Program Specialist

Open society foundations, Amman, Jordan

Skill Required:, Monitoring and EvaluationResearch and Analysis
Preferred Experience: 
3 to 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
28th February, 2016

Job Description

Job Profile

  • Reporting to the Team Manager of Rights & Governance, the Program Specialist is responsible for performing a wide range of responsibilities that materially advance both portfolio and other program strategies.  
  • The role requires specialized knowledge, not only of the relevant field(s) such as human rights, women’s rights and democratic practice, but also of how to use the various tools available to the organization for accomplishing its objectives, including bringing about social change.  
  • This role functions as part of a team, and assumes work by assignment from others.  
  • Responsibilities are carried out with a high degree of independence, although collegial problem-solving is a hallmark of Open Society work.  
  • Program Specialists will use a range of tools used by The Open Society Foundations to bring about social change, and play an important role in the grant making process.
  • Their contributions include the identification of high potential new partners, the assessment of organizations in the field, the design of grants, and the assessment of grants and portfolios.  
  • Program Specialists also take the lead on projects or issues (such as research initiatives, convening, or advocacy efforts) as assigned.

Essential duties and responsibilities will include:

  • supporting programmatic efforts by conducting a wide range of tasks related to the grant making process, reviewing proposals and reports, carrying out check-up calls with grantees and other specific tasks as assigned by manager
  • carry out analytical work in support of field development, advocacy, regional consultations, and integrative activities in fields relevant to the rights and governance work
  • conducting research and synthesizing large amounts of data/information to be used in decision-making, strategy development, and evaluation of the grants portfolio or other program processes
  • designing and carrying-out field scans and ongoing field monitoring
  • analyzing grant proposals (including budget analysis), designing grants (type of support, degree of flexibility, duration, payment structure, reporting/learning expectations, etc.) and drafting grant recommendations
  • may be assigned a geographical (a country of focus) or thematic area (from the rights and governance main themes) for which they would be expected to advance the knowledge and understanding of the office, through monitoring, research and reporting
  • partnering closely with program administration staff to ensure efficient flow of grants processing and other similar information
  • developing the concept, agenda, key players, etc. for convening, research initiatives, and advocacy efforts
  • contributing to assessment of organizations,  including primary responsibility for the assessment of organizational finances and budgets (including grant budgets)
  • may be asked to take on administrative responsibilities or projects on an ad-hoc basis.
  • These may include processing grants, developing tools and templates, coordinating event logistics, and processing vendor contracts and consultancy agreements
  • may provide support in the area of learning design for benefit of the whole team
  • may participate in preparing and presenting portfolio reviews

Candidate Profile

  • bachelor’s degree in human rights field or equivalent experience/education; graduate degree desirable.
  • 3-5 years of progressively responsible experience in grant making process, research, rights & governance field, project management
  • knowledgeable on issues of interest to The Open Society Foundations generally, and in particular as they relate to one or all of the areas of specialization of the department within human rights, women’s rights and good governance
  • proven skills in researching, processing large amounts of information and analyzing its importance in informing The Open Society Foundations programs and strategies
  • proven ability to recognize and work effectively in compliance with internal policies and external constraints
  • willingness and ability to exercise sound professional judgment on issues of sensitivity
  • excellent technological skills, including use of social media; for research, monitoring, outreach in particular
  • demonstrate consistent respect for others’ opinions, listen well, and respond to colleagues with awareness and sensitivity to cultural communication differences
  • diplomatic, discreet, able to handle confidential matters with a high level of integrity
  • well-developed emotional intelligence, including self-awareness, self-management, and empathy
  • organized; proven experience in  project management ability; self-directed on work initiatives; strong attention to detail
  • ability to manage competing priorities and deadlines
  • ability to work constructively with colleagues at all levels in the hierarchy of the organization as well as with external partners
  • strong commitment to open society values of rights, justice, accountable governance, human dignity, and democratic practice
  • strong commitment to inclusion and respect for all colleagues regardless of identity or seniority.
  • Collaborative, collegial working style
  • excellent written and spoken communication in English

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