Job: Program Officer, International Migration Initiative, Open Society Institute, London or Central Asia Based
Posted on September 20, 2013
The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people.
We seek to strengthen the rule of law; respect for human rights, minorities, and a diversity of opinions; democratically elected governments; and a civil society that helps keep government power in check.
We help to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights.
We implement initiatives to advance justice, education, public health, and independent media.
We build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as corruption and freedom of information.
Working in every part of the world, the Open Society Foundations place a high priority on protecting and improving the lives of people in marginalized communities.
The International Migration Initiative (IMI) aims to reduce the human and social costs of migration by achieving two end goals: labor migration will be a safer, more just, and a less exploitative process; and laws, policies, and practices will not discriminate against migrants or violate their rights. In order to achieve this, IMI prioritizes three target areas: 1) recruitment and employment systems to improve labor protections; 2) migration enforcement policies to prevent the violation of migrant rights by border, detention, and deportation practices; and 3) Governance and norm-setting structures at the regional and global levels. IMI works by fostering coordinated, transnational advocacy in countries of origin, transit, and destination, focusing on migration corridors and the shared responsibilities of nations and stakeholders towards migrants.
Reporting to the director, the program officer will engage in advocacy and grantmaking in three areas of work: advancing migrant protections in the Central Asia/Russia corridor; strengthening norm-setting on migration at the international and regional level; and ensuring that migration enforcement polices comply with human rights norms. The program officer will develop connections between the assigned areas of work and the broader priorities of IMI and Open Society. Work is carried out independently/under general supervision. The program officer could be located in Open Society’s London office or in the Central Asia/Russia region.
Open Society may add, change, or remove essential and other duties at any time.
- Work with director and other staff to develop advocacy and grantmaking strategies for assigned portfolio;
- Manage a diverse portfolio that includes work in Central Asia, Russia, Europe, and other regions as opportunities emerge;
- Assist in the annual stra tegy development, planning, and evaluation processes;
- Write strategy/position papers and provide direction on policy issues impacting the field and/or offer suggestions about strategic program development for funders and grantees;
- Write and edit program materials;
- Stay abreast of developments in the field through research and attendance of conferences and meetings;
- Ensure close collaboration with other Open Society programs; convene cross-program collaborations as needed to advance strategic grantmaking opportunities;
- Identify joint programming opportunities and efforts with external funders and partners;
- Develop, plan, and organize program-related events.
- In conjunction with the director and other staff/consultants, develop grantmaking strategies, priorities, and guidelines;
- Review and assess letters of inquiry and make funding recommendations to the director;
- Invite grant proposals from selected funding applicants;
- Work with applicants to develop and finalize grant proposals;
- Review grant proposals and prepare written grant recommendations as part of grant dockets preparation process;
- Perform site visits of prospective and current grantee organizations;
- Monitor grants through site visits and review narrative and financial reports;
- Ensure that grantees submit narrative and financial reports as required under the terms of the contract;
- Interact with grantees and other field professionals and participate in program- and field-related meetings and convenings.
- Manage financial and budget reports to track grant and program spending;
- Assist in the planning and developing of the program’s annual budget.
- Travel will be required;
- Perform other duties as assigned.
- Bachelor’s degree and several years’ relevant experience and/or training, or equivalent combination of education and experience;
- Master’s degree or equivalent in international relations, human rights, the social sciences, development, economics, or a related discipline preferred;
- NGO or governmental experience essential.
- Strong experience advancing policy reform, legal advocacy, and social justice;
- Experience in project management;
- Ability to work efficiently in a fast-paced environment, troubleshoot, and follow projects through to completion, with strict deadlines and without loss of attention to detail, budget, and reporting;
- Excellent written and verbal skills in English, as well as strong analytical and interpersonal skills;
- Excellent computer skills, proficient in Microsoft Office, and experience with internet research and database management;
- Good listening and communication skills with sensitivity to cultural communication differences;
- Effectively work as a team member and independently, with a high-level of self-motivation and ability to set and meet goals;
- Show discretion and ability to handle confidential issues;
- Knowledge of key organizations and networks active in the field;
- Pleasant, diplomatic manner and disposition in interacting with colleagues and the general public;
- Knowledge of international migration and intergovernmental systems;
- Capacity for critical and creative thinking and complex problem-solving;
- Demonstrated expertise implementing advocacy strategies, working with policymakers and diverse sectors;
- Ability to identify trends and opportunities and rapidly develop innovative strategies to respond to them;
- Track record of moving projects from concept to successful implementation;
- Written and verbal proficiency in English and Russian desirable.
Essential functions are typically performed in an office setting with a low level of noise. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.