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  • Full-Time

Job Description



The Somali Dialogue Platform (the ‘Platform’) is a multi-year programme funded by the FCDO, USAID, BUILD and MFA Denmark. The Platform provides a neutral space for dialogue on contentious issues in Somalia’s political settlement, such as designing and implementing elections or clarifying the federal settlement. The overall goal of the Platform is to ensure a‘high-level and sufficiently inclusive range of political stakeholders regularly and constructively negotiate and seek solutions on contentious political settlement issues in trusted, Somali-owned dialogue spaces’.

The Rift Valley Institute is seeking a highly experienced and dynamic person to manage the Platform’s political engagement work. The Engagement Lead has overall responsibility for delivery of the Platform’s engagement activities, designing dialogue, negotiation and mediation activities that advance discussions on critical political settlement issues in Somalia. The Engagement Lead will work closely with the Team Leader and the Platform’s Research Lead, to design relevant activities based on a rigorous analysis of political dynamics and the Platform’s principles and theory of change. S/he will collaborate with partner organizations and a network of Platform Representatives to deliver collaborative and inclusive engagement activities that will achieve the overall objective of facilitating a stronger political settlement in Somalia.


Title: Engagement lead, Somali Dialogue Platform

Location: Nairobi or Mogadishu, with frequent travel

Employment type: Full-time

Reporting to: Team Leader, Somali Dialogue Platform

Salary range: $50,000-$53,467, depending on experience. Other benefits include 28 days annual paid, health insurance, pension plan, travel allowance, and flexible working hours (subject to negotiation). All programmatic roles are subject to renewal depending on available funding.

Application deadline: 27 November

Start date: As soon as possible

Description of Duties

Leading the Platform’s political engagement work

  • Lead the conceptualisation, planning and implementation of the Platform’s engagement activities.
  • Design dialogue and mediation processes, drawing on the Platform’s analysis to identify relevant stakeholders and partnerships, and to sequence events.
  • Organise dialogue events that facilitate meaningful discussion on contentious political settlement issues.
  • Represent the Platform in engagement activities, conducting bilateral meetings with key political actors facilitating workshops with counterparts, including in the Somali government.
  • Develop strong collaborative partnerships with Somali organisations to deliver engagement activities.
  • Identify, recruit, and manage a team of Platform representatives and support them in the delivery of the Platform’s engagement activities
  • Liaise with the Research Lead to ensure research and analytical outputs support the needs of Somali stakeholders.
  • Ensure engagement meetings are documented and data captured to support Platform research and analysis.
  • Act as the liaison between the engagement team and the Programme’s Advisory Group

Supporting effective programme management

  • Line manage the Engagement Officer providing support and oversight, and agreeing and reviewing performance goals and professional development
  • Support the evidencing and communication of the impact of engagement activities, by recording engagement events, and follow-up with event participants.
  • Lead on financial management for the Platform’s engagement activities, ensuring procedures are followed and there is value-for-money
  • Prepare donor reports on progress and strategy in engagement activities
  • Monitor, escalate and mitigate political risks arising from the Platform’s engagement work.


  • Relevant postgraduate degree in political science, social science, development studies or equivalent
  • Over five years proven experience in designing, managing, and leading peacebuilding, mediation or civic engagement programmes in fragile contexts, including in Somalia
  • Demonstrable passion and commitment to the Platform’s core vision and principles
  • Able to develop a clear strategic vision for building dialogue on complex political issues, and mobilise a team of collaborators and partners towards that goal
  • Able to develop and maintain relationships with high-levels stakeholders and partners, including government counterparts and the international community
  • Excellent understanding of current and historical political dynamics in Somalia and extensive networks with an inclusive range of Somali political actors
  • Thematic expertise in the Platform’s focus areas of work, including democratisations, elections, constitution-making and federalism
  • Experience developing and managing teams and collaborative partnerships to achieve peacebuilding objectives, including line management of relevant staff members
  • Track record in effective programme management, including supporting M&E, donor reporting, and managing donor relations •    Experience in programme financial management
  • Excellent Somali facilitation and presentation skills
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills
  • An ability to teach others about conflict resolution processes
  • Fluency in written and spoken Somali and English 


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