OPEN SOCIETY INITIATIVE FOR WEST AFRICA (OSIWA)
OSIWA/Youth Initiative Program Officer
The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. To achieve this mission, the Foundations seek to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights. On a local level, the Open Society Foundations implement a range of initiatives to advance justice, education, public health, and independent media. At the same time, we build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as corruption and freedom of information. The Foundations place a high priority on protecting and improving the lives of people in marginalized communities.
Investor and philanthropist George Soros established the Open Society Foundations, starting in 1984, to help countries make the transition from communism. Our activities have grown to encompass the United States and more than 70 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Each Foundation relies on the expertise of boards composed of eminent citizens who determine individual agendas based on local priorities.
The Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) is an advocacy and grant making foundation that forms part of the global Open Society Foundations Network. OSIWA is based in Dakar, Senegal and works to support the creation of open societies in West Africa marked by functioning democracy, good governance, the rule of law, basic freedoms, and widespread civic participation. It has offices in Abuja, Monrovia, Freetown and Conakry.
The Open Society Youth Initiative (OSYI) supports young people in their efforts to be agents of positive change and advocates for the full and effective participation of all young people in the political, social and cultural life of their communities. The Youth Initiative operates globally to identify opportunities and threats to open society values that are particularly relevant to young people making the transition from childhood to adulthood. While primarily focused on empowering youth directly through its operating and grant-making programs, the Youth Initiative is also exploring how it might develop a role in advocating for the adoption of sound national and international youth policies on behalf of youth.
The Youth Initiative grew out of the OSF Network Debate Program (NDP), which operates in over 40 countries. To ensure the continued success of the Debate Program and support its work in closed societies, OSF has helped establish the International Debate Education Associations, which promotes discussion and dialogue around the world. Both associations work to sustain the network created by OSF. For more information on these organizations, see http://www.idebate.org. In 2011, the Youth Initiative will be launching a Debate and Global Civics Initiative, aimed at ensuring that undergraduates become committed to consider global issues from points of view other than their own and debate the rights and responsibilities they have to others.
While efforts to promote debate continue, the Open Society Youth Initiative also operates more broadly. It encourages members of the network of organizations associated to the Open Society Foundations to include youth as partners in their work and assists them in doing so. It sponsors an annual conference for staff of the Open Society Foundations and young activists to share skills and project ideas. The Open Society Youth Initiative’s Youth Action Fund (YAF) is a small grants program that supports projects proposed by individual young people who are interested in contributing to their communities and engaging their peers on open society issues. It is currently running in the Baltics, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Uganda, Moldova, Thailand and Serbia. For more on the Open Society Youth Initiative, visit http://www.soros.org/youth
The Open Society Foundations Scholarship Programs mobilize students and scholars by providing support for fellowships, scholarships, and related activities that empower individuals throughout the world to improve the social, political, and intellectual environments of their home communities. In summer 2012, the Scholarship Programs will launch the Undergraduate Mobility Initiative within Sub-Saharan Africa to offer short-term scholarships (one semester to one academic year) at 2-3 host universities for up to 20 students annually. This initiative aims to foster intra-continental mobility, strengthen African identity and promote respect for diversity among young generations. This Initiative is administered by a Program Director out of New York
OSIWA and the Open Society Youth Initiative seeks a dynamic individual as a Program Officer based in Dakar, Senegal to help it expand its youth programme in West Africa and ensure that issues relating to youth are integrated in all the programs of OSIWA. Additionally, the Program Officer will dedicate a percentage of his/ her time working in partnership with the NY Program Director to help coordinate Scholarship Programs’ Undergraduate Mobility Initiative.
Work closely with OSIWA thematic and country programs and the Youth Initiative to develop and implement regional youth strategy and implement the same;
Support the work of the Open Society Scholarships and Higher Education Support programs, and other programs as needed;
Establish relationships with tertiary education institutions, particularly colleges and universities with undergraduate students;
Assist in tailoring Youth Initiative programming specifically for francophone countries;
Assist in the implementation of the Youth Initiative Global Debates;
Identify synergies and build relationships with partner organizations in west Africa;
Attend meetings and events relevant to the program and share insights with colleagues;
Maintain a flow of information with OSF network colleagues;
Assist with special research projects, on-going programmatic needs and grant-making portfolio;
Represent OSIWA, Youth Initiative and Scholarship Programs to outside entities as needed;
Represent the YI in regional donor forums, other international meetings as needed as well as OSF internal meetings;
Perform all administrative tasks related to the program, including but not limited to:
Organize OSIWA, YI, and Scholarship Programs’events such as meetings, workshops and orientation programs;
Assist with the logistics and preparation of presentations for conferences and meetings, particularly those that gather fellows of the Undergraduate Mobility Initiative;
Initiate and develop publications by OSIWA and YI;
Provide support for dissemination of Program activities and outcomes;
Provide regular updates on program implementation for inclusion on the OSIWA and YI web sites;
Integrate the OSIWA and OSF organizational values into the performance of duties and tasks on a daily basis and participate in in-house working groups designed to uphold the values and foster healthy inter-office communication;
Perform site visits, monitor and evaluate grantee activities;
Work closely with OSIWA’s grants management and financial Units;
As assigned by the OSIWA Executive Director and Director Youth Initiative.
Qualifications and Experience:
Graduate degree in relevant field;
Minimum of five years relevant work experience in program development and management;
Knowledge of the major discourses in Africa, especially the West African sub-region;
Excellent written and oral French and English required;
Exceptional analytic capacity; Flexibility and willingness to work as a team member and independently, with a high level of self-motivation;
Ability to effectively manage multiple projects simultaneously in a fast-paced working environment;
Ability to maintain strict confidentiality;
Attentiveness to detail and ability to work well under pressure;
Ability to travel locally and internationally;
Computer skills including the ability to operate spreadsheets and word processing programs at a highly proficient level;
Extensive computer skills and high comfort level with computer research, database management;
Excellent oral and written communication and analytic skills;
Excellent coordination, networking and facilitation skills;
High level of self-motivation and ability to work both independently and with others;
Ability to operate in a difficult working environment;
Sensitivity to diversity.
Salary: Commensurate with experience with full benefits.
Start Date: 1st February 2012
To Apply: send resume (in English), cover letter, brief writing sample and salary requirements, by 4th January 2012 to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Due to the number of applications we receive, only shortlisted applicants will be contacted by OSIWA.
No phone calls, please. The Open Society Foundations are an Equal Opportunity Employer.