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Background:

In 2018, the UN High-Level Meeting on the Fight Against Tuberculosis and the resulting Political Declaration codified commitments made by country governments to mobilize resources and policies to meet ambitious targets to scale-up the global TB response. Support and resources for TB research and development (TB R&D) continues to be a critical pillar of the declaration and the Stop TB Partnership’s 5-Year Global Plan.

The world remains woefully behind in fulfilling its US $2.0 billion funding annual funding target for TB R&D. Public funders i.e. governments, remain the largest source of funding for TB R&D and play an important role in supporting science for new TB treatments, diagnostics, and vaccines. New tools across all these categories of research are needed and increasing government TB R&D funding remains a critical step to successfully realizing lifesaving innovations for TB treatment and prevention.

Treatment Action Group (TAG) engages in strategic advocacy to catalyze government commitments and political will to increase TB R&D funding. In addition to publishing an annual report tracking TB research funding trends, TAG has further devised a strategic methodology to split the $2.0 billion global target to country-level targets through a ‘fair-share’ approach based on resources currently used for R&D. Most recently, TAG released a brief on the cross-disease benefits of investments in TB research for informing tools to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Following success in high-income countries such as the United States in advocating for increased TB R&D funding, TAG is aiming to expand advocacy – using these and other tools where strategic – among governments of the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK), that are well-poised to grow their commitments to TB R&D and overcome the annual funding gap.

About TAG:

TAG is an independent, activist and community-based research and policy think tank fighting for better treatment, prevention, a vaccine, and a cure for HIV, tuberculosis, and hepatitis C virus. At TAG, we strive to reflect in our organizational composition and operations the values, principles, and rights for which we advocate externally. This includes a commitment to equity and justice, as well valuing diversity of experience, in our employment practices. We encourage Black, indigenous, and people of color; women; transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people; veterans; and people with disabilities to apply.

Description:

TAG is seeking a consultant to advance strategic policy-advocacy and resource mobilization efforts for TB R&D in the context of EU and UK global development cooperation. The consultant will be responsible for engaging policymakers, investigating legislative opportunities, and executing advocacy strategies in collaboration with TAG to increase TB R&D resources in the region. This consultancy is based either in the EU region or UK.

The consultant will serve as a strategic partner and liaison between the TAG Policy and TB teams on EU R&D funding issues, working and communicating closely with the teams on key developments in the EU and UK political landscape conducive to expanding TB R&D funding. This work entails representing TAG and facilitating collaboration between a range of partners, including civil society and coalitions. The consultant will have access to published TAG resources to inform strategy and approaches. Additionally the consultant will help advise the organization on additional advocacy tools needed to catalyze further action on TB R&D from the EU and UK governments.

Qualified candidates will have strong experience in global health advocacy and policy issues, as well as expertise in navigating political systems of the EU and European Commission. Experience and understanding of one or more country government political dynamics – e.g. UK, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway – is a plus. Candidates will also work within coalitions such as Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW), European Community Advisory Board (ECAB), the Global TB Caucus (GTBC) and serve on the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) multilateral workgroup. Organizational partners include Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (the Union), RESULTS UK, and the Stop TB Partnership.

Reporting: U.S. and Global Health Policy Director, with collaborative support from the TAG Policy team and TB Project Co-Directors

Total Budget: USD $15,000

Timeline:

  • June 2021 – December 2021 (extension contingent on availability of funding)
  • Expected weekly time commitment: 8-10 hours/week

Key Tasks:

EU Advocacy

  • Devise and collaborate with TAG on a strategic plan and timeline to coordinate advocacy to raise European government political will and funding for TB R&D.
  • Monitor legislative environment regarding research and development cooperation policies, especially those related to human health, rights and social development.
  • Establish partnerships with likeminded allies operating within the Brussels/EU advocacy space, including DSW and the Union and work collaboratively on alignment and advancement on strategies and advocacy with European R&D agencies and institutions.
  • Forge relationships with key members and targets of the European parliament (MEPs) and the Global TB Caucus to educate and legislate for increase TB resources; coordinate institutional dialogue with members of the European parliament, the European Commission, and the permanent representatives of the European Research Council Executive Agency (ERCEA), the European Research Council (ERC) and the Council of Development.
  • Identify advocacy opportunities, events, and activities to be carried out in the EU-Brussels to increase TB R&D, coordinate activities with support from the TAG Policy and TB teams.
  • Develop messaging, presentations and briefing papers for policymaker and stakeholder education; hold trainings with civil society stakeholders to capacitate and strategize on advocacy for expanding TB R&D.
  • Ascertain potential partners, extrapolate and apply strategies for advocacy with target EU member governments that are well positioned to increase TB R&D spending such as Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway.

UK Advocacy

  • Strengthen working partnerships with UK advocates and capacitate them on tools, frameworks and policy strategies to work with UK parliamentarians on increasing the government’s commitments to TB R&D.
  • Monitor opportunities within the UK Medical Research Council (UK MRC) and the UK Department for International Develop (DFID) to expand and resources for TB R&D.
  • Identify fiscal opportunities in the UK budget process and other legislative vehicles within the UK government.

Representation

  • Represent and collaborate with TAG in EU meetings and conferences related to biomedical research, development policy and other aspects related to EU polices or funding.
  • Be an active member on DSW coalition and contribute to dialogue on the GHTC multilateral workgroup.
  • Liaison and partner with members of civil society based in Europe, include TB People, ECAB and the TB Europe Coalition (TBEC).

Qualifications and Requisite Experience

  • Strong interest in global health and development policy issues.
  • Although not required, lived experience with TB is a plus.
  • 3-5 years of work experience in European advocacy, research, or health and rights or similar development issues.
  • Specific knowledge of TB funding and research issues.
  • Proven track record in networking and working in coalitions and alliances to build consensus to shared advocacy goals.
  • Deep knowledge and understanding of EU structures and decision making, financial instruments, EU development policies. Knowledge of individual EU members state government processes and policies a plus.
  • Experience with Brussels policy arena, and the role played by NGOs in the policy process and resource mobilization efforts in the EU.

Skills:

  • Sharp interpersonal skills – articulate and diplomatic. Ability to interact with diverse groups and to communicate effectively with officials, policymakers, stakeholders and civil society on the importance of TB R&D.
  • Strong verbal communication skills with the ability to work with a team, particularly to maintain consistent communication and regular follow-up with teams based in the U.S. (New York City and Chicago).
  • Excellent writing and verbal skills in English; fluency in another EU language (e.g. French, German, Portuguese) are a plus but not required.
  • Public-speaking – ability to speak articulately in meetings and conferences to posit interventions and ad-hoc opportunities for advocacy
  • Strategy – ability to capitalize on policy and fiscal opportunities and navigate complex government systems.
  • Policy analysis – maintain and analyze a portfolio of policies and legislation for advocacy.
  • Eagerness and willingness to learn quickly and adapt to new challenges with a rapidly changing policy and political environment.
  • Demonstrate initiative and ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Strong commitment to human rights, social justice, and diversity.
  • Willing to travel, should COVID-19 travel restrictions lift.

How to Apply:

  • Expressions of interest can be sent via email to jobs@treatmentactiongroup.org
  • Expressions of interest should include:
    • One-page (1) cover letter
    • Curriculum vitae (CV)
    • Three (3) professional references
    • Writing sample (5 pages max.)

Applications are due by May 24, 2021; applications received earlier will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Treatment Action Group is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, personal appearance, family responsibility, political affiliation or any other status protected by applicable law. People of color; women; transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people; veterans; and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. People with lived experience with TB are strongly encouraged to apply.

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