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Program Officer, Thematic Policy Areas

Position Summary

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is increasingly being used by its 78 national and 20 local members to catalyze reforms that ensure accountability and responsiveness in a variety of thematic policy areas such as anti-corruption, public service delivery, and fiscal openness, among others. Over the next three years, and as endorsed by its Steering Committee, OGP will remain a platform for governments and civil society to advance open government reforms across thematic policy areas that are relevant in their specific contexts. At the same time, the OGP Support Unit will provide focused support on a few specific policy areas where there is opportunity and need. These include anti-corruption; citizens shaping public services; digital governance; opening justice; civic space; and gender and inclusion.

The OGP Support Unit is recruiting a Program Officer, Thematic Policy Areas, who will support the cross-team efforts to develop and implement strategies to advance thematic reforms through the OGP platform. This includes building new and strengthening existing partnerships; mobilizing cross-country coalitions; facilitating peer-to-peer learning; providing knowledge resources and technical support to OGP governments, civil society and other actors who leverage OGP to advance reforms; and using communications to advance understanding of policy solutions using open government approaches.

The Program Officer will be responsible for internal coordination across all teams responsible for deliverables on focus policy areas under the OGP Support Unit’s Three Year Plan (3YP), and externally with key partners who can help OGP deliver more effective support at the national and local level. The incumbent will support the development of agenda and content for OGP-led events and OGP’s engagement at key partner-led events that will help advance focus policy areas. The Program Officer will report to the Lead, Thematic Policy Areas.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Support to OGP member governments and civil society on uptake of focus policy areas in OGP action plans (30%)
    • Develop a work plan and delivery on a subset of focus policy areas, including anti-corruption and digital governance.
    • Work with the OGP Support Unit’s Country Support Team to identify opportunities in OGP members (national and local) to support delivery of OGP commitments on a subset of focus policy areas.
    • Facilitate timely connections between government officials and/or country-based civil society and expert partners and link to technical and other support where available.
    • Collaborate with the OGP Support Unit’s Country Support Team to identify and forge partnerships at the country level with relevant civil society partners and implementation agencies.
    • Provide feedback on draft OGP commitments and link to relevant technical expertise.
    • Organize and coordinate learning activities that promote OGP commitments on focus policy areas through regional workshops, internal staff trainings, webinars, partner events and the creation of materials in partnership with the Learning & Innovation team.
    • Multi Donor Trust Fund: coordinate with teams across the Support Unit to support the delivery of thematic awards in the Program Officer’s specific policy areas
  • Forge and strengthen external partnerships and engagement to deliver on focus policy areas (50%)
    • Work with the Lead, Thematic Policy Areas on outreach to new global thematic partners and strengthen relationships with existing partners on a subset of focus areas (e.g. anti-corruption, digital governance), bringing in relevant OGP Support Unit colleagues where helpful.
    • Support the planning and execution of online and in-person events and curated content with partners (webinars, side meetings at partner events, blogs, etc.).
    • Work with Lead, Thematic Policy Areas to represent OGP at formal or informal events in order to introduce the platform to new audiences and/or make links to communities that can help advance thematic policy areas.
    • Execute OGP’s participation at partner events including assembling the team, preparing preparatory briefs, and coordinating panel design and participation; coordinate planning of bilateral meetings or side meetings, working with Country Support and Global teams.
    • OGP-led global or regional events: Support colleagues in the OGP Support Unit to organize segments relevant to policy areas at the OGP Global Summit or regional and sub-regional events.
    • Support on engagement with Ambassadors or Envoys relevant to specific policy areas (e.g. anti-corruption, digital governance.)
  • Support internal execution of strategy on focus policy areas (20%)
    • Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning: Serve as the liaison for the Thematic team to OGP’s Learning team, providing input on development of learning materials and thematic indicators.
    • Knowledge management: Work with OGP’s Analysis and Insights team to advise on the use of their research products by thematic partners and for thematic-related country work; liaise with the team for key messages in analytical pieces and publications.
    • Communications: Liaise with the team on website content for specific focus policy areas; support strategic dissemination of material such as thematic stories and blogs to relevant stakeholders.
    • Support the Lead, Thematic Policy Areas to develop and execute strategy on all focus policy areas, in collaboration with all Support Unit teams.
    • Ensure all thematic information/databases/contact lists are updated for all-team use.
    • Track, follow up, and sharing of information related to OGP’s Memorandum of Understanding agreements with partners.
    • Support the Lead, Thematic Policy Areas, to document program deliverables, analyze OGP material related to focus policy areas, and provide updates to donors.

Education/ Experience:

  • Undergraduate degree plus 4 years work experience, or Graduate degree plus 2-3 years work experience, preferably including working with civil society organizations and/or government
  • Experience working on issues related to open government, transparency, accountability, and citizen engagement is desirable;
  • Experience working with diverse stakeholders, across government, civil society and other communities;
  • Experience of working effectively with partners and colleagues from diverse contexts, cultural backgrounds, with different communication styles, etc;
  • Writing and communication skills for crafting strong messages to partners, governments, colleagues;
  • Experience of working with remote teams, coordinating and working across departments and across topics;

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Ability to quickly pick up on issues/developments within different policy areas (expertise/in-depth knowledge of one policy area is encouraged but not a must-have);
  • Self-starter who can work independently, but likes working as part of a (virtual) team;
  • Proactive in sharing information within team members and with partners;
  • Practical understanding of how open government approaches can advance reforms in policy areas;
  • High emotional intelligence;
  • Sound judgment, professionalism, and integrity;
  • Good writing, presentation, and analysis skills, articulate;
  • Strong interpersonal skills with comfort working across languages, cultures, time zones, communication channels, etc.;
  • Ability to build strong working relationships across a multicultural virtual team;
  • Fluency in English is a requirement; working knowledge of another language a strong plus;
  • Ability to travel for work (20-25%).

Details and How to Apply

  • Duration of employment is 1 year and candidate must be based in London. We will also consider applications from strong candidates based in Brussels or Berlin.
  • The selected individual must have the legal authorization to work in the specified locations.
  • Preferred start date is October 1.
  • Compensation commensurate with experience and anticipated contribution in the role.
  • Candidates should submit their application through this link. Please attach your resume, a cover letter, and an original writing sample to support your application. Application will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Because of the volume of applications, we will not be able to respond to every applicant. We thank applicants in advance for their expressions of interest.


The Open Government Partnership is an “at-will” and equal opportunity employer. Applicants and employees shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender (including pregnancy and gender expression) identity, color, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local law or ordinance.

Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified differently abled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS: Duties are generally carried out in a normal business office environment – i.e. working at a computer while sitting at a desk for extended periods of time. Reasonable accommodation can be made to enable differently abled applicants to perform the described essential functions of the job.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: Office is handicapped accessible and located close to public transportation. Workspace is an open plan and shared with other organizations. Occasional travel may be required to OGP events/ meetings via long-haul flights in economy class.

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