Education Policy & Advocacy Specialist at Plan International

Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian non-profit organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. We support children’s rights from birth until they reach adulthood, and enable children to prepare for – and respond to – crises and adversity. We believe in the power and potential of every child, but know this is often suppressed by poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination.

We are recruiting to fill the position of:

Job Title: Education Policy & Advocacy Specialist

Location: Global
Functional Area: TBC
Job Family: Technical Professionals
Reports to: Inclusive Quality Education Policy & Advocacy Lead/ Hub Lead with dotted line relationship to the Humanitarian Policy & Advocacy Advisor
Grade: GH4
Type of role: Fixed term contract


  • The role of education to bring about a sustainable, just and equal future for the worlds’ children and youth has never been more urgent and crucial. The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the gross inequalities and the fragility of societies and the planet, leaving the world at critical cross-roads. At its peak, COVID-19 disrupted the education of over 1.6 billion learners – 90% worldwide – creating an education emergency at a scale not experienced in living memory. At least one-third of children worldwide have had no access to remote learning opportunities, missing out on education entirely during school closures.
  • This year alone, 70 million children are at risk of not acquiring basic literacy skills, and the most marginalised, particularly girls, children with disabilities, displaced and refugee children, have been most impacted. For girls and young women around the world, lockdown and school closures have hit particularly hard. Increases in gender-based violence and exploitation, the disproportionate burden of care and domestic work, and other gendered barriers risk leaving over 20 million girls at risk of never returning to school. Not only will this further entrench gender gaps in education, but it increases the likelihood of child marriage and adolescent pregnancy, and undermines girls’ longer-term social, political and economic opportunities.
  • Yet, COVID-19 is not a one-off crisis. The climate crisis, conflict and displacement are causing mass disruptions to education, exacerbating existing inequalities and continue to pose the greatest threat to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and gender equality. As with COVID-19, it is the world’s most marginalised, many of whom are girls and young women, who suffer the most during times of crisis. Thus, it is critical that educational continuity is prioritised during times of crisis and that education systems become more resilient, adaptable and gender transformative.
  • The education sector has an important opportunity to not only “build back better”, but to “build back equal”. This will require a more strategic and harmonized approach to bridging the humanitarian development divide and operationalising nexus approaches, recognizing that the sector is facing a global protracted crisis that requires innovations in resilience and adaptation when it comes to educational planning and delivery, while keeping gender equality and inclusion as a top priority.

Role Purpose

  • Plan International seeks an education policy and advocacy expert who has experience with policy analysis and advocacy strategies and initiatives that span both development and humanitarian contexts.
  • The role will be key to advancing Plan International’s influencing on gender transformative education and building resilience of education systems in order to ensure continuity of learning during times of disruption.
  • This will be done by leveraging global, regional, and country level opportunities and processes.
  • The role will ensure Plan International becomes a recognized thought leader on education in all contexts – including development, humanitarian, and protracted crises – and will offer analysis and recommendations to both internal and external sectoral stakeholders on the global education crisis that has been brought on and exacerbated by COVID-19 and climate change.
  • The role will help connect and bridge education policy and advocacy efforts for acute emergencies, with longer term efforts for recovery, resilience, and adaptation.

Scope of the Role

  • Working together with the Inclusive Quality Education Hub and the Education in Emergencies Network develop robust policy analysis and position papers on priority thematic issues related to education, particularly as it relates to education in crisis/ emergency including in displacement settings, education and the nexus approach and climate change education, for Plan International’s strategy, operations and influencing
  • Provide robust, accurate policy advice and information to drive Plan International’s strategic education influencing strengthening our niche in gender transformative education to ensure that advocacy efforts can be utilised for global and domestic purposes.
  • Manage global campaigning and advocacy efforts on education, coordinating with National, Regional, Country and Liaison Office colleagues.
  • Manage and coordinate external representation and partnerships as they relate to education in crisis/ emergency, education recovery and resilience and education and the nexus approach. Key strategic partners will include Education Cannot Wait, INEE, Global Education Cluster and the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack, among others
  • Provide though leadership, policy and advocacy support to the ECW and GPE Global Account Management (GAM) mechanisms to ensure coordination and harmonization.
  • Deploy (virtually or in person) to support Country, Regional and/or Liaison Offices with education policy and advocacy upskilling and capacity backstopping up to 20% of the time.

Qualification and Experience

  • University Degree in Education, International Development, Humanitarian Response or other relevant subject matter.
  • Proven advocacy and policy influencing experience in education, gender equality, and/or humanitarian systems. Strong preference given to experienced gained in a crisis affected country.
  • An understanding of concepts of the right to education, inclusion and quality within education both in development and humanitarian contexts will be essential.
  • Strong understanding of humanitarian systems and policy landscape, both globally and at country level.
  • Solid experience of working on children’s rights and gender equality at a global level within an NGO, UN agency or government department.
  • Proven experience of producing high quality evidence based policy positions and briefings. Having developed advocacy strategies on related topics in a national and/or international context using a variety of advocacy approaches, policy analysis and positioning.
  • Knowledge of global institutions, initiatives, and organisations with a priority focus on education combined with an awareness of the global financing requirements to achieve the right to education for all children, including domestic and international financing needs. Specific knowledge on ECHO funding is an asset.
  • Experience with external representation and effective relationship building at a senior level and a consultative, collaborative approach.
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills and the ability to manage multiple demands, meet deadlines and prioritise workload whilst remaining adaptable and flexible.
  • Experience working in a highly matrixed environment where multiple interdependencies are required to deliver various workstreams
  • Fluent in English and preferably French and/or Spanish.

Plan International’s Values In Practice
We are open and accountable:

  • Promotes a culture of openness and transparency, including with sponsors and donors.
  • Holds self and others accountable to achieve the highest standards of integrity.
  • Consistent and fair in the treatment of people.
  • Open about mistakes and keen to learn from them.
  • Accountable for ensuring we are a safe organisation for all children, girls & young people.

We strive for lasting impact:

  • Articulates a clear purpose for staff and sets high expectations.
  • Creates a climate of continuous improvement, open to challenge and new ideas.
  • Focuses resources to drive change and maximise long-term impact, responsive to changed priorities or crises.
  • Evidence-based and evaluates effectiveness

We work well together:

  • Seeks constructive outcomes, listens to others, willing to compromise when appropriate.
  • Builds constructive relationships across Plan International to support our shared goals.
  • Develops trusting and ‘win-win’ relationships with funders, partners and communities.
  • Engages and works well with others outside the organization to build a better world for girls and all children.

We are inclusive and empowering:

  • Seeks constructive outcomes, listens to others, willing to compromise when appropriate.
  • Builds constructive relationships across Plan International to support our shared goals.
  • Develops trusting and ‘win-win’ relationships with funders, partners and communities.
  • Engages and works well with others outside the organization to build a better world for girls and all children.

Level of contact with Children:

  • Low contact: Minimal interaction with children

We will be happy to disclose the salary and applicable benefits to applicants as part of this process, however, please kindly note that this will vary according to the location of the appointed candidate and therefore it is not possible to include full details here. As an indication if this role was based in the Global Hub office in the UK the salary would be circa £45,000 per annum

Application Closing Date
1st May, 2022.

Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online

Click here for more information

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