Location: United States of America (the) – Washington, DC
Position: Consultant – Policy Advisor (based in USA)
Department: Health & Policy
Responsible to: Head of Policy, Merlin UK
Works with: Merlin UK Policy Team; Health Team; M+E Co-ordinator; Programmes Department; Country Office staff; Marketing and Communications Department and the Merlin US team.
Location: Washington DC
Salary: Daily rate commensurate with experience
Start Date: ASAP
Duration: until 31st March 2011
Merlin specialises in health, saving lives in times of crisis and helping to rebuild shattered health services. Each year, Merlin helps more than 15 million people in up to 20 countries.
Policy and advocacy are key components of Merlin’s current 3 Year Strategy contributing to the enhanced quality of Merlin’s programmes and the development of a robust evidence base to provide comment, and influence national and international policy and practice on health issues across a range of humanitarian and development contexts.
Through critical analysis of Merlin’s operational experience and wider sector dialogue, Merlin’s policy work helps to clarify the challenges and opportunities for better health in difficult and fragile environments and thus address some of the key challenges facing these countries over the coming years. Identifying practical and innovative solutions to these challenges is central to Merlin’s thinking.
The work involves pro-active engagement in a wide range of health issues which impact not only on Merlin’s work but also on the wider global health agenda. The work recognises Merlin’s unique attributes in terms of its focus on public health combined with an ability to work across the spectrum of acute emergency response to longer term health systems development, and its potential to make a difference from direct service delivery as well as influencing the actions of key decision makers including government officials, international health and humanitarian bodies and private sector actors. Current areas of focus include: health system strengthening with key activities in human resources for health and health financing mechanisms; best practice engagement in fragile states and humanitarian policy.
The policy team is working to an ambitious agenda for 2010 -2011 to increase policy analysis and advocacy in the country programmes and at UK and US levels. In addition, the team co-leads the development and delivery of Merlin’s organizational campaign – Hands Up For Health Workers – which is gaining increasing recognition and support, providing significant additional opportunity for Merlin to engage in this important area of global debate. This is particular he case in the US where Merlin has recently established a presence and aims to strengthen policy and advocacy work at a range of levels including through its Interaction membership; other major global health actors and private funders and the US government, both directly and through USAID.
The policy team sits within the Health and Policy Department and is currently staffed by 2 full-time and 1 part-time staff members. In addition to this US based policy post, planned team expansion includes the recruitment of a Senior Policy Advisor and policy intern to be based in Merlin UK.
Main Purpose of the Role
To implement Merlin’s policy agenda in the US and support the development and implementation of, the work of the Policy Team and the wider organisation in building Merlin’s evidence base and influencing practice and policy, through a range of policy related activities.
- Undertake a scoping exercise and stakeholder analysis of the US policy and advocacy arena to identify relevant policy discussions and fora and how Merlin might engage to best effect.
- Develop a policy and advocacy/campaign engagement plan for US for 2011.
- Actively represent /position Merlin UK’s policy and advocacy work for US in a range of health, humanitarian and development discussions and to key institutional donors such as USAID
- Develop links with academic and research institutes relevant to Merlin’s policy interests to strengthen the evidence base and secure funding opportunities for policy and advocacy work.
- Where necessary, undertake policy research and analysis activities in support of identified priorities as agreed with the Head of Policy and Director of Health and Policy
- Stakeholder analysis report with recommendations for priority policy and advocacy interactions.
- Policy and advocacy engagement plan for 2011.
- Progress reports on increased Merlin engagement in targeted US health and humanitarian sector dialogue (including working groups, donors and academic/ research institutes.
- Policy /research reports in support of identified priorities (where relevant)
Qualifications, experience and competences
- Degree in a social science, international development or relevant health subject or commensurate experience.
- Strong proven experience and skills in policy research and analysis Strong proven experience of advocacy and creatively identifying and developing positions for influencing
- Experience of supporting organisational campaigns
- Strong experience of working in a humanitarian/development context in either field, Head Office or academic/research environment
- Good knowledge and interest of current debates on international health, development and humanitarian issues.
- Good knowledge and understanding of the role and importance of influencing debates within the international and domestic US policy context.
- Fluent written and spoken English
- Experience of working and constructively participating within a multi-disciplinary team
- Excellent interpersonal and consultative skills, including the ability to communicate, present, negotiate and influence a variety of audiences
- Experience of establishing strong working relationships with colleagues from different functions and cultures
- Ability to work independently, proactively identifying and addressing issues
- Experience of an organised and flexible approach to managing and prioritising multiple concurrent projects and activities in a fast paced environment with tight deadlines
- Willing and able to carry out country visits in insecure and remote environments as required
- An understanding of and commitment to the aims and values of Merlin
Qualifications, experience and competences
- MSc or similar postgraduate degree in a social science, international development or relevant health subject or equivalent through experience
- Up-to-date knowledge and experience of statistical techniques/packages
- Proven experience of strategic influencing activities
- A second language (French, Spanish, Arabic)
Applicants must have the legal right to work in the USA.
Please note, on submitting your application, you are agreeing to Merlin holding and using the information that you have given for the purposes of recruitment and employment – should an offer be made. Where required by donors funding requirements, some job offers are conditional on our ensuring that potential employees’ names do not appear on counter terrorism lists generated by the United Nations, European Union or the United States. On submitting your application, you are agreeing to Merlin using the information that you have given for checking that your name does not appear on these lists.
To apply for this position, please download an application form from our website www.merlin.org.uk (Jobs and Training menu > Latest vacancies > Apply for latest vacancies) and send it to email@example.com stating ‘Policy Advisor (USA)’ in the subject field. Please note that we do not accept CV’s or speculative applications.
Closing Date: Sunday, 4th July 2010
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