Head of Programme - Tunisia

International IDEA - The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance
  • Location
    Tunis, Tunisia
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Apr 14

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.


The Tunis Sub-Regional Office functions as an integral part of the Africa and West Asia (AWA) Programme of the Institute. It is also one of only two sub-regional offices in the International IDEA global structure, the other being the office in Mexico City. Initially established in the wake of the “Arab Spring” as a country office, it has, since the closure of the Cairo Office at the end of 2017, evolved into, and served as the sub-regional hub for the activities of the AWA Programme in the Maghreb and the Middle East. Work carried out through the Office spans the three core pillars of the Institute’s current strategy, namely, i) constitution-building; ii) electoral processes and systems; and iii) political participation. Activities are also organized on the cross-cutting topics of gender, youth, and post-conflict transitions. At present, much of the work of the Office is carried out in and/or on Tunisia (the host country), Libya, Yemen, and Lebanon.

At a time of persistent and even intensifying conflict and change across North Africa and the Middle East, and amidst a constant geo-political re-alignment among the countries of the region and their international allies, the AWA sub-regional office is strategically tasked with promoting the voices of democratic reform guided by the core values that underpin the Institute’s various engagements around the world. As Head of Programme, the incumbent will, under the delegated authority of the Regional Director, lead staff to identify promising opportunities for programme development and innovation, mitigate risks associated with working in a volatile region dominated by authoritarian regimes, and nurture relations with a variety of like-minded partners. S/he will be guided by the goal underscored in the AWA strategy of expanding presence, reach, impact, and relevance in a sustained and sustainable manner. To this end, the Head of Programme will also be required to lead efforts at resource mobilization in order to place the Tunis Office on a more diversified and increasingly self-sustaining funding basis whilst deepening work in the areas of electoral reform and participation to complement the work that is already going on with regard to constitution-building.

Furthermore, the incumbent will function as a key adviser to the Director AWA Region in all matters pertaining to the good administration of the sub-regional office, the external visibility of the work of the office across the geographical area it serves and beyond, and the pursuit of programmatic synergies in the spirit of One AWA and One International IDEA that is built into the current regional strategy. S/he will contribute as well to the overall management of the affairs of the AWA Programme in accordance with the priorities set by the Secretary-General and various institutional governance bodies. This includes the goal of building the AWA Region into a growth pole of the Institute over the coming years. It will also involve coordinated efforts at strengthening relations with existing member states and attracting other countries that meet the requisite requirements to consider taking up membership of the Institute.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Manages and accounts for all International IDEA programmes and activities in North Africa and the Middle East as delegated;
  • Promotes dialogue and consensus-building for democratic reforms at the highest political and institutional levels of the sub-region;
  • Provides and facilitates expert advice to political actors as demanded or opportune and within the limits of the capacity of the office;
  • Represents International IDEA across the sub-region as delegated;
  • Manages the implementation of activities and the production of activity reports;
  • Ensures adherence to programme planning and implementation;
  • Manages and directs the team of staff and consultants to ensure full delivery of agreed programme outputs while fostering a spirit of collaboration, work ethics and team cohesion;
  • Provides timely and insightful reports on political developments in the sub-region;
  • Participates in dialogue processes, advocacy in the field of democracy, governance and social development, and in the preparation of publications;
  • Liaises and works programmatically with co-implementing partners;
  • Maintains and develops relevant professional contacts and networks of cooperation with those active in relevant fields, including practitioners, policy makers, academics and the international community;
  • Plans, facilitates, participates in and makes presentations promoting programmes and activities in North Africa and the Middle East at coordination meetings, seminars, workshops and conferences;
  • Nurtures effective relations with the government of the host country, International IDEA Member States present in Tunis, the UN family of organizations, and other relevant partners, donors and interlocutors;
  • Takes responsibility for overall programme risk management and actively manages risk in line with organizational policies and procedures;
  • Ensures communication and cooperation with International IDEA’s global and cross-cutting programmes for activity implementation in the sub-region;
  • Ensures coordination and effective communication with all donors working with the office, including compliance with their rules as accepted by International IDEA upon the signing of a contract.


  • Combines in-depth knowledge, excellent skills including managerial skills and relevant experience in their field;
  • Leads assigned projects with authority throughout the project life cycle, i.e. from strategic planning and project design, funding and budgeting to project assessment and accountability; leads meetings and discussions, oversees publications and input from external providers; Brings a significant fund-raising and administrative capacity to the job;
  • Has the intellectual leadership to integrate innovation into his/her field of expertise;
  • Leads a team of contributors to the project, including staff members and consultants;
  • Fosters team-based activities in his/her unit; collaborates with other entities of the Institute;
  • Acts as a model and mentor for colleagues;
  • Is expected to travel globally to any geographical area involved in his/her projects;
  • Follows internal procedures to ensure high standards of performance and compliance with Institutional guidelines;
  • Anticipates internal challenges and issues and recommends process improvements;
  • Integrates a rights-based approach, gender sensitivity, and a diversity of perspective into all programme activities;
  • Acts in accordance with International IDEA’ s core values; Respect, Integrity and Professionalism.

Reporting Line

  • Director Africa West Asia Region.

Programmatic Knowledge

  • Has excellent knowledge and extensive work experience in own discipline, combined with excellent understanding of related disciplines in order to approach programmatic activities in a holistic manner.

Operational Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Possesses excellent knowledge and extensive work experience in own discipline (such as parliamentary support, elections, political participation and representation or constitution building) combined with excellent understanding of complexities of democratic transitions in order to approach programmatic activities in a holistic manner in the context of North Africa and the Middle East;
  • Possesses a thorough understanding of relevant programmatic issues in North Africa and the Middle East, where his/her work is implemented;
  • Demonstrates capacity in policy analysis and strategy development;
  • Integrates a results-based approach into the design, management and evaluation of all his/her programmatic activities;
  • Is active in the search for information on donors and partners, 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;
  • Understands and manages the budget and planning cycles for the sub-region in close collaboration with the Director AWA Region.


  • Leads a multi-talented team, sets team priorities and manages resources in projects of considerable complexity;
  • Acts as a model and resource for colleagues.

Problem Solving

  • Solves complex challenges, approach issues with new perspectives, and analyze situations from a multitude of intervening factors.


  • Has a clear impact on programme development and delivery, will also impact other teams and projects in related fields.

Communication and Interpersonal Skills

  • Liaises permanently to all 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;
  • Is able to present his/her activities and represent International IDEA effectively in all professional circles;
  • Fluency in written and oral English and French and/orArabic is required. Any other widely spoken language in an International IDEA priority region would be an asset.

Education and Experience

  • Advanced university degree in social science, political science, international law, international development, peace and development studies or related subjects;
  • A minimum of 10 years, working in the field of democracy and governance specifically in the field of electoral processes, constitution building or political participation, including substantial experience working in developing country contexts;
  • Experience working in the North Africa and the Middle East is desireable;
  • A minimum of 5 years’ experience in management positions, including senior level positions, with direct supervision over diverse international teams;
  • Proven experience in engaging, cultivating and influencing stakeholders; Experience of working in an international environment is essential;
  • Solid experience with resource mobilization, including experience in conceptualization and formulation of successful funding proposals and extensive management of donor-funded projects and donor reporting.

Terms of Contract

  • International post;
  • Two (2) year fixed term appointment;
  • Salary EUR 7,031 NET plus benefits.


Application instructions

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