Program Officer - Africa Arlington, VA

13 May 2024 9:20 AM | Anonymous

Job Summary



Start Date

As soon as possible

Employment Term and Type

Regular, Full Time

Required Education

Bachelor's Degree

Required Experience

4+ years

Job Description

About International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES): IFES advances democracy for a better future. We collaborate with civil society, public institutions, and the private sector to build resilient democracies that deliver for all. Our technical assistance and applied research develop trusted electoral bodies capable of conducting credible elections; effective and accountable governing institutions; civic and political processes in which all people can safely and equally participate; and innovative ways in which technology and data can positively serve elections and democracy. Since 1987, IFES has worked in more than 145 countries, from developing to mature democracies. In accordance with IFES' approach: A society is able to reach its full potential in a world in which people of all genders are fully engaged as equal partners in their families, workplaces, and communities. Based on international human rights standards and best practices, IFES promotes political participation, justice, and equal rights around the world. IFES reflects these values in its programming and workplace culture.

The greatest assets of IFES are our team members. IFES offers competitive benefits and pays, as well as the opportunity to work in a dynamic and collaborative environment. Every member of the IFES team is responsible for carrying out the mission of IFES and integrating IFES values into their work every day: Commitment to Excellence, Effective Communication, High-Quality Decision-Making, Accountability, Teamwork, and Collaboration.


The Program Officer is an intermediate professional position at IFES. Under the supervision of the Senior Program Manager, the Program Officer's duties will include technical, administrative, development, and financial management support and oversight for current and developing programs within the Africa regional division.

The PO must exercise sound judgment to resolve problems and move programs forward, fiscal responsibility to ensure full compliance with award terms and IFES policies, and a superior ability to anticipate and respond to field office needs.


  • Serve as primary interface with Country Directors across Anglophone Africa and national staff to implement projects.
  • Achieve project requirements within budget, established time frame, standards of quality.
  • Responsible for critical review and reporting of project financials in partnership with Finance team. Track project activities in line with budget, forecasting and evaluation of burn rate.
  • Establish, maintain, and develop productive working relationships with field staff, consultants, and other departments within IFES HQ.
  • Assist with program design across Anglophone Africa, knowledge of IFES systems, tools for project implementation and monitoring.
  • Work with Monitoring and Evaluation team to design/determine program indicators, assist with monitoring to ensure activities are meeting indicators.
  • Contribute, coordinate, and ensure the quality of monthly/quarterly reports; Provide input into annual workplans, PMPs, and other as required by the donor.
  • Participate in proposal development/new initiative process.
  • Contribute to knowledge management and thought leadership.
  • Assist with preparing and tracking budgets.
  • Review, and approve field expense reports, wire requests, vendor, and consultant payments as needed.
  • Troubleshoot project problems, identify, and implement creative solutions.
  • Monitor pending IFES grant/contract actions and coordinate timely action and response as needed.
  • Support the process of implementing subawards and monitor progress including reviewing deliverables. Work with relevant colleagues to ensure timely acquisition and delivery of commodities.
  • Travel to field office to assist with project activities as needed.
  • Work with leadership and HR to source and recruit critical talent.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Provide varied support functions and perform moderately complex job duties requiring knowledge of proposal development, program management, donor interface, and research and development initiatives. Contribute to program planning, development, and management. Familiarity with IFES tools, methodology and best practices. Manage work activities with internal and external partners to assure achievement of assigned objectives. Performance and outcomes are subject to management oversight.


Multi-factor decision-making requiring research and analysis, subject to supervisory guidance. Verify and analyze facts, consult with other departments as needed, then implement solutions based on knowledge of procedures, logic, and sound judgement. Initiate contact with staff in other departments to exchange detailed, substantive information and coordinate activities necessary to achieve work goals.


Participate in project budget planning and monitoring; perform processing, recording, and reporting of financial transactions, including field expenses as needed in compliance with IFES policies and procedures. Critical review and reporting of project financials in partnership with relevant colleagues and departments.


Develop and maintain collaborative relationships, which require highly developed interpersonal skills, involving active listening, creativity and problem solving, to assure desired outcomes. Develop opportunities to improve working relationships and work outcomes with internal and external partners.

SUPERVISION EXERCISED: Work closely with entry level positions. Participate in planning and implementing work activities with internal and external partners.


EDUCATION: Bachelor's degree required. Master's degree in international relations, political science, international development or similar field preferred.

EXPERIENCE: Minimum of 4 years of overall work experience in the international development sector with NGO experience a plus. Experience working in Anglophone Africa. Experience with budget management and oversight of a large single project or multiple small projects. Staff oversight experience a plus.

RELATED SKILLS OR KNOWLEDGE: Experience with program design and project management. Knowledgeable on USAID and non-US based grant and contract proposals, regulations, and procedures. Familiarity with USAID and non-US structure and personnel as well as other international donors. Experience working with elections, governance or similar in Anglophone Africa. Able (through studies and work experience) to demonstrate passion for IFES mission. Proficiency with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel required. Strong written and verbal communication skills are required. Collaborative, team-oriented individual. Self- starter with high attention to detail and ability to prioritize and meet deadlines.

LANGUAGE SKILLS: English required. Regional language skills a plus.

TRAVEL: Travel may be required, up to 10% of the time.


Standard office work environment, with occasional field travel. Reasonable accommodation may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

IFES is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer.

All qualified applicants/employees will receive consideration for employment/promotions and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability, sex, sexual orientation, age, race, color, religion, national origin, veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristic.

IFES takes affirmative action with respect to the employment and promotion of women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and covered veterans


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