WIEGO International Job Vacancy: International Coordinator, Flexible, United Kingdom

Job Posting:
WIEGO International Coordinator

WIEGO turns 20 next year.  Hard to believe that twenty years have passed since ten of us met at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Center in Bellagio, Italy to discuss why and how to improve the status of the working poor, especially women, in the informal economy.  Hard to believe that what started as a project has grown into a global network with members and activities around the world.

Five years ago, Marty Chen, who co-founded and has led WIEGO since it was founded, told the WIEGO Board and Team that she would step down as the International Coordinator when WIEGO turns 20 in 2017. So the time has come to begin the search for her successor.

We hope to fill the position by mid-2017, after our 20th anniversary strategic retreat at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in April 2017.

Renana Jhabvala, the chair of the WIEGO Board, is heading the search committee for the new International Coordinator.  Attached please find the TORs for the International Coordinator position. All candidates for the WIEGO International Coordinator position should submit their applications to recruit@WIEGO.org by November 15th.

It will be hard to think of WIEGO without Marty.  But WIEGO is blessed with an excellent, competent and committed Board and Team.  Together, we hope to make this transition as smooth as possible.

Terms of Reference

Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) is a global action-research-policy network that seeks to improve the status of the working poor, especially women, in the informal economy through stronger organizations and networks, improved research and statistics, and fairer and more appropriate laws, policies, regulations and practices.  More specifically, as framed in our model of change, WIEGO seeks to increase the voice, visibility and validity of the working poor, especially women:
  • Increased Voice - WIEGO works to support and strengthen organizations of the working poor and to link organizations together. We also help them gain representation in the policy-making and rule-setting bodies that affect their work and lives.
  • Increased Visibility - WIEGO undertakes and sponsors research and helps to develop and improve official statistics on informal employment and the informal economy. We produce a publication series and maintain a web resource on the informal economy (www.wiego.org).
  • Increased Validity - WIEGO promotes the mainstream recognition of informal workers as legitimate economic agents who contribute to the overall economy and are legitimate beneficiaries of economic and social policies. We also advance the incorporation of informal workers into policy-influencing and rule-setting processes. 
The WIEGO network consists of individuals and institutions from three broad constituencies: membership-based organizations (MBOs) of informal workers such as trade unions, cooperatives, and worker associations; researchers and statisticians who carry out research, data collection, or data analysis on the informal economy; and practitioners from development agencies (inter-governmental, governmental, and non-governmental) who provide services to or shape policies towards the informal workforce.  Organizations of workers are invited to become Institutional Members of WIEGO.

Individuals from the two other constituencies are invited to become Individual Members of WIEGO.   At a General Assembly held every four years, WIEGO members elect representatives to the WIEGO Board: informal worker organizations elect three representatives (one of whom serves as chair of the Board); and the two other constituencies elect two representatives each.

WIEGO is also an organization registered as a charity in the United Kingdom with an office in Manchester, UK.  WIEGO operates virtually with, as of mid-2016, 42 team members (28 programmatic, 7 administrative and 7 communications) in 13 countries.   WIEGO has five core programmes, each with a Director and an Advisory Committee plus activities and partners in multiple countries: 
  • Organization & Representation
  • Statistics
  • Law
  • Social Protection
  • Urban Policies
WIEGO particularly focuses on four groups of informal workers: domestic workers, home-based workers, street vendors and waste pickers.


Scope of Work

The International Coordinator is responsible for the overall strategy, programming and functioning of the WIEGO organization and network.

As stated in Article 93 of the WIEGO Articles of Association: “The International Co-ordinator of the Company shall be selected by and endorsed by the Board. The International Co-ordinator of the Company is responsible for the co-ordination and implementation of the Programmes of the Company and decisions made by the Board, Management Committee and Finance Committee and for overseeing the work of the Secretariat and the Operations Office in the United Kingdom. The International Co-ordinator reports directly to the Board."

Key Functions

WIEGO Organization & Network
  • Overall Strategy: Lead periodic strategic reviews of the WIEGO network (its mission, membership and governance) and the WIEGO organization (its structure, team members, programmes, functions and operations)
  • Programme Strategy and Coordination: Lead the development and implementation of strategic goals, project activities and key functions of the core programmes and other initiatives of WIEGO. Oversee the directors of the core programmes and, as appropriate, other programme team members.
  • Organizational Development and Coordination:  Oversee the Operations Director and Programme Support Advisor and serve on the Operations Team.  Also serve on the Finance and Management Committees of the Board.  In these capacities, help develop and implement plans for strengthening WIEGO as an organization, including annual team retreats.
  • Network Development and Coordination: Help build the membership of WIEGO and maintain positive relationships with the members of WIEGO: thus strengthening the WIEGO network.
  • Governance: Coordinate and consult with, as well as serve on (in an ex officio capacity), the WIEGO Board and its sub-committees: the Finance Committee, the Management Committee and the HR Sub-Committee.
External Relations
  • Strategy: Lead development of WIEGO’s external relations strategy and help develop contacts with key organizations/individuals identified in the strategy.
  • Representation: Engage in public speaking and advocacy; represent WIEGO in key research, policy and other forums.
  • Alliance and Collaboration Building: Help build and maintain positive relationships with key allies and collaborators of WIEGO.
Agenda Setting & Policy Advocacy
  • Framing Issues: Help frame issues regarding the informal economy in terms of the priority concerns of WIEGO’s institutional members, WIEGO’s programmatic foci, and also key debates/dominant narratives in the international development community.
  • Research and Communications: Write and disseminate publications on the informal economy plus oversee the development and curation of the WIEGO website. 
Fund Raising
  • Fund Raising: Identify and pursue possible sources of funding for WIEGO, especially core funding, in consultation with the WIEGO Fund Raising Team. (This is a high priority function).
The International Coordinator shares some of these responsibilities with other top leaders of the WIEGO organization, notably the Operations Director and the Programme Support Director.  For the top management structure of WIEGO, as of mid-2016, see appendix.

Key Attributes
As with leaders of other organizations, the top leader of WIEGO needs to be able to both lead and manage the organization, both its internal operations and its external activities.   Unlike in many organizations, the top leader of WIEGO also needs to be able to lead and manage a network of members, partners, and allies.  The members, partners, and allies of WIEGO are drawn from three constituencies – organizations of informal workers from different sectors, researchers and statisticians from different disciplines, and development professionals from different fields of practice.  The ability to bridge and balance the distinct interests and competencies of these three constituencies has been a defining feature of WIEGO and critical to its success.

In addition to being able to bridge and balance the interests and competencies of the three constituencies, the other key attributes needed in the top leader of WIEGO are as follows:
  • Vision - Having vision is a key attribute of leadership.  But, in the case of WIEGO, this means collective vision, not just individual vision.  Being a leader of the WIEGO organization and, especially, the WIEGO network requires building a collective vision for the organization-network through constant on-going consultation and consensus-building.   This requires that the top leader of WIEGO has her/his own individual vision – but also that s/he constantly shares that individual vision with the organization-network and lets the organization-network formulate a collective vision.
  • Values - Embodying and reinforcing values is a key attribute of leadership in WIEGO.  The organization is committed to improving the situation of the working poor, especially women, in the informal economy.  This means that WIEGO needs to be pro-labour and sensitive to class and gender in all of its activities and interactions.  The top leader of WIEGO needs to have a demonstrated commitment to women in the informal economy and be able to transmit this commitment to the Team, Board, and Network.
  • Integrity and Trustworthiness - The top leader of WIEGO needs to be honest, candid, and reliable and to be able to instill a feeling of trust throughout the organization by being committed, caring, trustworthy, and trusting.
  • Ability to Motivate and Build Teams - The top leader of WIEGO needs to be able to inspire and motivate others.  Those who work with WIEGO do so in large part out of commitment: most work on annual renewable contracts without any long-term security or guarantee of career options within WIEGO.  The top leader of WIEGO needs to reflect the values and commitment of the organization-network and be able to inspire others.  S/he needs to be able to coach people and build teams: drawing the best from team members; finding ways to complement strengths and weaknesses within the team; and helping team members collaborate, build consensus and trust, and resolve conflicts.
  • Focus - Maintaining a focus on issues relating to the working poor, especially women, in the informal economy has been a key factor in WIEGO’s success.  Maintaining this focus has helped WIEGO decide what to do and who to engage with.  It has kept WIEGO from getting distracted by other issues relating to labour (such as child labour) or to women (such as gender violence).
  • Decision-Making - Being able to take decisions, including difficult decisions, is another key attribute of leadership.  Again, in the case of WIEGO, the top leader needs to know when to take individual decisions and when to consult with the Team, the Board and its sub-committees, the Membership, and/or the Network and its constituencies.
  • Expertise - Responsible for the external profile of WIEGO, the top leader of WIEGO needs to be a recognized expert on the working poor, especially women, in the informal economy or the informal economy in general. S/he needs to have the ability to frame issues and to use facts, figures and research to make an effective case for policy change in support of the working poor, especially women, in the informal economy.  This is because WIEGO seeks to change thinking and practice towards the informal economy at all levels (local, national, regional, and international) and in different areas of practice (labour organizing, statistics, research, and policy formulation).  In this regard, it would be ideal if between them the top leader and senior Team members of WIEGO have experience or expertise related to each of our constituencies: labour organizing, research or statistics, and development practice or policy making.
  • Ability to Raise Funds - Ability to pursue and raise funding for WIEGO, especially core funding, in consultation with the WIEGO Fund Raising Team.
Essential Skills and Qualifications
In addition to these key attributes, the top leader of WIEGO should have the following essential skills and qualifications:
  • Knowledge of, and direct experience in, research and/or policy analysis and advocacy related to the informal economy;
  • Linkages with networks of researchers and/or policy makers working on the informal economy or employment more generally;
  • Skills in coordination/management including project management, budgeting/budget monitoring and people supervision;
  • Skills in building and maintaining relationships and responding appropriately to ever changing situations;
  • Knowledge and skills to do research and writing on issues relating to the informal economy and to provide technical and strategic advice (or ability/knowledge to oversee these activities);
  • Knowledge and understanding of, or direct experience in, organizing workers into membership-based organization/s;
  • Links with funding agencies;
  • Ability and willingness to undertake significant international travel;
  • Ability to navigate across many cultures and languages. In addition to English, proficiency in one other language, such as Spanish, would be an asset. 
Ideally the candidate would: 
  • Have worked directly with informal workers in one or more of the sectors of WIEGO’s focus;
  • Be known internationally, with experience in research and/or policy analysis regarding the informal economy
  • Have a post graduate qualification in an appropriate subject
  • Be a woman
Terms and Conditions
The position is full time.  The successful candidate will be engaged on an annual renewable contract, as are most WIEGO team members.

Remuneration is negotiable and dependent on the candidate’s education, experience and geographical location.  Candidates should include remuneration expectation with their applications.

Applications should include a CV and cover letter stating interest and key qualifications for the position. Please send to recruit@wiego.org by November 15, 2016.