Programme Officer - Addis Ababa

Country: Ethiopia
Organization: International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance
Closing date: 25 Mar 2020


The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) is an intergovernmental organization established in 1995 with member states across all continents. It aims to support sustainable democracy world-wide. In line with its mandate, the Institute produces comparative knowledge, provides technical advice, convenes democratic governance dialogues, manages networks of experts, develops various tools for practitioners, and offers training and capacity-building at the international, regional and national levels. The Institute also maintains partnerships with a range of organizations, among them the African Union (AU) and various African Regional Economic Communities (RECs). International IDEA’s Africa and West Asia (AWA) office has the responsibility for managing the relationship with the African Union and the RECs and it does so through MoUs it has signed with them. The MoU with African Union provides for a Joint Activity Programme (JAP) through which the Institute supports the preventive diplomacy mandate of the Union on demand. Translated into activities, this involves an admixture of support initiatives for the advancement and entrenchment of constitutionalism, improved electoral processes, political pluralism, and conflict early warning and mitigation. Work is also carried out to build and/or renew awareness and capacity on various AU instruments, enhance coordination among relevant AU departments and between the AU and the RECs, promote the domestication of continental and sub-regional standards and norms of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law etc.

The Programme Officer will be responsible for the day-to-day coordination and operationalisation of the MoU between International IDEA and the African Union Commission as delegated by the Regional Director for Africa and West Asia.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Serves as a focal person for the coordination of activities between International IDEA and the AU and coordinates the existing portfolio of programmes;
  • Undertakes an assessment of the partnership with the AU on an ongoing basis and makes recommendations for the update and revision of programme strategy, activities and initiatives;
  • Develops a detailed work plan for all activities and ensures that activities are implemented in accordance with the workplan;
  • Ensures that all projects and activities are carried out and completed in accordance with International IDEA’s rules and donor regulations;
  • Proposes modifications for approval to the annual workplan as necessary throughout the project implementation period;
  • Drafts and submits progress and final reports in line with project requirements and the timelines agreed with the AU and the donors;
  • Initiates and contributes to the development of JAP concept notes for successful activity implementation;
  • Coordinates the input of all consultants and experts seconded to the relevant departments of the AU Commission for the delivery of specific assignments;
  • Coordinates all budgetary issues with the Finance and Administration team, ensuring all activities are implemented in accordance with the JAP financial plan;
  • Regularly updates donors on all aspects of the work with the AU;
  • Performs representational duties as demanded by the position or as delegated, and manages visibility requirements by project stakeholders;
  • Serves as the secretary to all the formal consultative and review meetings between the AU and IDEA as provided for in the MoU governing the JAP.

General Profile

  • Requires in-depth knowledge, excellent skills and relevant experience in their field;
  • Will contribute significantly to assigned projects all along the project life cycle, i.e. from project design and funding to project assessment; will lead meetings and discussions, supervise publications and review input from external providers;
  • Has contributed to publications on the relevant subject; is recognized as a knowledge resource in his/her broad professional community;
  • Can work with minimal guidance and supervision;
  • Adds value to team-based activities in his/her unit; collaborates with other entities of the Institute;
  • Acts as a model or mentor for less experienced colleagues;
  • Can be expected to travel globally to any geographical area involved in his/her projects;
  • Follows internal procedures to ensure high standards of performance and compliance with Institutional guidelines;
  • Integrates a gender and diversity perspective in all activities.

Reporting Line

  • Director, Africa and West Asia Region.

Programmatic Knowledge

  • Has in-depth knowledge in own discipline and good understanding of related disciplines to be able to approach programmatic issues in a holistic manner.
  • Has in-depth knowledge of the AU and its family of organisations;
  • Has in-depth knowledge of the RECs and their interface with the AU;

Operational Knowledge, skills and experience

  • Integrates a results-based approach into the design, management and evaluation of all his/her programmatic activities;
  • Has a good understanding of relevant programmatic issues in the key geographical zone where his/her work is implemented – which may imply field experience at some point;
  • Contributes to the research of information on donors and partners, preparation of reports and project briefs, identification of opportunities for initiation of new projects, and all other activities related to resource mobilization and partnership building;
  • Illustrates integrity, a collaborative spirit, a sense of achievement, and an understanding of risk management in past experiences.
  • A demonstrable record of progressively higher levels of experience in political affairs, diplomacy, conflict resolution, and/or related fields.
  • Extensive experience in political outreach, facilitation, analysis, advice and reporting is required.


  • No people management responsibility over permanent staff;
  • Acts as a model and resource for more junior colleagues;
  • May assume project management responsibilities.

Problem Solving

  • Identifies and resolves complex problems; approaches issues with new perspectives; analyses situations in a holistic manner.


  • Has a clear impact on the programme development and delivery;
  • Can also impact other teams and projects in related fields.

Communication and Interpersonal Skills

  • Can operate effectively in a multi-cultural environment and be gender-sensitive.
  • Ability and commitment to ensuring joint activities and practical synergies between the work of the DPA, the IDEA Africa and West Asia Regional Office, and various donors.

  • Liaises with all internal and external stakeholders involved in his/her project.

  • Acts and is perceived as an initiator of relevant communication.

  • Drives projects and assignments through communicative personal engagement.

  • Can explain sensitive information with diplomacy and build consensus.

  • Fluency in spoken and written English is required; Knowledge of French or any other AU language will be considered an advantage

Education and Experience

  • University degree in Political Science, International Relations, Social Sciences, Law, Human Rights Public Administration, or a related field.
  • Minimum of five (5) years of relevant professional experience working on democracy and governance issues;
  • Experience in engaging with national or international actors from governments, political parties, civil society and other stakeholders;
  • Experience in providing written and/or verbal technical advice in a relevant field;
  • Experience in managing donor funded projects would be an asset.

Terms of Contract:

  • International post
  • Fixed term appointment until December 2021
  • Salary EUR 4 495 NET plus benefits.

How to apply:

Applying for this position:

  • Applications should be submitted online no later than 24:00 (CET) 25 March 2020.
  • All applications must be made in English.

International IDEA is an equal opportunity employer which seeks to further diversify its staff in terms of gender, culture and nationality.


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