Email: | Tel: 01227 639768

Tel: 01227 639768

Strategic Adviser, Policy and Advocacy

Location: Cambridge, CB2 1NL, flexible working offered with regular meetings in Cambridge and London required

Salary expectation: £35,000 to £40,000

Application deadline: Mon 23rd March

This is a part-time role
pro rata 0.6FTE (negotiable)

Reporting To: Director of Communications and Brand

About SOS Children’s Villages UK (SOS UK): 

We believe that children everywhere deserve more from life than the basics for survival such as food, water and shelter. Children have the right to grow up feeling loved, safe and supported. They are entitled to a happy childhood, and the chance to build a better future for themselves. But around the world, 220 million children grow up without the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages UK is part of a global federation of 140 local SOS Children’s Villages associations working together across 136 countries and territories worldwide to ensure that children grow up in a stable environment and feel loved, safe and supported. We work with children and families living through poverty, conflict, man-made and natural disasters. By supporting them to grow into resilient and independent adults who can contribute to their communities, we are helping to bring about positive and lasting change.


About the Post: 

This is an exciting opportunity to really make your mark growing the policy function of an exciting organisation. SOS UK is building its policy and advocacy presence in the UK to ensure we can work to improve UK Government policies that affect vulnerable children in some of the world’s poorest communities.

We are looking for a motivated, experienced policy professional who will be able to drive our political engagement work forward, increasing SOS UK’s influence, knowledge and reputation through relationship building and participation in coalition campaigning.

The Policy Adviser will also help lay the foundations of our key policy areas of work, researching and shaping our focus topic areas and delivering associated content for both on- and offline materials.

Joining a small and entrepreneurial team, the ideal candidate will be keen to hit the ground running and take the policy agenda at SOS UK forward with a flexible and creative approach. They will have an excellent understanding of the working of UK Government and experience of influencing at a senior level, bringing with them solid experience of lobbying, campaigning and an understanding of and enthusiasm for how media communications fits into policy.


Specific responsibilities include:

  • Developing the organisational policy and advocacy strategy to inform advocacy campaigning and expertise development, building a content base for the organisation and support organisational learning.
  • Carrying out desk research to establish an organisational understanding of the present and developing policy areas underpinning SOS Children’s Villages’ work.
  • Monitoring developments in public policy and alerting the Director of Communications to relevant UKGOV, EU or UN announcements, consultations, research and statistical releases.
  • When appropriate, brief the CEO and SOS UK on emerging policy issues and SOS UK’s response in order to build organisational knowledge and support conversations with external stakeholders.
  • In line with the advocacy strategy, researching SOS International’s existing policy work, programmes, case studies and knowledge holders to inform the development of key subject strands affecting our beneficiaries
  • Writing briefing documents to enhance learning and understanding for the whole SOS UK team where appropriate.
  • Developing SOS UK’s approach to policy work, suggesting key strands and scoping advocacy potential.
  • Writing reports on current policy and practice issues for internal and external use and commissioning external consultants as appropriate.
  • Supporting thought leadership development, feeding into external facing documents and developing blog opportunities.
  • Leading SOS UK’s UK Government influencing in partnership with the Advocacy Adviser with emphasis on relationship building with the Department for International Development and associated networks
  • Identifying potential media opportunities for comment by SOS UK on child-focussed policy issues, develop talking points and brief interviewees.
  • Build solid, productive relationships across the UK INGO sector to enhance collaboration, learning, opportunities to partner and enhance SOS UK’s reputation amongst peer organisations.
  • Building solid, productive relationships across the SOS International and national advocacy teams that support SOSUK’s aims and objectives.



Education and Qualifications:

Degree level education (Essential)

Postgraduate degree (Desirable)


  • Demonstrable experience of working in international development, human rights and/or social policy
  • Experience of analysing, interpreting and developing policy, and writing policy reports
  • Experience of commissioning reports and policy documents for internal and external audiences
  • Experience of using policy recommendations to influence and lobby government or international actors


  • Experience of working in the charity sector
  • Strong NGO sector networks and experience of working in coalitions

Knowledge and skills

Knowledge and understanding of qualitative and quantitative research methods (E)

Knowledge of child rights and good networks in this area (D)

A good understanding of theory of change (E)

Knowledge of structures and workings of UK Government, understanding of EU and UN processes (E)

Excellent verbal communications, with the ability to liaise with all levels of staff and external stakeholders (E)

Excellent written skills and the ability to digest complex ideas and information for repackaging to a variety of audiences (E)

Ability to build links with a wide range of organisations at all levels and represent SOS UK in a positive and professional manner (E)

Innovative approach to work, including the ability to initiate and progress new ideas (D)

Broad understanding of the factors affecting the poorest and most vulnerable people in developing countries and a passion for promoting and enabling the positive impact of SOS UK (E)


Team working (E)

Time management (E)

Manages self, learning and personal development (E)


*As an equal opportunities employer, we welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons. All appointments will be made on merit.

All applications must include cover letters detailing how you meet the requirements of the person spec. CVs sent without cover letters will not be considered.

For an informal discussion about this role, please contact Catherine Weston, Director of Communications and Brand


Deadline: Mon 23rd March