Program Specialist, Eurasia Program

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    Berlin, Germany
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career / Mid Career
  • Posted
    Dec 18

Position description

Program Specialist, Eurasia Program, Eurasia Program, Berlin, Deadline: 01/17/2019

The Eurasia Program works to deepen civil society, uphold human rights, and maintain space for independent debate and discussion in Eastern Europe (Moldova, Ukraine), the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia) and Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan). The program is advanced through grant making, advocacy and research, regional initiatives, and close engagement with local Open Society foundations. We believe that a vital civil society is fundamental to the promotion of democratic governance and government accountability. More information about the program can be found here .

Job Profile

The Eurasia Program is seeking a Program Specialist, who will be at the forefront of our grant making activities, carrying out field analysis, developing relationships with our partners and providing crucial programmatic support to our Program Officers and Division Director. The Specialist will develop expertise in one or more of the thematic areas in which we work (which may include civic engagement, independent media, scholarships, and human rights among others), as well as providing ongoing analysis of the Eurasia region as a whole. The position is based in Berlin.

Our ideal candidate is collegial and collaborative; proactive and resourceful; and analytical and hardworking. We are an international team based in three countries, working with internal and external partners around the world. Excellent communication and relationship-building skills are therefore a must. The ability to communicate effectively on behalf of the team while being culturally sensitive across a variety of contexts is essential. We are implementing a variety of programs and initiatives at all times, so our ideal candidate would be able to prioritize, balance multiple projects simultaneously, and remain poised in the face of changing deadlines and requirements. Our ideal candidate is a highly organized professional, capable of working successfully both independently and as part of a team.

Additionally, the candidate must have a sense of humor, intellectual curiosity, keen problem solving skills, and a constant drive to learn and develop. Our ideal candidate is mindful and self-critical, with the capacity to lead on projects or issues involved in our grant making, strategically developing the work and analyzing results. Essential duties and responsibilities will include:
  • Support the program by conducting a wide range of activities related to the grant making process, including analytical work in support of field development, advocacy, regional consultations and integrative activities.
  • Design and carry-out field scans and ongoing field monitoring as they relate to the Eurasia Program's strategic areas of work.
  • Shepherd projects through all stages of the grant process, from developing a concept with a grantee, through compliance and approval, to final assessment of the results of the project.
  • Conduct research and synthesize large amounts of data/information to be used in decision-making, strategy development, and evaluation of the grants portfolio or other program processes.
  • Participate in preparing and presenting portfolio reviews.
  • Deftly analyze grant proposals (including budget analysis), design grants (type of support, degree of flexibility, duration, payment structure, reporting/learning expectations, etc.) and work together with colleagues on drafting cogent and compelling grant recommendations.
  • Partner closely with program administration staff to ensure the efficient flow of grants processing and other similar program initiatives.
  • Develop the concept, agenda, key players, etc. for convenings, research initiatives, and advocacy efforts within assigned areas of work.
  • Contribute to the assessment of organizations. This includes primary responsibility for the assessment of operational environment, 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.


Candidate Profile

  • 3-5 years of progressively responsible professional experience in a relevant role.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the Eurasia region and understanding of the most pertinent challenges and opportunities for engagement with civil society in Eurasia.
  • Excellent research and analytical skills as they relate to processing large amounts of information, and honing in on the most relevant insights for informing the Eurasia Program's grant making strategy.
  • Excellent written and spoken communication in English; Russian language reading and conversational skills strongly preferred.
  • Experience giving grants and/or working with civil society partners on the ground in Eurasia preferred.
  • Ability to quickly navigate and decipher internal policies and external constraints as they relate to the Eurasia Program's activities.
  • Excellent technological skills, including digital communications security.
  • Well-developed emotional intelligence, including self-awareness, self-management, empathy, and sensitivity to cultural communication differences.
  • Collaborative; able to work productively as a member of a team.
  • Organized; strong project management ability; self-directed and self-motivated on work initiatives; strong attention to detail.
  • Ability to manage competing priorities and deadlines.
  • Ability to work constructively and adeptly 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.


To apply, please upload a CV and Cover Letter (both required).

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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