Program Specialist

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    London, United Kingdom
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Early Career / Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Jul 04

Position description

The mission of the Economic Advancement Program (EAP) is to increase economic opportunity for the marginalized in ways that promote inclusive, open and prosperous societies. We work to bend the exercise of economic power towards social justice. We have two overarching goals: (1) enhancing the capacity and agency of economically marginalized populations (2) increasing openness and equity in the economic and business systems in which they live and work. The Economic Advancement Program deploys four tools – Impact investments, Grants, Economic Policy Advice, and Engagement. Engagement involves building stakeholder coalitions to influence the exercise of economic power and engaging in discourse to shape decision-making.

EAP advances the overall aims of the Open Society Foundations by supporting its principles and collaborating with other programs across the global network of offices.

The Position

We seek a Program Specialist passionate about the economic advancement of vulnerable economic actors. The candidate would join EAP’s Engagement Team of 3 people.

The Engagement Team has two broad functions:

The first is outward looking. The societal challenges EAP works on are far too complex and systemic for any single tool to address meaningfully. Through grantmaking, consultancies, convenings, fostering coalitions and other forms of direct action, members of the Engagement Team support the program’s ability to harness the collective power of multiple stakeholders and institutions to drive change around our focus themes. These presently include: a) socioeconomic integration of refugees & migrants, b) empowering smallholder farmers, c) women’s economic empowerment, d) advancing innovations in extreme economic insecurity, and e) fostering the alternative business ownership sector.

The second is inward looking. This includes contributing to the design and uptake of programmatic practices that enrich EAP’s broad work, including Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL); systems analysis; enhancing participation across our work; and building out the practice of narrative change. It also includes helping manage EAP’s occasional research projects, contributing to our joint work with other parts of the Open Society Foundations’ network, and strategic communications.

The successful candidate will possess the skill sets needed to effectively contribute to the Engagement Team’s work. Though the candidate will likely work on both outward and inward facing activities, preference will be given to candidates with experiences and aptitudes listed under the inward facing basket of work (MEL, systems analysis, communications, etc.). Preference will also be given to candidates with strong knowledge of some of the EAP focus themes, listed above.

Priorities for this role include
  • Overseeing the continual renewal and improvement of EAP’s practices, and their robust uptake internally and with the partners we support, including: MEL, systems analysis, and embedding participation in our work.
  • Supporting the program’s strategic communications—internally and externally—as/when needed, including general briefings to stakeholders and communications around important EAP events.
  • Assisting in collaborative initiatives between EAP and other programs and foundations across the OSF network.
  • Organizing strategic convening events that bring together stakeholders to collectively promote change.
  • Recommending, negotiating, and managing grants, budgets, and contracts with diverse organizations/individuals to advance the goals of the Economic Advancement Program.
  • Assessing the organizational capacity of field partners to determine if/how to provide them with financial and professional support.
  • Building collaborative relationships within OSF and representing OSF externally as needed.
  • Remaining up to date on trends, debates and innovations in the fields of economic development and engagement.
    Candidate Profile

    EAP is looking for a candidate with the following skills and experiences:
  • 2-5 years of experience working on issues of economic development, economic rights or socio-economic policy
  • A degree —preferably post-graduate — in public policy, economics, political economy, business administration, or other relevant discipline
  • Graduate-level research skills, with and understanding of social science methodologies
  • Track record of communicating central ideas in clear and succinct ways with non-specialists
  • Experience with developing and/or managing coalitions and stakeholder networks and with integrating heterogeneous perspectives
  • Grantmaking experience is a plus
  • Experience with any of the EAP focus themes is an advantage
  • Excellent writer and speaker in English. Proficiency in other languages will be an advantage
  • Experience with some of the following are advantages:
  • MEL methodologies for impact assessment (quantitative and/or qualitative)
  • Systems analysis
  • Events coordination, management, facilitation
  • Communications, e.g. the ability to synthesize information effectively for public consumption or targeted audiences

Personal characteristics
  • Ability to work independently, meet deadlines, and coordinate with team members.
  • Able to demonstrate high energy levels and be excited by the opportunity to shape a new role for themselves in a flexible and fluid environment.

Application deadline: July 27, 2018

Salary: Competitive rates of pay apply

Location: New York, USA or London, UK with some travel to other countries

follow us on Twitter