Programme Development Manager: Civil Society Engagement in the Middle East


The Hague, Netherlands

Do you have a strong track record in project design around civic engagement, human rights, freedom of expression and in facilitating multi actor interventions? And are you a change maker with entrepreneurial spirit and strong in networking? If so, you may be who we are looking for!

Job context

The current crises in the Middle East have many causes including political, societal, economic and ecological ones. Flaws in a range of fundamental rights result into the exclusion of large groups of citizens from political, societal and economic participation in society. They have no access to political and societal decision making that determines their lives and their well-being. Citizens have very limited, if any, (political) space to involve themselves meaningfully in political and societal debate to achieve change. In many countries there is a status quo, in others civic space is shrinking further.

However, at the same time many - mostly young - people no longer accept the current situation. They reject oppressive laws and policies, long for freedom, heckle widespread corruption and nepotism and claim opportunities for personal development and societal participation. They show great social engagement, are involved in formal and informal protests, are very active in social media, but also in alternative social and economic activities.

Hivos wants to expand its engagement and cooperation with these activists, who are the frontrunners in addressing fundamental and persistent societal problems. In order to develop new projects to liaise with and to support these social innovators, Hivos is announcing a vacancy for Program Development Manager Civil Society Engagement in the Middle East.

As Program Development Manager your focus will be on planning, scanning and generating new ideas, developing relationships with stakeholders (citizens, partners, donors), and facilitating the transformation of innovative ideas and solutions into sustainable programs and projects and its funding.

Your responsibilities

  • Build relationships with networks, civil society activists and organisations and donor agencies in order to translate and transform innovative ideas and solutions into sustainable programs and projects which are considered to represent attractive investment opportunities for donors;
  • Design and develop concrete (pilot) projects countering shrinking civic space and promoting meaningful citizens’ engagement;
  • Identify potentially interested financiers and mobilise resources for small and large scale interventions;
  • Provide advice to project managers implementing projects in the field of freedom of expression, transparency and accountability, women’s empowerment and human rights and design new follow up phases or new projects;
  • You will report to the Program Director Middle East and North Africa and work closely with the colleagues of the MENA Team and of the OPEN Society Program both at Hivos in Beirut and The Hague.

Your profile

You have a master degree in social justice, development studies or related discipline. At least five years of experiences of working in the field of human rights, freedom of expression or civil society engagement preferably in the Middle East. You have a proven track record of working with civil society activists and in working with multiple stakeholders (citizens, donor agencies, NGOs, media, government agencies).

You have an entrepreneurial spirit and working attitude, project management experience and good communication skills both in Arabic and English. You live in the Netherlands, you are EU citizen or have a valid residence and work permit for the Netherlands.

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