Strategic Engagement Advisor

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

The Position:

The Strategic Engagement Advisor is located in the Malawi Country Office (CO) and reports to the Representative. Strategic Engagement Advisor leads Advocacy & Partnership, Communication Group in coordination with all programmatic thematic units and staff and will institutionalize “Big thinking and Focus” to explore ideas that can catalyse change.  S/he establishes and maintains collaborative relationships with counterparts in government, parliamentarians, multilateral and bilateral donor agencies, UN agencies, civil society, religious leaders, local authorities, academia and the private sector to advocate for universal access to comprehensive SRHR information and services. S/he should effectively influence counterparts from diverse backgrounds to contribute to achieving three transformative results through the implementation of the Government of Malawi and UNFPA 9th Country programme

How you can make a difference:

UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.  UNFPA’s strategic plan (2022-2025), reaffirms the relevance of the current strategic direction of UNFPA and focuses on three transformative results: to end preventable maternal deaths; end unmet need for family planning; and end gender-based violence and harmful practices. These results capture our strategic commitments on accelerating progress towards realizing the ICPD and SDGs in the Decade of Action leading up to 2030. Our strategic plan calls upon UN Member States, organizations and individuals to “build forward better”, while addressing the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on women’s and girls’ access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, recover lost gains and realize our goals.

In a world where fundamental human rights are at risk, we need principled and ethical staff, who embody these international norms and standards, and who will defend them courageously and with full conviction.

UNFPA is seeking candidates that transform, inspire and deliver high impact and sustained results; we need staff who are transparent, exceptional in how they manage the resources entrusted to them and who commit to deliver excellence in programme results.

Job Purpose:

In line with the existing gaps in adolescent girls and young women’s SRHR status, 9th Country programme prioritizes the health and well-being of adolescent girls, including by improving access to adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights and increasing the agency and empowerment of adolescents to reduce gender-based violence and harmful practices, including child marriage and teenage pregnancy, and strengthen HIV prevention, among others. In order to address strategically to the listed priorities, the Strategic Engagement Advisor takes a leadership to capitalize and boost the already achieved promising results and increase demand and support to scale issues related to achieve the three transformative results.

In Coordination with the Representative, the Strategic Engagement Advisor supports the Deputy Representative in the design, development, and management of innovative and responsive country programme and to build a programme team, inspiring it to translate the regional and country goals into specific solutions and results.

You would be responsible for:

A. Big thinking and Focus

  • Conducts substantive policy dialogue with Government counterparts and UN and other development partners to facilitate the incorporation of UNFPA’s programme priorities and ICPD agenda into national plans and strategies, UN systems initiatives and development and humanitarian frameworks (CCA, UNSDCF, HNA, HRP).
  • Leads the translation of global and regional frameworks and strategies into country specific advocacy strategies, creates and delivers effective evidence-based advocacy messages to promote UNFPA’s programme goals taking into account political and social sensitivities.
  • Provides support to programme teams in tracking Malawi’s commitments to global, regional and national frameworks related to UNFPA’s agenda.
  • Leads the political and environmental scanning, regularly assessing the country situation and relevant research/ surveys to inform sound policy dialogue, well-focused strategic interventions and provides continuous advice to management.
  • Facilitates and operationalizes the prioritization of interventions to engage counterparts in government, including parliamentarians, multilateral and bilateral donor agencies, UN agencies, civil society, religious leaders, local authorities, the private sector and media to advocate for the advancement of universal access to comprehensive SRHR, GBV prevention and response, and population dynamics.
  • Leads the development of white papers, briefing notes, policy briefs and infographics and other products, by considering the targeted audience.
  • Acts as a focal point for engaging with highly profiled UNFPA champions and other very relevant stakeholders.
  • Represents UNFPA in strategic forums to position the ICPD agenda and the (3) transformative results under the UNFPA mandate

B. Forward-focused thinking and innovation

  • Works closely with Programme and Management Teams on the identification of innovative approaches and innovations to engage with the various stakeholders.
  • Jointly, with the UNFPA Advocacy, Partnership, Communication Group members to develop, implement and monitor actions to advance potential opportunities for intervention and innovations.
  • Fostering adaptive management in the strategic engagements with targeted non-traditional stakeholders.
  • Lead the strategic thinking to mainstream the innovation approach across the country programme thematic areas.
  • Fosters innovative approaches under UNFPA’s interventions by engaging stakeholders and beneficiaries

C.  Management advice and support

UNFPA Management and the UNCT/UN Related Matters 

  • Promotes knowledge sharing and continuous learning, testing, linking and documenting innovative strategies, approaches, lessons learned and best practices inside and outside UNFPA and replicating these strategies and approaches.
  • Develops briefing notes to UNFPA management in line with the UN frameworks and national, regional and global agenda.
  • Supports the UNFPA team, including management, to continue advancing the ICPD agenda within the UN dialogue and UN engagements.
  • In consultation with the Deputy Representative, actively participate in the implementation and monitoring of UNSDCF.
  • Represents UNFPA in the UN/UNCT delegated forums.

D. General Support 

  • Carry out any other duties as may be required by UNFPA leadership.

Qualifications and Experience: 


  • Master’s Degree in political sciences, social policy, public health/ medical sciences, sociology, demography, Economics, social mobilization, business administration, international relations or other related fields

Knowledge and Experience: 

  • At least 7 years of increasingly responsible professional experience in the field of development, programme design and management, advocacy work and capacity development is required;
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, negotiation, and managerial skills required. Self-starter, proactive, passion for the issues;
  • Proven ability to develop and implement effective resource mobilization strategies and campaigns;
  • Significant work experience in the SRHR, Gender, Youth areas required. Working experience in Humanitarian context is an asset.
  • Experience in programme/ project management including experience in large multi-sector programmes;
  • Strong knowledge on Results Based Programming and budgeting:
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and experience with management of staff in multi-locations.
  • A thorough understanding of the UN system in general, and especially UNFPA mandate, its policies and operations and current development topics and political issues in Malawi.
  • Working experience with Government, NGO, parliamentarians, Foundation, or private sector in Malawi.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in and lead a team to achieve evidence-based results.


Fluency in oral and written English is required. Working knowledge of another UN Official Language is  an asset

Required Competencies: 


  • Exemplifying integrity,
  • Demonstrating commitment to UNFPA and the UN system,
  • Embracing cultural diversity,
  • Embracing change

Core Competencies: 

  • Achieving results,
  • Being accountable,
  • Developing and applying professional expertise/business acumen,
  • Thinking analytically and strategically,
  • Working in teams/managing ourselves, our relationships, and others
  • Communicating for impact

Functional Skill Set:

  • Organizational Leadership and direction
  • Strategic Planning and Leadership
  • Advocacy/Advancing a policy-oriented agenda
  • Leveraging the resources of national governments and partners/ building strategic alliances and partnerships
  • Internal and external communication and advocacy for results mobilization
  • Delivering results-based programmes
  • Partnerships and donor relations
  • Technical Understanding of the areas of work
  • Proficiency in current office software applications

Managerial Competencies:

  • Providing Strategic Direction and Leadership
  • Engaging in internal/external partners and stakeholders
  • Leading, developing and empowering people, creating a culture of performance
  • Making decisions and exercising judgement

Compensation and Benefits:

 This position offers an attractive remuneration package including a competitive net salary plus health insurance and other benefits as applicable.

Apply Now

Posting Date
13/05/2024, 09:50
Apply Before
30/05/2024, 09:50

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