Program Officer, Public Health Program, Media and Narratives

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    Berlin, Germany
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Aug 24

Position description

Program Officer, Public Health Program, Media and Narratives. Berlin. Posting Date: 07/23/2019. Deadline: 08/23/2019

The Open Society Public Health Program is seeking a Program Officer to work in its Media and Narratives Division. This post will be based in Berlin but will be part of a global team.

Public Health Program

The Open Society Public Health Program (PHP) advances a human rights approach to health, with an emphasis on social inclusion and reclaiming the public good in health. We work to make justice systems more responsive to health, to shift power dynamics in health-related decision-making, to challenge the health establishment to advance human rights, and to influence the funding environment for health and rights. The PHP is unique in explicitly focusing on the political nature of health, not seeing it solely or primarily as a technical issue.

Job Profile

The Program Officer will focus on grant-making and operational activities related to narrative change, creative activism, and the role of the arts and popular culture in social change related to health. The work will be mostly focused in Europe. They will report to PHP's Director for Media and Narratives, and will collaborate closely with colleagues working on ethnicity and health equality, sexual and reproductive health rights, and other topics of concern to the PHP.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develop and manage a portfolio of grants focused on narrative/culture change as it relates to ethnicity, race and health equity, sex work, and related PHP priorities. This will include developing a portfolio strategy that integrates grant-making with other tools such as advocacy, strategic convening, communications and others.
  • Solicits and evaluates grant proposals, prepares documentation, corresponds with grantees, conducts project site visits, and monitors grants and operational projects to ensure progress.
  • Contributes to crafting and executing strategy for allocated bodies of work, including developing new bodies of work in line with the overall PHP strategy and in collaboration with supervisor and colleagues.
  • Assesses organizational capacities of key grantees and provides capacity building opportunities in order to strengthen the field.
  • Builds collaborative relationships within and outside OSF (e.g. with existing grantees, prospective grantees, experts in the community, policy makers, multilateral agencies) that advance portfolio goals. Identifies joint programming opportunities with external funders and partners.
  • Conceptualizes and convenes meetings, seminars and training workshops for relevant PHP partners.
  • Participates in the development of overall PHP strategy and conducts research to support program design.
  • Manages complex projects that include staff within/outside OSF and that may be regional or global in nature.
  • Manages financial and budget reports to track spending and assist in planning and development of annual budgets.
  • Represents PHP at relevant events, meetings and conferences.
  • Undertakes other duties as requested by the Public Health Program.

Candidate Profile


  • At least 7 years of relevant progressively responsible experience in creative activism, narrative change, and related approaches to social change.
  • An understanding and appreciation of the intersections between public health, human rights and social justice and demonstrated commitment to advance the human rights of marginalized populations.
  • Previous grantee experience/perspective preferred.
  • Interested in and pays attention to developments in popular culture.
  • Willing to take risks and try new approaches.
  • Ability to listen and communicate clearly and effectively with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. Ability to grasp and work within a complex organizational environment, to show sensitivity and respect for people working in different programs and departments, and to empathize with different points of view.
  • A wide range of professional contacts from diverse fields.
  • Adaptability and tolerance for change and ambiguity in a complex and dynamic organization.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English.
  • Strong presentation skills.
  • Willingness to undertake extensive travel.

Application Instructions:

Please submit a cover letter that addresses the specific skills and experience that Open Society requires for Program Officers (guidance is located here ) and a resume. We look forward to learning more about you.

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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