BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor      home    June news

"The Catholic Institute for International Relations is working on tackling the causes of poverty and injustice internationally through advocacy and skillsharing. We work with people of all faiths or none. We are seeking to recruit a Womenís Advocacy Officer two-year contract. The post-holder will work on womenís advocacy with CIIRís partners in East Timor." 

Womenís Advocacy Officer (East Timor)

(Initially 24 month contract commencing July 2001)

Salary: US$700 per month + benefits

The Catholic Institute for International Relations is working on tackling the causes of poverty and injustice internationally through advocacy and skillsharing. We work with people of all faiths or none. We are seeking to recruit a Womenís Advocacy Officer two-year contract. The post-holder will work on womenís advocacy with CIIRís partners in East Timor.

The Womenís Advocacy Officer will report to the Asia Regional Manager through the East Timor Programme Co-ordinator. She will play a lead role in developing CIIRís womenís advocacy programme in East Timor in close co-ordination with the ET Programme Co-ordinator (Dili-based) and the Asia Joint Programme Manager (London-based).

You should have at least 2 yearsí work experience in womenís advocacy in East Timor. Holding a degree qualification in sociology, politics or development studies, (or equivalent expertise gained through work/study experience), you must have a sound knowledge of East Timorese civil society organisations (CSOs) and NGOs and international NGO networks engaged in advocacy and development work. Travel within East Timor and occasionally outside the country is required, as is proficiency in English and at least proficiency in Tetum or Bahasa Indonesia or Portuguese. Applicants should be available to take up employment in late July or early August 2001.

Closing date for receipt of applications is June 26. Interviews are planned in Dili in July 2001 For further information (including job description and application form if not already available with this notice) please contact Ms Velasco in Dili or Ms Scott in London. Application forms should be completed and returned by email attachment (in Word format), by post or fax to:

Antonia Velasco, Programme Co-ordinator (DILI)

Email: or

Mobilephone: 0409295473

Catherine Scott, Asia Joint Programme Manager (London)

email: or

or Fax: 00 44 0207 359 0017

CIIR charity registration number. 294 329

Job Description:

Womenís Advocacy Officer,
East Timor
(Salary: Sterling US$700/month)

Reports to: Regional Manager, with responsibility for Asia region through the East Timor Programme Co-ordinator

The appointee is expected to establish good working relationships with all members of the Asia  team and all other Programme related staff, including London based Recruitment Section,  Finance Department and the Communications Unit.

Status: Two year contract.  Any extension will be subject to the issue of a new contract

Background information

The Catholic Institute for International Relations was founded in 1940 and is an independent charity which works with people of any religious belief or none, to overcome poverty and injustice in the Third World.  CIIR is committed to the pursuit of development based on democratic political and economic participation, social justice and gender equality.  CIIR strives to achieve this through the recruitment and placement of experienced professionals to share their skills in development projects in the Third World, through an advocacy and capacity building project with South-East Asian civil society organisations and through public education and advocacy work on CIIRís three organisational cross-cutting programmes of Social Justice and Human Security (SJHS), International Economics and Poverty (IEP) and Civil Society and Participatory Development (CSPD).

Skill sharing

 In the future, CIIRís will deploy Development Workers (DWs) in East Timor as the need arises in consultation with local partners. Currently, CIIRís East Timor Programme on skill sharing is focused on assisting the NGO Forum (FONGTIL) in advocacy capacity building and in developing a community work programme with a local womenís NGO partner outside Dili.


One of CIIRís three thematic advocacy programmes, i.e. the advocacy programme for International Economics and Poverty is located within the team managed by the Regional Manager for Asia. The two other regions (LAC and AME) have advocacy officers who covers the advocacy issues coming from those regions on the themes of Social Justice and Human Security and Civil Society and Participatory Development. Once fully underway  most activities will take place in the South / in the countries of CIIRís skillshare programmes but there will be some important UK and Europe based initiatives, including awareness raising visits by Southern delegation and the production of publications. This will build  on CIIRís combined years of  experience in both European based advocacy / lobbying work, and southern based skill sharing through development worker placements.  The programmes aim to bring a new cross-regional energy and multi-skills dimension to our work and will increase CIIRís impact on some of the key global issues affecting poor people.

Advocacy Capacity Building (ACB) Programme in South East Asia

One of the main lessons arising from CIIRís long experience in advocacy is the need and desire Southern CSOs have to increase their capacity to influence policy-making and policy implementation, not only at the national level but also regionally and internationally. Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have key roles to play in influencing governments and inter-governmental organisations (IGOs) to develop and implement policies that promote the rights of the poor and excluded, and to ensure improvements in the quality of their lives. To do this effectively, CSOs require strong and well developed advocacy capacities. Currently such capacities are spread unevenly among CSOs and across the region. Policy advocacy often involves a two-pronged strategy of engaging governments in policy discussions while putting pressure on those same governments. Advocates need the support of grassroots organisations to put pressure on governments and must therefore demonstrate that their policy proposals represent the interests of grassroots organisations. Hence, community organisation and other membership development techniques are essential tools for CSO advocacy work. However, government responses to civil society advocacy vary from country to country, according to the particular political culture and history, as well as the methods that are adopted by CSOs in presenting their case to policy makers. In April 2000 CIIR in collaboration with more than 100 CSOs in SEA launched a programme on Capacity Building for Advocacy. A-three person programme secretariat is bsed in Bangkok and supervised by a five-person Execom selected from members of the South East Asia Committee for Advocacy (SEACA). East Ngos through FONGTIL and CIIR-East Timor are partners of SEACA.

East Timor Country Programme

CIIR has had an information and international advocacy programme on East Timor since the Indonesian invasion of 1975.  Following the 1999 ballot result in which the East Timorese voted to separate from Indonesia, and the subsequent revenge-taking of the Indonesian army which led to the destruction of much of East Timorís infrastructure, CIIR decided to open a local office.

CIIRís five year programme plan for East Timor is working towards the empowerment of East Timorese Civil Society organisations so that they are able to promote development based on the principles of democracy and human rights, including, importantly, gender rights, with appropriate international support and development assistance.

       We intend to contribute our own experience, as well as that of our partners in relevant overseas programmes  in other continents in which we have been engaged, in order to ensure that:-
a) Women achieve a higher representation in decision-making and key leadership roles in national, regional and local structures.
 b) Strong, democratic, inclusive womenís organisations able to advocate on the needs of their constituencies are established.
c) Governments, IFIs, UN Agencies & International NGOs give attention to funding, resourcing and providing expertise to sustainable East Timorese development based on Human Rights, Gender Equity, and full participation.
d) CSOís Policy development in key decision-making fora is facilitated.
e) Institutional capacity of East Timorese CSOs to develop democratic, gender sensitive management structures is facilitated.
f) Reconciliation and peacemaking methodologies drawn from other post conflict societies in which CIIR has worked are shared with East Timorese and adapted and used as when appropriate to promote healing and catharsis.

Job description

Overall Purpose of the Role

The Womenís Advocacy Officer will work with CIIRís partner organisations in East Timor and support them in accordance with the aims and objectives of our 5 year programme.  The Advocacy officer will in particular be responsible for drawing up advocacy plans at a local, national and regional level.  With the London based Asia Joint Programme Manager, international advocacy strategies will be developed. The post holder will be expected to network extensively with organisations active in this field in East Timor.

Below is a list of the WAOís duties and responsibilities.  In practice the WAO will find herself focussing on a variety of duties according to the current demands and stages of development of the programme.

Advocacy Work

1. In consultation with partners, the ETPC and the AJPM, develop strong gender analysis rooted in the experience of CIIRís partner organisations that is advocacy-oriented.
2. To support the AJPM in influencing the policies of northern decision-makers (including the UK Government and the European Union) to bring tangible benefits to the East Timorese people.
3.    Together with the ETPC and AJPM, to develop and implement CIIRís advocacy agenda for East Timor and manage its relationship with the SEACA programme.
4.    In consultation with the ETPC and the AJPM as well as local, regional and international networks, collaborate closely to develop advocacy programmes as framed by our broad programmatic focus: (a) In relation to national, regional and local East Timorese decision-makers; (b) In relation to multilateral and bilateral organisations; (c) In relation to governments and institutions at the international level.
5.      In collaboration with the AJPM, to ensure that CIIRís partner organisations in
East Timor benefit fully from exposure and access to northern decision making fora and senior decision-makers.
6. Provide, analysis and support to CIIRís partner organisations, on request and assist them in the design of complementary advocacy strategies to influence the policies of local, national and regional decision- makers in East Timor.

7. Maintain and develop CIIRís relations with other organisations and networks in East Timor and South East Asia regionally that are advocating on the same and related issues.

Country Programme Development

8. To keep informed of the major political and socio-economic events in the country, to examine the development work being carried out by other bodies in the country, and together with the ETPC assess CIIRís options in that context.
9. To help to establish and maintain a national monitoring & evaluation group from among CIIRís partners as well as an advisory goup for consultation on programme policy and strategy.
10.  To contribute to the development and implementation of regional strategy and work .
11. To establish and maintain contact with project partners and potential partners who have in place, have requested, or might usefully employ CIIR development workers.

Monitoring, Budgeting  & Reporting

12. Prepare and prudently manage, together with the AJPM and the ETPC, the annual budget for the East Timor advocacy programme based on agreed and detailed work-schedules, and monitor these on a quarterly basis.
13. Work-schedules to be agreed with the ETPC in consultation with the AJPM.
14. The post-holder will report regularly in writing to the ETPC, and respond to reports/requests from London.
15. The post-holder will also contribute to the end of year reports (both narrative and financial) for funders, and help to prepare proposals and workplans at the beginning of each financial year.

Finance and fund-raising

16. The post holder will be expected to keep to a defined work-schedule and work within the confines of a budget. Expenditure should be carefully monitored in liaison with the ETPC.
17. The post-holder will, in consultation with the Programme Coordinator, the AJPM and the ARM, take responsibility for identifying sources of funding, preparing and presenting funding applications and ensuring that the necessary reporting takes place at appropriate times during the funding cycle.

Communications, information and public relations

18. With the AJPM, to keep the regional manager fully informed of major country and programme events  which are crucial to the management and development of the programme.

19. To maintain the flow of information to the regional manager, the AJPM and CIIRís External Communications Officers in order to enable CIIR to play an active role in fostering development education and campaigning. The ETWAO will be expected to identify issues of potential interest in this area.

20. With the ETPC to represent CIIR in relations with official national and international bodies in country, with government ministries, embassies, funding agencies, partners, the media etc.

21. To network with other CIIR staff in the region as part of regional strategy, and therefore be available for occasional regional and inter-continental travel.

22. The postholder will be self-sufficient in terms of word-processing, filing and other administrative/clerical tasks.

The selected candidate will have a six months probationary period. If this period is successfully completed s/he will be confirmed in post for a two year contract.
Any extension beyond two years will be the subject of a new contract.
The salary is £500 per month and paid in country from which the post-holder is responsible for paying their own tax.
Five weeks paid holidays per calendar year.
CIIR will make a contribution towards Accident/illness insurance for individual and for immediate dependents not exceeding £50/per month.
Training and briefings provided.

Contact CIIR for details of Person Specification and application forms.

Catholic Institute for International Relations  Updated Feb 8
"Tackling the causes of poverty and injustice internationally through advocacy and skillsharing."
CIIR works with people of all faiths and none.
Email Catherine Scott:  Homepage:  ETimor Webpage:
BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor      home    June news

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