Senior Programme Officer – West Africa



Senior Programme Officer – West Africa


West Africa is a key growth region for IDEA in Africa. It is the most populous region of the continent and home to the most populous African country, Nigeria. It is also home to ECOWAS, UEMOA and enjoys the status of being the fastest growing sub-region of the continent presently. West Africa is a sub-region with a mixed history of successes and failures in state and nation-building, and democratic governance. It has had a long history of post-colonial instability, including prolonged military rule and single party regimes. However, it is also home to two of the most stable and mature African democracies (Senegal and Cape Verde). The region is a key terrain for exciting democracy-building and electoral experiments and initiatives. It is home to two of the current African members of IDEA (Cabo Verde and Ghana) and to a number of prospective new members. Central to the agenda of the countries of the region are the on-going quest to build stable post-authoritarian (single party or military) and post-conflict political orders; stave off multiple threats of democracy reversal, including the activities of drug lords and associated international criminal groups, as well as religious extremists; improve the democracy-development interface; promote deeper gender and youth inclusion; enhance constitutionalism; and promote a new state-society bargain.                       


Duties and Responsibilities

  • Ensures that programmatic activities are developed  for  IDEA members that bring them the direct and measurable  benefits of membership;
  • Contributes to the process of growing IDEA membership in West Africa under the guidance of the Regional Director;
  • Prepares the grounds for the agreement and operationalization of strategic programme partnerships with ECOWAS, UEMOA, and the Mano river Union;
  • Leads in building partnerships with the electoral commissions of the countries in the area, including their umbrella platforms;
  • Builds strategic partnerships with key civil society groups and social movements for the advancement of IDEA’s work and the promotion of democracy;
  • Develops advanced learning programmes for democracy workers and electoral officials in partnership with a consortium of West African universities;
  • Facilitates regular quality of democracy policy dialogues involving multiple stakeholders;
  • Develops proposals for the mobilisation of resources to fund specific programme initiatives for the West Africa region;
  • Undertakes representational functions as delegated;
  • Produces regular update reports on trends in democratization and electoral integrity in West Africa;
  • Drives new and innovative programme initiatives for IDEA in West Africa;
  • Coordinates with other staff of the Africa region to enhance IDEA’s programme delivery and impact in West Africa;
  • Monitors and evaluates the reach and impact of IDEA’s work in West Africa.


General Profile

  • Combines in-depth knowledge, acquired through post-graduate academic achievements, excellent skills and significant experience in their field;
  • Contributes to assigned projects with authority, and provides policy analysis and design as appropriate;
  • Contributes to publications; is recognized as an expert in his/her broad professional community;
  • Has the intellectual leadership to integrate innovation into his/her field of expertise;
  • Fosters team-based activities in his/her unit; collaborates with other entities of the Institute;
  • Acts as a model and mentor for less experienced colleagues;
  • Is 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 Region.

Programmatic Knowledge

  • Has expert knowledge and extensive work experience in own discipline, combined with excellent understanding of related disciplines in order to approach programmatic issues in a holistic manner.
  • Knowledge and experience in the areas of Gender and of the Media will be of especial advantage.

Operational Knowledge, skills and experience

  • Integrates a results-based approach into the design, management and evaluation of all his/her programmatic activities;
  • Has thorough understanding of relevant programmatic issues in the key geographical zone where his/her work is implemented;
  • Is active in the search for 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.


  • Some people management responsibility over permanent staff is expected;
  • Acts as a model and resource for colleagues.

Problem Solving

  • Will solve complex challenges, approach issues with new perspectives, and analyze situations from a multitude of intervening factors.


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

Communication and Interpersonal Skills

  • Liaises permanently to all internal and external stakeholders involved in his/her project; acts and is perceived as an initiator of relevant communication to solve issues;
  • Drives projects and assignments through communicative personal energy and engagement;
  • Can explain sensitive information with diplomacy, and build consensus;
  • Is able to present his/her activities and represent International IDEA effectively in all professional circles.

Education and Experience

  • Post-graduate Degree in Political Science, Law, Social Science or any other relevant field;
  • Minimum 8 years of experience in supporting democracy building processes;
  • Fluency in English and French.


Terms of Contract:

Two (2) Year Fixed Term Appointment. Salary entry point EUR 5 456 net, per month.

Deadline for Applications:

Applications should be submitted online no later than 04 May 2015. Please note that all applications must be made in English.

To apply, please click here


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

International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA)