Work at Sonke

Policy and Research Specialist

About Sonke

With a full-time staff of about 100 people working from offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Agincourt, Sonke works globally, and especially across Africa, to strengthen government, civil society and citizen capacity to take action to promote gender equality, prevent domestic and sexual violence and reduce the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS (see

About the position

The Policy and Research Specialist will lead on the IPN unit’s policy research and analysis work.

Key performance areas

1. Working with Partners:

  • Support and assist MEA focus country members to develop national policy advocacy strategies, based on agreed national priorities and findings of policy scans;
  • Support countries focused on MenEngage work to conduct policy advocacy activities based on advocacy strategies;
  • Support MenEngage networks to conduct their own ongoing policy analysis;
  • Implement joint national policy advocacy activities with identified strategic partners on human rights, SRHR, GBV and child rights.

2. Development of original policy advocacy tools

  • Work with partner organisations/stakeholders to develop a scorecard of positive parenting and child rights policies, using existing parenting analysis;
  • Complete SRHR RECs policy report; and
  • Develop a guide to conducting policy analysis.

3. Promotion of existing policy advocacy tools

  • Disseminate existing MEA national policy reports and research on engaging men
  • Develop policy advocacy knowledge hub out of existing analyses and tools to support policy advocacy in the region.

4. Be Involved with and support the following activities

  • Establish a campaigns and advocacy regional advisory council made up of key African advocacy organisations to strengthen MenEngage Africa’s advocacy and activism for gender equality, women’s rights, LGBTI rights, children’s rights and SRHR promotion;
  • Link MenEngage focus country members in conflict and post-conflict settings to identify strategic partners working on these issues.

5. Support research and analysis across the organisation

  • Undertake formative research at regional level with policy makers and parliamentarians, to better understand their attitudes, barriers to the drafting and implementation of gender equality laws and policies and ways to engage and support this group.
  • Support follow-up activities based on the results of the Malawi and Eastern DRC Images studies, including policy advocacy and support work with national government and campaigns.

6. Training and capacity building on policy advocacy

  • Provide regional training on policy advocacy to MenEngage members in collaboration with strategic partners;
  • Provide tools to MenEngage Africa focus country members to aid them in the implementation of activities including policy advocacy and campaigns

7. Co-ordination and guidance: International legal and Policy Specialist

  • Advocate for MenEngage focus countries to revise their NAPs on UNSCR 1325 to involve men as partners and allies;
  • Engage in ongoing advocacy towards the AU, EAC and SADC in terms of strengthening engagement with men and boys for gender equality, including work around UNSCR 1325, in order to provide technical input into their gender, human rights and health policies;
  • Engage with relevant organisations of the Pan African Parliament (eg. Gender, family, youth and People with Disability Committee) and the SADC Parliamentary Forum (eg. Standing Committee on Democratisation, Governance and Gender Equality), to strengthen the focus on engaging men in their work;
  • Support MenEngage Partners to understand and participate in global and regional policy processes, as part of regional training on policy advocacy;


  • Excellent organisational and planning skills with the ability to prioritise time and work effectively under pressure;
  • Exceptional networking skills, strong people skills with the ability to work under pressure;
  • Highly motivated, confident communicator with the ability to engage with people at all levels;
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to work across diverse cultural backgrounds;
  • Excellent writing skills in English and preferably another SA language; and
  • Excellent research & analysis skills coupled with thought leadership.

Qualifications and experience

  • Advanced degree, preferably LLM, MPH, or PhD in public health, health and human rights development;
  • Minimum of eight years experience in a senior management position;
  • Experience in promoting gender equality, preventing domestic and sexual violence and addressing HIV and AIDS, including work with men, preferably in Southern Africa;
  • Significant experience with donor liaison, strategy and proposal development is essential; budgeting and financial management skills; and
  • Excellent report writing skills, ability to make presentations coupled with strong problem solving and public speaking skills.


Cape Town or Johannesburg


Negotiable dependent on experience

Closing Date

7 March 2016