Senior Officer

Open Government Network for Europe & The Democratic Society
  • Location
    Brussels, Belgium
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Apr 11

Position description

Closing date: 22nd April 23:59 (CET)
Start date: May 2019 (ideally)
Duration: One-year fixed term, with the possibility of extension. We are open to applicants looking for a secondment.
Expected salary: 45,000 EUR – 50,000 EUR (employee benefits: Public transportation costs 100% refunded, Group insurance: pension, life and hospitalisation)

About the Role

The Open Government Network for Europe (OGNfE) is seeking an outgoing and entrepreneurial network officer with great experience and tested networks in Brussels, to help civil society and the EU move further and faster on transparency, accountability and citizen participation.

The OGNfE is a platform for open government practitioners and champions – whether they are working for civil society, private sector or the European institutions, and including if they are working at European, national or local level – to come together to share experiences and expertise and to be inspired. The network and the job are hosted by the Open Government Partnership and the Democratic Society in their Brussels office.

This role will suit an individual who can demonstrate the ability to think strategically and to deliver practical outcomes. The successful applicant will also have a significant understanding of all aspects of open government and be able to use their existing networks within Brussels and the EU institutions. The role will report into a senior individual inside Demsoc as well as directly to Paul Maassen at OGP.

We offer:

  • The opportunity to work with leading NGOs on transparency, accountability and citizen participation issues;
  • Extensive travel and network building around Europe;
  • A central Brussels office shared with a friendly team of democracy and open government advocates;
  • Up-close engagement with the Commission and Parliament on one of the critical issues of the day;
  • Scope to define the strategy and approach you take to fulfil the role’s requirements.


You will be responsible for ensuring a number of key activities, working alongside the existing team at The Democratic Society and Open Government Partnership. These include:

  1. Setting up a core, cross-organisational board and governance structure for the OGNfE that reflects the principles and values behind the network;
  2. Developing, and beginning to deliver, a 3-year strategy for OGNfE that takes into account the outcome of the European elections and ensures transparency, accountability and participation are built into the activities and plans of the new Commission;
  3. Working with existing teams within Demsoc and the OGP to ensure a network of champions and partners is built across the EU that can participate in and co-organise OGNfE activities, and can work together on strategic EU related issues;
  4. Building relationships with key institutional figures and changemakers within the EU institutions to drive forwards the agenda of the OGNfE;
  5. Ensuring 5 or more OGNfE activities take place per year, co-organised with partners from civil society, private sector or the European institutions, with at least one taking place outside of Brussels;
  6. Overseeing development of and maintaining a rich and easily accessible ‘who’s who’ database for Europe, and implementing a concrete and ambitious engagement strategy;
  7. Project management through Demsoc’s existing structures, as well as ensuring regular reporting to funders of the OGNfE, including OGP.

Key Competencies

  • Initiative: you can organise your own workload to meet business needs, use initiative to independently respond to unanticipated problems or situations;
  • Team work: you work collaboratively as part of a team to deliver a service to others;
  • Equality: you support and protect equality and diversity and respect customers, clients and other members of staff regardless of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion or ethnic origin;
  • Customer service: you work with a focus on delivering services to clients, acting with integrity and respect on behalf of the organisation and honouring confidentiality;
  • Problem solving: you have strong problem-solving skills with the ability to anticipate issues and resolve matters independently, developing sound pragmatic solutions;
  • Strategy: you ensure that at all times your work informs, reflects and supports the aims and objectives of this role.

Person Specification


  • A deep understanding of the issues related to open government, transparency, accountability, and citizen engagement and government responsiveness, and understands the challenges faced by government institutions in implementing these. Possible ways to demonstrate this might be through showing 3 years experience in working in these areas, a period of time working in government, or through an advanced degree in a relevant field (e.g. development, political science, or international relations);
  • Experience in building civil society coalitions, brokering technical 
cooperation and partnerships, and organizing training workshops and events;
  • Experience in working effectively with a range of diverse stakeholders from a range of contexts/cultural backgrounds, and working across civil society, private sector, and with national governments, and EU institutions;
  • Confidence in engaging with senior officials within governments and EU institutions and ensuring effective communication at this level. One way this might be demonstrated is through showing 5 years of work experience, or being able to showcase a number of instances in which you have done this;
  • Full proficiency in English and French.


  • An existing network and credibility within European or global civil society networks, working on open government issues;
  • A track record working in multi-stakeholder environments or working with governments;
  • Research and communication skills to help draft briefings and speaking points for other colleagues, to draft stories and case studies, writing blogs, and crafting strategic messages, both for public and internal consumption.


  • Self-starter who can work independently but likes working as part of a (virtual) team, proactive in sharing information with team members to update on both progress and setbacks;
  • Comfortable using online collaborative tools such as Slack and Google Docs/Sheets, or able to learn this rapidly;
  • Solid understanding of issues that are important to civil society and familiarity with civil society networks and organizations;
  • Networker;
  • High emotional intelligence, able to develop trusting relationships with diverse stakeholders from different backgrounds
  • Passionate about diversity, and committed to inclusion;
  • Positive outlook, humble and with and a healthy sense of humor;
  • Sound judgment, professionalism and integrity;
  • Strong public-speaking skills;
  • Strong writing and presentation skills, articulate, persuasive;
  • Ability to patiently and diplomatically forge consensus between diverse stakeholders on strategic 
advocacy issues;
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills, active listener who seeks to truly understand other perspectives;
  • Ability to build strong working relationships across a multicultural virtual team;
  • Ability to travel extensively for work (10-15% initially, although this may increase).

Application instructions

  • Salary commensurate with education and experience;
  • The position is based in Brussels, Belgium. The selected individual must have the legal authorization to work in the assigned job location;
  • Travel up to 35% may be required;
  • Interested candidates should submit an English CV and cover letter. Please use the following email title: “OGN, EU Senior Officer”;
  • Priority consideration given to qualified candidates with the ability to start by May 2019;
  • Because of the volume of applications, we will not be able to respond to every applicant. We thank applicants in advance for their expressions of interest;
  • Demsoc is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes all suitably skilled persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation, education or age.

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