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Policy Adviser (Principled Funding)

Requisition ID:  19339
Region:  Europe (HQ)
Contract type:  Max term contract

What we do


The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) works worldwide to provide humanitarian assistance to people affected by conflict and armed violence. We take action in response to emergencies and at the same time promote respect for international humanitarian law. We are an independent and neutral organization, and our mandate stems essentially from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. We work closely with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and with their International Federation in order to ensure a concerted, rational and rapid humanitarian response to the needs of the victims of armed conflict or any other situation of internal violence. We direct and coordinate the international activities conducted in these situations.

The ICRC’s Policy and Humanitarian Diplomacy Division


The ICRC’s HQ Policy and Humanitarian Diplomacy Division is part of the Department of International Law and Policy and plays a central role in developing and delivering the main institutional policy and diplomacy objectives of the ICRC as well as overseeing the ICRC’s delegation in New York. The Division works closely with the ICRC’s Presidency, the Department of Operations and across the institution to shape strategic policy objectives, design and deliver diplomatic strategies, and influence key ICRC stakeholders. The Division also works closely with the International Federation and National Societies on areas of mutual policy interest.

Context and Purpose of the position


Humanitarian principles are at the heart of the ICRC’s mandate and operations. This principled approach is core to the ICRC’s ability to deliver protection and assistance to affected populations. The sources and conditions of financing are an important parameter in the operationalization of a principled approach, as they have a bearing in operational scope and priorities, as well as on the perception and acceptance of the organization in countries where the ICRC operates.  


Over the years, the ICRC has developed a set of practices and internal mechanisms that directly or indirectly seek to protect and enable ICRC’s principled humanitarian action through the management of different dimensions of funding arrangements, as well as the ethical and reputational implications of funding relationships. These practices have only been partly formalized and need to be consolidated and enshrined in an internal institutional framework to guide the organization as it diversifies its income streams, engages with new types of donors/partners/supporters, in light also of the evolution in requirements and expectations of existing donors.


The Policy Advisor’s main role will be to lead research and analytical work on the issue of principled funding. The Policy Advisor will develop an institutional framework for the management of ICRC funding arrangements in support of the organization’s mandate and principled approach. The framework will cover the full range of existing and intended funding relationships including but not limited to: government bodies; international, multilateral, and international bodies, private individuals and organizations, civil society organizations.


The Policy Advisor will join a team composed of a handful of advisors who are collectively responsible for overseeing, developing, advising on, and communicating key internal and external policies of the ICRC, and for leading work on strategic policy objectives as agreed with the Head of the Policy team/Head of Division. The main duties of ICRC’s Policy Team are:


  • to conduct research and analytical work on policy areas that are anchored in ICRC operations and to develop significant knowledge and expertise in these areas;
  • to produce evidence-based policy reports and timely positions and recommendations;
  • to contribute subject-matter and methodological advice to reflections and products led by other teams;
  • to promote the findings of their research and positions through internal and external public engagement, as well as in bilateral engagements with representatives of States, international organizations and non-governmental organizations.

Main duties and responsibilities


Accountabilities and Responsibilities


Policy development:

  • Identifies and critically appraises customary and current practice in the management of principled financing considerations through desk review and interviews within the humanitarian sector;
  • Identifies key risks to a principled financing approach for the ICRC for orientation by relevant ICRC resource mobilization governance bodies;
  • Develops an internal policy framework outlining the ICRC’s approach criteria and evaluation process of principled financing considerations and shepherds the validation process.


External engagement and representation:

  • Builds/consolidates an external network of experts and practitioners to benchmark relevant practice among other comparable organizations;
  • Identifies key partners to engage in policy outreach around the issue of principled funding;
  • Represents the organization in external events as appropriate and as agreed with the Division.



  • Internally: The Policy Advisor will report to the Head of Policy team or the Head of Division, and will interact primarily with POL and REM teams, leadership and decision-making bodies such as the Funding Oversight Body, ICRC Directorate, ICRC Assembly.


  • Externally: Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement peers; experts and practitioners in the humanitarian and development financing sector (NGOs, UN, think tanks, private, multilateral and governmental donors and donor platforms).

Desired Personal Profile


The Policy Advisor needs a solid understanding of trends in the humanitarian sector, and experience of humanitarian policy and practice. They will need a proven ability to think, research, write, represent and persuade at high level. In particular, they need the following experience and skills:


  • Education: Masters level qualification in a relevant field;
  • Experience: 10 years in the humanitarian and/or policy sector, including with the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement; work experience with the ICRC at headquarters or in a management role at Delegation level is a distinct advantage;
  • Proven experience in formulating and/or implementing policy initiatives;
  • Outstanding writing and analytical skills, demonstrated by academic or policy work;
  • Sound conceptual and practical understanding of humanitarian principles and their operationalization, demonstrated through academic work at the highest standards and/or professional experience;
  • Solid knowledge of the humanitarian and development financing architecture;
  • A network of relevant contacts in the humanitarian or development policy sector is desirable;
  • Command of spoken and written English and fluency in French; other languages a plus;
  • Ability to communicate complicated issues in a simple and compelling way;
  • Ability to work fast and slow, that is, to produce quality content quickly in response to changing circumstances as well as to delve into topics in greater detail in longer-term projects;
  • Computer proficiency.

Additional information


  • Location: Geneva
  • Type of contract: Maximum-term contract
  • Duration of contract: 12 months
  • Grade: C2
  • Activity rate: 100% 
  • Estimated start date:ASAP
  • Application deadline: Sunday, the 10th of July 2022, 11:59PM GMT 


Are you ready for the next chapter of your career? Apply today!

The ICRC values diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive working environment. We welcome applications from all qualified candidates.