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Regional Senior Advisor, West/South Africa Healthy Food Policy Advocacy Fund (Based in West or South Africa-Major Metropolitan Area)

Apr 1, 2022


The Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI), a program of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK), provides strategic advocacy assistance on global public health issues to drive policy change campaigns around the globe to improve health. As part of the Food Policy Program (FPP), GHAI works with partners to improve the nutrition policy environment, in countries including Barbados, Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica, Mexico and South Africa. The Advocacy Fund was created in 2020 as part of the FPP to extend this advocacy assistance to other low and middle-income countries that require support to help advance promising legislative or regulatory efforts on healthy food policy. The Advocacy Fund is currently operating in ten countries around the world, including Ghana and Nigeria. The FPP focuses on the passage and implementation of four key policies:

  • Banning advertising of junk food and sugary beverages to children;
  • Implementing taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages;
  • Regulating the supply of unhealthy foods and beverages in public sector institutions, particularly schools; and
  • Improving front of package labelling on packaged or processed foods and beverages.

Position Overview

The Regional Senior Advisor will provide direct oversight of the Advocacy Fund projects on-the-ground in West Africa with support to South Africa as needed, a portfolio that currently includes Ghana and Nigeria, and will likely expand throughout sub-Saharan Africa. They will support the in-country partners and any in-country and technical consultants to conduct a coordinated locally-led advocacy campaign on their selected policy focus area (e.g., sugar-sweetened beverage taxation) that leads to policy change. The Regional Senior Advisor will function as the liaison with the GHAI FPP HQ team, along with partner organizations, to develop and implement strategies for achieving national and/or sub-national policy change, through locally-led advocacy campaigns in multiple countries. They will have specific responsibility for country activities, supervise in-country and technical consultants, review and provide ongoing input on sub-grant work plans and budgets, and maintain regular communication with HQ. They will also facilitate regional communication, experience sharing and cross collaboration across country partners to create a regional network and facilitate a dynamic coalition to promote mutual support, standardization of best practices in the food policy agenda, as well as regional alliances to counter industry opposition. The Regional Senior Advisor will report directly to a director-level supervisor at GHAI in Washington, DC with a dotted line to the Associate Director, Advocacy for daily project coordination. They will collaborate with other members of the GHAI FPP team-including research, legal, and communications staff.

The ideal candidate will have experience in advocacy campaigns for policy change and have a general knowledge of the policy-making process in multiple countries in sub-Saharan Africa with a deep background in at least one country, proven ability to create and implement high-level multi-country advocacy strategies, develop, and collaborate in partnership with multiple stakeholders, and experience in working with government officers and political leadership. Knowledge of/background in public health and, specifically, food policy or nutrition is desirable. Knowledge of/background in communications, especially communications campaigns for policy change, is desirable.

This is a full-time (40 hours per week), contract position based in a major metropolitan area in West or South Africa.

Responsibilities

Strategic direction 

  • Work with the GHAI FPP AF team to create and direct regional and country strategies for work across the region.
  • Ensure local goals and objectives align with organizational and programmatic priorities and coordinate local strategies with overarching regional and organizational strategies. 
  • Continuously assess regional strategic opportunities to expansion and/or collaboration and keep GHAI HQ apprised of potential inroads, including cultivation and management of new local and regional partners. 
  • Grow the GHAI footprint and brand, including representing FPP and GHAI at regional and global opportunities for showcasing AF progress. 
  • Provide direction to in-country and technical (communications, research, legal) consultants and to local partners to ensure activities are reflective of the Fund’s overall goal and are contributing to policy and systems level changes. 

Project management

  • Coordinate work of in-country funded partners across the region to advance healthy food policies in the region.
  • Create and maintain linkages among local partners, both regionally and globally, and regularly explore opportunities for strategic cross-country learning.
  • Provide strategic direction to in-country and technical consultants and local partners to implement work plans that integrate advocacy, communications, research, and legal strategies to achieve policy change.
  • Work with local partners to monitor and counter industry interference and conflict of interest, including development and implementation of key activities  
  • Function as the primary liaison between GHAI FPP and consultants and local partners for needed technical assistance and project and grants management support.
  • Monitor local partner performance to ensure deliverables are met and work with in-country consultants and local partners to modify work plans as needed with support from the GHAI FPP Team. 
  • Facilitate regular in-person/Zoom meetings between local partners and consultants (as applicable) and key stakeholders, plus attend and provide support to Zoom meetings between local partners and consultants and GHAI FPP Team-if and when necessary.

Technical assistance 

  • Continuously appraise the policy landscape and ensure that partners are taking advantage of opportunities.
  • Provide and/or facilitate technical assistance to partners as needed, via in-country consultants and with support from the GHAI FPP Team.
  • Help build strategic relationships with government, non-government, and other organizations that are involved or interested in healthy food policy and NCD prevention, broadly, including coalition coordination in conjunction with in-country consultants and local partners.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in public health or public policy; master’s degree preferred 
  • A minimum of 5-7 years of professional experience managing large-scale public health projects, including advocacy for policy change; proven ability to create and maintain effective working relationships with government stakeholders, NGO partners, and international organizations.
  • Special experience in advocacy for nutrition policies is a plus.
  • Special experience in management of conflict of interest with private sector to promote public policies is also a plus. 
  • Demonstrated success in planning and implementing regional advocacy strategies to achieve policy outcomes, ideally for health-related policies.
  • Ability to coordinate multiple stakeholders working toward a policy goal.
  • Understanding of policy-making processes and key players (i.e., Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health, Parliament, etc.) in multiple countries in sub-Saharan (preferably West) Africa with experience working in one or more countries. 
  • Proven ability to translate organizational program strategies, priorities, plans and budgets into result-oriented activity plans at regional and country-level.
  • Knowledge of and experience with key communication concepts within the framework of policy advocacy campaigns, plus using research for advocacy. 
  • Ability to work in a collaborative environment, while juggling multiple projects and deadlines, and work effectively with a geographically dispersed team, including immediate supervisor. 
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate (verbally and in writing) complex issues in a concise, compelling, and easily understandable manner.
  • Strong interpersonal and organizational skills with ability to effectively manage conflict. 
  • A track record of working in an empowering and culturally sensitive environment with an array of global and local partners.
  • Self-starter with a desire to learn and provide innovative and thoughtful solutions.
  • Oral and written fluency in English with a preference for fluency in an additional language (e.g., French)
  • Experience managing grants and proposals, including budgets is a plus.
  • Interest in public health, commitment to public interest work, and experience on non-communicable disease prevention/nutrition policy issues is a plus.

TO APPLY

To apply for this position, please email a cover letter and resume to: jobs@advocacyincubator.org Please reference the position code: RSA/13 in the subject line of your email. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. No phone calls please. Candidates must have authorization to live and work in designated country.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has a strict policy of not hiring or contracting with anyone with current or previous economic ties to the tobacco and food and beverage industries and requires that no economic ties to these industries exists.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is a non-profit, public health advocacy organization that works to prevent kids from smoking, help smokers quit, and protect everyone from secondhand smoke by changing public attitudes and public policies on tobacco and actively countering the tobacco industry and its special interests. A non-profit organization established in 1996, the Campaign works with more than 130 organizational partners, including public health, medical, education, civic, corporate, youth and religious organizations. The Campaign does not accept any government or tobacco industry funding.

The Global Health Advocacy Incubator at the Campaign draws on lessons learned from tobacco advocacy to provide training and assistance to other public health advocacy initiatives funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies. Bloomberg Philanthropies’ public health programs concentrate on policy-focused responses to global health issues such as data for public health, road safety, and obesity.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is an Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes applications from individuals who will contribute to its diversity.