Free to Be Me Economic Development Advocacy Expert Consultancy Opportunity in Nairobi, Kenya - Hivos

Free to Be Me Economic Development Advocacy Expert – Consultancy

Hivos is seeking to engage a long-term consultant who is an economic development/ economic empowerment advocacy expert to join the Free to Be Me Program.

Task: Consultancy
Start date: Immediately
Contract length: 4-6 months
Budget: Please quote a monthly rate in your cover letter
Location: Kenya (preferred)/ Any East African country

About Free to Be Me

Free to Be Me is an ambitious, daring, and innovative program that helps build and maintain a vibrant LGBTIQ+ movement that is confident and capable to lobby and advocate for their human and economic rights. The program is led by an alliance of three consortium members – Hivos (the lead party), ILGA World and Positive Vibes – and three technical partners – Sogicampaigns, The Global Interfaith Network (GIN) and Workplace Pride. Together the Alliance coaches, accompanies, funds and trains LGBTIQ+ persons and organizations to influence norms and attitudes, generate (public) support, and promote laws, policies and regulations that recognize, respect and protect LGBTIQ+ people’s human and economic rights.

The program is implemented in 14 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, in partnership with and funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Additionally, the program focuses on influencing the Dutch society.

Economic development

Unique to the Free to be Me program is its focus on advocacy for LGBTIQ+ economic development.

It is evident that there is a lack of meaningful, coordinated efforts on economic empowerment and development programs informed by sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC). LGBTIQ+ individuals are still excluded from many socioeconomic development agendas and policies at different levels.

Building on the pioneering experience of Hivos, Free to be Me is the first program of its kind to pave the way for targeted lobby and advocacy to get SOGIESC issues mainstreamed in economic development programs. In a bold and well-thought-out plan, our alliance aims to fill this gap, through a combination of national-level support to communities of action and link this work to global level advocacy work with support continuously provided by our alliance partners.

It is against this background and objective that the Free to Be Me program is seeking to hire on 4-6 month consultancy basis an LGBTIQ+ advocacy expert in economic development/empowerment.

Objectives of the economic development advocacy expert

The economic empowerment expert will guide and coordinate all of Free to be Me’s focus on the economic development pillar. The expert will work closely with the Global Program Manager to ensure the program’s deliverables and results around this pillar are achieved. The expert will further coordinate this work with the Free to be Me alliance partners and work closely with communities of action (the national coordination bodies for this program) to ensure that all those that are involved understand the program’s economic development agenda and are equipped with tools to advocate effectively for LGBTIQ+ inclusion. Overall, the consultant is responsible for developing and advancing the Free to be Me economic development advocacy agenda in different global spaces.


  1. Liaise with the Global Program Manager to refine the economic development strategy and coordinate its implementation.
  2. Working closely with the relevant alliance partners in the implementation of the Free to be Me economic development agenda.
  3. Refine and map strategic advocacy spaces for Free to be Me engagement and advancement of LGBTIQ+ inclusion. This work will include guiding community of action members to understand how to engage in such spaces and processes.
  4. Guided by global and national trends, support country-level mapping/scoping studies on the economic status of LGBTIQ+ people in selected countries.
  5. Build and support the capacity of a cohort of economic empowerment experts drawn from different countries.
  6. Develop the linking and learning plan of the economic development pillar and coordinate its implementation.
  7. Coordinate the implementation of economic development pilot programs in three countries
  8. Act as the point person for LGBTIQ+ economic rights for the program.


  1. Free to Be Me economic empowerment/ development strategy
  2. LGBTIQ+ economic development scoping studies reports
  3. Economic development advocacy engagement plan
  4. Economic development capacity strengthening, linking and learning plan
  5. A coordinated community of practice within the program
  6. Country plans to guide the pilot programs.

Desired qualifications and skills

We are looking for a seasoned technical economic development advocacy expert or specialist who is grounded in the inner working of supporting LGBTIQ+ individuals and their movements. The person must be willing and able to strategically navigate a new field of work and develop novel approaches.

The expert should meet the following requirements:

  1. Excellent understanding of and demonstrated experience in the economic position and specific challenges of LGBTIQ+ people
  2. At least 5 years’ experience in leading advocacy efforts around SOGIESC issues for the specific geographical areas of focus (Africa, MENA, Southeast Asia; desirably with a keen focus on economic empowerment/ development.
  3. Master’s level degree in relevant discipline or equivalent work experience (economics, gender, development and/or social studies, etc.).
  4. Demonstrated experience in global advocacy and implementation of global programs across various regions/multiple countries is an added advantage
  5. Excellent written and spoken English.
  6. Lived experience as an LGBTIQ+ person is an advantage.

How to apply

You are welcome to submit your application by clicking on the apply button before 10 May 2023. Here you can submit both your cover letter with consultancy rate (max. 1 page) and a CV (max. 2 pages) in English.


Candidates are highly encouraged to provide a clear track record in their CV and description in cover letter that matches the requirements of the consultancy elaborated above.

Hivos reserves the right to close the position before the application deadline if a suitable candidate is identified. Therefore, interested candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.