mothers2mothers (m2m) is an Africa-based NGO that unlocks the potential of women to eliminate paediatric AIDS and create healthy families across ten sub-Saharan African countries. m2m trains, employs, and helps empower women living with HIV to work as community healthcare workers in understaffed health centres and underserved communities. Through a peer-to-peer approach, these ‘Mentor Mothers’ deliver a range of health services, advice, and support to women and their families. Started in Cape Town, South Africa in 2001 with an initial focus on preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, m2m has innovated and built on its strengths and now provides family-centred support for a range of related health and social issues spanning pregnancy, birth, childhood, and adolescence. It also partners with governments and other NGOs on the adoption of its programme to spread the Mentor Mother Model and its benefits. m2m has a track record of scaling its services and proven impact. To date, m2m has reached over 11M women and children under two, and created more than 11,000 jobs for African women living with HIV. For more, visit www.m2m.org.
Policy Manager – Cape Town
mothers2mothers (m2m) is seeking a dynamic, experienced Policy Manager to help shape and define m2m’s policy positions and serve as a powerful representative for the organisation in critical spaces around the world, with a particular focus on the African continent.
The Policy Manager will play a key role in scoping, developing, and executing m2m’s policy and advocacy portfolio with the overall aim of ensuring that m2m is positioned as a thought leader in relevant decision-making spaces, and influences relevant policy that will increase the scale and impact of our work. The key objective is for m2m to strike new partnerships (both financial and operational) and deepen existing ones that advance our vision of Health, Hope, and an HIV-free Future. The ultimate goal is to position m2m and its programmes for greater visibility and leadership to improve the lives of our clients and employees.
This is an exciting role as m2m celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2021 and seeks to showcase its unique impact and understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and in guaranteeing health for all, the importance of community health workers, and the positioning a female and local workforce in addressing some of the world’s biggest and most urgent health challenges.
Key Performance Areas
Policy Strategy, Execution and Measurement
- Working closely with the Policy Working Group, help to define and shape m2m’s overall Policy priorities, positions, and objectives, and finalise m2m’s advocacy strategy canvas.
- Translating policy objectives into actionable plans. Spanning the African and Global Policy landscape, this will include stakeholder mapping and power analysis; identification of key events, fora, consultations, coalitions, and publications; creating calendars and workplans, and coordinating with colleagues to execute these plans.
- Ensuring that objectives and plans are measurable, and take lead responsibility for measuring progress towards goals, changing targets, and suggesting ways to course-correct frequently.
Policy Research, Synthesis, and Publication
- m2m believes in evidence-based policy work. To advance this, the Policy Manager will:
- Undertake detailed research in m2m’s priority policy areas to provide messaging and proof points to inform, shape, and support our policy work. This research could take many forms including desk research, conversations, attendance at relevant events, interviews, one-one briefings, and more.
- Clearly and accurately synthesise research findings into formats accurate for the target audiences. This could include formal position statements (proactive and reactive), research reports, white papers, briefing notes, presentations, and more.
- Where appropriate, seek external publication opportunities for this research in spaces such as journals, coalitions, working groups, and so forth.
- In addition, opportunities to share our positions and shape the policy agenda must be researched and included in the workplans referenced above. Of particular importance is identifying relevant consultation opportunities with policy-making bodies, and collaborating with colleagues to ensure that m2m makes compelling, clearly-messaged, evidence-based submissions.
The Policy Manager will play two key roles in this work area. S/he will serve as an advocate/representative for m2m in certain key spaces, and will also assist with preparing senior team members who take on external representation duties.
- Serve, as assigned, as m2m’s representative in strategic spaces. This could include representing the organisation at conferences (panel discussions, speaking slots), holding one-one briefings or small meetings with stakeholders (in person or virtually), and undertaking media relations work. Media relations will likely include interviews, op-ed drafting, and letters to editors. Close collaboration with the communications team will be essential to identify story hooks/ideas and translating these into external profiles.
- Build strong relationships with identified counterparts at stakeholder organisations. Hold regular check-ins and updates with these partners as appropriate.
- Serve as m2m’s lead representative in selected coalition/membership spaces, helping to align and advance m2m and coalition policy positions.
- Hold briefing events or conversations for m2m’s key donors and partners (existing or potential).
- In collaboration with the Communications and Global Resource Mobilisation Departments, identify and secure strategic representation opportunities for senior leaders such as Heads of Department and Country Directors.
- Ensure m2m leaders are well prepared for these opportunities, through the preparation of briefing packs and talking points.
- Where appropriate, attend meetings alongside other representatives to field queries and move forward with follow-up actions.
- Ensure the smooth coordination of m2m’s internal policy working group, including:
- Scheduling and chairing meetings
- Preparing meeting agendas, supporting materials, and distributing these in a timely fashion
- Minuting the meetings, and following up on actions as required
- Maintain an organisational policy and advocacy calendar, and collaborate with relevant colleagues to ensure key processes/dates are included in communications and resource mobilisation strategies.
- Coordinate m2m knowledge management across policy and advocacy activities/actions (i.e., creating internal sites and processes to document and track activities, lessons learned, evaluation of efforts, etc.)
Qualifications and Experience
- Undergraduate Degree in a relevant field (e.g., Health, Public Policy, International Development) from a recognised tertiary education
- At least seven years of policy experience (African or Global), demonstrating an increasing level of responsibility and achievement in previous roles. Candidates with an advanced degree with five years or more of experience will also be considered.
- Demonstrated ability to research, synthesise and publish on complex policy topics, demonstrated through a portfolio of relevant white papers, submissions to consultations, op-eds, presentations to stakeholder groups and similar.
- Experience and confidence serving as an advocate for an organisation, both in-person and virtually. Examples include speaking slots, media interviews, and one-to-one briefings with stakeholders.
- Knowledge of the policy and advocacy landscape and processes relevant to m2m’s work, including United Nations bodies and agencies, African Union institutions and forums, African Regional Bodies (e.g., SADC and ECOWAS), and relevant coalitions.
- A strong network of key contacts in relevant spaces.
- Excellent attention to detail, including an ability to understand and translate complex data sets into understandable takeaways.
- Understanding and patience when working closely with colleagues from other cultures with various languages.
- Compassion, respect, and understanding of the work that m2m does.
- A team player who is highly adaptive, works well under time pressure, and has excellent interpersonal skills.
- Post-COVID-19, willingness to travel extensively (up to 20% of the time), particularly within Africa.
- The legal right to live and work in South Africa. (Alternative locations in m2m offices will be considered for exceptional candidates).
- Excellent written and spoken English, including on technical topics.
- An advanced degree in a relevant field (e.g., Masters in Public Health or Public Policy) is strongly preferred.
- Fluency in additional languages, especially working languages of the United Nations and the African Union.
- Direct policy experience in an area relevant to m2m’s work (e.g., Community Health and Universal Health Coverage, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Gender Equality, Maternal, and Child Health).
- Preference will be given to Employment Equity candidates and/or people living with HIV.
mothers2mothers is an equal opportunity employer. We particularly encourage applications from people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA), people with disabilities, women and previously disadvantaged people.
Competitive salary packages will be negotiable in accordance with m2m’s remuneration policies.
Interested applicants should apply for this position via https://m2m.org/who-we-are/careers/ by 05 March 2021.