The Ford Foundation has a long and strong history of working on democracy, justice, and human rights issues across the world. The Office for Southern Africa works in an integrated, collaborative manner to address inequality with our primary goal to narrow the gap between the promise of democracy, dignity and equality and the lived reality for women, girls, youth, LGBTI and marginalized communities across the Southern African region.
The Office works to address four problems in order to achieve this ambitious goal with an emphasis on an intersectional understanding of how race, class, gender, nationality, sexual orientation and age impact on the nature of these problems:
(i) Harmful cultural narratives across the African region that fuel violence, discrimination and a lack of social cohesion;
(ii) Laws and policies that criminalize and constitute discrimination against women, girls, youth, LGBTI, and communities affected by mining and spatial inequality in the region;
(iii) The inability of ordinary citizens to benefit from the public resources of countries in the region and the lack of accountability at government and non-state actor levels; and
(iv) Decreased donor resources to the region and a corresponding lack of a diverse, resilient civil society movement able to navigate partnerships so as to enhance sustainability, effectiveness, and efficiency.
Working with the Regional Office Director and Program Team in OSA, we seek a Program Officer who is able to address the above four problems with a specific focus on women, girls, youth and LGBTI communities whilst also being able to apply an intersectional analysis to the above four problems. The Program Officer should have specific expertise related to strengthening sustainable, effective civil society partners.
Working under the supervision of the Southern Africa Regional Director and with a diverse team of professionals, the Program Officer is expected to actively contribute to and learn from the work of colleagues in the Office for Southern Africa and to serve as a strong team member within the entire Foundation. The duties of the Program Officer will, therefore, include but not be limited to the following:
Refine the Theory of Change for the work in the Office for Southern Africa in order to incorporate the intersectional analysis into all our work whilst strengthening sustainable, effective, resilient civil society partners.
Lead the development of new strategies in OSA as opportunities emerge.
Develop grant making activities in a team-oriented context that are aligned to the strategic goals of the regional strategy for the office.
Oversee active grants, track grantee progress, provide guidance and assistance to grantees, and respond to grantee reports.
Collaborate with and serve as a resource and strategic partner for other program officers within the office and the entire Foundation in relation to the work on building Institutions.
Evaluate key grants and prepare analysis and summaries of lessons learned from the Foundation’s grant-making.
Organize Foundation-sponsored meetings of grantees, experts, and practitioners in the field of strengthening civil society, government and philanthropy partnerships.
Promote engagement with grantees to review opportunities, challenges, and advances and encourage collaboration, learning, exchange and strategic partnerships.
Represent the Foundation and its work to the government, media, academic, business, philanthropic, and civic leaders through meetings, updates, speeches, briefings, blog posts, and interviews, with guidance from the Regional Director.
Participate actively in cross-foundation learning sessions, planning activities, and organizational and team development efforts.
Manage the performance of an assigned Program Assistant and other assigned staff.
The Program Officer should possess the following qualifications and attributes:
A deep commitment to the core values and principles of the Ford Foundation.
A minimum of 8 years experience and knowledge on social justice philanthropy and the strengthening of institutions at a strategic and operational level in terms of effectiveness and efficiency with specific experience working on the any one or more of the following fields: gender, LGBTI and racial justice issues, land and spatial inequality, social justice story-telling, journalism and/or accountability.
An ability to fully integrate programming related to the four problems that the Office for Southern Africa aims to address in terms of program objectives and outcomes.
The ability to think and act strategically, and innovatively consistent with the Foundation’s commitment to outcome-oriented grant-making and the ability to make trade-offs with end goals in mind.
Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and effectively with peers in shared efforts.
Experience managing coalitions, networks, and alliances or other processes involving multiple and diverse organizations.
Demonstrated ability to process complex information and present ideas in a pragmatic and compelling manner.
Prior experience working with individuals from diverse racial, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds.
Proven ability to bring disparate constituents together and build consensus.
An advanced Master’s degree in a relevant field of study or related disciplines and/or an equivalent experience is preferred.
Relevant work experience in areas such as non-profit management, philanthropy, management consulting, academia, organizational development, or other related fields.
Experience working in both regional and global south contexts is essential for a clear understanding of how the work in Southern Africa influences Pan-African and global dialogues, debates, and programs.
Strong communications skills – strong active listening skills, constructive verbal and written skills, strong public presentation skills.
High level of personal and professional integrity and quality standards.
Excellent judgment, flexibility, good humor, and humility.
ALIGNMENT TO THE MISSION AND THE CULTURE OF THE FORD FOUNDATION:
Commitment to the Foundation’s mission and core values of equity, fairness and diversity
Personal qualities of humility, capacity for self-reflection, and a sense of humor
Discretion and ability to handle confidential issues
Action-oriented and entrepreneurial self-starter who can work well independently and in teams