Project Officer (Advocacy), SOS at SOS Children’s Villages Uganda

Application deadline closed.

Job Description

SOS Children’s Villages Uganda is a child-focused, social development, non-governmental organisation with a strong reputation for fulfilling children’s right to quality care and protection, education and health. Since the beginning of its work in 1991, SOS Uganda has reached over 60,000 children, youth and adults directly and indirectly to become empowered and self-reliant and contribute significantly to their families and communities.

Mental Health Uganda (MHU) is an indigenous, non-governmental, membership-based disabled people’s organisation; an organisation of people with a lived experience of mental health problems.
MHU was established in 1997 and formally registered as a national NGO in 2001. MHU is based in all regions of the country and works for equal access to services and opportunities for people with mental health issues. MHU is the biggest organisation of people living with mental illness in Africa with over 25,000 members.



The 2 partners will implement a 3-year project from January 2023, primarily targeting young people between the ages of 13 to 19 in 10 selected secondary schools (5 from Gulu district and 5 from Wakiso district). The project seeks to: normalize mental health problems and reduce stigma and discrimination; facilitate access to psychosocial support in the targeted schools; and contribute to improved policy and legal framework in favour of young people experiencing mental health problems in Uganda.

Youth active participation and empowerment is a key proponent of the project, ensuring that youth lead the development and implementation of project activities. For the delivery of this project, SOS and MHU are recruiting suitably qualified and competent Ugandans to fill the following positions:

Job Title: Project Officer (Advocacy), SOS
Reporting to: Project Coordinator, SOS
Responsible for: No direct responsibility but works closely with MHU District-Based Project
Officers in the 2 project locations of Gulu and Wakiso
Work station: Kampala
Contract Type: Full Time, Two – Year Term (with a possibility for a 1 – year extension)
Working hours: 8:00am- 5:00pm (Monday – Friday)
Salary: Commensurate with experience, knowledge and skills
Start date: January 2023

Job Purpose
The Project Officer will be responsible for the generation and transmission of well-thought and agreed advocacy messages from the supported youth to the National level. S/he will guide the youth through their own school-based leadership structures to comprehend issues around youth mental health policy and legal framework especially the “Child and Youth Mental Health Policy Guidelines, 2017” for example the commitments and obligations therein, the gaps, the relationship with other policy and legal regimes, etc . This way the youth will be able to bring their own ideas to the district-based Youth Mental Health Advocacy Group and thereafter to the National level advocacy agenda for youth mental health.

Main duties and responsibilities of the role
A Project Implementation
i. Participate in the reviews to simplify and audit the mental health youth policy and legal framework with the aim of spearheading relevant reforms
ii. Support the creation and operationalization of the Youth Mental Health Advocacy Group at a district level both in Gulu and Wakiso
iii. Support trainings related to mental health policy and legal framework and advocacy strategies for youth in Uganda
iv. Work with youth leaders in selected schools to comprehend the mental health policy and legal framework for youth and support them to spread the same to the wider student community within supported schools
v. Work with the Youth Mental Health Advocacy Group to generate messages at a district level and working with the Project Coordinator, support the transmission of the same for National level advocacy
vi. Work with and through students to develop relevant Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials to facilitate mental health advocacy in schools
vii. Facilitate relations between the project and District Local Governments and maintain useful linkages and dialogue with all other relevant stakeholders to ensure collaboration, synergy, sharing of experiences and that the district delivers a coordinated response for mental health

B Monitoring and Evaluation
i. Organize and manage review and reflection session and annual cross-learning events, as well as advocacy meetings foreseen at the district level
ii. Participate in organizing and facilitating project reviews with project key stakeholders
iii. Coordinate sharing and learning, and document the best practices and success stories
iv. Undertake surveillance and update the SOS and other relevant actors on emerging issues around mental health in the country.

C Reporting, Resource Management and Documentation
i. Prepare and submit timely monthly work plans and reports
ii. Support preparation and dissemination of information related to mental health advocacy, relevant to the project components.

Person specifications
The applicant should hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Rights, Gender and Development Studies (GAD), Community Psychology and or any other related studies with a minimum of 3 years relevant working experience in a Non-Government Organization. A post graduate training in advocacy will be an added advantage.

Essential criteria
 Good understanding of the legal and policy framework around disability, particularly mental health, in Uganda
 Good understanding of broader disability and youth rights
 Experience of working in partnerships, with demonstrable skills of collaborative working, and relationship management and the ability to identify and rapidly resolve barriers, difficulties and conflicts
 Advocacy and lobbying skills
 Very strong writing skills and presentation skills

Desirable criteria
 Experience of multi-tasking, prioritizing competing work and working within deadlines
 Experience of supporting youth-led advocacy and ensuring youth participation
 High level of English
 Good IT Skills with familiarity with key Microsoft Office Programs.

Application process
Interested individuals should send a motivation letter and CV as one PDF document/file (of maximum 8 pages for the Project Coordinator and 6 pages for all other positions), not later than 4:00pm on Friday 18th November 2022 via email to and copy to – subject line is the job title e.g. “Project Coordinator”. Do not send academic documents – heavy files containing academic documents or submitted as images, or any other that do not adhere to these instructions and or late applications, will not be considered. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. The motivation letter must also include the details of 2 suitable referees who can comment on the candidate’s ability. Women and Persons with disabilities are highly encouraged to apply, including those with a lived experience of mental health problems.

1. The commencement of these positions is subject to the availability of funding.
2. SOS and MHU promote zero tolerance for discrimination/harassment based on gender, religious beliefs etc. All staff and volunteers shall adhere to strict guidelines in order to facilitate “silent” inclusion. Staff and volunteers also adhere to safeguarding provisions – a set of procedures and practices designed to ensure that no harm comes to project beneficiaries as a result of contact with MHU’s programs, operations or individuals.