Strategic Partnership Advisor Vacancy in Ethiopia

Country: Ethiopia
Organization: Save the Children
Closing date: 1 Jan 2022

TITLE: Strategic Partnerships Advisor

TEAM/PROGRAMME: Child Rights Governance, Advocacy and Campaign, PDQI

LOCATION: Ethiopia Country Office with frequent travel to the field



CHILD SAFEGUARDING: (select only one)

Level 2: Le the post holder will have contact with children and/or young people either frequently (e.g. once a week or more) or intensively (e.g. four days in one month or more) because he/she works in country programs; or are visiting partners.


The Strategic Partnerships Advisor will use his/her in-depth contextual understanding, technical expertise, and relationship building skills to define and deliver strategic partnership based on the strategic partnership guideline, aligned with the Country Strategic Plan and Global Partnership Framework in Ethiopia. The Advisor will work to develop, review and strengthen our strategic partnerships with civil society organisations, institutional partners, government, the private sector, research institutions as well as our collaboration with different levels of government. S/he will also lead strategic partnership and project initiatives that strengthen the organisational capacity, ownership and agency of partners and civil society organisations to increase their effectiveness in contributing to the realisation of children's rights in Ethiopia. The role will support the design and implementation of monitoring and evaluation systems to demonstrate impact in line with our partnership principles in general and country office Strategic Partnership Guideline and other tools in particular, while sharing learning across our programmes, teams and partners. The role will work closely with colleagues across functions, building partnership brokering and strengthening skills and coordinating approaches to partner capacity strengthening. This role is responsible for monitoring trends that affect civil society in Ethiopia Country and it includes a focus on external representation on priority issues including on civil society strengthening, civic space, responsible partnering and localisation.

In the event of a major humanitarian emergency, the role holder will be expected to work outside the normal role profile and be able to vary working hours accordingly.


Reports to: Thematic Head, Child Rights Governance, Advocacy and Campaign, with functional management relationship with the partnership unit.

Staff reporting to this post: no direct reports but expected to provide coaching and mentoring support to operational and other technical colleagues and local partners

Budget Responsibilities: None

Role Dimensions: The role is expected to foster relationships with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders including Save the Children members, the Country Office Programme Development & Quality team, Program Implementation, Awards and Partnership Management, advocacy and campaign colleagues, Regional Partnership Advisors, technical counterparts in other organisations, donors etc. The role is also expected to engage with internal technical working groups and communities of practice.

Context: Mainly development context; but provides support in humanitarian settings as appropriate.

Scope: Ethiopia

Primary Technical area: Partnerships and Civil Society Strengthening

Primary Sub technical area: Child Rights Governance and Advocacy

Award funded: 70% funded from Sida CSO Program (2022-2026), 10% from Impact Fund and 20% from other sources.


Technical Leadership:

  1. Provide technical leadership on strategic partnerships and civil society strengthening for the Country Office, and set the strategic approach in relation to the wider country strategy. Ensure the participation of partners and civil society actors in the development or revision of Country Strategic Plans
  2. Lead strategic partner scoping processes, with focus on the diversification of partnerships and strategic partnerships, in line with the Country Strategic Plan (2022-2024).
  3. Provide technical guidance and build capacity of Country Office staff on strategic partnerships (e.g. Partnerships Framework, partnership brokering) and civil society strengthening.
  4. Lead organisational development activities and approaches for partner organisations.
  5. Support the piloting of innovative approaches to strategic partnerships, localisation and civil society strengthening with the goal of shifting power to children, communities and CSOs.
  6. Identify and analyse contextual trends in relation to civic space (with CRG colleagues) to inform advocacy strategies
  7. Support CSOs to have an increased opportunity for expand civil society space and civil society influence.
  8. Closely work with civil society partners, analyse the civic space and its implications for CSOs engagement in child rights in Ethiopia.
  9. Facilitate for an increased participation of CSO partners in national and regional policy and public dialogues in relation to the children.
  10. Champion diverse and strategic partnerships across the Country Office: work with colleagues across functions to raise the voice and uplift the profile of partners and children within the Country Office, across SCI and externally.

Ensuring Programme Quality (Design & Implementation):

  1. Work closely with new business development colleagues to identify and pursue funding opportunities for strategic partnerships; engage with technical partners, donors and colleagues across Save the Children.
  2. Serves as a primary TE to strengthen capacity of CSO partners implementing Sida CSO Program (2022-2026).
  3. The strategic partnership advisor will have a broader role under PDQI to strengthen strategic partnership to achieve the strategic goals and promote sustained change for children's rights.
  4. Lead the technical scoping, planning, and design and proposal writing during new programme development on strategic partnerships, and ensure that we design and deliver high quality partner-led programmes for children, building on global best practice. Ensure that gender, disability, resilience, child rights programming, considerations are reflected in our programme design and implementation of strategic partnership.
  5. Work with technical and implementation colleagues to ensure that the country strategy and related processes, and individual programmes, are designed jointly with strategic partners.
  6. Provide oversight and guidance to the programme implementation teams to ensure that civil society strengthening programme or localisation components are technically sound, implementation methods are consistent with national and global strategies, acknowledged good practice; and are likely to achieve scale, as well as equitable and sustainable results.
  7. Work with Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability & Learning (MEAL) teams to conduct quality monitoring through participatory methodologies (including child-friendly methodologies), for example on civil society strengthening activities and on the quality of partner relationships;
  8. Contribute towards the creation of an organisational learning culture that promotes the use of data, evidence and analysis and understands its link to quality and accountable programming;
  9. Undertake field visits to partner offices project sites; work with partners and implementation teams to understand impacts, risk, operational challenges, and continuously identify opportunities for learning and improvement.
  10. Contribute to organisational learning on partnerships, civic space, civil society strengthening and localisation, ensuring that learning from our programmes and from our actors is shared across the thematic sectors and our partners, as well as with colleagues in the wider regional and Partnerships community in Save the Children.
  11. Ensure that partnership and localisation approaches are embedded into emergency response strategies.
  12. Working closely with Partnership Unit, conduct partner assessments (using SC assessment processes and tools) and design and deliver emergency response and recovery programmes. Ensure synergies between humanitarian partnership teams, data and programme design.

Networking & External Engagement:

  1. In alignment with Country Office strategy and leadership, engage in strategic positioning with donors, Civil Society partners and government in-country, and ensure that Save the Children is a partner of choice.
  2. Engage in partnership brokering, supporting colleagues in this area where requested
  3. Ensure that Save the Children is influencing and learning from others through national technical coordination and networking bodies such as clusters and working groups where relevant.
  4. Strengthen civil society engagement in national dialogues and policy processes through working closely with advocacy and child rights governance colleagues. Ensure that the voices of children are represented in our partnerships and localisation work.
  5. Leverage and liaise with technical colleagues from across Save the Children, including technical working groups and centres of excellence, ensuring that learning from the Country Office is shared with others and global lessons brought back.

BEHAVIOURS (Values in Practice)


  • holds self-accountable for making decisions, managing resources efficiently, achieving and role modelling Save the Children values
  • holds the team and partners accountable to deliver on their responsibilities - giving them the freedom to deliver in the best way they see fit, providing the necessary development to improve performance and applying appropriate consequences when results are not achieved.


  • sets ambitious and challenging goals for themselves and their team, takes responsibility for their own personal development and encourages their team to do the same
  • widely shares their personal vision for Save the Children, engages and motivates others
  • future orientated, thinks strategically and on a global scale.


  • builds and maintains effective relationships, with their team, colleagues, Members and external partners and supporters
  • values diversity, sees it as a source of competitive strength

  • approachable, good listener, easy to talk to.


  • develops and encourages new and innovative solutions
  • willing to take disciplined risks.


  • honest, encourages openness and transparency; demonstrates highest levels of integrity

The post holder must commit to work in an international agency that respects racial diversity and fights racism in all forms; and to model positive behaviours and respect to all colleagues, partners and communities.


  • Master's Degree in social sciences, development, organisational leadership, international relations, or relevant field. Extensive and substantive relevant practical experience may be considered in lieu of a Master's Degree.


  • At least 5 years' experience in the design and implementation of development and/or humanitarian programmes, with at least 2 years' experience in partnership based programming.

  • Track record of engaging civil society networks, NGOs, and government agencies in Ethiopia.

  • Familiar with partnership principles, participatory approaches, organisational capacity development methodologies and the localisation agenda.

  • Demonstrated experience in developing and leveraging partnerships for strategic achievement of organizational goals and mutually beneficial relationships

  • Experience in organizational capacity development and significant training, facilitation and capacity building skills

  • Track record in successful business development/fundraising partnership.

  • Demonstrated program design, monitoring and evaluation skills, including co-designing pathways to sustainable impact at scale.

  • Experience of strategy development and planning.

  • Excellent conceptual and theoretical understanding of the rights based approach and civil society, as well as human rights and/or children's rights.

  • Experience in networking and representation focusing on localization, civil society strengthening, access or the involved in civil society in influencing and advocacy.

  • Able to generate and use data and evidence on what works and what doesn't work for partnerships and civil society strengthening.

  • Experience of promoting quality and impact through at least one cross-cutting area: gender equality and inclusion, adaptive and safer programming; child rights; disability; migration and displacement.

  • Skilled at networking and representation in order to promote learning, strengthen civil society and mobilise and coordinate resources.

  • Fluent in English and high level of English writing skills.


Technical competencies:

  • Inspires others to embrace the values and principles that underpin partnerships and the localisation agenda (Leading edge)
  • Leads formal and informal engagement with diverse, strategic partners based on shared, long-term visions (Leading edge)
  • Promotes the unique role of Save the Children in partnerships to promote the rights of children (Accomplished)

Generic Competencies

  • Being the Voice of Children: Promotes evidence-based policy and public engagement that includes the voices of children and their communities
  • Advancing Equality & Inclusion: Displays a commitment to ensuring everything we do considers the most deprived and marginalised children.

Additional job responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities as set out above are not exhaustive and the role holder may be required to carry out additional duties within reasonableness of their level of skills and experience.

Equal Opportunities

The role holder is required to carry out the duties in accordance with the SCI Equal Opportunities and Diversity policies and procedures.

Child Safeguarding:

We need to keep children safe so our selection process, which includes rigorous background checks, reflects our commitment to the protection of children from abuse.

Safeguarding our Staff:

The post holder is required to carry out the duties in accordance with the SCI anti-harassment policy

Health and Safety

The role holder is required to carry out the duties in accordance with SCI Health and Safety policies and procedures.

How to apply:

Please follow this link to apply:

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