Program Officer- Fixed Term

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    London, United Kingdom
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    May 24

Position description

The Open Society Education Support Program is seeking a Program Officer to manage a portfolio of grants related to education governance, primarily in Europe and Africa. This position is open for recruitment in London. It is temporary cover for family leave between July 2018 to May 2019.

The Education Support Program (ESP) is a global program that operates in Africa, Eurasia, Europe, the Middle East North Africa, and Southeast Asia. ESP works collaboratively and co-funds Programs with twenty national and regional foundations. Additionally, ESP cooperates with a network of over 200 organizations in the Open Society Foundations’ education universe, utilizing a plethora of competencies to further its’ mission in education; policy research and knowledge production, advocacy, demonstration piloting, network-building, capacity building and resource mobilization. ESP staff are based in a range of locations: Berlin, Cluj, New York, and London. The priorities of the Education Support Program (ESP) are shaped by a mission to further education justice. This provides a largely ‘political’ lens through which to address issues of inequality and discrimination within the education sector while attending to inherent systemic, professional and resource challenges.

Job Profile

The Program Officer reports to the Deputy Director of the Education Support Program. This is a full-time, temporary position. Typical responsibilities include any or all of the following and/or similar activities:
  • Oversee the management of grants and ongoing projects and partnerships under portfolios on inclusive education, equity and social inclusion in Africa, and oversee the daily management of a sub-portfolio on education governance focused on the role and accountability of state and non-state actors in education. Specific duties include tracking and reviewing grant proposals and reports, maintaining contacts with grantees, and contributing to internal reporting and documentation requirements.
  • Support the implementation of grant portfolios, in particular, researching and assisting with due diligence of grantees.
  • Oversee the day-to-day management of workplans for different portfolios, including grants management, review and approval of reports, keep track of partners through organizational notes
  • Manage ongoing partnerships with OSF regional foundations in Africa, including joining relevant field visits to new partners (e.g. ECOWAS in West Africa) and engage in development of joint work across foundations in Africa (e.g. on state and non-state actors in education and health)
  • Liaise with relevant internal and external colleagues and organizations on issues related to the accountability of state and non-state actors in education
  • Support the coordination of, and participate in, seminars and convenings related to different portfolios, including a Seminar on the Future of the Teaching Profession in Africa: Teacher Learning, Professionalism and Growth in South Africa (August 2018) and a conference of experts to adopt a set of Human Rights Guiding Principles on State obligations regarding private schools in West Africa (early 2019).
  • Support the facilitation of a global network of civil society organizations, the Privatisation in Education and Human Rights Consortium, through participation in bi-monthly calls of the Facilitation Group
  • Liaise with the steering group facilitating the HR Guiding Principles on state obligations regarding private schools.
  • Support the development of engagements with regional bodies through foundations and partners, including ACHPR, ECOWAS.

Candidate Profile
  • 7-10 years of progressively responsible experience in relevant civil society, multilateral, humanitarian or development organizations, government, and/or consulting in the field of education
  • Demonstrable knowledge of governance in education dynamics, including familiarity with the political and socioeconomic contexts in which different forms of private sector involvement have emerged
  • Understanding of the right to education and inclusive education
  • Experience of managing projects in the South, especially in Africa
  • Considerable experience of working with civil society organisations, including organizations working on economic and social rights, and knowledge of international and regional organisations
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate and collaborate with various actors at different levels from civil society, donor, government, academia and regional/international organizations
  • Possess exceptional interpersonal skills, including relationship building, partnership engagement, negotiation, and communication
  • Excellent writing, analytical, interpersonal, organizational, and communication skills required. Sensitivity to cultural differences is essential.
  • Demonstrated flexibility and openness in responding to changing work priorities.
  • Willingness to travel internationally

Application instructions: Please upload a cover letter and resume as one document when submitting an application.

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 adjustments so that colleagues with disabilities are able to fulfill the essential functions of the job.

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