Head Of The Commonwealth Equality Network Secretariat

Location: London, Southeast (UK)
Closing Date: 29th May 2023
Chair of the Board of Trustees

Employment Type: Employed


The Commonwealth Equality Network (TCEN) is the first civil society network to
sustainably advocate on behalf of LGBTI+ people in the Commonwealth. Since its
foundation in 2013, the network’s trajectory has been one of increasing profile, effectiveness,
and influence: TCEN members have actively participated in Commonwealth spaces to raise
the profile and mainstream the discussion of LGBTI+ people and their rights and concerns,
and to engage with national-level decision-makers and policymakers on these topics. The
network currently comprises over 65 member organisations representing 47 Commonwealth
countries, drawn from all regions. A nine-member Management Committee – with the
support of the TCEN Secretariat – sets and delivers TCEN’s strategy and work and ensures
robust governance of this influential transnational group of LGBTI+ human rights defenders
and advocates.

Kaleidoscope Trust is a founding member of TCEN and provides the operational and
financial base for the network’s Secretariat as its host. Established in 2011, Kaleidoscope
Trust works to uphold the human rights LGBTI+ people in countries around the world where
they are discriminated against or marginalised due to their sexual orientation, gender identity
and/or gender expression.

The Role:

This is an exciting opportunity for a strategically-minded and dynamic individual to lead the
Secretariat of an ambitious, growing transnational network of LGBTI+ civil society
organisations and human rights defenders.

The post-holder will be dedicated to providing advice, guidance and assistance to the
network’s members and elected governing body (Management Committee) in order to help
ensure that TCEN is effectively administered, strategically managed and provided with the
support the Management Committee and membership require to successfully implement its
strategic goals and priorities.

The ideal candidate will be an excellent communicator and convener who knows how to
support a diverse set of organisations of varying sizes, capacities, and mandates to engage
and benefit from their membership in the network. They will be an outstanding strategic
thinker who can maintain a strong understanding of and help drive the implementation of a
broad, multi-disciplinary work plan. The candidate will be someone who enjoys solving the
complex challenges that arise within a membership network and should bring solid
experience in network management and membership engagement on an international scale
to bear in this endeavour. A knowledge of the current global dynamics as relating to LGBTI+
human rights is a bonus.

In the implementation of their duties, the post-holder will have the opportunity to work very
closely with a variety of stakeholders, including the network’s Management Committee;
TCEN’s member organisations; Kaleidoscope Trust’s executive leadership and team
members leading on various work streams and functions; other civil society partners and

networks; consultants and contracted service providers; and, possibly, donors, decision-
makers and policymakers, to a specified degree and in specific contexts.

This full-time position will be housed at Kaleidoscope Trust, in London, within a newly
enlarged Secretariat team. The Head of TCEN Secretariat will liaise directly with the Chair,
Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer – as well as the five Regional Representatives – of the
network’s Management Committee for strategic and operational decisions and guidance.

The post-holder will be line managed by Kaleidoscope Trust’s Deputy Director and will
contribute strategically as a part of Kaleidoscope Trust’s Senior Management Team. The
post-holder will be responsible for leading the Secretariat team, which includes a TCEN
Secretariat Operations Manager and TCEN Secretariat Officer.

Key Responsibilities:

Management Committee: Strategy, Operations and Administration
1. Ensure that the Secretariat team provides high quality operational and
administrative support to the Management Committee, its three working groups
(Governance, Membership, CHOGM) and regional-level meetings and engagements.
2. Work with the Management Committee to implement clear and effective structures,
processes and ways of working to support it and the wider membership to engage,
collaborate, plan and progress on agreed priority TCEN activities, in line with the
network’s strategy.
3. Ensure the Secretariat maintains an annual work plan (and other supporting tools)
for the Secretariat, Management Committee and membership, to be able to better
take strategic decisions on prioritising activities, with the strategic oversight from
the Management Committee.
4. Think critically and consider the strategic implications and relevance of
opportunities as they arise and recommend and/or lead action on them, in light
of the TCEN strategy and work plan and with advice from relevant stakeholders and
the Management Committee.
5. Keep informed of the global and Commonwealth context and trends as relates
to LGBTI+ issues, to help the Management Committee and membership with
planning and strategy delivery.
6. Quality control drafts of relevant papers, documents, surveys and agendas for

the Management Committee in carrying out its business and to support decision-

7. Synthesise and present critical information effectively to the Management
Committee, Kaleidoscope Trust’s senior leadership and other stakeholders, as
8. Ensure any decisions and action points relating to the Secretariat team’s work are
delivered in a timely manner and to a high standard, and ensure the Secretariat
supports the Management Committee with delivering theirs.
9. Ensure the Secretariat team inputs data into the KT impact framework on a regular
basis to support TCEN’s impact monitoring and reporting.
10. Support the Management Committee to carry out regular network risk assessments
and reviews, and ensure critical issues are appropriately escalated as they emerge,
suggesting and implementing mitigation strategies to remedy risks.

Network: Engagement, Operations and Administration
1. Handle member and third-party enquiries, complaints and concerns effectively
and transparently, and escalate them to the relevant Management Committee
member as appropriate.
2. Ensure the new member applications and inductions are carried out in line with
agreed processes and standards.
3. Keep the TCEN member database and membership of internal communications
channels (WhatsApp, mailing lists, etc.) up to date.
4. Ensure proper knowledge management of information and outputs belonging or
relevant to the network, to prevent loss of institutional knowledge.
5. Ensure that the Secretariat team provides high quality project management,
logistical and administrative support to TCEN members in preparation for their
participation and engagement in priority internal and external events, activities and
processes. Examples include Annual General Meetings; annual in-person
Management Committee meetings; regional-specific calls and meetings; biannual
Management Committee elections; handovers and inductions for newly elected
Management Committee members; and participation of TCEN delegations in
periodic, strategically relevant Commonwealth-level or other meetings.


1. Oversee the Secretariat’s creative and engaging implementation of the TCEN
communications strategy, with direction from the Management Committee.
2. Draft and/or quality control internal and external communications/written
materials (e.g., newsletters, meeting minutes) to ensure accuracy, relevance and
consistent tone of voice.
3. Carry out regular monitoring of TCEN’s internal and external communications
channels – especially TCEN’s digital channels (social media, website, email
newsletters) – to ensure they remain up to date, effective and relevant.
4. Help broaden TCEN’s visibility in line with the communications strategy through
contributions to external publications as relevant, in consultation with relevant
network members.
5. Draft (and/or quality control drafts of) input into regular and ad hoc reports for
the Management Committee, Kaleidoscope Trust Board, donors (via KT’s
Programmes Team), the Commonwealth Secretariat and Companies House, on time
and to a professional standard.

Budget Management and Administration and Grant Development
1. Manage a high-value multi-year budget (resourced from Kaleidoscope Trust
grants) in line with commitments and with the principles of proper financial oversight
and in compliance with contractual and legal obligations.
2. Ensure the budget is disbursed and tracked in line with Kaleidoscope Trust’s
financial and compliance policies and procedures and reporting requirements.
3. Establish effective ways of working with Kaleidoscope Trust’s Programmes Team
and Operations, Finance and Compliance Team to feed into our regular financial
budgeting, reporting and forecasting processes.
4. Provide the TCEN Treasurer with relevant financial information at an agreed
frequency to support budgeting, reporting and forecasting and Management
Committee activity prioritisation.
5. Monitor which TCEN activities are funded from which sources and strategically
contribute inputs into KT’s funding proposals as they are developed.

Team Management
1. Nurture and lead a positive, supportive and productive culture and working
environment for the TCEN Secretariat team and with other teams at Kaleidoscope
2. Line manage and guide the professional development of the TCEN Secretariat
Operations Manager.
3. Communicate effectively and clearly with the Secretariat team.
4. Ensure all HR processes are adhered to and that all members of the team feel
supported, through 1-2-1s and annual appraisals.
5. Work closely with agencies, consultants and freelancers as relevant to ensure
high-quality outputs and value for money.
6. Willingness to travel, within reasonable expectations, to attend external events
and meetings in the UK and internationally.
7. Undertake any other duties which reasonably fall within the purpose of the role.

Skills and Competencies:

We are looking for a candidate who can demonstrate the following:

▪ Extensive experience in a senior-level management role, including directly managing
a team as well as working with and reporting to a Board or equivalent.
▪ Comprehensive knowledge and experience of working in a membership organisation
and of managing and developing member-led networks and organisations.
▪ Ability to think strategically and assess the importance and relevance of activities and
▪ Ability to communicate and present critical information to relevant audiences well.
▪ Evidence of successfully managing consultative multi-stakeholder processes that
produce an output, on time and on budget.
▪ Proven experience in developing and/or improving internal processes and
procedures to improve efficiency and quality of delivery for stakeholders.
▪ Extensive experience building and maintaining strong professional relationships in
cross-cultural environments with a range of partners with different backgrounds and
levels of experience, while based at an organisation based in the Global North.
▪ Ability to problem solve and work collaboratively with others to find solutions.
▪ Experience with successfully identifying, managing and mitigating risks.
▪ Committed to safeguarding principles, and willing to put the welfare of LGBTI+
people at the forefront of their work.
▪ Ability to react swiftly to events in a fast-paced external environment.
▪ Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously and deliver to deadlines and on
▪ Extensive budget management experience.
▪ Confidence with using IT – we use Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 products,
among others.

▪ Website back-end management and maintenance, and social media use (Facebook,
Twitter, Instagram) for communications.
▪ Familiarity with project management principles.
▪ Understanding of the Commonwealth, its institutions, dynamics and history.
▪ Knowledge of policy issues relevant to the human rights or LGBTI+ sector.
▪ Knowledge of the root causes of exclusion, especially with regard to LGBTI+ people,
and social issues faced by LGBTI+ people from a human rights and/or development
▪ Understanding of intersectionality and how intersecting identities impact the lives of
LGBTI+ people.
The candidate should be able to demonstrate the following personal qualities:
▪ Accuracy and attention to detail.
▪ Adaptable and able to work agilely and flexibly.
▪ Patience, compassion and understanding.
▪ Confidence leading and working as part of a team and with senior-level
▪ Clear communicator – the ability to interpret, process, and share information in a
concise manner with a range of audiences.
▪ Good organisational, time management and problem-solving skills.
▪ Able to take initiative and work under matrix management with low supervision.
▪ Willingness to “pitch in” and support colleagues beyond the parameters of the job
description where necessary.

▪ Commitment to The Commonwealth Equality Network’s mission.

Terms and Conditions:

▪ This role is full time, on a fixed-term basis until 31 March 2024 (with high likelihood of
extension, contingent on funding).
▪ The salary is £46,000 p.a. plus pension contributions.
▪ The post-holder is entitled to 25 days of paid holiday, in addition to the usual public
holidays in England and Wales.
▪ The post-holder will be line managed by Kaleidoscope Trust’s Deputy Director.
▪ Standard core hours of work are 9:00am – 5:30pm GMT/BST with possible
requirement to work very occasionally at evenings and weekends (which will accrue
Time Off In Lieu).
▪ The post-holder must be based in London or the Southeast (UK).
▪ The post-holder will be based out of Kaleidoscope Trust’s office in Bethnal Green,
London, but will be permitted (with the agreement of their line manager) to work from
home predominantly, with the occasional requirement to travel to the office for
appraisals and key meetings or events.
▪ The post-holder must possess the right to live and work in the United Kingdom for the
period of the contract.
▪ Start date: As soon as possible.

How to apply:

Kaleidoscope Trust is committed to equality and diversity and we particularly encourage
applications from all sections of the LGBTI+ community and Black and minority ethnic

Please submit your CV and a two-page maximum covering letter explaining:
(i) your interest in joining The Commonwealth Equality Network Secretariat, and
(ii) your relevant experience as per the skills and competencies outlined above.

Please either upload your application to our web portal on the Kaleidoscope Trust website,
or email the documents, along with a completed Recruitment Monitoring and Analysis Form, to
[email protected], titling your communication: “Vacancy: Head of TCEN
Secretariat”. If you have any queries, please also direct these to [email protected].

Closing date: Sunday 18th June 2023 at 11:59pm (London time)
Interviews: week commencing 26th June 2023

Please note that applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and candidates
applying for this vacancy may be interviewed before the specified closing

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