- Location: Preferred in Belgium. Possible for remote work within Europe.
- Contract type: Full time
- Gross salary: annual gross from € 66,000 to € 96,000 (based on experience)
- Deadline for applications: 4 October 2023
- Interviews to be held week of 23 October 2023
- How to Apply: via Workable application page (https://apply.workable.com/j/0F58EA0DDB)
Civitates is a philanthropic pooled fund that was established in 2018 to defend and promote democracy and civic space in Europe. Since its inception, it has supported 50 organisations in 18 countries with a total amount of € 10 million.
In 2023, Civitates recruited a new Director and undertook a strategy refresh process to take stock of its progress and hone its focus. Building on lessons learnt during its first five years of existence and considering the evolving landscape, the Civitates donor partners committed to continuing their collaboration around a shared vision and mission and three collective goals for the next five years:
- To strengthen the ecosystem for and space in which independent civil society and media operate as a means to promote collective engagement in public life.
- To foster a pluralistic public debate (online and offline), counter disinformation and address the impact of new technologies on democracy.
- To act as a catalyst for effective private and public funding for democracy and civic space in Europe.
Civitates’ grant making and capacity building programmes are structured along three portfolios or “sub funds” that together contribute to the achievement of the goals:
- Civic Power – to strengthen the resilience of pro-democracy civil society organisations and coalitions.
- Tech and Democracy – to promote a safe and inclusive Internet that promotes rather than undermines democracy and hold Big Tech to account.
- Media – to preserve the existence of independent, public interest journalism across Europe.
Today, Civitates is a strong community of 18 like-minded foundations which bring diverse expertise and extensive networks. These foundations are united in their resolve to pool their resources and knowledge together with a view to scaling the support available for pro-democracy actors, learning from each other and experimenting with new approaches in defence of democracy and civic space in Europe.
All Civitates foundation partners sit on the Steering Committee and participate in strategic grant making decisions through their involvement in the working groups of their choice, which oversee each of the three sub funds.
Civitates is hosted by the Network of European Foundations (NEF) in Brussels and has a small team of four full time staff.
About the role
The role of Senior Programme Manager is a new role created to further Civitates' leadership role in the fast-evolving field of technology and democracy.
The Senior Programme Manager is responsible for the coordination of the Tech and Democracy portfolio and for ensuring strategic alignment with Civitates’ other portfolios and overall agenda.
If successful in your application, you will lead Civitates’ thinking in this field, strategically grow and manage a portfolio of grants, design fit-for-purpose monitoring and adaptive learning processes and develop capacity building agendas for grantee and donor partners.
The Senior Programme Manager is also expected to oversee the portfolio’s general operations, including reporting, budget management and contracts, and other administrative duties and logistics support as needed.
The role reports to the Civitates Director and is expected to collaborate closely with the Programme Manager, the Programme and Grants Officer and the NEF team.
We are a small team delivering a big, challenging, and urgent mission. We are looking for someone who will bring passion, curiosity, and initiative, with a practical and positive approach.
- Lead the strategic development of Civitates’ portfolio on Tech and Democracy, in close collaboration with the Civitates Director and the donor working group, to help position Civitates as a key player in the field.
- Actively contribute to shaping and supporting the emerging field of tech and democracy by fostering strategic alignment, synergies and coordination among donors and other relevant players, including the European AI & Society Fund.
- Spearhead emergent learning processes for the Tech and Democracy portfolio to ensure that Civitates learns and adapts as it goes, with a view to benefiting the entire field.
- Stay abreast of key developments, spot strategic opportunities/gaps/needs, identify and analyse risks and mitigation strategies and feed this into on-going strategy conversations within the team, donor working group and Steering Committee.
- Lead the grants management process for the Tech and Democracy portfolio, from designing calls for proposals, coordinating selection/renewal processes, and assessing grantees’ progress in close cooperation with Civitates’ donor partners and external experts.
- In close collaboration with the grants officer and NEF, ensure that due diligence, contracts, payments, budget development and tracking are carried out in compliance with NEF policies and procedures.
- Support grantee partners throughout the grant implementation process, including by designing and organising site visits, peer exchanges, convenings and capacity building programmes.
- Assume full responsibility for ensuring appropriate evaluation of the grant portfolio.
- Lead and facilitate decision-making, learning and strategy processes within the working group of donors for the Tech and Democracy portfolio and implement ensuing actions.
- Contribute to managing, monitoring and reporting on the multi-annual budget available for the sub fund (circa 1 million euros/year and growing), in collaboration with the grants officer and the NEF team.
- Contribute to raising the funds available for Civitates’ work on Tech and Democracy including through helping to identify potential new donors and developing funding proposals, in close collaboration with the Director and relevant players in the field.
Contribution to Civitates’ overall development
- Contribute to Civitates’ strategic communications for the field of pro-democracy actors, by regularly surfacing insights and producing/authoring inspiring stories and analyses gathered from across the portfolio of Tech and Democracy.
- Contribute to monitoring, evaluation and learning efforts, including through assisting in the preparation of Civitates’ annual report and any other reporting requirements from donors involved in the working group.
- Support the organisation of Steering Committee and other strategy meetings, including by preparing documents and delivering presentations.
- Foster exchanges with external stakeholders and regularly represent Civitates in public events and high level technical and/or advocacy fora, sharing findings from the work of Civitates with the field at large.
The list above is non-exhaustive, and the Senior Programme Manager may be required by the Director to assist with other tasks as needed.
We don't expect any candidate to have all of these characteristics, but if you see yourself in many of them, then we encourage you to apply.
Knowledge and Experience
- Experience in the digital policy (or similar) field
- Understanding of how technology affects democracy and human rights; knowledge of the policy agenda on these issues; ability to identify the implication of these trends for Civitates’ work.
- Knowledge of how philanthropy operates and familiarity with the funding landscape for democracy and digital rights.
- Proven track record in grants/projects planning and management to ensure impact. Previous experience in grant making desirable.
- Experience in preparing, managing and overseeing budgets.
- Excellent spoken and written English.
- Experience spearheading civil society advocacy campaigns or networks (desirable).
Skills and Abilities
- Anticipatory and strategic thinker with a hands-on, problem-solving, proactive attitude.
- Strong sense of initiative and creativity, ability to deal with uncertainty and find solutions in the face of challenges.
- Excellent communication skills, including the ability of translating complex ideas into clear and accessible content.
- Ability to maintain high standards of ethics, integrity and professionalism.
- Good organisational skills and the ability to stay on top of many large and small tasks simultaneously, excellent time management skills and attention to detail.
- A proven record in building and maintaining productive working relationships with people from a wide diversity of backgrounds, both in person and online.
- An outstanding team player, including in remote work settings, with experience of working with on-line collaborative tools.
- Computer skills: Google Drive and MS Office suite.
- Willingness and ability to travel within Europe up to 20% of the time.
Personal Style and Behaviours
- Commitment to the vision, mission and values of Civitates.
- Actively encourages and feels at home in a diverse and inclusive working environment.
- A sense of humour, humility and collegiality.
- Capacity for self-reflection and a commitment to learning and growth.
- Comfortable and able to work within a remote team.
- A full-time employment contract (37.5 hours per week). Belgian contract possible.
- A competitive salary package: annual gross salary from € 66,000 to € 96,000 (based on experience). Monthly gross salary in an international range is from € 5,500 to € 8,000. The Belgian range with the 13th salary, paid holidays and meal vouchers will be different.
- Additional benefits such as extra holidays, pension scheme, hospitalisation insurance, flexibility of working from home in general. And homeworking allowance, meal voucher, 13th month salary for Belgian contract.
- An inclusive work culture that values diversity within a driven team.
- EU Citizenship or a Belgian Residence Permit status is required for this role.
- The application will close on 4 October. Our first round of interview will take place in person, at NEF Office (Philanthropy House, Rue Royale 94, 1000 Brussels). The selected candidates will be contacted in the week of 23 October.
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