Program Specialist

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    Amman, Jordan
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career / Mid Career
  • Posted
    Oct 31

Position description

Program Specialist, Middle East North Africa and Southwest Asia, Amman, Deadline: 11/12/2018

We are seeking a Program Specialist to join us on a fixed term 6 month contract.

The Open Society Foundations' Arab Regional Office (ARO) was established in 2006 to support local civil society in its efforts to protect human rights and build vibrant and tolerant societies. Based in Tunis and Amman, the office supports a diverse group of civil society organizations, research centers, universities, and media organizations across the Arab world in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and Tunisia.

Job Profile

Reporting to the Manager of the Civil Society Engagement Team, the Program Specialist is responsible for performing a wide range of responsibilities that materially advance both portfolio and other program strategies to support the work and aspirations of the region's civil society. The role requires specialized knowledge, not only of the relevant field(s) such as human rights, civic engagement, and policy advocacy 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 utilize 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.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • 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 managers
  • carry out analytical work in support of field development, advocacy, regional consultations, and integrative activities in fields relevant to the civil society engagement work
  • designing and carrying-out field scans and ongoing field monitoring
  • support the team in 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
  • 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 travel in the region as required


Candidate Profile
  • Bachelor's degree with relevant experience or equivalent qualifications and or experience
  • 3-5 years of progressively responsible experience in grant making process, research, human rights or media field project management
  • Knowledge of one or more substantive areas including human rights, policy advocacy; media, civic engagement, and government relations.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
  • Collaborative, collegial working style
  • Excellent communication skills, including a demonstrated ability to effectively communicate both verbally and in writing in English and Arabic. Familiarity with French preferable;


Please attach a CV and cover letter when applying.

Competitive rates of pay apply.

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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