In September 2017, hurricanes Irma and Maria barreled across Puerto Rico, causing unprecedented damage and leaving up to 780,000 homes damaged, according to Puerto Rican officials. In addition to the destruction, the storms exacerbated longstanding and persistent housing issues and challenges on the island.
Over the next five years, Habitat for Humanity will partner directly with hurricane-affected families to address their shelter needs, as well as work with the Puerto Rican government and local municipalities on policies and systems that will improve shelter, land and resilience issues across the island.
Title: Advocacy and Government Relations Consultant - Puerto Rico
Term: 3 to 6 month consultancy
Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Application deadline: July 20, 2018
Important: Contractors should be prepared to provide professional references and pass a background check.
The goal of Habitat for Humanity’s Puerto Rico Recovery Program is to address systemic barriers to achieving household and community resilience in Puerto Rico post hurricanes Irma and Maria. The focus of the program will be capacity building for homeowners and builders; repairs, reconstruction, and new home construction for disaster survivors; a tenure referral system; and assessments, advocacy, green building strategies and economic development supporting each part of the program.
Advocacy is a key element of Habitat’s recovery program to adequately address the complex policy issues facing the island, which includes land tenure, liability for construction, blanket permits and clearing titles. Difficulty in gaining clear title or security of tenure are foundational issues that prevent Puerto Ricans from accessing federal disaster recovery assistance and building their homes back safer with resilience. As such, policies and systems around these issues must shift and Habitat would like to be an advocacy leader in making these changes for the benefit of residents.
Terms of Reference:
Reporting to the Managing Director, the Advocacy and Government Relations Consultant - Puerto Rico will oversee the development of Habitat’s overall strategy and long-term vision for our advocacy engagement in Puerto Rico on critical policy issues connected to the housing recovery. Habitat’s priority policy focus is land tenure and property ownership.
This consultant will identify other key local, territorial and national stakeholders working on land tenure, leverage work done to date researching the issue and potential solutions, and build an advocacy coalition by formalizing partnerships and relationships at the local level that will work to change policies and systems. The consultant will be responsible for quickly launching this advocacy strategy regarding security of tenure and land ownership with the policy goal to improve access to safe and stable land.
Objectives and Deliverables:
- Identify and conduct mapping of key government, non-profit, academic, and legal stakeholders working on land tenure
- Conduct policy research and analysis utilizing existing work and findings
- Initiate work of Land Rights Coalition described in the concept note attached
- Further refine and develop Habitat’s policy priorities around land tenure and improving access to safe and affordable housing for Puerto Rican
- Build stakeholder map with engagement strategies, including a key target list
- Form productive partnerships with other stakeholders to collaborate on addressing land tenure issues
- Represent Habitat for Humanity at meetings and identify ways that the organization can be a leader in advocating for land tenure
- Long-term actions and strategy planning
- Write policy papers, talking points and briefing notes on security of tenure and liabilities on repairs (plus other documents as deemed necessary).
- Educate stakeholders about Habitat’s advocacy strategy and the purpose of the coalition.
- Formalize and begin to execute the advocacy coalition by developing its policy agenda, legislative strategy, meeting structure, and goal setting.
Initiate development of advocacy strategy document (10-20 pages) that answers the following questions:
- What are the underlying assumptions about how change happens?
- Who is the strategy trying to influence and how?
- Who else is working on this and how?
- Which audiences need to be targeted to advance our policy goals?
- What should HFHI accomplish with each audience to achieve the goals?
- What interim outcomes are relevant to know if the strategy is on track?
- What will the strategy look like in several years?
- What is the comprehensive set of policy recommendations to address land tenure, utilizing Global Housing Indicators as a framework?
- Master’s degree in relevant field – public policy, urban planning, housing, etc.
- Minimum 5-7 years of professional experience developing and executing high-quality advocacy strategies
- Fluency in Spanish is required
- Strong working knowledge on land tenure, urban, or slum upgrading issues preferable
- Experience engaging in local advocacy in the field
- Excellent analytical, writing, and communication skills
- Skills at building relationships and forming formal partnerships
- Experience working with and cultivating a successful advocacy coalition