Sonke Gender Justice: Policy Development and Advocacy Unit Manager

Sonke Gender Justice
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Friday, 12 February, 2016
Opportunity type: 

With a full-time staff of 100 people working from offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Agincourt, Sonke Gender Justice works globally and across Africa to strengthen government, civil society and citizen capacity to take action to promote gender equality, prevent domestic and sexual violence and reduce the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS.

Sonke Gender Justice seeks to recruit a Policy Development and Advocacy Unit (PDA) Manager, based in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

S/he will lead the organisation’s strategic legal and policy advocacy efforts in South Africa. 
The PDA Unit works to shape policy and legal decisions on gender justice, health and human rights. It conducts rapid response advocacy on topical developments in gender justice, health, and human rights, especially for vulnerable groups, while working to ensure there are stronger systems to advance the protection of human rights and gender justice.


  • Advocate for policy reform and implementation at parliament and government;
  • Galvanise reform and ensuring implementation through impact litigation where the State is unresponsive;
  • Building coalitions to strengthen the collective voice and action of civil society; and
  • Conduct empirical, legal, and other research to inform advocacy efforts;
  • Oversee the PDA Unit and is part of the organisation’s Full Management Team;
  • Work closely with other managers and directors to develop policy advocacy work within the organisation;
  • Supervise the policy specialists, associates, fellows and interns housed in the Unit, managing administrative systems, providing strategic direction on the campaigns and projects housed in the Unit, and ensuring the unit complies with all internal accountability mechanisms;
  • Contribute to organisational oversight and the development of strategic direction;
  • Manage the UCLA – Sonke Health & Human Rights Fellowship and supervise fellows during their placement year at Sonke;Supervise and provide strategic direction to PDA Unit staff working on key programmatic areas;
  • Lead specific projects and content areas as assigned;
  • Interface and support other units and portfolios working on policy advocacy;
  • Direct internal capacity building on policy development and advocacy strategies, and on technical areas of work, cases, and campaigns led by the PDA Unit;
  • Engage the media on key areas of work within the PDA Unit, and give guidance to PDA personnel on their media outreach and messaging;
  • Ensure the documentation and publication of work within the PDA Unit in journals, print and online media, and other platforms;
  • Network and nurture strategic relationships within civil society, government, and funders;
  • Fundraise for the unit;
  • Identify funding opportunities, develop proposals and budgets, and negotiate award agreements with funders;
  • Ensure grants held within the PDA Unit are implemented in line with funding agreements;
  • Ensure the smooth implementation of grants by coordinating with the finance and grants management team, and liaise with the Operations Director, particularly during due diligence reviews with funders, and at the start and close of projects; and
  • Maintain strong relationships with funders.


  • Proven and respected strategist and advocate in the gender justice and human rights field;
  • Advanced degrees in a relevant field, including at least an undergraduate law degree (LL.B. or foreign equivalent). Studies should have provided a strong grounding in gender, health, and human rights law, though extensive experience will be considered in lieu of focused studies in these areas.
  • At least seven years of experience in gender and human rights advocacy, or a combined equivalent including studies, with at least two years of experience in management;
  • Demonstrated strategic leadership in gender, health, human rights a combination of professional experience, academic training, and familiarity with relevant literature, institutions, and leaders in the field;
  • Significant experience with at least two of the technical areas of the unit’s work, i.e. gender justice, health and human rights, penal and criminal justice reform. The candidate should have the ability to work collaboratively and provide credible strategic guidance to colleagues with and without a direct supervisory relationship.
  • Skilled and experienced manager, with the proven ability to facilitate effective processes and deliver results.
  • Be a persuasive communicator with writing, editing and public speaking skills in English, preferably also in a second South African language.
  • Proven ability to excel as a collegial member of a diverse team and in working in a multicultural working environment;  
  • Diplomatic and problem-solving abilities, comfortable working in a fast-paced environment, and the ability to engage in and contribute to on-going socio-political debates;
  • Must be discrete and able to handle confidential matters with integrity;
  • Must have well-developed emotional intelligence, including self-awareness, self-management and empathy;
  • Must be experienced in and passionate about providing mentorship and guiding the professional development of Unit staff.

To apply, submit your CV, a writing sample, and a motivation letter the Human Resource Department to

Please quote the source of this advertisement in your application - NGO Pulse Portal.

For non-South Africans nationals or permanent residents, it is the responsibility of the applicant to attain a work permit from the Department of Home Affairs, and employment will depend on a valid work permit being in place.

Salary is negotiable dependent on experience and qualifications. 

Only short listed candidates will be contacted.

Sonke Gender Justice reserves the right not to make an appointment. 

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