Policy and External Engagement Advisor, Health

Are you a passionate policy and external engagement professional and have a proven track record of government relations success? Do you have experience with international development policy and program trends and organizations, and understand how they relate to Canada’s international development and humanitarian priorities – especially around health, nutrition and SRHR? Do you have particular experience in humanitarian and fragile contexts? Do you thrive on navigating Ottawa’s political and legislative decision-making process? Do you get energized by working collaboratively on engaging a range of stakeholders to position an organization well? Have you worked on public engagement campaigns? Can you build consensus between organizations and individuals who have diverging interests and capacities?

Job Description: 

The Policy and External Engagement Advisor, Health position will be responsible for: 

Designing and implementing Government of Canada policy change strategies. The aim of this policy change is to ensure that Canada’s international development health policy and practice better serves the health and well-being of marginalized women, girls, and boys in all their diversity. This includes ad hoc, responsive, and short-term policy change opportunities as well as broader, strategic, and longer-term policy change.

Actively engaging government officials, the NGO sector, World Vision Partnership health advocacy/policy staff, global leaders in the field of health, World Vision supporters, and other stakeholders to position WVC as a go-to partner, program implementer and thought leader.  

The Advisor will engage – and lead – in relevant coalitions and represent WVC at external events. As both an experienced advocate and a subject matter expert, the advisor will be focused on Health, with a particular focus on Gender-Transformative Nutrition, and Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), and their impact on marginalized women, girls, and boys in all their diversity around the world.  Gender equality is a priority focus of WVC, as such, all duties and responsibilities will be undertaken through a gender equality lens.

This position works in close collaboration with Leads for Policy and for Government Engagement, the Senior Gender Advisor, the Program teams and with technical specialists.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Proactively identify and pursue emerging opportunities to influence the Government of Canada’s policies in health, SRHR and nutrition, especially in the context of fragility and the hunger crisis:

  • Actively monitor Government of Canada activity as it relates to Health, SRHR and Nutrition policy and priorities.
  • Proactively identify emerging policy opportunities and together with relevant stakeholders discern which opportunities are strategic and what are the best policy tactics to capitalize on the opportunities.
  • Lead the development and implementation of short and long-term policy change agendas.
  • Develop policy research and write a diverse range of policy products (reports, briefing notes, letters etc).
  • Engage in key stakeholder meetings; lead and or participate in internal teams and external coalitions to advance policy influence.

Support and/or lead WVC’s Health, SRHR and Nutrition positioning through targeted external engagement:

  • Proactively identify, scope and engage in opportunities that showcase WVC’s Health, SRHR and Nutrition programming, at a national (GAC and sector) and global level, in support of policy development, positioning and resource acquisition (support abstract development, event implementation, roundtable participation, etc.).
  • Assess and advise on WVC representation at events: objectives, key messages, talking points and lead/support collateral and briefing note development. 
  • Initiate and maintain external relationships with health focused governments, international funders and civil society partners, including CanWACH (SEPWG), the Nutrition Advocacy Working Group, the SUN movement, Standing Together for Nutrition, various GAC health teams, etc.
  • Provide policy and positioning advice and support to SUN Movement Secretariat (SMS) Gender Advisor as they lead the GTFN coalition.
  • Participate in regular World Vision Partnership policy and positioning coordination processes to facilitate coordination of positioning opportunities.
  • Function as a subject matter expert on health/SRHR/nutrition to speak in clear and compelling ways, in public fora, the media, and with individual supporters, across WVC stakeholder communities. 

Collaborate internally within WVC to develop joint strategy and messaging: 

  • Collaborate closely with Strategic Communications teams to advance short and long-term policy and external engagement objectives.
  • Review communication strategies, press releases and other communication tools to ensure alignment with policy and external engagement objectives.
  • Collaborate with Program Managers and Technical Specialists to draw out relevant field experience and realities and to ensure alignment of policy and external engagement priorities with resource acquisition objectives.
  • Support senior leader’s external engagements on health, SRHR and nutrition.

Qualifications required:

Education and Experience

  • Master’s level degree in International Development or Political Science with experience in health policy or a master’s level degree in Epidemiology, Public Health or a Health-related discipline, with experience in health policy. OR
  • Bachelors level degree in the same fields considered where work experience obtained provides sufficient grounding in policy development and international health issues. And
  • 5 years of policy influence experience with the Canadian government, including policy/advocacy positions in Ottawa or a comparable setting.
  • Demonstrated ability to identify and champion emerging issues with government partners.

Required Knowledge.

  • Good knowledge of health, SRHR, and nutrition issues in a developing, humanitarian and fragile contexts.
  • Good understanding of Canadian government operations and approach to health internationally.
  • Good knowledge of the state of play of Canadian and international stakeholders in health.
  • Demonstrated commitment to gender equality in the context of policy change/ government relation.
  • Proven knowledge of developing and implementing strategies for influencing Canadian government policy obtained by either working in a similar position in an NGO, for an elected official, or in a Government of Canada department.
  • Ideally, not be restricted from lobbying the federal government.

Critical Skills:

  • Outgoing personality, able to proactively build and maintain internal and external relationships.
  • Ability to engage in technical discussions with and to influence senior policy makers and other critical stakeholders on health issues.
  • Demonstrated ability to mobilize stakeholders into partnerships and alliances, lead and facilitate collaborative processes.
  • Experience developing, researching, and writing policy papers and briefs.
  • Ability to think strategically, synthesize complex information and develop innovative policy approaches.
  • Excellent and winsome communication and public presentation skills, both oral and written, for internal and external audiences.
  • Ability to effectively brief and support senior executives.
  • Flexible, self-starter, sense of humor, team player, able to work without supervision.
  • Excellent Microsoft Office skills, including Teams; comfortable working virtually.
  • Bilingual (English/French) strongly preferred.
  • Commitment to World Vision’s Vision, Mission and Values and ability to express those.
  • Ability to thrive in a cross-cultural and Christian faith-based environment.

Why consider us?

  • World Vision Canada has consistently been awarded Canada and GTA top employer awards. 
  • We are Canada’s largest development, relief, and advocacy non-profit organization. 
  • We embody an agile mindset here. 
  • We offer competitive pay and benefits. Our comprehensive health benefits start at day 1 which includes a Health Spending Account.  
  • We match pension contributions up to 6% and provide a top-up for pregnancy & parental leaves. 
  • We offer extra time off for restoration by closing for an additional day on long weekends, 6 times a year. 
  • We provide up to six weeks’ vacation, plus paid sick days, personal days & wellness days. 
  • We offer a family-friendly, caring, and flexible work environment.  

How to Apply:

Visit this page to apply. Please submit in one document your resume and a cover letter which describes how you fit the specific purpose and qualifications/critical skills of the position as well as answers the following: You’re going on vacation. Where is the 12-hour flight going? What did you pack? Who’s sitting next to you and what are you talking about? What snacks did you bring? Book or tablet?


November 21, 2022


December 12, 2022


Contract Position




World Vision Canada