Brussels, Belgium
London, Greater London
Permanent, Full-time
Job description

Location: London, Bonn or Brussels 


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.

IRC is a global network, which has its headquarters in New York and London. The IRC is on the ground in more than 40 countries, providing emergency relief, relocating refugees and rebuilding lives in the wake of disaster. Through over 20 regional offices in cities across the United States, the IRC also helps refugees resettle in the US and become self-sufficient.

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


Our European headquarters, IRC-UK, were established in London in 1997 to support the organisation’s global activities and particularly to diversify its donor base and be able to better advocate with European policy-makers on behalf of the people we serve. Since its establishment IRC-UK has grown rapidly and is now acknowledged for its high quality project management, technical expertise in governance and rights and economic recovery, and innovative thinking on early recovery and gender based violence. IRC-UK comprises approximately 100 staff across five departments.

The IRC also has offices in Brussels, Berlin, Bonn, Geneva and a sister organisation in The Hague, as well as programme offices in the Balkans, Greece and Italy, in addition to Germany.

The Policy & Advocacy Department

The P&A team is a small, dynamic team located in London, Brussels and Berlin. The core purpose of the Policy and Advocacy (P&A) department is to increase the IRC’s influence and profile in Europe, and to establish the IRC as a thought leader that can drive transformational change in the humanitarian sector.

Economic Recovery and Development Unit

The IRC’s economic programmes are led by the economic recovery and development team and
includes the humanitarian cash transfer team and the enterprise development and employment teams.

The Purpose of the Role

This is a strategic position which is instrumental in driving IRC’s policy and advocacy work in London or Brussels and selected other capitals. As Senior Policy Officer – Economic programmes, working closely with the Head of Policy, you will:

  •  Develop and implement IRC’s policy & advocacy agenda on economic programmes, with a particular focus on livelihoods and women’s economic empowerment.
  •  Update and implement IRC’s policy and advocacy strategy on economic programmes (with an emphasis on livelihoods).
  • Support reactive advocacy and the development of policy messaging for influencing on humanitarian cash transfer policy.
  • Develop and implement the policy and advocacy strategy in connection with IRC’s research on financial inclusion.
  • Work with the BRAN and Economic programmes policy officer to identify and develop influencing opportunities for business led advocacy.
  • Develop policy positions and messaging on economic programmes, act as IRC’s policy expert on economic programmes and represent the organization at policy and political events and meetings and with the media.
  • Identify and develop or strengthen relationships with key global policy and advocacy targets and develop and/or lead policy and advocacy coalitions of NGOs.

Scope and Authority


In this position you will have the authority to build high level relationships with and brief senior leaders in the humanitarian and development sector as well as key business stakeholders. You will ensure the IRC is represented at key stakeholder meetings and represent the IRC at external advocacy meetings, events and forums. The position will regularly coordinate and liaise with ERD technical advisers, technical specialists, field programmes (ERD coordinators) and global policy and advocacy staff. The position will also work closely with IRC fundraising, communications and media teams to build awareness with the UK and European public. 

Responsibility for Resources:

The Senior Officer – Economic Programmes is responsible for leading and implementing tasks under the IRC’s organizational livelihoods advocacy objectives developed in line with the livelihoods strategy.

Key Working Relationships

Internal communication/collaboration with:

  •  Head of Policy (Europe)
  •  Brussels, London, Berlin and Washington DC Office
  •  ERD Technical Unit
  • Country teams and staff
  • ERD Senior Director
  • Fundraising, communications and media
  • Awards Management Unit and Finance department

External Working Relationships with:

  • European Governments and the EU
  •  Multilaterals including UNHCR, WFP and international financial institutions
  • Think tanks
  • NGOs and NGO coalitions
  • Donors
  • Business stakeholders

Policy and advocacy work

  •  Under the supervision of the Head of Policy and Senior Technical Director, drive the development and implementation of a livelihoods policy and advocacy strategy in coordination with relevant internal and external stakeholders; coordinate and chair the livelihoods policy working group.
  • Develop economic programmes policy positions and messaging, including through developing concrete policy recommendations drawing on new or existing research as well as ERD programme evidence.
  • Conceptualising and developing policy reports and developing briefings for senior IRC staff; attending or convening meetings and events.
  • Engage with policy makers and support advocacy colleagues in their engagement with political targets.
  • Lead the organisation and delivery of successful policy and advocacy events – working closely with advocacy colleagues.
  • Work with the fundraising teams on economic programmes policy and advocacy content as required and with the communications team to develop content for the public, the media and other audiences.
  • Identify key moments, entry points and opportunities to translate and disseminate ERD research findings and evidence based recommendations to a policy audience to influence and enhance policy change.


Skills, Knowledge and Qualifications:

  • Extensive experience in policy and advocacy in Europe and globally
  •  Deep understanding of development and humanitarian policy.
  • Deep understanding of building economic opportunities and driving women’s economic empowerment in humanitarian contexts.
  • Good understanding of multilaterals including the UN and international financial institutions as well as global processes such as the G7 and G20 and global frameworks such as the SDGs
  • Excellent writing skills and the ability to translate complex material and data into clear and concise policy and advocacy recommendations, briefings and resources.
  • Excellent influencing, communications and presentation skills.
  • Strong networking skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and proven ability to work in close collaboration with team members and remote field offices
  • Good research and analytical skills, and first-class attention to detail
  • Commitment to team work – working in a collaborative manner and contributing to a positive team environment
  • Highly motivated self-starter
  • Flexible and able to shift quickly to changing priorities
  • Able to plan and prioritise activities to meet deadlines


  • Strong demonstrable experience working on policy in a European and/or global context.
  • Experience in developing and implementing policy and advocacy strategies.
  • Experience working with policy-makers in a policy and advocacy function to achieve attributable policy change.
  • Experience of networking and contact building in political, academic or NGO settings
  • Experience in policy analysis and development of policy briefings and reports.
  • Experience in coordinating internal working groups.


  •  Masters degree in public policy, international relations, gender studies or a related field or equivalent experience
  • Experience in policy and advocacy on economic programmes in fragile and humanitarian settings.
  • Experience working in other related humanitarian protection areas (refugee/migrant protection, child protection, etc).   
  • Knoweldge of development financing and innovative financing models
  • Knowledge of other EU languages, particularly German.
  • Experience of public speaking and working with the media (including writing and broadcast interviews)

The application deadline is 11pm on 15th December 2019. Interviews will take place between 17th and 19th December 2019.

You must have the right to work in any one of the job locations. 

IRC-UK strives to be an equal opportunities employer. IRC-UK is committed to equality of opportunity and to non-discrimination for  all  job  applicants  and  employees,  and  we  seek  to ensure  we  achieve diversity  in  our  workforce  regardless  of  gender,  race,  religious  beliefs, nationality, ethnic/national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability.

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Posted on: 11 December 2019
Closed date: 15 December 2019
Tags: Advocacy

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