Head of Advocacy and Communication
The Millennium Water Alliance, MWA, is a permanent coalition of international NGOs with experience in rural and peri-urban water supply, hygiene education and promotion of sanitation. Our vision is that everyone has access to safe water, basic sanitation and good hygiene practices. Our collective focus is to achieve the following goals by 2012:
• Increase awareness and resources for sustainable WASH interventions
• Build strong permanent partnership models to enhance our impact
• Elevate global visibility in WASH sector
• Expand capacity, improve quality and efficiency at all levels; improve effectiveness of operations through learning
In the world’s poorest countries, over 800 million people lack access to safe drinking water, and approximately 2.5 billion people do not have adequate sanitation. More than 3 million people, mostly children, die each year from preventable waterborne illnesses. These sobering facts inspired a group of sector experts to form the MWA in 2002 as a 501(c) 3 organization. Full members of the MWA include: CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Food for the Hungry, Lifewater International, Living Water International, Water for People, Water.org, and World Vision International. In addition MWA has five affiliate members: Africare, Emmanuel International, Global Water, Water Missions International, and Eagle of Hope.
Under the direction of the President and in coordination with relevant colleagues throughout MWA the Head of Advocacy and Communication (a new position) will i) provide strategic direction in planning, implementing through appropriate networking and evaluating MWA’s advocacy and campaigning in the USA. Will ii) support local staff in MWA countries of operation in their advocacy efforts, this will include analysis and linkages of US policy efficacy in country. It will also include advocacy training and policy analysis as needed. S/he will iii) use evidence gathered in the field to design appropriate messages and position papers to influence policy, inform major stake holders and/or general public. In addition s/he will iv) be responsible for developing and managing the overall communications program, designing messaging and tailoring the MWA documentation for different audiences. S /he will v) play a role in representing MWA’s work and public policy positions to external audiences; in providing documentation, developing talking points and presentations for MWA representation at high level functions; and in adapting and disseminating these messages for various written and online communications, media, and fundraising purposes.
Duties & Responsibilities:
Advocacy - 60%
• In coordination with the President and MWA Board, identify key issues and themes to guide MWA’s advocacy and policy analysis in order to further MWA’s advocacy agenda both in the US context and in the countries of programming.
• Undertake research and analysis on key policy issues; track developments in the US policy environment to support this, including ongoing assessment of Congressional actions, actions by the Administration, and related legislative and implementation processes designed to achieve USAID reform, particularly in relation to US water policies.
• Work with the Head of the in-country Secretariats and the President to develop advocacy positions on key issues relating to MWA’s program activities in Central America and Africa and other areas of implementation as they are established.
• Work with and support country programs and local staff, as appropriate, in building advocacy relationships and contribute to country programs’ understanding of U.S. policies and processes. This will include advocacy training and policy analysis as needed. Using evidence gathered in the field to design appropriate messages and position papers to influence policy, inform major stake holders and/or general public.
• Support local staff in the development of advocacy strategies in targeted countries.
• Write and produce advocacy outputs, such as reports, briefings, fact sheets and position papers.
• Build effective relations with relevant US stakeholders, such as NGOs, think tanks, educational and research organizations.
• Serve as a principal point of contact between MWA and other US advocates for water and sanitation, including the private sector, other NGOs, and the US government.
Communications – 30%
• Work closely with web-developers of maintain and update MWA website.
• Structure MWA’s communications program and documentation of MWA work. This will include tailoring the MWA messages for appropriate audiences.
• Work closely with the Head of the in country Secretariats to collect, consolidate, develop and disseminate success stories, human interest stories and lessons learned from MWA programming. This will include collaborating with MWA colleagues to identify, pitch and place story ideas.
• Proactively develop and maintain positive relationships with targeted local, regional and national news media via regular communications, press releases and other materials to increase U.S. awareness of the water and sanitation issue and to position MWA as a resource for the media.
• Provide advice and assistance to MWA colleagues and Board members in the development and implementation of key messages and communications strategies.
• Analyze and evaluate the outcomes of the communications program and develop strategies for enhancing the effectiveness of media interactions as required.
• Represent MWA’s interests in selected national and international forums, as requested.
• Commission and supervise research undertaken by consultants and interns.
• Undertake other duties as assigned.
Qualifications and demonstrated abilities
• Commitment to MWA’s vision, values and approach.
• Masters degree [or equivalent qualification] in one of the following areas: water, sanitation, hygiene education, community development, economics, social sciences or other relevant areas.
• Experience in advocacy work in the field of international development required.
• Previous experience with water, sanitation and hygiene preferred. At the minimum experience in the international development field, including global health and/or environmental issues.
• A strong working knowledge of US political, legislative, and NGO culture, institutions, and processes and the capacity, maturity and poise to represent WAA with high-level constituencies.
• Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills, including excellent writing ability.
• Media handling and public speaking skills.
• Spanish desirable, but not required.
• Ability to develop, implement and create status reports.
• Proven ability to write and communicate effectively in ways appropriate for varied targeted audiences (local, regional and national media, potential advocacy partners, potential funders, etc.).
• Proven ability to think creatively and develop innovative outreach vehicles designed to increase awareness and visibility of the issue.
• Demonstrated ability to work independently, multi-task, set priorities, and meet deadlines.
• Ability and desire to work in a small organization with a consensus-oriented environment with different work styles.
• Ability and desire to supervise, train, support and motivate volunteers and interns if needed.
• Self-starter, high-energy, creative, and ability to be effective in a constantly changing environment.
Writing samples will be required.
This is a full-time permanent position located in Washington, DC. Salary range is commensurate with experience. Some international travel will be required.
MWA is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action employer that is committed to diversity in the workplace.
Please send résumé and cover letter to: hr -at- mwawater.org