Senior Strategic Outreach and Engagement Officer

Job Summary

The Senior Strategic Outreach and Engagement Officer provides strategic advice on stakeholder engagement, outreach, and result-based monitoring and reporting to support (i) the GARP team, (ii) the GARP grantees in developing countries; and (iii); other critical spokespersons for GARP, particularly its governance bodies consisting of an Executive Committee and a Scientific Advisory Group.   The position involves four primary duties or responsibilities.  The first one is the area of stakeholder engagement, the second in the area of results-based monitoring, contextualisation of interventions and results and overall messaging, the third one in the area of knowledge management and the forth one in the area of dissemination and uptake.   The work includes the design and implementation, in close collaboration with other members of the GARP team and particularly the Program Officers in the regions, of strategies and approaches to ensure the primary duties are met.

Primary Duties or Responsibilities

Provide strategic advice on stakeholder engagement

The GARP is designed to include decision-makers and policy-makers at an early stage in the design of research programs within the three hotspots targeted by the program.  This step is included to facilitate the uptake of findings and policy influence.  In this context, the Senior Strategic Outreach and Engagement Officer will design approaches to engage researchers and key research users in the regions of focus to ensure that they have the opportunity to be involved in the identification of research needs in each of the three hotspots.  This work will be conducted in close collaboration with the GARP Program Officers in the regions. As appropriate, s/he will also manage and direct consultants and/or temporary staff to undertake analysis and research activities to identify the best approaches for strategic engagement.

S/he will also develop a strategy to engage GARP grantees as voices or spokespersons for GARP as a program, and provide advice on strategic opportunities for such activities.

S/he will assess and recommend strategic opportunities where partnerships could be pursued, particularly for the sustainability of some aspects of the program.    S/he also will identify policy events where timely contributions by GARP staff or grantees could result in engagement of a broader group of stakeholders (e.g. blogs at key meetings, etc.).

The Senior Strategic Outreach and Engagement Officer will also engage with researchers and key stakeholders in the regions of focus to ensure that they can actively participate in research networks and activities within the Program.   S/he will also stay current on major research and research to policy networks and activities in the area of adaptation to climate change, particularly those supported by IDRC of potential interest to those researchers and stakeholders in the regions of focus, for example, the African Adaptation Research Centres, or the International Research Initiative on Adaptation to Climate Change.

Consistent story and results-based approach

The Senior Strategic Outreach and Engagement Officer will design, in collaboration with the GARP team, a result-based monitoring and reporting.  S/he will produce materials and other information in order to describe the achievements of GARP in a timely, accurate and strategic fashion.

The Senior Strategic Outreach and Engagement Officer will stay current of the landscape of research related to climate change adaptation and resilience building to be able to draft messages that adequately situate the GARP niche and contribution in the fast growing field of research on adaptation to climate change and resilience.

Design and Implement a knowledge management system

The Senior Strategic Outreach and Engagement Officer will design processes and systems to facilitate access to research outputs and therefore their use for reports within IDRC and DFID, the research teams, and outside audiences.

The Senior Strategic Outreach and Engagement Officer will be involved in the design of the GARP analytical framework looking at themes that are cutting across the three hotspots and regions of focus.   Working closely with the Program Management, s/he will identify ways to manage and support the use of the growing body of evidence within each hot spot, and also across the areas of the analytical framework.

S/he will identify knowledge management needs of other members of the GARP Team, governance bodies, grantees and donors, and design approaches to meet these needs.  For example, one approach could be to design search tools allowing efficient responses to queries.  S/he will make efficient use of available IDRC tools (e.g. website, electronic library) and complement with other tools as appropriate.

Design products and activities to promote the dissemination and uptake of results

Early in the program, the Senior Strategic Outreach and Engagement Officer will develop outreach and engagement strategies to enhance awareness and understanding of the GARP among key stakeholders across the program’s regions and themes of focus.  S/he will develop operational plans and communications tools and products to ensure that key messages are communicated in order to influence and inform the activities of a) other researchers, and b) those in a position to design research-based adaptation policies and programs including government ministries, donor agencies, and non-governmental organizations.

S/he will draw on results captured through the monitoring and reporting framework (see item 2) and ensure that these results (both project- and program-level) and corresponding knowledge products are visible. This includes the identification of high level messages and the mapping of commensurate audiences and spaces to encourage uptake.  For example, The Senior Strategic Outreach and Engagement Officer could support the development of stories drawn from experiences with implementation of the program, to add social dimensions and poignancy in support of the messages.

In carrying out these tasks, the Senior Strategic Outreach and Engagement Officer will work closely with other members of the GARP team, particularly those based in the regions and interfacing with the grantees on a regular basis. S/he will also liaise closely with IDRC’s Partnership and Communications Divisions, as well as collaborating with other IDRC staff and partners as appropriate.

As appropriate, the Senior Strategic Outreach and Engagement Officer will organize and support activities of the members of the GARP governance bodies that will increase awareness and understanding of the program and contribute to knowledge dissemination and utilization.

S/he will also identify the need for, manage and oversee the delivery of regional or international forums and conferences in support of the strategic outreach and engagement needs of GARP grantees, including any follow-up recommendations and activities.  S/he will also use her/his international networks to bring in additional expertise to such activities.

Supervision

  • Directly supervises consultants and temporary staff; and
  • Guides, mentors and assigns work to more junior professional staff, particularly the Program Management Officer and the Program Assistant.