Advocacy and Network Engagement Officer

  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Apr 23

Position description

An energetic response is needed to combat the global crackdown on civic space. Civil society itself must lead this response and much of this is already happening. While civil society groups at all levels have played a pivotal role in cementing the global discourse that public freedoms are facing unprecedented challenges, there is a pressing need to coalesce around harmonized strategies and actions to regain civic space. Civil society must explore new ways of speaking about human rights. We must make clear that the enabling of civil society rights is an essential part of the defense of democracy. 

To do this, we need to form and work in progressive alliances, bringing together substantial masses of citizens and connecting classic CSOs, protest movements, journalists, trade unions, youth groups, social enterprises, artistic platforms and many other parts of the civil society universe. The Vuka! Coalition for civic action, a broad coalition of over 100 international, regional and national civil society groups, has come together to help secure crucial short and long terms victories to regain civic space and incubate new forms of resistance and organization. The Vuka! Coalition Secretariat, housed within CIVICUS and supporting the Vuka! Steering Group, mobilizes diverse civil society sectors from across the world to harmonize and develop innovative approaches to research, public narrative, rapid response, and technology to combat restrictions on civic space.

Why apply?

The position offers an important opportunity to work at the heart of an unprecedented global effort to build a civil society movement to combat the crackdown on civic freedoms, and to enable the delivery of an impactful coalition through decentralized, dynamic and agile coordination. The role will provide a high degree of flexibility, within a small team, to explore, develop and implement collaborative and innovative strategies to support civil society groups combat a range of unwarranted restrictions and further advance positive developments to enable the work of civil society.

The position further offers an occasion to engage a diverse spectrum of civil society stakeholders ranging from organized labor, development groups and social movements to identify common areas where civil society can aggregate and amplify its voice to help secure important victories to expand civic space. In doing so, you will be working directly with civil society actors and leaders at the national level to develop and implement innovative strategies to address some of the most pressing contemporary civic space issues.

Overall purpose of the role

The Advocacy and Network Engagement Officer will provide support for the effective implementation of the Vuka! Coalition. S/he/they will help with a range of advocacy, research, campaigning, networking, membership and administrative tasks within the Vuka! Secretariat, support and engage Vuka’s membership and Steering Group and provide support for the implementation of Vuka! activities.

S/he/they will report directly to the Vuka! Secretariat Coordinator 


1.               Network Engagement (50%)

2.               Workstream Support (30%)

3.               Administrative Support (20%)

1.     Network Engagement (50% of total workload) - The Advocacy and Network Engagement Officer will help maintain and build relationships with Vuka! participating organizations and partners: 

·       Answer day-to-day inquiries on the coalition;

·       Engage Vuka! Steering Group, Allies, Action Teams and other key stakeholders;

·       Build partnerships with a diverse range of civil society groups, human rights defenders and social movements;

·       Carry out network mapping activities and manage constituent information on Vuka! database; and

·       Help Identify potential partners, sponsors, funders for the coalition.

2.     Workstream and Advocacy Support (30 % of total workload) - The Advocacy and Network Engagement Officer will provide substantive support to the Secretariat Coordinator and Steering Group to help ensure the effective realization of the Coalition’s activities and workstream:

·       Enable delivery against the coalition’s strategy and against decisions made by the Steering Group;

·       In cooperation with the coalition’s governance structure, support the development and implementation of a workplan to ensure the adequate functioning of the Coalition;

·       Support Action Teams in the implementation of their strategies;

·       Support effective coordination across Action Teams and between Action Teams and the coalition’s membership, making sure that information on Action Team initiatives is relayed throughout the coalition; 

·       Liaise closely with Action Teams and Allies at regional and national level to ensure that activities in countries are amplified through Vuka’s communication channels.

3.     Administrative Support (20 % of total workload) – The Officer will help with administrative responsibilities within the Vuka! Secretariat, Steering Group, Action Teams and Membership. 

·       Help organize calls; 

·       Maintain membership participants email lists, shared calendars and other possible tools; 

·       Organize and keep records of meetings; 

·       Centralize and disseminate information, and share creative ideas; 

·       Assist with the development of innovative tools and promotional material for effective knowledge sharing, campaigning, networking and resource mobilisation; 

·       Support the tracking of Vuka! activities to assess progress and learn from current practices; and

·       Help coordinate overall logistical processes for participation in Vuka! convenings.



·       Degree/diploma in International Relations, Development Studies, Human Rights, Politics, Arts or equivalent;

·       3-5 years minimum experience in civil society or related field, inclusive of volunteer work;

  • Be familiar with civil society, development and human rights issues and understand the challenges faced by marginalized citizens and organizations, especially those in the Global South; 
  • Understanding of networks and coalition-building in civil society and across sector; 

·      In depth understanding of off and online public engagement campaigning tactics, including for grassroots mobilization; 

·       Experience in conference / event management, preferably of international events; 

·       Excellent organizational, interpersonal and communications (written and verbal) skills; 

·       The ability to effectively support the development and implementation of plans and strategies in a collaborative environment;

·       Computer literate at advanced level: MS Office; collaborative applications including Google Docs; 

·       Experience of working in dispersed, virtual teams working in different countries and cultures. 

·       The ability to document decisions and processes to enhance organizational learning; 

·       A high level of motivation, energy and attention to detail; 

·       Deadline driven, with ability to multi-task under time restraints, pressure and budgetary constraints;

·       Occasional international travel may be expected.

·       Political awareness and ability to handle sensitive issues with diplomacy in many different settings; and

·       Cultural sensitivity and ability to respect and work well with people from different backgrounds and disciplines.


·       Ability to speak, read, write fluently and to a high standard in either (but preferably in both) French and Spanish.

Salary:   US $45,000.00 per annum, depending on experience

Application instructions

To apply, please submit:

·       A motivational letter;

·       A detailed CV; 

·       Writing sample (5 pages or less);

·       Contact details of three current references to [email protected]

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