Open Society Foundations Program Specialist (New York)

Fiscal Governance Program

The Fiscal Governance Program works to ensure that public resources are used efficiently, effectively, and accountably to benefit those who need them most. The program works across the public resource chain—from revenue collection and budget allocations to expenditures and service delivery—to promote new global norms, strengthen independent oversight and accountability mechanisms, and increase government capacity to harness public resources for development. We have a thematic focus on natural resource governance, budget monitoring, and illicit financial flows and taxation, and are also undertaking exploratory work around political finance corruption.
Job Profile

The Program Specialist is a professional program role at Open Society, performing a wide range of responsibilities that materially advance both portfolio and other program strategies. The role requires specialized knowledge, not only of the relevant field(s), but also of how to use the various tools available to the organization for accomplishing its objectives, including bringing about social change. This role functions as part of a team, usually of Program Administrative Specialists, Program Officers, managers, and administrative/operational staff, and assumes work by assignment from others. Responsibilities are carried out with a high degree of independence, although collegial problem-solving is a hallmark of Open Society work. Program Specialists may develop familiarity with all the tools used by OSF to bring about social change and play an essential and important role in the use of grant making. Their contributions include the identification of high potential new partners, the assessment of organizations in the field, the design of grants, and the assessment of grants and portfolios. Program Specialists may also take the lead on projects or issues – such as research initiatives, convenings, or advocacy efforts – as assigned.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities: The following illustrate duties that are typical of the role, but the range of activities that can appropriately fall within this generic job description is wide. This list does not include all possibilities. All positions will not perform all duties, nor will all duties be present in equal degree in a single position within the role. Specific requirements for a particular Program Specialist position will be articulated in the posting for candidates and will subsequently be modified on a continuing basis in response to changing program needs.
Supporting programmatic efforts by conducting a wide range of activities related to the grant making process and/or analytical work in support of field development, advocacy, regional consultations, and integrative activities.
Conducting research and synthesizing large amounts of data/information to be used in decision-making, strategy development, and evaluation of the grants portfolio or other program processes.
Designing and carrying-out field scans and ongoing field monitoring.
Analyzing grant proposals (including budget analysis), designing grants (type of support, degree of flexibility, duration, payment structure, reporting/learning expectations, etc.) and drafting grant recommendations.
Partnering closely with program administration staff to ensure efficient flow of grants processing and other similar information.
Developing the concept, agenda, key players, etc. for convenings, research initiatives, and advocacy efforts.
Contributing to assessment of organizations. This includes primary responsibility for the assessment of organizational finances and budgets (including grant budgets).
Partnering closely with program administration staff to ensure efficient flow of grants processing and other similar information.
May be asked to take on administrative responsibilities or projects on an ad-hoc basis. These may include processing grants, developing tools and templates, coordinating event logistics, and processing vendor contracts and consultancy agreements.
May provide support in the area of learning design for benefit of the whole team.
May participate in preparing and presenting portfolio reviews.

Bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university and three to five years of relevant experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
Experience implementing systems in philanthropic organizations and/or not-for-profits preferred;
Background knowledge of demonstrated issues such as transparency, anti-corruption and accountability.
Proven ability to work efficiently in a fast-paced environment; to troubleshoot and follow projects through to completion, consistently on schedule, without loss of attention to detail and budget;
Highly organized;
Excellent written, verbal, organizational, analytical and interpersonal skills;
Excellent computer skills, proficient in Microsoft Office and experience with internet research;
Excellent listening and communication skills with sensitivity to cultural communication differences;
Show discretion and ability to handle confidential issues;
High level of self-motivation and at ease working independently when necessary;
Poised, work well under pressure and attentive to detail;
Highly skilled in researching, processing large amounts of information, and analyzing its importance in informing OSF programs and strategies.
Flexibility and willingness to work simultaneously on a wide range of tasks and projects and ability to prioritize tasks;
Pleasant, diplomatic manner and disposition in interacting with senior management, co-workers and the general public.

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This material is cross-posted from the Peace and Collaborative Development Network, and appears to be an interesting opportunity for the Humphrey community.   This is meant for information sharing purposes only. 
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