The Moving Minds Alliance is a multi-stakeholder partnership of 20+ organisations working to scale up the financing, policies, and leadership needed to effectively support young children and families affected by crisis and displacement everywhere.
Four years since its inception, and having recently updated its strategy and operational set-up, Moving Minds Alliance is embarking on its next phase of activity with a growing membership. The Moving Minds Alliance is hosted by the International Rescue Committee (IRC).
To lead the Joint Advocacy pillar of Moving Minds Alliance’s strategy, we are looking for an enthusiastic changemaker, who has experience in shaping and managing partnerships that shift mindsets and priorities at a systems level.
Delivering the robust support structure needed to support the members’ joint advocacy activities, and bringing on board and building collaborations with ‘unusual suspects’ who can bring meaningful, positive change to displaced families’ lives will be key goals in this role.
The successful candidate will ideally have worked across more than one of the sectors represented in the Moving Minds Alliance (e.g. philanthropy, UN/non-profit, private sector), have an excellent understanding of the humanitarian response system, as well as a track record of delivering tangible results through multi-stakeholder partnership. Prior experience working on early childhood development is not a requirement.
Note that funding for this role has been secured and is in the process of being transferred to the IRC.
Our Vision: Rebuilding resilience of the youngest refugees
Forced displacement worldwide is at a record high, and children are disproportionately represented among those fleeing from emergencies and crisis-affected contexts. One in four children around the world lives in contexts affected by conflict or disaster, and more than 30 million children have been displaced by conflict.
Given the protracted nature of modern displacement, most children born in displacement will go on to spend their entire childhoods away from home. Experiences during this period, in the very first years of life, shape the architecture of the brain and lay the foundation for future development, learning and physical and mental health.
Prolonged exposure to violence and toxic stress is associated with high levels of depression, anxiety, and in some cases post-traumatic stress disorder, which can have life-long negative effects on children’s development.
The good news is that evidence indicates early childhood services, including those that support and guide parents, caregivers, and families in times of crisis, can mitigate the negative effects of trauma and stress on young children and promote resilience and well-being for a lifetime.
While the international community has made significant efforts to ensure children have access to basic healthcare and nutrition, the provision of services for other critical areas of a young child’s development is severely lacking in crisis situations across the globe, as well as in communities hosting refugees and asylum-seekers. A 2018 review of active humanitarian response plans revealed that only 10 out of 38 plans included interventions specifically targeting the youngest children. A more recent MMA analysis of financing for early childhood in crisis contexts, found that only 2% of humanitarian aid, and 3% of development aid finds its way to supporting the needs of the youngest children and families in crisis contexts.
Coordinated action by the humanitarian community, donors, and policymakers is needed to raise the life prospects of millions of young children on the move.
About the Moving Minds Alliance
The Moving Minds Alliance came together to close the gap in support for the youngest children on the move and their families. It is multi-stakeholder partnership working to scale up the financing, policies, and leadership needed to effectively support young children and families affected by crisis and displacement everywhere.
Originally established in 2017 by a group of six philanthropic foundations, today it counts nearly 25 members including foundations, NGOs, UN agencies and academia. Members combine their programmatic, funding, and research expertise to support prioritization of the youngest refugees and their caregivers.**
Moving Minds Alliance develops activities in the areas of:
• Joint Advocacy: Ensuring donors, humanitarian actors & networks, and country governments prioritize and champion early childhood development (ECD) in crisis settings;
• Sharing & Learning: Establishing a thriving network that is sharing and applying insights effectively to deliver on its common agenda for change.
Moving Minds Alliance’s activities are focused on the areas described above; MMA does not provide funding for implementation of early childhood programs on the ground. Activities are taken forward collaboratively by its members, with support from the Secretariat (interim support is currently provided by consultants).
Operational costs and activities are financed by a sub-group of philanthropic foundations that is part of the overall MMA membership, through a combination of annual member fees and additional donations and grants. A Steering Committee provides overall strategic direction, while sub-groups (most notably the Joint Advocacy Group) are responsible for operationalizing specific areas of work.
MMA’s Secretariat and pooled fund is transitioning to be held by the International Rescue Committee. As such, Secretariat staff will be on IRC contracts. MMA’s brand and identity will be separate from IRC, and this will be reflected in the Secretariat set-up (e.g. MMA Secretariat staff will receive MMA email addresses, business cards, etc.). As part of this newly established hosting arrangement, the MMA Secretariat will be able to make full use of IRC systems, and count on back office support from IRC’s legal, HR, finance team, etc.
As part of the ‘Joint Advocacy’ pillar of MMA’s work, a group of 20+ organisations came together between September 2019 and April 2020 to develop a joint advocacy strategy for early childhood in crisis contexts. Through coordinated action and shared prioritization of efforts, the strategy’s overaching goal is to ensure donors, humanitarian actors & networks, and country governments prioritize and champion early childhood development in crisis settings.
The strategy is currently being implemented by members of MMA’s Joint Advocacy Group in five separate Working Groups, with interim support from consultancy firm Unbounded Associates. Public resources that have already been generated as part of the process include a baseline analysis of international aid levels for early childhood services in crisis contexts, and an issue brief developed in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak to call attention to the double emergency faced by families already caught up in crisis contexts.
The Senior Engagement Manager will be responsible for shaping and supporting the group to deliver its ambitious workplan, and for developing the structure and processes underpinning the work. In addition, the succesful candidate will oversee external MMA communications, and monitor and pursue key developments and opportunities that align with the Joint Advocacy Group’s objectives.
This is a senior role which comes with considerable autonomy in shaping and implementing the work. The Senior Engagement Manager will report to the Moving Minds Alliance Director, who is also currently being recruited. At least one project officer will also be recruited in the short term, who will in part support the Senior Engagement Manager on coordination of the Joint Advocacy Group.
Responsibilities of the Senior Manager Engagement will include: **
• Lead refinement of the MMA advocacy strategy and multi-year workplan, in coordination with the Joint Advocacy Group (JAG) Team Leads, and in consultation with MMA members and the MMA Director
• Oversee development of budget and associated workplans for joint advocacy efforts, and feed into organization-wide budget prepared by the MMA Director
• Develop and oversee MMA’s external communications & social media strategy
• Track progress toward indicators of monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) plan for the joint advocacy strategy
Joint Advocacy Group (JAG) Leadership
• Oversee implementation of the Joint Advocacy Strategy: Track progress against objectives, spot and fill gaps as needed, connect opportunities and ensure alignment across workstreams
• Build and maintain good relations with JAG members; develop a good understanding of their priorities and strengths
• Align JAG members with appropriate roles and responsibilities, and adequately guide and support the group to deliver on its ambitious objectives
• Recruit additional JAG members with expertise in key areas, including members from the Global South
• Facilitate meetings of the entire JAG (30+ individuals), the JAG Team Leads (4-6 individuals), and small, ad hoc groups of members as needed;
• Review and refine the processes and platforms underpinning the JAG’s work to optimally facilitate communication, knowledge sharing, and alignment across the groups
• Manage recruitment and selection and oversee contracts of any external contractors hired to support the work of the Joint Advocacy Group
Outreach & Communications
• Build and maintain relationships with relevant networks and organisations (both known allies and more ‘unusual suspects’); be proactive in pursuing opportunities for collaboration on, or amplification of MMA’s advocacy goals
• Use influential, high-level individuals within MMA organizations, draft talking points and messaging for MMA leadership and champions to promote the network and its goals in key fora
• In coordination with JAG members, identify and leverage global advocacy moments and events, and maintain a calendar of global opportunities
• Keep informed of key developments and players in the area of early childhood in crisis contexts
• Oversee content curation and development of the MMA quarterly newsletter
• Oversee day-to-day Twitter and LinkedIn postings by the Project Officer, and support his/her development in the area of communications
• With the MMA Director, oversee maintenance of the MMA website and ensure content is aligned across the various communication channels
• Engage in all aspects of the publication process for MMA publications, from conception to content development to finalization, launch, and dissemination.
Operations & Governance
• Review and refine plans for the establishment of a dedicated coordination/ governance structure for the JAG, in close collaboration with the MMA Director
• Manage budget forecasting and monitor spending for the joint advocacy workstream, and feed into ongoing overarching budget monitoring
• Support resource mobilization for the Moving Minds Alliance Joint Advocacy workstream, in active collaboration with the Director and Steering Committee
• Support the Director to prepare materials on all ongoing advocacy and communications activities for the Steering Committee and the Annual Report
The ideal candidate for this position has the following skills and experience:
· Master’s Degree in communications, advocacy, public policy, international affairs or another relevant field (or equivalent experience)
· Fluent in spoken and written English. French, Spanish, Arabic, Swahili, and/or knowledge of other languages desireable
· 8-10 years of progressively responsible experience in international development/ humanitarian aid, social business, and/or philanthropy. Experience across more than one sector a plus
· Prior experience leading advocacy and communication efforts for multi-stakeholder partnerships for development/humanitarian innovation or other forms of social change
· Strong solutions- and result orientation, energized by thinking out of the box and by pursuing novel approaches to shifting mindsets
· Skilled at spotting and prioritizing opportunities and synergies, and effective in securing engagement around them from key players
· Experience in implementing and encouraging uptake of project management structures and processes to aid collaboration, communication, and reporting
· Excellent listening, communications and persuasive ability, proven track record in uniting people around a common goal
· Highly organized with strong project management skills
· Capable of working independently as well as collaboratively
· Passionate about social change, and driven to make a difference in the lives of young children on the move (early childhood knowledge not required)
Please include the following questions in your cover letter:
Please describe two opportunities and two challenges you see for Moving Minds Alliance to increase prioritization of early childhood development in crisis settings by major donors, humanitarian actors and host country governments.
What are three important values you would embody in a (mostly) remote, multi-stakeholder partnership, and why?
What are two concrete learnings/insights from leading advocacy and/or communication efforts for a multi-stakeholder partnership in the past that you would bring to MMA?
MMA Secretariat staff will be on IRC staff contracts. The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, 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.
Les employés du Secretariat MMA seront employés sur la base des contrats de IRC. IRC et les employés de IRC doivent adhérer aux valeurs et principes contenus dans le IRC WAY (normes de conduite professionnelle). Ce sont l’Intégrité, le Service, et la Responsabilité. En conformité avec ces valeurs, IRC opère et fait respecter les politiques sur la protection des bénéficiaires contre l’exploitation et les abus, la protection de l’enfant, le harcèlement sur les lieux de travail, l’intégrité financière, et les représailles.
Candidates must have the righ to work in the UK or Switzerland.
The application deadline is 27th October 2021.
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.
IRC-UK welcomes applications from all candidates, including underrepresented groups and refugees who have the right to work in the UK.
IRC UK will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable adjustments to participate in the job application and/or interview process, and for essential job functions if appointed to a role. Please contact us if you may need such adjustments.
How to Apply
Please apply through our website.