Program Officer

Freedom House, Johannesburg, South Africa

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
3 to 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
30th November, 2017

Job Description

Freedom House (FH) promotes the spread of freedom and democracy around the world through research, advocacy, and programs that support frontline activists. We are a leader in identifying threats to freedom through our highly regarded analytic reports, including Freedom in the World, Freedom of the Press, Freedom on the Net, and Nations in Transit. With 13 field offices and two U.S. offices, wesupport the right of every individual to be free.


The program officer will manage all program aspects for a program to strengthen the democratic structures and institutions of political parties in Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland and Zambia to better respond to and represent the needs of their constituents, with a focus on citizen engagement and participation.
This part time position is for a period of 18 months with the option to renew subject to available project funds.


Implement and manage the work described in the program description to budget, on time and in compliance with FH and donor requirements.

  • Develop workplans, identify sub-grantees, organize training and events, and in general ensure that the program objectives are effectively and efficiently realized.
  • Lead the monitoring and evaluation process, track and document program activities and their impact
  • Identify in a timely manner adjustments that need to be made in order to achieve the program objectives and ensure that the necessary steps are taken to make these adjustments
  • Establish the necessary processes and contracts which will be required to ensure the success of the program and manage these.
  • Maintain machine readable and paper records of the sub-program so that these can be accessed by work colleagues without guidance.

Manage program finances in full compliance with FH and donor requirements.

  • Review field based expense and sub-grant reports in full compliance with FH and donor requirements
  • Produce financial documents in line with FH and donor requirements
  • Track and analyze budgets for accuracy and to provide projections and forecasts to determine work plans and programming capacity
  • Prepare monthly draw down requests to ensure that sufficient cash is available for all planned activities
  • Ensure that all planned activities receive payments on time in line with the requirement of sub-grant contracts and the exigencies of the program.

Manage program stakeholders to ensure they remain enlisted in and supportive of the program until its successful completion

  • Establish and maintain objective based relationships with all program stakeholders and role players
  • Attend any and all program meetings with donors, partners, training teams, and key identified program advisory groups
  • Ensure regular, appropriate and adequate communication with all program stakeholders

Report on the program for purposes of monitoring, compliance, management and promotion.

  • Prepare quarterly, ad-hoc and final reports for authorized internal and external audiences
  • Contribute to program publications, taking responsibility for their production and distribution
  • Represent the program in information events and professional conferences, preparing reports and papers for such events.

Contribute to the general program development of the field office

In addition to primary responsibility for the program, take part in the Southern Africa office’s general program through:

  • Identifying opportunities for new programs, conducting related research and assessment
  • Producing project ideas, designing and developing program concepts for proposals
  • Participating in strategic planning and general office planning and development


  • Post Graduate Degree in political science, international relations, or related field. Preference will be given to senior degrees demonstrating knowledge of the program field.
  • Demonstrate competence in citizen engagement and participation
  • Experience working with or in political parties will be an advantage
  • Competent in MS Office Suite, and in particular Excel and Word
  • Competent in budget and financial management
  • Capable of overseeing USAID rules and regulations
  • Competence in program management


  • Four to six years of directly related work experience
  • A minimum of three years’ experience in grant and program management with demonstrable experience in democracy and human rights fields.
  • Field experience in Southern Africa
  • Demonstrated experience working with civil society organizations and networks


  • General office work environment with challenging field operations
  • This position will require a presence in the office for not less than 20 hours a week.
  • Occasional travel to project countries will be required.

Physical Requirements: Sedentary, regularly required to sit for extended periods of time; constantly talk, hear and understand speech at normal levels using a telephone. Occasionally required to stand, walk, and bend over, reach overhead, use hands,wrists and fingers, to grasp, push, pull, move, handle, feel, and type. Constantly required to use close vision and distance vision for regular computer work. Occasionally required to lift and/or move up to 25 lbs. to waist height.

Specific job constraints

  • In possession of a valid work permit for work in South Africa or a South African citizen, resident or refugee with permission to work in South Africa.
  • The working language of the Southern Africa office is English.


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