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  • Career Opportunity at Ford Foundation

  • Posted on: 4 December, 2015 Deadline: Not Specified
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  • The FORD FOUNDATION is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 75 years it has worked with visionary people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has ten regional offices in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

    Program Officer


    Job description

    The Ford Foundation’s office in West Africa seeks a dynamic and innovative Program Officer to drive and shape the foundation’s work in the critical area of advancing Youth Opportunity and Learning. The Program Officer will support the strategy of the West Africa Office and the broader social justice goals of the Ford Foundation.                           

    Addressing inequality is the key focus of the Ford Foundation globally and in West Africa. The overarching goal of the office is to support the building of an inclusive, safe and democratic West Africa that includes leadership of youth and women in finding solutions to major challenges confronting the sub-region, especially inequalities around educational achievement, quality employment, voice and participation. The Foundation strives to achieve this by working with critical stakeholders and partners in government, civil society, private sector and donor community including the growing number of local philanthropies in the sub-region.

    Reporting to the Foundation’s West Africa Representative and working with a multidisciplinary team of Program Officers, the Youth Opportunity and Learning Program Officer will be responsible for developing and implementing a strategy that strengthens young peoples’ pathways from secondary to post-secondary education; transitions to quality employment, civic engagement and adult life and supports efforts to connect youth with networks, mentors, and movements that build their leadership skills and agency.

    The Youth Opportunity and Learning Program Officer will:

    • Develop an integrated program strategy identifying key leverage points and opportunities for impact, as well reflect the complementary roles of government, market, civil society, learning institutions, communities and youth with a view to fostering dialogue, collaboration and commitment
    • Formulate grant making plans to implement the program strategy
    • Solicit, review, and respond to grant proposals
    • Prepare recommendations for Foundation funding
    • Work with other Foundation staff to monitor grants and promote effective communication of results
    • Develop learning strategies related to the achievement of the portfolio’s goals
    • Provide intellectual leadership in the field of Youth Opportunity and Learning in West Africa
    • Work closely with the Representative and other Program Officers in the West Africa office to develop and implement an integrated Office strategy
    • Work closely with Program Officers and Communications staff throughout the Foundation whose work relates to the central mission of the portfolio, including colleagues in other offices to advance the Foundation’s worldwide agenda and goals in advancing Youth Opportunity and Learning
    • Collaborate with a broad range of stakeholders active in the youth space to build creative and lasting multi-sector networks and collaborative environment


    • A strong commitment to youth opportunity and learning in West Africa and globally
    • Exemplary critical thinking skills for analyzing the field and identifying strategic opportunities
    • Expertise in policy analysis and design as well as institutional change
    • Excellent analytical, conceptual and judgment skills
    • Working knowledge of French
    • Exceptional collaboration skills and a demonstrated record of successful teamwork
    • Skills in convening and facilitating collaborative work towards achieving social change
    • Grant-making experience and/or knowledge of the youth sector within civil society, government, academia or philanthropy in West Africa.


    • Advanced Graduate degree in social sciences, law, humanities or related fields
    • Minimum of 7 years of practical field experience and/or scholarship on youth learning, skill development, leadership and agency
    • Strong understanding of concepts and issues in youth learning, skill development, leadership and agency as well as demonstrable familiarity with challenges confronting young people in West Africa
    • Strong interpersonal skills and proven ability to effectively engage with youth, government, nongovernmental organizations, private sector, academic and research institutions, donor agencies and local/rural communities
    • Ability to work travel extensively regionally and internationally on behalf of the Foundation
    • Written and oral fluency in English
    • Strong project management, prioritization and analytical skills
    • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively with others as well as in teams

    Method of Application

    Interested and suitably qualified candidates should visit Ford Foundation Career Page

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