Advocacy Specialist


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VSO is the world's leading independent international development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries. Our highimpact approach brings people together to share skills, build capabilities, promote international understanding and action to change lives and make the world a fairer place.



Job Purpose:

The role involves working closely with and supporting one or more VSO Partners and / or civil society organizations (CSOs) as they develop advocacy initiatives to bring about policy changes in Niger State in relation to agriculture and market access for the poor.


Job Responsibilities:

  • Support and develop the capacity of one or more IMA4P Nigeria Partners in the field of advocacy and engagement with national/regional Government on issues of policy and legislative reform in keeping with the needs of the project
  • Provide expert advice and support on advocacy and campaigning strategies and community based approaches.
  • Work closely with Partners, CSOs and farmer collectives to develop evidence-based, comprehensive advocacy strategies and implementation plans.
  • Strengthen the capacity of staff of partner organizations (CSOs) relating to organisational capacity for effective advocacy.
  • Identify opportunities for advancing CSOs’ and wider voice and standing with the Government. Coordinate work to ensure CSOs take advantage of these opportunities to ensure positive outcomes
  • Contribute to and support the leadership and coordination of the sectors, thematic advocacy including identifying the key issues in brief, advocacy action plan, talking points, information kits, etc;
  • Support media and communication efforts on the implementation of advocacy strategy.
  • Participation in the development of a strategy or strategies for engagement in national or regional  debates on policy issues relating to democratic reform
  • Effective and context-sensitive support for the implementation of advocacy initiatives
  • Advocacy strategy and implementation plan produced to the satisfaction of stakeholders
  • Key issues and advocacy messages developed and rolled out
  • Capacity of partner staff relating to advocacy greatly improved, as measured by the partner organisation.
  • Communication materials and community engagement advocacy tools developed.
  • Government partners engaged and sensitized to be responsive to the voices of CSOs and communities
  • IMA4P profile raised
  • Objectives will be confirmed in three way discussions between the volunteer, employer and VSO in the first three months of the placement.


  • Building and Sustaining working relationships:
  • The social skills to build and actively maintain working relationships that foster teamwork and collaboration with others for the benefit of a common goal.
  • Open Minded and Respectful:
  • A non-judgemental approach that values other people and culture.
  • Seeking and Sharing Knowledge:
  • Recognition that learning is a two-way and continuous process.
  • Facilitating Positive Change:
  • The ability to analyse problems and develop lasting solutions in line with VSO approaches.
  • Adaptability:
  • A flexible approach and the ability to adapt behaviour to different situations.
  • Resilience:
  • The self-confidence to work with a variety of situations, diverse people and ambiguity.


Skills and Knowledge:

  • A University degree in Social Sciences, International Development, or related field.  A minimum of three years professional experience in a related sector or context.
  • Proven track record of delivering successful policy-related advocacy strategies within a development context.
  • Experience in lobbying, advocacy and/or influencing a range of decision-makers e.g. national governments or inter-government organisations.
  • Understanding of a wide variety of advocacy and social accountability programme approaches, preferably with expertise in undertaking applied research.
  • Excellent communication and social skills, the ability to work closely with a variety of stakeholders in a developing country and non-english speaking context.
  • Ability to work independently as well as with multiple stakeholders in a time-pressured environment.
  • Ability to work both as team member and independently
  • Demonstrated success in engaging with and mobilizing communities related to social accountability and development
  • Proven ability to create and maintain effective working relationships with high level stakeholders
  • Experience in capacity strengthening. Training and advisory work
  • Experience of Monitoring and Evaluation, particularly of advocacy projects
  • Awareness and sensitivity of political/socio-cultural context of Africa

This job originally appeared elsewhere.




Job Level

Experienced (Non-Manager)




NGO/Community Services & Dev

Job Type


Minimum Qualification


Preferred Years of Experience

3 - 5 years