The National Democratic Institute seeks a Program Officer to support NDI’s democratic development programs in Southern and East Africa (SEA). The Program Officer will work with members of the SEA team on programs supporting elections, parliamentary strengthening, youth civic engagement, civil society advocacy, and executive agencies. The Program Officer will contribute to the planning, design, implementation, and execution of one or more designated programs and/or manage a program generally smaller in scope or of less complexity.
- Serve as a resource and provide general guidance to Project Assistants and Program Associates on basic programmatic procedures and tasks.
- Contribute to the development of detailed work plans to ensure achievement of assigned program(s) objective(s) and expected outcomes, including the establishment of actions to be taken, the required resources (time, funding, staffing, etc.), a schedule/timeline for the actions required, and specific measures/metrics for evaluation at completion.
- Execute required components of established program plans, and perform programmatic assignments in accordance with established expectations and timelines. Monitor progress, identifying problems and barriers and making recommendations to management for necessary adjustments to ensure successful, quality outcomes.
- Collaborate with team leadership, other team members, and as required across other teams in the development of country and region-specific program concepts and content for proposals, ensuring alignment with broader institutional strategies and approaches. Support the identification and documentation of successful parliament, civil society, youth, and other democratic processes/programs, as well as areas where improvements can be made for the establishment/execution of future programs.
- Conduct relevant monitoring, evaluation and analysis to determine potential impacts of programmatic work related to program-specific initiatives, plans, and/or problems, as well as review of data and metrics associated with program progress. Draw conclusions and present findings in a concise and understandable manner with related recommendations for any proposed actions to be taken.
- Draft assigned communications in adherence to specific guidance, to include board memos, briefing memos, reports (e.g. quarterly) or portions thereof, work plans, proposals, and presentations, ensuring proper and accurate formatting, spelling, and grammar usage as well as inclusion of required content. Review/edit related drafts prepared by Program Associates and Project Assistants, as required.
- Create and monitor budgets, grants and expenditures for assigned programs, with particular focus on those for larger or complex programs covering multiple field offices. Maintain budget-related notes/documentation and ensure completion of reconciliations and proper application of allowable costs according to restrictions, structures, and established mechanisms/processes. Work to ensure adherence to budget limitations and anticipate/address overages, implementing solutions to budget variances with input/agreement from higher-level team members as necessary. Implement and manage all aspects of subgrants.
- Establish, foster and maintain relationships with field staff, funding agency representatives, and overseas partners to ensure successful program implementation and execution and to articulate new funding proposals and concepts. Brief and/or collaborate to provide briefings to specific country political, civic and business leaders, donor organizations and members of the international community about NDI activities and positively influence and gain needed action for programmatic success.
- Serve as the point-of-contact for assigned programs, and interact regularly with relevant field offices to support programmatic work and allow for the monitoring and measurement of progress against plans and timing/preparations for required assessments. Act as a liaison with selected members of NGO, funding and Washington policymaking communities, as required.
- Provide support for local and regional program conferences, workshops and meetings and organize, as required, cross-functional workshops. Attend and/or represent NDI at selected external events/meetings.
- Conduct onsite field visits to facilitate/leverage programmatic work through actions such as organizing and/or conducting assessments (e.g. political, new opportunities, adherence to plans, etc.), developing assistance programs, and implementing and/or delivering training programs. Organize delegations abroad, as required.
- Initiate the creation and implementation of technical manuals, guides, training materials, and other technical documents for use in programs. Assist with developing and maintaining updated field office policies and handbooks for submission to higher-level team staff for review/approval.
- Establish relationships and maintain a network of potential international training resources, volunteers, and field representatives.
- Adhere to NDI’s organizational values, standards of conduct, policies and processes, and any other established expectations for NDI employees, including those related to performance, i.e. goals and position description accountabilities/responsibilities such as those presented herein.
Peripheral Accountabilities/Responsibilities (Non-essential)
- Support onboarding and training for Project Assistants and Program Associates as required. Participate in interview processes, as needed.
- Act as a back-up to other team members as needed.
- Participate on cross-functional teams and initiatives as needed.
- Actively seek and engage in professional development opportunities to enhance knowledge in project/program management, and maintain a general working knowledge of relevant program trends and issues occurring external to NDI.
- Perform other duties as required.
- Incumbent operates under general direction, works in accordance with established procedures and objectives.
- Incumbent regularly interacts with staff at all levels within NDI.
- Incumbent regularly interacts with NDI partners, funders, and other stakeholders, including international development organizations, civic organizations, NDI’s network of volunteers, trainers, and experts, political leaders, and other key program contacts.
- Bachelor’s degree, preferably in International Relations, Political Science or a related field, or equivalent experience.
- An advanced degree or work towards one in a relevant discipline is a plus.
- Three years of relevant work experience in international development, community organizing, political campaigns, or legislative affairs, or a similar field. Internships in one or more of these listed areas also may count as relevant work experience. An advanced degree or work towards one in a relevant discipline may be substituted for required years of experience on a one-for-one basis.
- Prior relevant international field work experience performed in the SEA region and/or completion of one or more semesters of education abroad is highly desired.
- Basic knowledge and competence in one or more of NDI’s international development disciplines, e.g. political campaigns, elections, community organizing, technology/innovation, etc.
- Knowledge of basic budget development/management and accounting processes along with math skills and the ability to perform accurate calculations and understand quantitative information.
- Strong analytical and judgment skills for identifying problems, drawing conclusions, determining options for resolution, and recommending next steps.
- Negotiation skills and the ability to be innovative and creative in finding ways to resolve issues and secure necessary support and resources for achieving programmatic goals.
- Strong interpersonal skills and cultural sensitivity to interact effectively and diplomatically with individuals at all levels of the organization, as well as externally both domestically and internationally with NDI partners, funders, and other stakeholders.
- Strong oral and written communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively and project a professional image when giving and taking information in writing, in person, and through various communication media. The ability to present to varying sized audiences in a manner that influences and drives understanding is highly desired.
- An attention-to-detail, with a propensity to complete work accurately and with a focus on quality.
- Action-oriented with a high level of initiative and an advanced level of proficiency in the ability to multitask and prioritize; manage time, perform project management, problem-solving, and organizational skills; and flexibility to adapt and respond to shifting priorities.
- Capacity to work effectively both independently and as a member of a team.
- Ability to apply discretion and maintain confidential information.
- Ability to travel internationally.
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office to include Word, Excel and PowerPoint; knowledge of/proficiency in Google Suite tools preferred. Basic database skills are desired.
- Fluency in Arabic an advantage
- Professional experience in public opinion research a bonus.
- Professional experience advocating to or working within parliaments or legislatures a bonus
- None required.
This position generally is performed in an office environment and may be suitable for partial telework.
Occasional evening and weekend work may be required, as well as attendance at external events.
Some international travel is required in this role, approximately 10% to NDI field locations. These locations often are in remote locations and may require significant time and varying modes of travel. Designated locations also may at times be considered less secure and with greater risk to NDI employees.
- Sitting/mobility—to work at a desk and move around work areas.
- Speaking/hearing—to engage orally in conversation with others and conduct presentations.
- Seeing—to effectively use a computer screen and for reading and interpreting printed materials, memos and other paperwork.
- Reaching/handling—to input information into computer systems and retrieve and work with appropriate paperwork, equipment and supplies.
The physical demands and work environment that have been described are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
This is a union position to be represented by the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 2.
Candidates must be legally eligible and authorized to work in the U.S. NDI does not provide sponsorship.
Interviews for this position slated to begin in August, 2021. Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted.
As a result of COVID19, this position will start in a remote capacity. However, when the office re-opens, this position will be based in our Washington, DC office and the expectation is that you would be based locally by September 2021 to fulfill this obligation. NDI does not cover relocation costs for this position.
NDI welcomes and supports a diverse, inclusive work environment. As such, our commitment is to promote equal employment opportunities (EEO) for all applicants seeking employment and NDI employees. NDI makes employment decisions based on organizational needs, job requirements and individual qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, personal appearance, military status, gender identity or expression, genetic information, political affiliation, educational status, unemployment status, place of residence or business, source of income, or reproductive health decision making. Additionally, harassment or discrimination based on these characteristics will not be tolerated at NDI. To perform the essential functions of this position, reasonable accommodations are available to qualified individuals with disabilities and qualified individuals who have limitations due to pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or medical related condition.
To apply for this position, please visit the NDI website at: http://www.ndi.org/careers