Advocacy Advisor, Women’s Economic Empowerment
The USAID Local Enterprise Support Project (LENS) is a five-year project that supports small business growth and better economic planning to strengthen Jordanian communities in the face of economic adversity. The project brings local governments, business owners, and key community groups together to collaborate on initiatives that will boost economic development and create jobs in their communities. Project initiatives are focused on helping micro and small enterprises (MSEs) grow and are inclusive of women, youth and the underprivileged. In particular, the project applies a value chain approach to support the development of MSEs in four sectors (tourism, transport and logistics, food processing and ICT as an enabler of these sectors).
The project is implemented by FHI360, a nonprofit human development organization dedicated to improving lives in lasting ways by advancing integrated, locally driven solutions.
The WEE Advocacy Advisor is expected to lead the design, development and implementation of macro-level initiatives that strengthen the visibility, impact and sustainability of technical activities in the field. Specifically, the WEE Advocacy Advisor is expected to:
Build awareness among national stakeholders of the impact of diversity in national economies and build support for diversity efforts at different levels of the economy. The WEE Advocacy Advisor will give visibility to USAID LENS work with women in non-traditional sectors and to its efforts to raise gender awareness and capacity among BSPs and small businesses. The Advocacy Advisor will also communicate to stakeholders and partners the need for such efforts to facilitate women’s meaningful economic participation and empowerment, to build sustainable businesses and enhance economic performance at different levels of the economy.
Facilitate women’s financial inclusion. The WEE Advocacy Advisor will build partnerships with formal financing institutions to identify and design mechanisms that create new possibilities for delivering microfinance to the MSE sector, especially for women. These mechanisms will likewise establish new pathways from informal to formal financing for women operating in the MSE sector, and upgrade the capacity of informal saving and lending groups to enhance member’s creditworthiness and credit history. The WEE Advocacy Advisor will also explore opportunities for value chain financing in the sectors where USAID LENS targets women-owned business.
The Advocacy Advisor will lead key initiatives that will achieve or support:
Women’s access to productive economic resources, such as assets, wage or self-employment or other income, or financial assets such as savings and credit.
New services that that contribute to the economic and social empowerment of women.
The Advocacy Advisor’s main tasks and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Networking and relationship-building with national stakeholders engaged in USAID LENS three key WEE activity areas;
- Support, in collaboration with USAID LENS staff and external consultants, the development, design and implementation of marketing campaign for women-owned businesses in non-traditional sectors;
- Design activities that will build awareness among stakeholders at the national level of the impact of diversity in national economies and build support for diversity efforts at different levels of the economy;
- Identify and map potential partners in financial sector willing to explore unconsidered opportunities to support women’s transition from informal to formal saving, lending and credit;
- Identify the opportunities and requirements necessary to sustainably link formal financial institutions and informal/quasi-formal financial groups;
- Evaluation and technical supervision of grants.
The following are deliverables illustrative of the types of initiatives that the WEE specialist would be expected to deliver:
- In collaboration with external service providers, the design and implementation of a workshop to initiate the launch of a working group or community of practice related to women’s participation in non-traditional sectors;
- In collaboration with a marketing consultant, the design and implementation of a marketing campaign for women in non-traditional sectors;
- A concept paper outlining an approach to strengthening networks and linkages between informal saving and lending groups and formal institutions, including financial institutions;
- A concept paper outlining the opportunities, risks and challenges of value chain lending in those sectors where USAID LENS reaches women, especially home-based food producers and women in the trades;
- In collaboration with strategic partners, the design and implementation of a mechanism, such as a national level award or similar, that bestows recognition on small businesses and other institutions for commitment to gender diversity and equal opportunity in the workplace.
- Jordanian national;
- Fluency in spoken Arabic and English;
- Exceptional writing skills in English and Arabic;
- A Bachelors degree required in the Social Sciences and/or a field related to USAID LENS’ core technical work;
- Experience in advocacy, with demonstrated results; experience with successful advocacy related to gender equality and/or women’s empowerment will be preferred;
- Prior experience in designing and implementing gender equality/women’s economic empowerment programs or activities, including those that have resulted in a change to social attitudes and/or power relations at the household, community, regional or national level;
- Strong knowledge of approaches to women’s empowerment and gender equality;
- Able to articulate the challenge and opportunity of diversity in Jordan’s economy;
- Deep understanding of complex and inter-related challenges to Jordanian women’s economic participation;
- Robust interpersonal, negotiation and persuasion skills that facilitate collaborative, effective working relationships with potential partners in the three areas of activity described in the Job Description above;
- Experience in event design and planning;
- Experience in design and delivery of training, especially related to business or gender;
- Strong writing and oral presentation skills;
- Extensive work experience in the Arab world, particularly Jordan.