranet.
  • Lead on the development and implementation of the Donor Engagement Plan.
  • Work with key Regional and Business/Programme Development staff to support DFID business development planning.
  • Represent IRC at key external meetings, events and sector/relevant groups.
  • Contribute to the development of tools and resources to support IRC’s donor engagement.
  • Coordinate internally with AMU, Policy and Advocacy and Country Team colleagues to ensure consistency, accuracy and timeliness of messaging for DFID.

Strategic Relationship Management and External Representation (40%)

  • Act as IRC’s day-to-day focal point for DFID’s Strategic Relationship Management Programme (SRM), including maintaining strong relationships and communication with IRC’s SRM lead within DFID.
  • Coordinate IRC’s engagement and deliverables related to the SRM Programme with relevant IRC teams, including scorecard reviews, joint business plan, quarterly meetings, and timely response to requests for information via the SRM.
  • Provide regular briefings and updates in relation to IRC’s engagement with the SRM Programme to IRC senior leaders.
  • Undertake direct representation with donor officials, and support the development of IRC’s donor relationships, including brokering meetings between DFID and IRC Regional and Technical Leadership, Country Directors, etc.
  • Participates in key meetings with DFID, including Director-General/equivalent, Heads of Department, advisors and other civil servants.
  • Represent the IRC at external meetings, events, and forums including delivering presentations/briefings to senior donor representatives, forums and sector groups.   



Skills, Knowledge and Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree preferably in a related field or experience leading to equivalent knowledge.
  • Strong working understanding of the UK political environment and trends relevant to DFID, and knowledge of DFID policies, priorities and financing mechanisms.
  • Excellent written, verbal and presentation skills, including preparing briefings for senior colleagues and representing with external stakeholders and donors.
  • Ability to lead and manage projects, including working as part of remote/virtual teams.
  • Good analytical skills and first-class attention to detail.
  • Strong organisational and time management skills.


  • Significant experience of business development, programme management, advocacy or managing other similar HQ-HQ strategic account / relationship management with DFID.
  • Extensive experience of building and maintaining donor networks with influencers and decision makers.
  • Experience undertaking reviews of policies, datasets and reports, and producing associated written and verbal guidance relevant to senior and operational staff.
  • Proven ability to work supportively and successfully with virtual teams.


  • Demonstrable experience of driving integrated advocacy, communications and fundraising programmes to access strategic funding.
  • Experience in negotiation of programmatic and financial arrangements with donors and partners.
  • Experience of working in developing countries, preferably in the context of a donor, NGO or International Organisation.
  • Experience of developing business cases.

The deadline for applications is midnight between Monday 13th / Tuesday 14th April 2020.

Remote interviews will take place week commencing 20th April 2020.

Candidates must have the right to work in the UK.

IRC-UK is committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination for all applicants and employees. IRC-UK seeks to ensure we achieve diversity in our workforce regardless of gender, race, religious belief, nationality, ethnic/national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability. IRC-UK welcomes applications from all candidates, including refugees who have the right to work in the UK.


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Posted on: 24 March 2020
Closed date: 13 April 2020 at 23:59
Tags: Advice, Information, Intl Development