Senior Programme Officer

International IDEA
  • Location
    Brussels, Belgium
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Jun 15

Position description

The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance - The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) is an intergovernmental organization with a mission to advance democracy worldwide, as a universal human aspiration and an enabler of sustainable development, through support to the building, strengthening and safeguarding of democratic political institutions and processes at all levels.

We believe that democracy is a universal human aspiration and an experience that is pursued and lived in different ways around the world. Beyond the basic tenets of citizens’ choice and citizens’ political equality, the critical choices are best made and the quality of democracy is best gauged by those directly concerned: the citizens themselves. We systematically nurture an open and pluralistic understanding of democracy. This is respectful of the national context, and is in line with our non-prescriptive and non-intrusive approach, as well as with the priorities set by national actors.

International IDEA produces, shares and enables the use of comparative knowledge in its key areas of expertise: electoral processes, constitution building processes, political participation and representation, as well as on democracy as it relates to gender and inclusion, conflict sensitivity and sustainable development.

It has its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, and offices in the Africa and West Asia, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean and Europe regions. International IDEA is a Permanent Observer to the United Nations.


Under its 2018-2022 Strategy, International IDEA will support the integrity of processes and institutions of political participation and representation through strengthening the capacity of formal institutions of political participation and representation, such as parliaments and political parties. In this regard, International IDEA and the European Union (EU) have entered into an Agreement to implement the project “INTER PARES | Parliaments in Partnership - EU Global Project to Strengthen the Capacity of Parliaments”. The global project aims to strengthen representative and inclusive democracy through support for the effective functioning of parliaments in partner countries, by enhancing their legislative, oversight, representative, budgetary and administrative functions. This global project focuses both on elected Members of Parliament (MPs), particularly in their capacity as members of parliamentary committees, and on the staff of parliaments' secretariats.

The project will be implemented through the following three main components:

  1. Peer-to-peer parliamentary strengthening operations between selected parliaments from partner countries and parliaments from European Union Member States (EU MSPs);
  2. Promotion of sustainable inter-parliamentary cooperation and parliamentary support approaches, with a focus on selected thematic issues; and
  3. Production of comparative research and knowledge and of practical and innovative tools on parliamentary matters and support approaches.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Manages the overall design, development and production of the project’s knowledge resources and tools such as e-learning tools, parliamentary primers, thematic briefs and publications, online digital resource/repository, databases; conceptualises and provides technical expertise;
  • Participates in the project’s peer-to-peer strengthening activities including through assuming primary responsibility for development and implementation of several country-specific EU MSP – partner parliament strengthening partnerships;
  • Coordinates project strategy, actions and initiatives in the thematic focus area of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment and, in addition, in several of the following thematic areas: Human Rights; Environmental Protection and Climate Change; Youth; Digital Technology for Development; Citizens’ engagement and Civil Society;
  • Coordinates INTER PARES engagement with the AGORA parliamentary web portal, the iKNOW Politics project, and the IPU Centre for Innovation in Politics, including through building productive collaborations;
  • Provides substantive inputs in the preparation of the project’s progress reports and presentations to the EU and International IDEA;
  • Manages the project Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) and is the designated evaluator in accordance with the M&E plan outlined in the project document, responding to both EU needs and aligned with International IDEA’s M&E results framework;
  • Contributes to the visibility of the project in line with the Communication and Visibility Plan;
  • Supports the adherence to both EU and International IDEA regulations and procedures in the project implementation and reporting;
  • Liaises and works in cooperation and coordination with other areas of work within International IDEA’s Global and Regional Programmes, as well as with the EU, Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and other relevant partners and stakeholders;
  • Supports the overall project risk management and actively manages risk as outlined in the project document’s risk analysis and mitigation measures in line with organisational policies and procedures;
  • Supports project planning and implementation and carries out other duties as assigned by the Head of Programme;
  • Deputises for the Head of Programme where required.

General Profile

  • Combines in-depth knowledge, acquired through post-graduate academic achievements, excellent skills and significant experience in their field;
  • Provides high-quality contributions to assigned projects, including relevant policy analysis and assessments;
  • Has the intellectual leadership to integrate innovation into his/her field of expertise;
  • Demonstrated expertise in the area of gender equality and women’s empowerment in parliaments and political life;
  • Acts as a model and mentor for less experienced colleagues;
  • Has the capacity to work with minimum supervision and in fruitful collaboration with other entities of the Institute, the European Commission, external partners and stakeholders;
  • Is expected to travel globally to any geographical area involved in implementing projects under INTER PARES;
  • Accountable to ensure high standards of performance and compliance with institutional and project guidelines;
  • Acts in accordance with International IDEA’s Core Values: Respect, Integrity and Professionalism;
  • Integrates a rights-based approach as well as a gender and diversity perspective in all activities.

Reporting Line

  • Head of Programme.

Programmatic Knowledge

  • Has in-depth knowledge and extensive work experience in own discipline, combined with a broad knowledge of related disciplines within the function, in order to approach activities in a holistic manner.

Operational Knowledge, skills and experience

  • Good working knowledge and practical experience in parliamentary support and development, working with members of parliaments, parliamentary secretariats and committees;
  • Knowledge of parliamentary needs assessments methodologies and approaches for parliamentary support;
  • Integrates a results-based approach into the design, management and evaluation of all his/her programmatic activities;
  • Is active in the search for information, preparation of reports and project briefs, identification of opportunities for initiation of new projects, and all other activities related to resource mobilization and partnership building;
  • Illustrates integrity, a collaborative spirit, a sense of achievement, and an understanding of risk management.


  • Some people management responsibility over staff and consultants is expected;
  • Acts as a model and resource for colleagues.

Problem Solving

  • Will solve complex challenges, approach issues with new perspectives and analyse situations from a multitude of intervening factors.


  • Has a clear impact on the programme development and delivery;
  • Can also impact other teams and projects in related fields.

Communication and Interpersonal Skills

  • Strong analytical, writing and communication skills, including ability to produce high quality reports and knowledge products/tools;
  • Excellent presentation skills; including public speaking and design skills (for slide-decks);
  • Strong diplomatic skills and ability to engage with high level EU Officials, Parliament Officials, international community and other key stakeholders;
  • Liaises regularly with internal and external stakeholders involved in his/her project; acts and is perceived as an initiator of relevant communication to solve issues;
  • Drives projects and assignments through communicative personal energy and engagement;
  • Can explain sensitive information with diplomacy, and build consensus;
  • Excellent knowledge in written and oral English is required; Any other widely spoken language in an International IDEA priority region (Arabic, French, Spanish) and/or official EU language would be a strong asset..

Education and Experience

  • Post-graduate in social/political sciences, law or other relevant discipline;
  • A minimum of eight (8) years of relevant experience within a parliament, in parliamentary strengthening and/or broader democracy support is essential;
  • Excellent understanding of project management, monitoring and evaluation approaches is essential;
  • Experience in the production of various knowledge resources and tools on democracy and governance, in particular parliaments, will be considered an asset;
  • Relevant experience with an international and/or regional organization, or specialized NGO, in democracy assistance, particularly at country level, would be considered an asset;
  • Knowledge and working experience on mainstreaming gender in governance and democracy, in particular parliamentary support, would be considered an advantage;
  • Experience with EU-funded projects and knowledge of EU project management, contractual and financial procedures, including the use of logical frameworks (logframes) and other relevant reporting tools, will be considered a strong asset.

Terms of Contract:

  • International post;
  • Fixed term appointment until 31 December 2021;
  • Salary EUR 5 722 NET plus benefits.

Application instructions

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