Program Officer
Open Society Foundations - New York, NY

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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 Open Society Public Health Program (PHP) is committed to advancing health and human rights in two distinct but interconnected ways:
  • by advancing the social inclusion of groups that are discriminated against on the basis of their health status or in their interaction with the health system; and
  • by increasing transparency, accountability, and participation in decision-making about health-related laws, policies, implementation, and resource allocation.
PHP works in Central and Eastern Europe, Southern and Eastern Africa, Central and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and China.

The Accountability and Monitoring in Health Initiative (AMHI), one of ten initiatives within PHP, seeks to strengthen meaningful and sustained engagement by affected communities in the development, implementation, and monitoring of health budgets, policies, programs, and practices; promote government accountability to citizens; and foster an informed and open dialogue about the governance of public health systems, provision of health services, and advancement of health and rights. AMHI’s applied budget-related work includes supporting the following efforts: Roma organizations in Macedonia to monitor government policy and budget commitments to promote childhood immunizations among Roma communities; support to a coalition of civil society, clinicians, academics, and people living with HIV to advocate for effective use of HIV and broader health budgets in South Africa; district-level monitoring of HIV and TB services and budgets by organizations in Zimbabwe and South Africa; monitoring funds from the European Union in Romania and Hungary to promote their use in deinstitutionalization of people with intellectual disabilities in accordance with human rights commitments.

AMHI undertakes many of their efforts in collaboration with other initiatives within PHP and OSF foundations around the world.

The full-time program officer will be based in New York and will be supervised by the AMHI director.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities
Open Society may add, change, or remove essential and other duties at any time.

  • In conjunction with project supervisor(s) and other staff/consultants, develop grantmaking strategies, priorities, and guidelines;
  • Invite grant proposals from selected funding applicants;
  • Work with applicants to develop and finalize grant proposals;
  • Review grant proposals and participate in the preparation of written grant recommendations as part of the docket preparation process;
  • Perform site visits of prospective and current grantee organizations;
  • Ensure that grantees submit narrative and financial reports as required under the terms of the contract;
  • Monitor grants through review of reports, ongoing communication and site visits.
  • Develop, plan, and organize program-related workshops, trainings, and events;
  • Work with supervisor(s) to ensure close collaboration with other projects, convene cross-program collaborations as needed to advance strategic grantmaking opportunities;
  • Write and edit project materials and guidelines;
  • Stay abreast of developments in the field through research and attendance at conferences and/or meetings;
  • Write strategy/position papers that provide direction on policy and capacity-building issues impacting the field and/or offer suggestions about strategic project development ;
  • Perform special assignments, including participation in other OSF program and foundation task forces and working groups;
  • Build and establish strategic relationships with other philanthropic partners and NGOs.
  • Manage financial and budget reports to track grant and project spending;
  • Assist in planning and development of annual budgets.
  • Travel will be required;
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Education / Experience
Bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university and five to eight years relevant experience and/or training, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience in grantmaking, project management, including managing consultants and developing and managing project budgets;
  • Knowledge of key organizations and networks active in the field of health and human rights;
  • NGO experience essential;
  • Strong background with programs advancing social justice through community organizing, legal advocacy, research, or policy reform work.

Skills Required
  • Effectively manage 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, verbal, organizational, analytical, and interpersonal skills;
  • Excellent computer skills, proficient in Microsoft Office and experience with internet research and database management;
  • Exercise 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.

Program Specific Requirements
  • Master’s degree in a social science, e.g. in economics, political science, public administration, public policy, public health preferred;
  • Experience conducting applied budget work (accessing information, budget research and analysis, assessment of the budget and policy process, in diverse contexts, and research on accountability and oversight) at a national or international civil society organization, applied research center, or academic institution;
  • Experience implementing advocacy strategies related to applied budget work or similar;
  • An understanding of civil society advocacy based on budget research and analysis in at least one country, preferably in a range of countries;
  • Knowledge of organizations and key players in the field of applied budget work;
  • Experience with capacity-building of civil society groups a plus;
  • An understanding of the health and human rights issues faced by the PHP’s focus populations, including: people living with HIV/AIDS, TB; people who use drugs; people with intellectual disabilities; Roma; the dying; sex workers; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons;
  • Capacity for critical and creative thinking and complex problem solving;
  • 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;
  • Familiarity with Russian a plus.

Work Environment and Physical Demands
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.

Commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits package.

Application Instructions
Please email resume and cover letter with salary requirements before October 11, 2013, to: . Include job code in subject line: PO-AMHI.