Programme Officer for Mali and the Sahel region

Location: Abidjan, with possible relocation to Bamako (Mali) after 6 months

Application closing: January 15, 2018

Job start date: February/March 2018

Interpeace, a Swiss non-profit organisation, works in close partnership with national partner organizations and the UN, with the aim of building lasting peace. Interpeace has a two-fold mandate: (i) to strengthen the capacities of societies to manage conflict in non-violent, non-coercive ways by assisting national actors in their efforts to develop social and political cohesion; and (ii) to assist the international community (and in particular the United Nations) to play a more effective role in supporting peacebuilding efforts around the world through better understanding and response to the challenges of creating local capacities that enhance social and political cohesion.

Headquartered in Geneva, Interpeace is supported by bilateral and multilateral donors as well as private funding. The organization is currently active in Africa, Central America, Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

The Regional Office for West Africa is based in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire and coordinates the work of on-going programmes in Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau and Mali.

Scope of the position

The Programme Officer (PO) for Mali and the Sahel region is a member of the Programme Team in the Regional Office for West Africa. In this context, the PO will collaborate directly with the Regional Director (RD), the Innovation and Learning Officer (ILO) and the rest of the Interpeace Regional Office Team. S/he will report to the Regional Director (RD) who will provide overall guidance of the programme. Overall, a strong collaborative and horizontal approach to programme delivery and reporting will be maintained.

The PO is the key link between the Interpeace Mali Programme Team at the Regional Office in Abidjan and the Mali Partner Team, IMRAP (Institut Malien de Recherche Action pour la Paix). S/he is responsible for ensuring that activities under the Interpeace Mali Programme are run in a coherent, well-planned manner, and in line with the programme design as agreed by both Interpeace and IMRAP. S/he closely monitors and leads the activities of the Interpeace Mali/ Sahel programme team, composed of a programme support officer and a programme assistant/intern. Together with the RD and the Interpeace Mali/ Sahel team, the PO will provide adequate planning and methodological support to IMRAP, as well as continually monitoring the Mali Programme to ensure its effectiveness and its adherence to agreed programme deliverables and budgets. The capturing and sharing of results with stakeholders and funding partners, to optimize impact, will be an important aspect of this position.

Specific Responsibilities

General

  • Remain abreast of the political, economic and social situations in the Sahel region in general through coordinated updates;
  • Monitor substantive programme and contextual developments and provide regular briefings to the RD;
  • Manage and provide guidance to the Interpeace Mali/ Sahel team and ensure an efficient task allocation;
  • Provide methodological and programmatic guidance and operational support for activities by Interpeace and its local partners;
  • Develop and nurture a clear understanding of the programme of work of the Mali/ Sahel Programme;
  • In collaboration with the RD and in support of the partner organisation, develop programme proposals including logical frameworks and budgets (with support from the Interpeace Finance Manager) according to the specific donor requirements;
  • In collaboration with the RD, ensure the development of work plans/change matrixes for all field components of the programme and play a strong supporting role towards the partner’s efforts in this regard.
  • Support and follow partners’ activity requests to ensure that they are substantively in line with the programme, and financially in line with approved budgets and available donor funding.
  • Monitor partners’ activities and budgets in coordination with other members of the Mali/ Sahel Programme team (and the Interpeace Finance Manager), to ensure progress is being made in line with programme design and expectations.
  • Take the lead in the review, proofreading and editing of substantive products (e.g. participatory research reports) from the local partner teams.
  • Work with the Finance/Admin staff of the Regional Office to ensure that the resource-management practices of the partner team in Mali meet standards and grow stronger (these can include human resources, financial resources, logistics, time & information management, work planning)
  • Support the fundraising initiatives of Interpeace and the local partners that ensure the financial sustainability of its programme in Mali and in the region.
  • Support existing relations with key international actors in the country and region and strategically engage these actors in the work of Interpeace.
  • Ensure the timely and well-prepared periodical meetings of donor stakeholder groups as necessary.

Communication and reporting

  • Ensure effective contribution to and timely submission of weekly reporting.
  • Collect, compile and disseminate both contractual and strategic reporting to donors and other key actors.
  • Lead and review written products including publications and donor reports of the Interpeace Mali Programme and provide quality control, including coordination of tasks relating to content and quality as appropriate.
  • Maintain close liaison with team members in the Regional Office to ensure that all Interpeace staff in the Abidjan office are regularly briefed on Mali/ Sahel Programme activities.

Learning

In close collaboration with the ILO for West Africa:

  • Lead and support initiatives aimed at furthering the Mali partner institutional development and strengthening technical capacities including abilities to conduct better research, capture and disseminate the content of the programme.
  • Coordinate the mobilization of human resources and contribute to the foundational learning & training of programme teams.
  • Help support a learning and reflective atmosphere within the Programme and the Mali Partner Team.
  • Identify the programme learning needs and priorities for the Mali Partner and the Programme Teams.
  • Harmonize efforts of the policy and learning unit, specifically in the areas of horizontal and practitioner-based learning, with the practices in the field.
  • Develop emerging thematic competences, programme and process knowledge that can be usednot only for the Interpeace Mali Programme but could also be shared with and incorporated into the work of Interpeace in its other programmes.
  • Ensure that reflection and learning takes place regularly with regard to programme process anddevelopment, methodological adaptations and generally on the topics under study.
  • Ensure adequate monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of the programme through the design of adequate M&E mechanisms and the holding of periodical review/reflection workshops, external evaluations, etc.

The applicant must fulfill the following requirements:

Education

  • Master degree in international relations, peace and conflict studies, security studies, human rights, diplomacy, international cooperation, humanitarian aid, psychology, communication or related fields

Language

  • Full professional proficiency in French or native-speaker (CEFR: C2)
  • Professional working proficiency in English (CEFR: C1) is considered an asset

Work experience

  • Record of (co-)managing programme budgets of at least 100.000 USD
  • 1 – 5 years of professional experience in providing adapted support to daily tasks of local partnersin program implementation (strategy, planning, reflection, monitoring, evaluation) in the fields ofpeacebuilding, development, social business or similar fields
  • 1 – 5 years of professional experience in writing reports for donors and in developing projectproposals and concept notes
  • Professional experience of managing relationships with political, financial and technical partners isconsidered a strong asset
  • Demonstrated work experience of at least 1 year in Mali or West Africa considered a strong asset
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and experience in institutional development is considered an asset

Other qualities

  • Demonstrated interest and experience (e.g. policy brief, analytical publication, academic dissertation, work experience, volunteer engagement) in peacebuilding dynamics in West Africa (social cohesion, reconciliation, trust building, dialogue, radicalization, violent extremism, dynamics of violence, etc.)
  • Aptitude to adapt to a different context regarding security, culture, climate or health issue, demonstrated by at least 6 months experience outside of country of origin
  • Willingness to travel to Mali and the Sahel region up to 50% of your time

A successful candidate will:

  • identify with Interpeace’s core objectives
  • enjoy integrating into a dedicated, dynamic and international team
  • be motivated to closely collaborate with our national partner/ team in each country programme
  • be eager to learn more about peacebuilding and conflict prevention
  • be a critical thinker

 Please note: Interpeace values diversity among its staff and aims at achieving greater gender parity and diversity in all levels of its work. We welcome applications from women and men. Nationals from countries in West Africa and the Sahel region are strongly encouraged to apply.

How to Apply

Qualified candidates may submit a complete curriculum vitae and a letter of interest in FRENCH or in ENGLISH to  nyssen@interpeace.org copying rioux@interpeace.org.

The following words MUST BE included in the subject line of the application email in order to be considered:

PO Mali/ Sahel + your name

 Please be sure to answer the following questions in your cover letter:

  • Why did you choose to apply specifically to Interpeace?
  • Why are you interested in peacebuilding?
  • Why are you interested in Mali, West Africa and/or the Sahel region?
  • What do you want to learn through working with Interpeace?
  • What is your availability?

Please note that due to high volume of applications, ONLY candidates short-listed for interviews will be notified. This call will remain open until January 15, 2018. Early applications are encouraged.