Program Specialist

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    London, United Kingdom
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Early Career / Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Feb 17

Position description

The Southeast Asia Program works with local, regional and international partners to enhance governance and equity in economic practice, support civic engagement and participation in challenging environments, and strengthen regional mechanisms and platforms.
Job Profile
We are recruiting for a Program Specialist to join our team based in London. We are seeking a committed and dynamic team player to help us advance our work in Southeast Asia, where economies are generally thriving, but deliver highly unequal prosperity; where challenges to democratic practice and the rule of law threaten the full enjoyment of human rights; and where the space and platforms for civic engagement at the national and regional levels are increasingly restrained.

This role functions as part of the Southeast Asia Program team within the Asia Pacific Regional Office.

The Program Specialist will be responsible for performing a wide range of responsibilities that materially advance both portfolio and other program strategies. This role requires specialized knowledge, not only of the relevant field(s), but also of how to use the various tools available to the organization for accomplishing its objectives.

This position is expected to contribute to OSF’s work in bringing about positive change in economic, business and development policy and practices to advance human rights. S/he is expected to take the lead or provide support as assigned on, among other matters, research initiatives, convening and advocacy efforts as well as assessment of grants and portfolios.

Essential duties and responsibilities will include:
  • conduct a wide range of activities related to the grant making process and/or analytical work in support of field development, advocacy, and regional projects.
  • conduct research and synthesize data/information to be used in decision-making, strategy development, and evaluation of the grants portfolio or other program processes.
  • mapping and identifying new opportunities in the area of economic, cultural and social rights, and developing and maintaining liaison with our network of partners in the region and within the OSF network;
  • may also take the lead on projects or issues – such as research initiatives, convenings, or advocacy efforts – as assigned.
  • design and carry out field scans and ongoing field monitoring.
  • analyze grant proposals (including budget analysis), design grants (type of support, degree of flexibility, duration, payment structure, reporting/learning expectations, etc.) and draft grant recommendations.
  • partnering closely with program administration staff to ensure efficient flow of grants processing and other similar information.
  • in close cooperation with the South East Asia team, develop the concept, agenda, key players, etc. for convenings, research initiatives, and advocacy efforts.
  • complete administrative tasks or projects as assigned by supervisor. These may include: processing grants, developing tools and templates, coordinating event logistics, and processing vendor contracts and consultancy agreements.
  • participate in preparing and presenting portfolio reviews.
Candidate Profile
  • bachelor’s degree in development studies, economics or any other social science degree with a minimum of 3 years’ experience preferably in the South East Asia region; or equivalent combination of relevant education and experience, including in theories and practice of human rights in the region.
  • proficient written and spoken communication in English. Fluency in Thai or Khmer is a plus.
  • knowledge, interest and experience working in the region of Southeast Asia, including a demonstrated understanding of the most pertinent challenges and opportunities for engagement with civil society and private and public sectors, including inter-governmental institutions.
  • strong research and analysis, esp. processing large amounts of data/information, and analyzing its importance in informing programs and strategies.
  • ability to recognize and work effectively in compliance with internal policies and external constraints.
  • organized and self-directed, with strong project management skills and the ability to manage competing priorities and deadlines.
  • strong commitment to open society values of rights, justice, accountable governance, human dignity, and democratic practice.
  • experience as a grant-maker or a recipient of grants would be desirable but not essential.
  • willingness to travel extensively.

We are strengthened by the diversity of our colleagues across the Open Society Foundations. We welcome applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences, and are committed to providing reasonable accommodations so that colleagues with disabilities are able to fulfill the essential functions of the job.

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