Cowater International Inc.

Social Protection Policy Advisor (Support to MINALOC)

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Last update: Jun 5, 2023 Last update: Jun 5, 2023


Deadline: Jun 10, 2023 Deadline for applications has passed
Location: Rwanda Rwanda
Job type:Contract, 12 months +
English, KinyarwandaEnglish, Kinyarwanda
Work experience: Min 10 years
Date posted:Jun 2, 2023


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Note: Another vacancy has opened up for this position. Candidates who previously applied for the first vacancy are being considered and we encourage new candidates to apply by June 10, 2023.

Job Title: Social Protection Policy Advisor (Support to DG LODA)
Sector: Social Protection; Governance; International Development
Position Type: Fixed term
Duration/Level of Effort: March 2023 – March 2025
Position Location: Kigali, Rwanda with travel as required by project. Based in MINALOC unless working remotely for field visits, retreats, workshops or training events. 
FCDO’s Exiting Poverty in Rwanda (EPR) Technical Assistance Facility
The FCDO has been a key partner in developing Rwanda’s social protection sector since the inception of the Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme (VUP) in 2008. The first phase of support to the social protection in Rwanda (2009-2014, £34m) focused on supporting the Government of Rwanda (GoR) to set up VUP. The second phase (2013-2018, £62.4m) focused on expanding the VUP, both in terms of geographical reach and in terms of reaching the most vulnerable and excluded in Rwanda.
The Exiting Poverty in Rwanda (EPR) Programme is the third phase of support and aims support people to exit poverty at the same time as protecting Rwanda’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens in the future. This is likely to be the last UK-funded programme supporting Rwanda’s social protection sector that involves financial resource transfer at this scale so greater focus will be on influencing the wider policy context for social protection (SP), strengthening systems and building capacity and building long-term sustainability.
FCDO’s support in this phase will go beyond the VUP programme to provide essential financial and technical assistance to support Rwanda to establish a robust, domestically financed, inclusive and comprehensive SP sector. The Technical Assistance (TA) Facility is therefore designed to support the effective implementation of its Social Protection Sector Strategic Plan (SP-SSP) and ultimately a strengthened national social protection system. To do so, the TA Facility provides technical expertise and capacity building to the Government of Rwanda, specifically the Ministry of Local Governments (MINALOC) and the Local Administrative Entities Development Agency (LODA) and supports the delivery of FCDO’s EPR programme.
The intended outcome of EPR is to enhance the resilience of vulnerable men, women and children and of the social protection system that helps sustain them. To achieve this outcome, the EPR TA facility will contribute towards the following outputs:

  • Developing institutional capacity and strengthening systems for evidence-based planning, strategic sector management, and effective SP service delivery enhanced.
  • Improving access to more effective core social protection programmes for selected vulnerable groups to more effective core social security instruments.
  • Design of a shock-responsive social protection (SR-SP) component together with operational guidelines and a system for implementing SR-SP established.
  • Strengthening linkages between SP and complementary services that enable sustainable graduation from extreme poverty strengthened.

As service provider to FCDO for the effective delivery of the EPR TA Facility, Cowater will implement the TA programme under four components as follows:

  • Design and manage a TA Facility to support implementation of the Government of Rwanda’s SP-SSP and FCDO’s EPR programme;
  • Deliver capacity building interventions through technical inputs and advice, training and workshops, mentoring and coaching of government technical personnel and undertake studies and research;
  • Drive forward the design, piloting and scale up of innovations within the Social Protection sector as set out in the SP-SSP and EPR Business Case, which includes work on graduation, shock responsive SP and categorical grants (moving towards universal coverage as per SP-SSP and Vision 2050).
  • Manage a TA Strategic Fund in close collaboration with GOR and FCDO.

Based in Kigali, Rwanda, the Social Protection Policy Advisor (Support to MINALOC) will provide policy and technical support to Senior Management MINALOC (and for some interventions, to LODA, ensuring that MINALOC and LODA are moving together) in collaboration with the EPR TA team.
In this full-time role, the Social Protection Policy Advisor will work with the MINALOC senior management team (supported by the EPR TA Facility team) to help ensure that the MINALOC delivers against its identified outcomes and outputs.
The Social Protection Policy Advisor will work in MINALOC to efficiently and effectively by contributing to and delivering against an agreed work plan, reporting to the Team Leader.  He or she will build strong working relationships with MINALOC senior management involved in the design and management and monitoring of social protection policy and strategy.
Technical (policy analysis, advice, and capacity building on Social Protection):

  • Provide high-level social protection policy advice to social protection decision makers in MINALOC.  This will involve providing regular and timely policy advice for the Minister of State for Social Affairs, the Permanent Secretary, the Director General for Social Affairs, and the Director General for Planning and M&E.
  • Strengthen SP Policy makers and senior managers understanding of developments in social protection international context, what works and what doesn’t in other countries and what might be relevant for Rwanda. This can be done through short training events, presentations and by organising study tours as well as coaching and mentoring.
  • Provide technical advice on the development of new social protection interventions in line with the Sector Strategic Plan and Policy, working with SP decision makers in MINALOC. This will include interventions such as graduation packages, shock-responsive social protection, nutrition, and vulnerability focused social protection instruments and categorical grants.
  • Conduct strategic analysis, write, and contribute to policy papers which contribute to the strengthening of the social protection sector in Rwanda in line with the SP-SSP and Policy.
  • Provide support to the Sector Working Group, subcommittees, and secretariat in the areas of planning and budgeting, targeting and results framework and lesson learning, including preparing reports to the SWG meetings, producing recommendations on improving M&E systems and targets. Reporting will include information on beneficiaries (gender, disability, inclusion), financing and the operations of CSOs and NGOs.
  • Track progress against the Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs) as described in the MOU between FCDO and the Government of Rwanda.


  • Maintain strong working relationships with Government of Rwanda counterparts. Counterparts will include the Permanent Secretary, Minister of State and the Directors General for Social Protection and Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.  The Policy Analyst will work closely with the Advisor to the Permanent Secretary financed by the TA Facility in this area.
  • Support MINALOC Senior Management prepare for, organise, and deliver intra- and inter- Ministry meetings, workshops and training events on social protection issues.
  • Work with Ministry and LODA staff, local SP specialists and SP institutions, international consultants to contribute to the evidence base on social protection to improve effectiveness and impact.
  • Mentor and coach MINALOC staff working on social protection, planning monitoring and evaluation to build capacity in the following areas (i) to develop innovative and effective policy, (ii) design social protection interventions from approved policy (iii) planning and (iv) monitoring sector-wide social protection implementation.
  • Assist in the collection analysis and presentation of data on the effectiveness of policy and policy implementation.

Supporting the TA Facility interventions

  • Act as a focal point for the EPR TA Facility within MINALOC, coordinating TA Facility interventions which impact on MINALOC and ensuring that MINALOC is aware of progress in the implementation of the TA Facility workplans.
  • Participate and actively contribute to EPR team planning sessions.
  • Contribute to annual work plans, participating in strategic teamwork planning sessions and writing relevant sections of the work plan as necessary.
  • Contribute to donor reporting, including quarterly and annual reports, annual reviews, and ad hoc requests for information, as required.


  • Appropriate level of academic education in a relevant field, including political science, development, or another relevant discipline. Master’s level degree preferred.

Minimum Experience:

  • Minimum 10 years of experience working in Rwanda.

Essential Skills:

  • Knowledge of the current principles and practice of social protection in Rwanda and the region – international experience would be an advantage.
  • Demonstrated expertise and knowledge of specific Social Protection policy, programme and implementation issues in Rwanda.
  • Knowledge of the policy development process in Rwanda
  • Strong analytical skills, political awareness and experience of working closely with and providing technical advice to, government officials, including at Ministerial level.
  • Excellent communication and stakeholder management skills, with a proven ability to gain trust, build strong collaborative working relationships and effectively engage with high level stakeholders (in particular with government).
  • Demonstrated ability to provide advanced capacity building, including through coaching and mentorship.
  • Excellent presentation skills
  • Excellent report writing skills

Language Proficiency:

  • Strong communication and diplomacy skills with the ability to speak/read/write in English and Kinyarwanda.

Candidates are encouraged to apply by June 10, 2023.
For your application to be considered, please upload your documents as followed: Candidate Last Name, First Name, date, Title of the Position.
Cowater International is an equal opportunity employer, basing employment on merit and qualifications as they relate to professional experience and position expectations. Cowater does not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, religion, sex, gender identity, disability, age, or any other basis protected by law.
We thank all applicants, however only those shortlisted will be contacted.
Cowater International is a leading global development consulting company founded in 1985. Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada and with corporate hubs in Montreal, Canada, Brussels, Belgium, and London UK. Cowater International has successfully delivered a portfolio of over 2500 projects and assignments in more than 95 countries. We work with governments, private sector actors and communities implementing projects that support socio-economic development, institutional strengthening, environmental improvements and advance equal opportunities for all. We are a diverse and experienced team committed to building a better tomorrow for the people we serve. Our adaptive approach to management has led to our yearly award-winning work and recognition as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies since 2017.
We thank you for your interest in building a better tomorrow with Cowater International.

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