Head of Policy and Advocacy

Orchid Project
London, UK or Nairobi, Kenya
Full time Staff

About Orchid Project

Orchid Project has a vision of a world free from female genital cutting (FGC). They are a small but growing, dynamic not for profit organisation with a proven track record of delivering programmes, policy, advocacy and communications in support of an end to FGC.

More than 4 million girls a year are subjected to female genital cutting. This involves partly or fully removal of a girl’s external female genitalia. In the short term, it can cause serious bleeding, infection and sometimes death. It dramatically disadvantages girls for the future: many girls never return to school and are often forced into early marriage. As well as the physical damage, cutting significantly curtails the education, incomes, and independence of women and girls. It is a fundamental breach of the human rights of women and girls, and it causes lasting health, education, economic and social harm.

Many communities are ending cutting – and we know this can be accelerated to meet the world’s target of ending this practice by 2030 – but at the moment, the population is growing faster than the prevalence is falling, leading to a rising number of girls being cut each year. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, programme work to end cutting has been disrupted world-wide and an additional 2 million girls are now at risk of being cut in the next ten years according to UNFPA.  

The Role

The Head of Policy & Advocacy will take the initiative to drive all Orchid Project’s policy and advocacy, working closely with the CEO and Senior Management Team to develop strategy and plans for implementation.  

With knowledge and experience of policy and advocacy, you will be looking to bring your impressive expertise, proof of impact of your policy and advocacy work, as well as your enthusiasm to our thriving organisation. You will be able to inspire people with the vision of ending FGC, using your policy and advocacy experience to drive Orchid Project’s activities. You will be passionate about social change and making a real impact on the world, with valuable experience to bring to a growing charity. 

This is a key role for Orchid Project as they have expanded their ambition to accelerate resources and commitments to end female genital cutting.

The ideal candidate will relish the opportunity of having a high level of responsibility for delivery within the organisation. S/he will be a thoughtful and supportive line manager who is invested in the development of your department. S/he will also be happy to share your knowledge and experience with the wider team to benefit the whole organisation. Excellent presentation and interpersonal skills, along with the ability to write and present persuasively and in an engaging manner, are essential. Confidence in public speaking, as well as the ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously within a fast-paced environment is also vital. 

Person Specification


  • Significant experience in policy and advocacy work in human rights, women’s rights, international development or health sectors 
  • Passionate about human rights of women and girls and excellent knowledge and understanding of different advocacy channels, with an ability to use these as part of a policy and advocacy strategy 
  • Experience in developing and implementing high impact advocacy campaigns and strategies across influencing, research media and other approaches to influence governments and other audiences 
  • Strong interpersonal and facilitation skills that include experience with coordination, consensus-building and working well with diverse groups in global settings. 
  • Experience and confidence with influencers and politicians at an extremely high level 
  • Experience of writing successful policy briefs and positioning papers 
  • Excellent communicator, both written and oral –particular confidencein public speaking  
  • Experience of managing and developing a department, including budget setting and management and staff development 
  • Experience working online, with CRM software, in social media, and full office applications 
  • Able to work on own initiative, with flexibility and as part of a team. Demonstrable leadership experience and commitment to supporting organisational goals, with thorough understanding of ‘big picture’ context and Orchid’s position within the sector 
  • Fluent in English 
  • Excited to work in small growing charity, able to think strategically and make robust decisions 
  • Excellent organisational skills and ability to work under pressure to tight deadlines 
  • Sometimes willing to work outside office hours or at weekends, happy to travel overseas, sometimes at short notice 
  • Experience of working as part of a Senior Management Team 


  • Experience of a similar human rights-based issue 
  • Proficiency in French could be an asset, but not required 
  • Deep familiarity with at least one country where FGC is practised 
  • Experience in communicating and working with Board (desirable) 
  • Relevant professional qualification (desirable) 
Closing date: 
15th January 2021