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Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. We believe in the power and potential of every child. But this is often suppressed by poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination. And its girls who are most affected. Working together with children, young people, our supporters and partners, we strive for a just world, tackling the root causes of the challenges facing girls and all vulnerable children. We support children’s rights from birth until they reach adulthood. And we enable children to prepare for – and respond to – crises and adversity. We drive changes in practice and policy at local, national and global levels using our reach, experience and knowledge. We have been building powerful partnerships for children for over 80 years, and are now active in more than 70 countries.
Plan International is embarking on an ambitious and exciting change process, to make the organisation more relevant, bold, engaging and effective in a new global context. Our ambition for policy and influencing work is to drive changes in policies, behaviours and practices at international, regional, national and local levels, so as to advance children’s rights and equality for girls. Plan International’s new Global Strategy aims to transform the lives of 100 million girls and implement a programme and influence approach to achieve it. Regional level influencing – in MEESA and related country offices – will play a key role in delivering results at scale. To help achieve this, Plan International is currently recruiting a Civil Society Strengthening and Partnership Specialist
The purpose of this position is to provide leadership and strategic direction for Plan International’s work to strengthen civil society for the promotion and protection of the rights of children and young people. The position holder will also be responsible to support the implementation and realization of Middle East, Eastern and Southern Africa (MEESA) Reginal Hub’s partnership practice through strategically guiding the partnership management based on Plan International’s Global Partnership standards.
Primarily the role will cover countries and programs supported by Plan International Sweden with funds from Sida CIVSAM. This means that the post holder will, in these countries, be responsible for providing strategic leadership for Plan International’s engagement with and strengthening of civil society; Plan’s contributions to the generation of an enabling environment for Civil Society – and for the implementation of Plan International’s partnership standards and guidelines. The role will entail collaboration with the Influencing Advisors and other thematic specialists in order to strengthen the role of Civil Society in all its roles addressing rights of children and youth..
He/she will serve as the principal point of contact for Civil Society Strengthening (CSS) and be the interlocutor between regional and global processes. He/She will work in close collaboration with Plan International Sweden (SNO) and especially the team of CSS advisors based in Sweden, Region of Americas (ROA) and MEESA.
The position will provide CSS technical support for the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of quality and innovative programming, including grant-financed initiatives. The position will also plan and drive the up-scaling of Plan International’s work in this area, and contribute to Plan International being a better partner to CSOs including child and youth and girls-led organisations, through securing strategic partnerships, resource mobilization/grants acquisition, knowledge management and organizational learning, evidence-based influencing and external representation at sub regional level as well as global forums.
ACCOUNTABILITIES AND MAIN WORK ACTIVITIES
Strategic Leadership and innovation CSS and partnership (20%)
- Provide strategic leadership so that Plan International’s Global Building Better Partnership Guidance is understood, owned, internalized and effectively implemented.
- Support the development and implementation of guidelines and standards for strengthening civil society – including CSOs, community-based organisations, children and youth organizations, as well as informal civil society group and networks. Particular focus will be to ensure the regular monitoring of the environment for civil society; and contributing to a more enabling environment for Civil Society
- Support countries to map and identify new partnership opportunities, assess partner organization capacities, facilitate relevant capacity strengthening support and provide ongoing support to advance the organizational development of CSO partners throughout the program implementation.
- Provide strategic leadership for the identification, up-scaling and resourcing of effective models and methods for the strengthening of civil society,
- Stay abreast of current trends in CSS and partnerships and share learning with others, as well as linking with the Regional and Global CSS and Partnership Focal Persons
Development and implementation of CSS and Partnership methods (40 %)
- Lead/Co-lead the development and roll-out of standards, guidelines and methods/tools in MEESA for strengthening of civil society organizations, groups and networks/platforms , and provide support for their appropriation and implementation in the Sida Civsam funded projects.
- Lead/Co-lead the development and roll-out of standards, guidelines and methods/tools in MEESA for how programs contribute to a more enabling environment, as well as monitor, prevent and protect CSOs and activists in the programs in relation to shrinking space risks.
- Support the development of and review partnership management practices as part of BBP steps and principles; identify and follow up on actions to improve management practices with a particular focus on Sida Civsam funded programs and countries.
- Acts as a regional focal point, contributing with generic quality assurance and information sharing in relation to the development of the Youth citizens scorecards methodology.
- Supports countries and RH to develop systems and policies that are supportive of the BBP Partnership Approach, and support periodic review and updating of policies once they are in place.
- Work with the humanitarian lead to support localisation and provide technical support to setting up systems for working with partners (implementing and strategic) in a humanitarian preparedness and response, as per the Core Humanitarian Standards.
Partnership Management and Capacity Development/Organisational Development: (30%)
- Manage and maintain effective, equitable partnership and alliance relationships with key organizations through supporting the strengthening of relations between COs / CSO partners and relevant stakeholder in the government system, UN organizations and other institutions
- Support strengthening of the capacity of Plan International staff in the concerned COs in terms of civil society strengthening and partnership development and engagement in line with the steps and principles of BBP as well as the Sida related policies.
- Coordinate across teams to carry out partner organizational capacity assessments. Analyze assessments to identify specific capacity building and organizational development needs, and provide training and targeted capacity strengthening support within the technical area;
- Facilitate partners’ feedback on their partnership with Plan International and work with relevant departments to address feedback;
- Support towards COs and program for improved coordination with external agencies working with the same partners, ensuring a partner centered approach and minimizing risk of duplicating capacity strengthening efforts
Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning: (5%)
- Lead knowledge management and learning in civil society strengthening and partnership, and ensures that learning from the countries feeds into global processes and vice-versa regarding Sida framework initiatives.
- Coordinate with the MEAL team to ensure the development and implementation of appropriate M&E and program management tools and systems for use by the CSS program.
- Provide technical support to COs and programs for development of system for accountability towards CSO partners where Plan International regularly seeks feedback from partners on its strategies and plans (in line with BBP).
- Analyse results and feedback of on-going partnerships and partners to produce lessons learnt and inform strategic decision-making.
- Document and disseminate lessons learned and good practices: facilitate the documentation and sharing of partnership experiences of Plan, best practices, lessons learnt and innovation among Plan COs and CSO partners
- Develop and provide technical support to research initiatives related to CSS and partnerships.
- Monitor the environment for civil society across the region and ensure analysis is shared with CSS projects and initiatives and relevant networks.
- Supports relevant quality assurance mechanisms in relation to civil society strengthening and partnerships and in line with donor requirements in place – in close collaboration with SNO and the team of Civil society advisors.
Safeguarding Children and Young People (Safeguarding) and Gender Equality and Inclusion (GEI) 5%
- Understands and puts into practice the responsibilities under Safeguarding and GEI policies and Plan International’s Code of Conduct (CoC), ensuring that concerns are reported and managed in accordance with the appropriate procedures.
- Ensures that all staff in the unit/function/department are properly inducted on and understands their role in upholding Plan International’s safeguarding and GEI policies;
- Ensures that Plan International’s global policies for Safeguarding Children and Young People and Gender Equality and Inclusion are fully embedded in day to day work.
- Ensures to contribute to Plan International’s global efforts to ensure safeguarding and GEI, including making sure that relevant reporting and data are submitted.
Knowledge and experience
- Minimum Bachelors and preferably a Masters in social or political sciences
- Knowledge and professional experience in the area of civil society strengthening, child rights and child / youth governance and participation.
- Demonstrated technical advisory expertise in the design, implementation and evaluation of programming for civil society strengthening and preferably child and youth governance.
- Knowledge on what an enabling environment for civil society entails, and understanding of the challenges of shrinking civic space.
- Relevant work experience from working for civil society organisations, particularly youth and/or members based organisations, including with organisational development at a strategic and operational level.
- Relevant work experience of advocacy and influence at a strategic level.
- Experience (at least three years) in results-based project management or logical framework, and rights-based monitoring and evaluation models.
- Knowledge of child and/or human rights based approach, children and youth rights issues in the region.
- Knowledge on gender mainstreaming approaches, such as gender transformative approach.
- Demonstrated facilitation and training experience.
- Listening, communications and negotiation between organisations and among different stakeholders at all moments when developing, nurturing and ending a partnership, including with children and youth.
- Excellent communication skills, including virtually, across different cultures and across generations
- Context analysis skills to understand how context and stakeholders’ interests influence the partnership and our ability to achieve mutual goals
- Able to learn quickly and adaptive to new and different perspectives
- Influencing, representational and advocacy skills
- Strong analytical and writing skills.
- Excellent command of English, both spoken and written. French, Spanish and/or Arabic is an asset.
- Promotes and facilitates teamwork, provides vision and strategic leadership in an inclusive manner
- Flexible, adaptive while maintaining the big picture
- Culturally sensitive, gender-sensitive and inclusive
- Assumes responsibility for actions and the results of these
- Innovative, entrepreneurial and pro-actively takes the initiative to identify new opportunities
- Able to put visionary ideas into practice and concrete measures.
- Engage in Child and Youth Safeguarding Policy and respect its code of conduct
Female candidates are particularly encouraged to apply.