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Internal Application: Advocacy & Policy Specialist

International Social Impact | New York, NY | Temporary

Job Description

Sesame Workshop is looking an Advocacy & Policy Specialist.   We are seeking a collaborative individual to support its humanitarian advocacy team in leveraging the research results and programmatic learnings from our refugee response initiatives to promote broader support for early childhood development and learning through play approaches in the system of humanitarian response. In particular, the Advocacy & Policy Specialist will draw on evidence and learnings from the Ahlan Simsim and Play to Learn programs supporting refugees and host communities in three different global crises. The Specialist will translate evidence and learnings from these initiatives into compelling messaging and specific products designed to influence humanitarian actors, donors, and refugee-hosting governments to increase prioritization of and investment in quality Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs that leverage learning through play in crisis contexts globally.


Please note:  This is a 1 year contract position to start. This position is based in New York City.  The right candidate will work remotely until our office reopens and once COVID-19 conditions allow.



  • Research and identify opportunities to share program evidence and learnings in journals, blogs, newsletters, and other outlets that advance the strategic advocacy goals of the Play to Learn project and demonstrate thought leadership.
  • Seek out opportunities for participation in webinars, events, conferences, and other convenings with advocacy target audiences in the humanitarian sector. Draft pitches, panel briefs, talking points, presentations, invitation copy, event summaries, and other event-related messaging.
  • Liaise with the advocacy, research, and monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) teams to develop a joint internal “resource center” with evidence and learnings from the Play to Learn and Ahlan Simsim programs that can be leveraged in advocacy targeting humanitarian actors, donors, and refugee-hosting governments.
  • Draft blogs, op-eds, newsletter blurbs, and other pieces that translate our research and program learnings into compelling messaging tailored to humanitarian actors, donors, and host governments. Consult with Sesame Workshop’s technical teams and partners as needed to inform the development of these evidence-based advocacy messages.
  • Draft copy for factsheets, briefs, letters, and other assets to be leveraged for advocacy targeting key stakeholders in the humanitarian sector.
  • Draft copy for Sesame Workshop social media channels to demonstrate thought leadership on ECD in emergencies and to amplify the dissemination of program evidence and learnings.
  • Work with the Senior Director of Program Monitoring and Evaluation in creating and implementing an evidence uptake strategy for use in advocacy work, including leveraging the products of Sesame’s own internal learning processes.
  • Research trends and opportunities in the humanitarian landscape to inform advocacy planning and messaging.
  • Support the Play to Learn team with donor reporting, evidence dissemination, and presentation creation as needed.
  • Work across humanitarian teams to maintain updated advocacy-focused messaging and a calendar of opportunities for engaging targeted audiences.



  • Must have the legal right to work in the United States
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience
  • Master’s degree preferred
  • 5+ years of advocacy, policy, or communications experience with demonstrated understanding of the humanitarian and/or international development systems
  • Demonstrated ability to use qualitative and quantitative data from project implementation and research to create advocacy messages and products
  • Expert in PowerPoint; strong overall computer skills
  • Experience working internationally strongly preferred
  • Experience with early childhood development or education issues preferred.



  • Be an excellent writer who loves to tell a great story (ex. blog posts, op-eds, presentations, fact sheets, talking points, concept notes, etc.)
  • Strong multi-tasker with excellent organizational skills
  • A proven interest in social change and commitment to work that reaches the most vulnerable

Equal Opportunity Employer/Minorities/Females/Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity