Position Available: Policy and Advocacy Officer

The Roma Education Fund’s (REF) mission and ultimate goal is to close the gap in educational outcomes between Roma and non-Roma. In order to achieve this goal, the organization supports policies and programs which ensure quality education for Roma through scholarships, grant making and advocacy activities. The objectives of REF include:

•  Expanding Romani children’s access to quality early childhood education and care

•  Improving primary education outcomes for Romani children aged six to fourteen

•  Boosting academic performance and graduation rates from secondary education for Romani pupils

•  Supporting access to tertiary education, improving graduation levels and strengthening identity of Romani university students

•  Expanding employment opportunities for young Romani adults

The Roma Education Fund operates its activities in close links with civil society and institutional partners in 16 countries of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. 

Candidate Profile: The Roma Education Fund seeks a Policy and Advocacy Officer who will be responsible for developing and advocating for REF’s strategic goals and objectives. The Policy and Advocacy Officer is part of the Research & Advocacy department and will report to the Research Manager. The candidate should be a skilled professional with at least 5 years’ advocacy experience on educational policies or human rights.  

Purpose of Position: The Policy and Advocacy Officer will provide legal and policy analytical backing to REF activities and coordinate the advocacy targets of REF Network of Foundations. The work of the Policy and Advocacy Officer will contribute to the strategic positioning of REF model and program interventions, ensure that tools and models developed and used by REF generate intended change in school systems towards quality, inclusive and affirmative education from which Roma children and youth can benefit.


  • Work closely with Research Manager on implementing REF’s strategy priorities.
  • Participate in REF advocacy activities by liaising with relevant Ministries and attending conferences and seminars; prepare and present papers and contribute to the policy dialogue with relevant institutions.
  • Conduct regular analyses of the legal and policy environment of education in the REF countries.
  • Design concise and well-articulated policy advocacy plans and targets in line with REF strategy and operations.
  • Provide support to Program Managers, Communications Program, Fundraising Committee, and other REF staff, in advancing REF policy positions, including uniformed advocacy tools and techniques.
  • Promote visibility among stakeholders of the good outcomes resulting from REF implemented projects, and those supported by REF.
  • Lead advocacy campaigns, networking initiatives/events, coalition building initiatives.
  • Solicit, monitor and evaluate outsourced advocacy actions, and their outcomes
  • Participate in REF internal and external reporting, including donor reporting, by providing input on advocacy activities and results.


  • Master’s degree in social sciences such as Law, Human Rights, Public Policy, etc.  
  • Demonstrated experience (minimum 5 years) in design and carrying out analytical and advocacy related work.
  • Proven records for achieved advocacy results or policy influence in any sector.
  • Knowledge of issues related to education of minorities in Central and Eastern Europe, in particular on Roma education issues is an advantage.

Skills Required

  • Experience with Roma inclusion policies, programs and projects
  • At least a general knowledge of education issues and development challenges/trends in REF countries
  • Ability to work effectively and sensitively with a very wide range of stakeholders: Roma people, Roma organizations, governments institutions at all levels, international agencies, academic institutions, foundations, non-governmental and civil society organizations, educational leaders
  • Ability to supervise multiple positions/interventions
  • Familiarity with the international policy environment in Europe
  • Excellent spoken and written English
  • Excellent public speaking and advocacy skills
  • High personal integrity
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to details
  • Ability to plan, organize, coordinate and complete multiple work assignments in a timely manner
  • Working knowledge of Romanes and/or any language spoken in countries of Central and Eastern Europe in which REF is active is considered as an advantage
  • Ability to work in a multicultural team in various contexts
  • Commitment to and passion about the REF mission 

Start Date:  ASAP

Location: Budapest

Compensation: The successful candidate will receive highly competitive compensation package

Please send a letter of interest and your professional CV with at least three references to ajelasity@romaeducationfund.org by March 8, 2017.