Job vacancy for policy officer political and cultural affairs

The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Sri Lanka is looking for a policy officer political and cultural affairs! Read more details of the job below. Do you fit the brief and want to join our team? We look forward to receiving your cv and motivation letter before 11 April via an email to col@minbuza.nl.

Description of duties

Policy and advice

Supply regular oral & written reporting (analyses) to the (Deputy) Head of Mission (HoM) on the following main topics:

  • Developments in the area of cultural heritage and contemporary arts relevant to the Netherlands context and policy.
  • Political developments in Sri Lanka and if opportune the Maldives, especially those that have an impact on governance, human rights and rule of law.
  • Geo-political developments in and around Sri Lanka (and the Maldives) and its relevance to the Indo-Pacific region (in collaboration with the Economic Policy Officer).

Provide high quality advice on policy development (Multi-Annual Country Strategy, Annual Plan) on the main topics and advice effective ways of implementing policy (strategy/approaches). Pro-actively review the advice when context changes or new opportunities arise.

Follow and explain independently the Dutch policies and priorities on cultural heritage & cooperation and inclusive, sustainable development (including governance, human rights and gender equality) to the Sri Lankan public.

Effectively represent the Embassy in functions, policy dialogues, multi-stakeholder processes and participate in EU coordination.

Pro-actively scout outreach/network opportunities for the (Deputy) HoM and prepare and follow up on meetings with public, private, CSO and academic representatives, including speaking notes and speeches.

Project management

Implement the strategies/approaches by developing them into (multi-/annual) projects and activities on the main topics.

Plan and implement existing and new projects and activities in line with the Multi-Annual Country Strategy and Annual Plan. Pro-active partnership building by reaching out to the public, private, CSO and academic sector.

Identify and act on cross-sectoral opportunities, notably in the economic and agricultural sector (other priority sectors of the Embassy), and cross-linkages with the reconciliation and sustainability agenda.

Collaborate with organisations (e.g. Cultural Heritage Agency, Prince Clause Fund, NGOs, universities) and the ministry in the Netherlands to find and act on opportunities. Pro-actively explore and use funds and programs developed by the Dutch government that are open for Sri Lanka.

Communication and social media

Advice and prepare the (Deputy) Head of Mission on communication and engagement with the media.

Develop and implement the Public Diplomacy and Netherlands branding agenda of the Embassy, together with other colleagues.

Organise Public Diplomacy events and provide content for websites and (social) media.

Embassy team efforts

Being part of the Embassy event team on a rotating basis to co-organise Embassy events (e.g. national day).

Maintain online workspaces (Sharepoint sites), register contacts and archive work as per the Embassy rules.

Any other task assigned to the Policy Officer on the basis of professional capabilities and capacity as deemed necessary.

Description of result areas

Effective contribution to the Embassy’s activities and discussions on key policy and strategic issues (also including economic, agricultural and consular affairs) and provision of guidance related to the national context.

Reporting and advice regarding policy development in the fields of cultural heritage & contemporary arts and political developments, including governance, human rights and gender equality.

Effective implementation of policy: identify, develop, appraise, monitor and evaluate projects and activities in those fields.

Satisfied clients: day to day cooperation with Dutch and Sri Lankan partners.

High quality and timely support to the (Deputy) HoM.

Maintaining and expanding the cultural and political network of the Embassy.

Integration of the cultural and political activities in broader agenda of Embassy (cross-sectoral approach).

Pro-active outreach resulting in long-term multi-stakeholder partnerships.

Written and verbal representation of the Embassy to existing and new audiences in line with its mission, vision and Code Of Conduct.

Work environment

Description of the mission & physical environment

The focus of the Embassy in Sri Lanka is on sustainable economic development, cultural cooperation, consular services and politics and inclusive governance. The Embassy also covers the Maldives.

Over the years, the gradual reduction of the expatriate staff of the Embassy has led to increased responsibilities for local staff members. We now have a dedicated team of 11 staff members (3 expatriate, 8 local) and one Honorary Consul in the Maldives.

Staff members work in a secured office which also includes the consular section. Due to COVID, staff work at the Embassy and/or from home on the basis of a rotation schedule.

Composition of the team

The Policy Officer will work to a large extent independently on the basis of the Annual Plan and Multi-Annual Country Strategy. His/her performance will be evaluated on the basis of the results attained.

The Policy Officer Political and Cultural Affairs cooperates with the Economic Policy Officer, Policy Advisor Agriculture and the PA of (Deputy) HoM whenever possible and useful to obtain the objectives of the Embassy.

The Policy Officer Political and Cultural Affairs is directly accountable to the Deputy HoM who is in charge of the policy team and closely cooperates with the HoM who is in the lead for political and cultural affairs.

The employee will be in contact with

the Sri Lankan cultural and political community and organisations representing them;

dutch organisations working in the field of heritage and culture;

ministries and authorities in Sri Lanka and the Netherlands;

(international) (non-)governmental organisations;

fellow policy officers and other colleagues, also at other EU and Dutch missions; and

local media.

Job requirements

Education and experience

Level of education: university level

Level of experience: at least 5 years’ experience required

Knowledge, areas of experience and skills

S/he has a thorough knowledge of Sri Lanka’s political development, its governance structure and the human rights situation;

S/he has experience with or is familiar with cultural heritage and contemporary arts;

S/he has strong analytical and project development skills;

S/he has an external orientation, extensive networks and ability to effectively use networks;

S/he has representation skills and the ability to develop and maintain good working relations with (senior) contacts in all sectors;

S/he has experience and/or affiliation with human rights and gender equality;

S/he has experience and/or affiliation with Public Diplomacy and communication;

S/he works independently, has organisation skills and is result oriented as well as creative and flexible;

S/he has the ability to work with different software and has financial skills;

S/he has excellent written and oral communication skills in English and Sinhalese. Knowledge of Tamil and/or Dutch is an extra asset;

Experience with/in the Netherlands is also an extra asset.

Type of employee required

The employee required is a colleague who has earned his/her merits in the field of culture and/or political development and has strong affiliations with both fields. S/he has an existing relevant network and can easily broaden this network into the required areas. S/he has experience in the field of communication and (social) media. S/he is able to analyse (geo)political (regional) developments and translate policy advice into strategies/approaches and projects/activities. S/he regards project management as an integral part of his/her work. S/he is able to work across sectors and links his/her work to the broader goals of the Embassy. Since the Embassy team is concise, s/he should be able to work independently and pro-actively. S/he demonstrates creativity and flexibility and is result-oriented. S/he is a strong communicator, both orally and in writing and finds it easy to cooperate with people from different backgrounds. 

Other remarks

The position will be for one year initially; continuation will depend on results achieved. Starting date would be: 1 July 2021 (TBC).

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and its Embassies actively pursue a diversity policy and inclusive organisation. In our recruitment and formation of teams, we aim at diversity in gender, cultural background, age etcetera, thereby optimally utilising and building on the differences between people.