Policy and Research Advisor (Maternity cover)

Self Help AfricaCareers

Job Title: Policy and Research Advisor (Maternity cover)
Company: Gorta-Self Help Africa
Department: Programmes
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Reports to: Programmes Director
Salary: €30,000 per annum for 3 days per week (€50,000 Full Time Equivalent)
Contract Type: Specified purpose – maternity cover (part time 3 days per week)

Gorta-Self Help Africa is an Irish-headquartered international development organisation whose vision is a thriving and resilient rural Africa.

We are an ambitious and growing organisation with expertise in smallholder farming, growing farm businesses, nutrition and supporting rural poor communities to access new markets and earn fair prices for their produce.

In 2018, Gorta-Self Help Africa is implementing a portfolio of 33 projects in Uganda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Togo, Malawi and Zambia funded by a variety of institutional and private donors including Irish Aid, DFID, the European Union and World Food Programme. In 2017, we supported 311,275 households, reaching close to two million people in rural communities across sub-Saharan Africa, and had a turnover of €22.7 million.

Job Purpose:

This is a key role within the Gorta-Self Help Africa Programme team. There are two core aspects to the position:

  • Providing knowledge and guidance on policy influencing. You will build and foster partnerships with other relevant institutions and organisations and focal points in Ireland, internationally and in SHA’s country programmes overseas.
  • Promoting, generating, and coordinating research work at organisational level, working in close collaboration with the technical team, leading to high quality work that is published and presented at relevant fora.

Key Responsibilities:

Role Specific

Policy development and influencing

  • Support country offices in planning and tracking of policy work, in close alignment with the organisational Policy Influencing Theory of Change and related Results Based Framework.
  • Undertake policy analysis of relevant development frameworks related to the organisation’s areas of work as required.
  • Actively engage with sector-led and Government-led initiatives, with emphasis on networks and dialogue fora the organisation is already a member of e.g. Dóchas Policy Working Group
  • Respond proactively to calls for contributions at sector, Government or international level.
  • Author and/or co-author research, policy and advocacy publications for national and international audiences.
  • Provide inputs in relation to policy sections in funding calls.
  • Contribute to organisational reporting mechanisms as required.
  • Actively engage with international policy setting institutions to keep abreast of key policy debates and trends in the areas of interest to the organisation.

 Research coordination

  • Monitor SHA’s research findings and M&E data to ascertain the potential for research work and/or use in supporter/donor communications.
  • Coordinate research initiatives at organisational level, in close collaboration with the technical team and identify opportunities to publish and promote findings.
  • Revise and update the organisation’s Learning Strategy, with greater emphasis on cross-country sharing and learning. Utilise eLearning platform where possible for roll-out.
  • Contribute to the organisation of technical learning workshops and related events and support participation in third party events (e.g. DSAI).
  • Coordinate the translation of research findings into policy contributions at national and international level.
  • Identify key technical publications and presentation opportunities to increase Gorta-Self Help Africa’s influence in our key priority areas of interest at both national and international levels.


  • Provide support to Executive Director, Group CEO as required e.g. conference papers, speeches, strategy support etc.
  • Liaise with Communications Department to ensure that internal (staff, board, members, supporters etc) and external audiences (donors, governments, partners, stakeholders, influencers etc) are made aware of published research, policy engagement, etc.
  • Any reasonable duty may be assigned that is consistent with the job and its level of responsibility.

Key Relationships:


  • Programmes Director (Line Manager)
  • Heads of Programmes
  • Technical Advisors – Sustainable Agriculture advisors; Agribusiness Advisors; Nutrition Advisor, Social Inclusion Advisor, Development Education Advisor, Monitoring and Evaluation team
  • Programme Support Coordinators (“Desk Officer”)
  • Head of Region (Peer)
  • Humanitarian Manager
  • Programme Funding Team
  • Programme Support Team
  • Senior Management Team


  • INGO partners
  • Irish Aid Programme Grant team
  • Donors (in conjunction with Programme Funding team)
  • Dochas, DSAI, IFIAD, etc.

Knowledge and Experience

  • At least six years’ experience in working in overseas development (emphasis on rural development programmes) with research and policy responsibilities.
  • Strong knowledge and experience of different sectors (i.e. NGO, Government, UN, Academia).
  • Strong knowledge of current national and international policy debates.

Qualifications/Other Requirements


  • Master’s Degree or equivalent in International Development, Political Science, Social Studies or related field.
  • Excellent writing skills with a proven ability to write clearly and concisely, and strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Ability to seek out opportunities and contribute to policy formulation at local, national and international levels.
  • Ability to contribute to strategic planning processes.
  • Strong research and analytical skills.
  • Good organisation, planning and management skills.


  • Working knowledge of French.

Gorta-Self Help Africa is an equal opportunities employer

Application Procedure

Please fill in the application form below and send it with Cover letter and C.V. to recruitment@selfhelpafrica.org  Applicants must have a current legal right to work in Ireland.  Submissions without our application form (can be downloaded below), a cover letter and C.V. will not be considered.

Make it clear which position you are applying for by writing the position in the subject line of your e-mail [+ Your name]”.

Closing date: 5pm Sunday 29th April 2018

Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interview by e-mail and date for interview will be communicated.

Please click the link to download the Application Form

Please click the link to download the Job Description