Program Officer, South Asia

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    London, United Kingdom
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career / Mid Career
  • Posted
    Jun 24

Position description

Program Officer, South Asia. London. Posting Date: 06/23/2020. Deadline: 07/07/2020

Do you want to advance social justice and human rights with your analytical skills and your expertise on South Asia. We are seeking a Program Officer based in London to manage grant-making and advocacy efforts and campaigns from start to finish, and play an advisory role regarding advocacy matters in pursuit of the Program's strategic goals and objectives and, more broadly, the Open Society Foundations.

The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and inclusive democracies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people. We are active in more than 120 countries, making us the world's largest private funder of independent groups working for justice, democratic governance, and human rights.

The Asia Pacific Regional Office- South Asia Program works with local, regional, and international partners to enhance governance and equity in economic practice, support civic engagement and participation in challenging environments, and strengthen regional platforms for human rights.

As a program officer at Open Society, you will:

  • Provide a strategic vision for innovative program development in South Asia, and develop advocacy as a new and integral component of the Program's work, supporting the integration of advocacy into grant making;
  • Supervise, with considerable autonomy, the advocacy, grant making, and operational strategies in South Asia; this includes negotiating and managing grants, projects, project budgets, and contracts with diverse organizations/individuals;
  • Serve as programmatic focal point on advocacy efforts with focus on a bottom-up advocacy structure, working with program staff and manager to identify advocacy activities, priorities, and opportunities;
  • Develop APRO South Asia Program's staff advocacy capacity and support integration of advocacy into grant making; Build greater solidarity and partnerships through joint advocacy with a select number of grantees, and cultivate unlikely allies, new alliances, and common cause in advocacy across issues.
  • Prepare and deliver concise, targeted written reports and presentations for diverse groups, including peers, internal boards and external audiences.
  • Represent APRO in internal and external meetings.


What we are looking for:

  • Work experience in, and nuanced understanding of, at least one field related to human rights, justice, or governance in South Asia.
  • Experience developing advocacy efforts connected to broader public campaigning and constituency mobilization, within a campaigning framework, and experience doing high-level advocacy;
  • Capacity to conceptualize advocacy in inter-cultural, local contexts beyond the "usual places" where advocacy has traditionally been conducted;
  • Excellent written and oral English skills.
  • Fluency in at least one of the major South Asian languages;
  • Ability to work efficiently to meet tight deadlines in a fast-paced environment, and ability to adapt to shifting priorities;
  • Willingness to travel frequently, both domestically and internationally.


Desirable (but not required):

  • Experience of working on core open society issues in one or more countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and/or Pakistan is desirable;
  • Language fluency in one or more of Bengali (Bangla), Dari, Nepali, Pashto, Punjabi and/or Urdu is desirable.


What we offer:

  • Ample opportunities to learn and grow, from annual professional development allowances to onsite trainings and brown bag lunches with visiting experts.
  • 25 paid holiday, flexible work arrangements, private medical coverage, a generous retirement savings plan, up to one year of paid parental leave, reproductive and family planning support, sabbatical opportunities, and much more .
  • A commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace that enables everyone to bring their full self to work and make a positive impact on the world.


See what a day in the life of a Program Officer at Open Society is like.

If this sounds like the position you have been looking for, please submit a cover letter that addresses the specific skills and experience that OSF requires for Program Officers (guidance is located here ) and CV; we look forward to learning more about you.

Please note, this position is not eligible for work authorization sponsorship.

Competitive rates of pay apply.

We aim to build an inclusive workforce that is reflective of the populations we support, and actively seek applications from those who are marginalized and underrepresented. We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations to applicants and colleagues with disabilities.