Policy Officer (PO) in the Migration Programme

European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM)
  • Location
    Maastricht, Netherlands
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    May 25

Position description

The European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) headquartered in Maastricht is looking for an entrepreneurial professional with a policy research background to join its Migration Programme for a full-time position as Policy Officer. The successful candidate will contribute to the Centre’s policy analysis, dialogue, networking, and independent knowledge brokerage.

The initial contract will be for 1 year with possibility for renewal. The staff member will be based in Maastricht, a small city in the South of the Netherlands 90 minutes from Brussels. The expected start date would be August/September 2018.

ECDPM wants to recruit a dynamic and experienced policy oriented professional with experience in migration research and related fields. To be the ideal candidate:

  1. You have a Master’s degree or Ph.D. in migration studies, economics, political economy, development studies, demography or other relevant fields and/or practical experience in policy research strongly relevant to Europe-Africa relations on migration and European and African migration policies and frameworks;
  2. You have at least 5 years of experience in a professional setting working on migration policies or programmes covering issues related to ECDPM’s international cooperation mandate and the focus of ECDPM’s Migration Programme;
  3. You are fluent in English and preferably in French too. If you can, in addition, engage in other relevant languages this is a plus;
  4. You have a deep understanding of African migration policy frameworks and their implementation as well as the EU’s migration agenda in relation to African countries;
  5. You have a record of publications that can speak to a policy audience and a feel for the real world of policy implementation and its challenges. You can show that you have some experience in designing or carrying out research with a view to informing decision-makers;
  6. You further have some experience with fundraising and delivering projects;
  7. Working in an international multi-cultural organisation with a continued requirement for high quality delivery under pressure energises and motivates you. You are able to adapt your knowledge, network and competences to ECDPM’s niche, organisational culture, strategy and workplan, while also bringing in fresh perspectives on content and methodologies.

ECDPM is a “think and do tank”. Our main goal is to broker effective partnerships between the European Union and low-income countries, especially in Africa. ECDPM promotes inclusive and sustainable forms of development and cooperates with public and private sector organisations to better manage international relations. In a non-partisan way, the centre supports the reform of policies and institutions in both Europe and low-income countries. ECDPM has an extensive network in Europe and Africa, including multilateral institutions, international centres of excellence and a broad range of state and non-state organisations. For more information on the Centre visit www.ecdpm.org.

In its current strategy cycle (2017-2021), ECDPM has established a Migration Programme.

This young programme focuses on the governance of migration and mobility, aiming to maximise migration’s development potential and address the challenges these concerns pose within Europe-Africa cooperation. The programme seeks to contribute to the following outcomes:

  • An improved understanding and evidence base for addressing migration-related development challenges and opportunities, with a view to informing European policy and practice and partnerships with the AU, RECs and African countries;
  • Enhanced coherence between the different sectors and policy domains touching upon migration strategies in the context of Europe-Africa relations;
  • Politically-informed policymaking processes on migration and displacement governance in Europe and in Africa.

The selected candidate will be expected to proactively contribute to the portfolio of work in the Migration Programme, with specific focus on migration in Europe-Africa relations and African agendas on migration through producing targeted pieces of research and ECDPM public products.

She/he will be required to:

  • Represent the programme/team externally as well as engage with other teams across the Centre;
  • Contribute to outreach activities in order to increase the visibility of ECDPM’s work;
  • Effectively manage small teams for delivery on complex research projects/policy processes;
  • Supervise, coach and mentor Research Assistants and Interns and contribute effectively to team work;
  • Decisively contribute to the building, expanding and maintaining of relevant all-centre strategic networks and partnerships;
  • Identify new funding opportunities and support the development of funding proposals;
  • Develop specialised knowledge on key policy issues through assembling content, carrying out research and brokering knowledge.

The Policy Officer (PO) will be a full team member of the Migration programme and will report to the Head of Programme or another member of ECDPM Management Team/Programme Management Group, depending on specific initiatives. Taking into account personal qualities and experience, and in accordance with the needs of ECDPM’s overall strategy and other programmes, additional activities may be assigned to her/his portfolio, notably in the context of cross-thematic work on migration.


ECDPM offers a lively and attractive working environment, space for autonomy and personal growth, and opportunities for participating in exciting areas of policy development for international cooperation. This post is based in the Maastricht office of ECDPM with frequent travel to Brussels, and some international travel.

Our primary conditions are based on the Dutch BBRA scaling. We offer a competitive salary commensurate with qualifications and responsibilities. We offer a generous package of secondary employee benefits.


Required competencies and experience:

  • Solid and demonstrated expert knowledge and network in at least two of the following issues:
    • Labour migration, mobility and its economic/human development dimensions in Africa;
    • Migration in Europe-Africa relations (including its institutional set-up);
    • Migration policies of African countries, the African Union and its Regional Economic Communities (RECs);
    • Forced migration and development,;
    • Connections between Trade and Migration.
  • An in-depth and critical perspective on the EU’s and the AU’s development and migration policies and frameworks; demonstrated knowledge of policy-making processes including familiarity with recent EU and AU policy and institutional arrangements in the area of migration;
  • Good knowledge of/engagement with the academic and policy debates on migration, displacement and development, specifically in Africa;
  • Extensive and proven writing, editing, analytical and synthesis skills, including the ability to structure arguments and present options to policy makers and non-specialist policy audiences in a non-partisan way (ECDPM is NOT an advocacy organisation). Evidence of significant and relevant policy-oriented publications in English;
  • Proven experience in engaging in key migration policy processes through research, examples of impact on policy development and discussions through carried out research is desirable;
  • Proven applied research skills related to the following: 1) strategic policy development, 2) translation of policy to practice 3) evaluation 4) political economy analysis;
  • Proven experience managing donor funded research or policy projects (timelines, deliverables, budgets, quality control) including delivery of quality work to demanding stakeholders;
  • Experience in fundraising and ideally in successfully securing funds for research projects and liaising with donors;
  • Practical mind and proactive attitude and excellent interpersonal and communication skills in a multicultural environment (including flair and enthusiasm);
  • Understanding of gender and how gender mainstreaming can be brought to policy oriented research in the area of migration;
  • Ability to work autonomously and show creativity, yet with ability to follow guidance and strong team spirit.

Application instructions

Short-listed candidates for this vacancy will be required to undergo a written exercise, an interview and possible second interview in Maastricht, as well as sharing examples of their (co-)published work and/or technical reports. For the final two candidates, three references will be checked, one of which should be their last/current supervisor in a position of employment.

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