Senior Advocacy and Campaign Coordinator

Eurochild is looking for a new colleague to fill an opening in its Policy and Advocacy Team in the secretariat.

We require an experienced professional with capacity to both steer our Europe-wide advocacy campaign ‘Opening Doors for Europe’s Children’ and to coordinate an exciting new area of work for the network which focuses on bringing evidence to support the economic argument for investment in children’s rights and well-being.

The Opening Doors campaign was officially launched in June 2013. It operates at EU level and in 12 countries across Europe and calls on the EU and national governments to prioritise the transition from institutional to family-based care. It has been pioneering a new way of working within Eurochild which focuses on building the advocacy capacity of national members to fully exploit the EU policy and funding opportunities. Find more

The successful candidate will lead the campaign in its 2nd and final year of this phase of the campaign. He/she will work in partnership with policy and communication staff in the Eurochild secretariat, as well as staff from our campaign partners ‘Hope and Homes for Children’ based in the UK.

A significant breakthrough was achieved in 2013 with EU’s adoption of the financial regulations for structural fundswhich prioritise investment in the transition from institutional to community based care. The role of the campaign coordinator will therefore focus on supporting the work of our national coordinators, ensuring deinstitutionalisation remains high on the EU agenda through cooperation with the ‘European expert group on the transition from institutional to community based care’ and helping to build a stronger evidence base to support our advocacy work in this area.

With respect to evidence, Eurochild has access to considerable and expertise through its membership on what works in relation to prevention and quality alternative care for children. The network has on-going thematic working groups on children in alternative care, family and parenting support and early years. This is complemented by the work of our many partner organisations and in particular follow-up to the UN Guidelines for Alternative Care for Children. However, there is a lack of evidence on the direct and indirect costs of different forms of care, their respective outcomes for children and the related costs and benefits to the individual and society. This presents a huge challenge to advocates pushing for deinstitutionalisation reforms.

To address this gap, the OAK Foundation has awarded a grant to Eurochild to coordinate a study that will help to build the economic case for investing in prevention and alternative quality care. The project will run until June 2016. An external research agency will be contracted to develop a universally adaptable framework with which to measure, calculate and demonstrate the social return on investment in children with a special focus on children at risk of being deprived of or those already outside of family care.

The successful candidate will coordinate the project, including setting up and facilitating the advisory board, defining terms of reference for the study, overseeing the research and out-reach to donors, policy makers, researchers and civil society to ensure relevance and up-take of the research results.

To fulfil this complex role, we are seeking a candidate with a particular mix of skills and expertise:

(1) Passion for the promotion and protection of children’s rights. The candidate must be able to demonstrate past commitment and knowledge on children’s rights. He/she must be able to communicate clearly and have a thorough understanding of the human rights arguments for investment in prevention, early intervention and quality alternative care for children.

(2) Academic rigour. The quality of the research will be absolutely key to its legitimacy and influence among policy makers. Whilst the coordinator will not him/herself undertake the research, he/she must have credibility within the research world to be able to define terms of reference, and steer and supervise the selected research agency. The selected candidate will be able to demonstrate a solid understanding of the underpinning economic principles – ideally with past experience of social return on investment studies. This will ideally be combined with an academic background in political science and professional experience in advocacy.

(3) Inter-personal relationships. We are seeking a candidate that is honest, curious, open-minded and thrives on building quality relationships with colleagues and external partners. The selected candidate will be an integral member of the Policy and Advocacy team, but he/she will also have to work in teams that span different organisations. He/she will have to build trust with an advisory board of high-level experts from a range of organisations and reach out to decision-makers at different levels within the EU, international donors and national governments. He/she will also motivate and encourage national members to take a leading role in influencing national policies and funding.

(4) Strategic and proactive. Both the Opening Doors campaign and social return on investment study are co-funded through our strategic partners – Hope and Homes for Children and the OAK Foundation for a limited duration. The successful candidate will be able to think strategically and contribute to an on-going reflection with Eurochild management and governing structures on how to further develop the work in the future, in particular identifying new opportunities for advocacy and partnership or funding.

Perfect written and spoken English is indispensable - other languages are an advantage. Experience of working in multi-cultural environments is a necessity, specific experience in Central and Eastern Europe is an advantage.

Find here the Profile and Job Description.

Interested candidates must complete this online application form (also outlining why they are interested in this position and what qualifies them for selection). The CV should be uploaded there.

Deadline for applicants is 4 April 2014.

Candidates selected for interview will be informed by 16 April. Interviews are expected to take place on 23 April.

For further questions call +32 (0)2 511 70 83.