Program Officer

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    London, United Kingdom
  • Sector
    Commercial
  • Experience
    Internship / Early Career / Mid Career / Advanced
  • Apply by
    Jun-28-2018
  • Posted
    May 23

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 investments, grants, economic policy advice, and builds stakeholder coalitions to influence the exercise of economic power.
Job Profile
We seek a Program Officer passionate about the economic advancement of vulnerable economic actors. The successful candidate will have a deep understanding of the landscape of civil society actors engaging the Private sector and Government to empower women and men smallholder farmers. The role will work globally, focused on food systems in Sub-Saharan Africa. The role reports to the Director of Grants of the Economic advancement program.

The Program Officer as part of the EAP team will develop a range of grants that combine with investment, policy and engagement work to transform the rural economy to empower smallholder farmers. In short, because economic systems are complex, the Program takes an integrated approach to achieve change. The Program Officer works collaboratively both within OSF and with external entities, manages two portfolios of grants, contributing to the effective functioning of the program across cultures and geographies.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Recommend, negotiate and manage grants, budgets, and contracts with diverse organizations/individuals to transform the rural economy to empower smallholder farmers; informed by others, but ultimately based upon the Program Officer’s own judgment.
  • Working with colleagues specializing in engagement, investment and policy work, to develop and manage portfolios of work to achieve systemic change.
  • Ability to Working with colleagues specializing in engagement, investment and policy work, to develop and manage portfolios of work to achieve systemic change.
  • Building collaborative relationships within and outside OSF, representing OSF externally as needed and comfortable confronting the power imbalance that grant making brings.
  • Assess the organizational capacity of partners, including an understanding of financial and administrative strength, and provide mentoring and technical assistance through long-distance support.
  • Monitor and analyze economic, political and social developments in Smallholder Agriculture and the Rural Economy, and advise OSF colleagues on important developments.
  • Responsible for strengthening connections between OSFs geographic and thematic programs consistent with OSF’s broader priorities, identifying opportunities for broader impact.
Candidate Profile
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent education and/or experience in business studies, development studies, human rights or a closely related field.
  • 7 -10 years of relevant experience in the fields of interest for the Program in a large and complex organization, preferably in the non-profit or philanthropic field.
  • Nuanced understanding, including familiarity with current issues and leading actors working on the transformation of the rural economy to empower smallholder farmers; work experience in business development, international or economic development in the for profit or not for profit sector is preferred.
  • Strong analytical and critical thinking and synthesis skills required, with a demonstrated diplomatic approach to building and sustaining relationships with multiple stakeholders.
  • Sophisticated understanding of the structure and workings of both formal and informal organizations (NGO/non-profit organizations, public agencies, etc.), networks, and social movements
  • Ability to work efficiently to meet tight deadlines, on a wide range of tasks simultaneously and directing others to effectively gather, evidence and research to inform decisions or judgments.
  • Ability to work efficiently to meet tight deadlines and on a wide range of tasks simultaneously.
  • Proficiency in verbal and written English.
  • Willingness and ability to travel domestically and internationally on a frequent basis. The candidate must have the ability to exercise effective and inclusive leadership in cross-cultural settings.

Application deadline: 28th June 2018

Salary: Competitive rates of pay apply

Location: London, UK

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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