Program Officer - Open Source Democracy

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    Berlin, Germany
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Mar 23

Position description

Program Officer - Open Source Democracy. Berlin. Posting Date: 03/22/2019. Deadline: 04/13/2019

The Open Society OSIFE is seeking a Program Officer to support its work on Open Source Democracy in Berlin.

The Regional Program for Europe (OSIFE) is part of the Open Society Foundations (OSF). OSF is a global network of foundations committed to local knowledge and national expertise, and including national foundations, regional foundations, and other geographic programs operating in more than one hundred countries. OSIFE works at national, local and pan-European level to support European progress towards open society goals though grant making, convening, advocacy and research mainly, and supports OSF's foundations and thematic programs to achieve their Europe-focused strategies.

Job Profile

The Program Officer will manage a portfolio called " Open Source Democracy" which provides support for the development of new and inclusive models of citizens' participation in institutional decision making across Europe as an attempt to renew democracy starting from the local level. The Program Officer works collaboratively both within OSF and with external entities whose goals align with those of OSF, makes decisions about specific grants where appropriate, and carries out other responsibilities directed towards promoting open societies around the world.

Responsibilities for the role may include the following:

  • Responsible for all grant-making activities relating to the portfolio. Operates with considerable autonomy and makes decisions related to authorizing/declining grants within an approved work plan and budget reflective of own field experience/expertise.
  • Builds collaborative relationships within and outside OSF (e.g. with grantees, partners, experts in the field, etc.) that advance social change efforts within this area and specifically works to:
    • Identify local and trans-local organizational, groups, networks and movements that forward new models of citizens participation in institutional decision-making processes
    • Map more deeply actors in the priority countries while looking for opportunities to support trans-local exchanges of experience as well as opportunities to scale-up
    • Ensure that the organizations, initiatives and models we support in this field are inclusive and that they seek out ways to bring in excluded and disenfranchised communities
    • Develop collaboration with other programs within OSF, especially in Europe, while supporting grantees and partners in communication and advocacy aspects
  • Guides the work of program and/or administrative staff in support of grant-making or other program activities.
  • Responsible for strengthening connections between OSF's geographic and thematic programs within this particular area, while identifying opportunities where a shared approach might have the potential to create a broader impact
  • Contributes to the development of overall program strategy and other cross-cutting initiatives or processes at OSIFE and OSF in general


Candidate Profile

  • 7 -10 years of progressively responsible experience, generally in an organization other than a foundation, relevant to the duties of this role
  • Substantive knowledge of different types of participatory democracy, including deliberative democracy, particularly in terms of their implementation in practice
  • Understanding of the crisis of representative democracy in Europe
  • Experience with grant-making and advocacy
  • Familiarity with key actors in participatory democracy in Europe
  • Record of cooperation with relevant external stakeholders on these issues


Position based in Berlin (preferred) with possibility of work in Barcelona


    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.
    follow us on Twitter