Work at Sonke

Regional Prisons Advocacy Specialist

About Sonke

With a full-time staff of about 100 people working from offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Bushbuckridge, 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. In this way the organisation contributes to the development of societies in which men, women, youth and children can enjoy equitable, healthy and happy relationships that contribute to the development of just and democratic societies (see

About this position

The Regional Prisons Advocacy Specialist is responsible for coordinating Sonke’s regional work on sexual violence in prisons (SViP) housed in Sonke’s Policy Development and Advocacy Unit (PDA). Based in Cape Town, the Specialist will work closely with the national and regional prisons team and partners to develop and coordinate the implementation of Sonke’s interventions relating to and sexual violence in prisons in South Africa and regionally. The Regional Prisons Advocacy Specialist will also be responsible for reporting on the regional and national activities to donors, and for managing the budget for the project.

Key Functions:

  1. Coordinate Sonke’s work on SViP
    • Research
      1. Coordinate research and scoping exercises for new countries.
      2. Manage and support consultants and researchers.
    • Project management
      1. Coordinate advocacy interventions, partnerships and workshops.
      2. Supervise the PDA administrator to prepare logistical and administrative arrangements related to the coordination.
        This includes taking and disseminating the minutes of meetings and workshops, as well as other advocacy related
        matters taken up by Sonke and partners.
      3. Work with the Programmes Director for Advocacy, National PDA Manager / Sonke Prisons Lead as is required to
        convene project planning meetings for all meetings envisaged under the project.
      4. Conceptualise projects and develop detailed workplans with clear targets and timeframes, ensuring that all
        stakeholders understand their roles and responsibilities.
      5. Represent the project and Sonke’s regional prisons work in external fora.
    • Media engagement when necessary to support the advocacy goals of the project.
    • Reporting, monitoring and evaluation
      1. Submit all agreed upon reports (project reports, budgets, supervision reports, observation reports, team meeting
        reports, stakeholder meeting reports, etc), on a monthly and/or quarterly basis as required.
      2. Support the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Specialist in their monitoring and reporting activities for the project.
      3. Provide support where necessary to local implementing partners in their monitoring and evaluation processes.
    • Manage and coordinate project finances
      1. Ensure adherence to Sonke’s and the donors’ operational and financial policies, including proper preparation of
        requisitions, quotations and payments in liaison with the finance office for all project activities.
      2. Authorise payments as per Sonke’s levels of authorisation.
      3. Work with Sonke’s sub-grant manager to coordinate sub-grants to partner organisations.
    • Key Partnerships
      1. Maintain primary partnership with Just Detention International – South Africa.
      2. Develop and maintain strategic partnerships with relevant regional partners by attending meetings and
        documenting key agreed upon action items with stakeholders and then following through on commitments made.
  2. Resource Mobilisation and donor relations
    1. Support the PDA Unit Manager, the Resource Mobilisation Manager and the Executive Director with resource mobilisation for the PDA Unit to mobilise resources for existing activities and facilitate development of new initiatives in relation to GBV and SViP.
    2. Support resource mobilisation by drafting proposals, develop budgets and identify funding sources where appropriate.
    3. Produce donor reports and organise, on an as needed basis, donor meetings and feedback sessions.

Qualifications, competencies and experience

  • LL.B. and Masters in gender and human rights law or other related area.
  • Experience working in the NGO environment & with international donors.
  • Willingness to travel 30% – 40% of the time within Southern Africa.
  • At least 4 years of related research, policy, and advocacy experience.
  • At least 4 years of experience with programme development and management.
  • Demonstrated experience in mobilising resources.
  • Demonstrated experience coordinating complex projects or campaigns with multiple partners.
  • Demonstrated experience with project and personnel management.
  • Policy advocacy experience in the public interest, human rights, gender justice and prisons specifically, within Southern Africa.
  • Strong grounding in gender justice theory and research.
  • Track record of publications in academic journals, newspapers, magazines, etc.
  • Track record of presentations in conferences, seminars, and other public fora.


Cape Town


Negotiable dependent on experience and qualifications

Closing Date

24 June 2016