Head of Programme

International IDEA, Yangon, Myanmar

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
14th July, 2020

Job Description

The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance - The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) is an intergovernmental organization with a mission to advance democracy worldwide, as a universal human aspiration and an enabler of sustainable development, through support to the building, strengthening and safeguarding of democratic political institutions and processes at all levels.

We believe that democracy is a universal human aspiration and an experience that is pursued and lived in different ways around the world. Beyond the basic tenets of citizens’ choice and citizens’ political equality, the critical choices are best made and the quality of democracy is best gauged by those directly concerned: the citizens themselves. We systematically nurture an open and pluralistic understanding of democracy. This is respectful of the national context, and is in line with our non-prescriptive and non-intrusive approach, as well as with the priorities set by national actors.

International IDEA produces, shares and enables the use of comparative knowledge in its key areas of expertise: electoral processes, constitution building processes, political participation and representation, as well as on democracy as it relates to gender and inclusion, conflict sensitivity and sustainable development.

It has its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, and offices in the Africa and West Asia, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean and Europe regions. International IDEA is a Permanent Observer to the United Nations.


International IDEA advances democracy worldwide as a universal human aspiration, enabling sustainable development by supporting the building, strengthening and safeguarding of democratic political institutions and processes at all levels.

In Myanmar, International IDEA supports electoral processes, civic education, constitution-building, and parliamentary support. International IDEA supports plurality of actors in the ongoing transition to a fully fledged democracy.

Supporting electoral processes, International IDEA leads the implementation of European Union (EU) funded project Support to Electoral Processes and Democracy – STEP Democracy (2018-2021). As Myanmar is preparing for the 2020 general elections, STEP Democracy supports inclusive, peaceful and credible electoral processes, through strengthening the capacity of stakeholders to contribute to the democratic transition in Myanmar. It is an integrated programme closely coordinated with all key national stakeholders – with the Union Election Commission (UEC), with political parties, with civil society organisations involved in domestic election observation, voter and civic education, and advocacy for reform, and with media organisations. STEP Democracy is unique in bringing together national and international expertise, and firmly entrenches local ownership throughout all phases of the electoral cycle.

Supporting constitution building processes, MyConstitution project collaborates with a variety of Myanmar stakeholders in order to establish a framework of constitutionalism that supports a stable and inclusive transition to peace and democracy in Myanmar. The programme provides tailored workshops, trainings, advisory support, and written analyses on a range of constitutional issues to assist key stakeholders when they engage in constitutional debates and negotiations as part of the constitutional reform process or the broader peace negotiations.

International IDEA also supports the strengthening of Myanmar’s emerging democratic checks and balances, in particular the Union Parliament’s capacities for financial accountability for public service delivery. The Support Hluttaw work on Effective Budget Oversight (SHWEBO) (2019-2023) project funded by the European Union and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) collaborates with the relevant parliamentary committees and staff towards the full utilization and improvement of the operating framework for budgetary oversight; the improvement of these committees’ members and staff’s skills and knowledge to effectively perform budgetary scrutiny and analysis; and the building of constructive engagement with other state and social accountability actors.

International IDEA continually strives to promote diversity and expand its portfolio in Myanmar to support democratic transition.

Main Functions of the Post

  • To design, manage and account for International IDEA’s country strategy in Myanmar;
  • To lead and direct the strategy for the implementation of projects and programmes funded by donors, e.g. EU, UK and others, in a manner that is politically smart, technically sound and which delivers against the programmes stated objectives;
  • To manage a dynamic team of technical and administrative, local and international staff and support them in the delivery of complex and multi-faceted programmes. The Head of Myanmar Programme will especially take a lead in pulling together the implementing partners of the programme and ensure consistent focus on innovation, learning, evidence, impact and sustainability;
  • To promote dialogue and consensus building at the highest levels and to provide and facilitate expert advice to political actors in Myanmar; and to represent International IDEA in Myanmar vis-a-vis the Member States and other actors;
  • To progress fundraising initiatives for projects in Myanmar; and maintain effective communication and reporting to the donors.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Represents, directs and accounts for projects and programmes implemented by International IDEA in Myanmar, in line with communication and visibility rules of donors as well as International IDEA policies and procedures;
  • Provides overall strategic direction and policy guidance to the projects and programmes in close liaison with, the funding organisation, beneficiary organisations and stakeholders;
  • Accounts for programme finances and grant management to ensure that financial planning supports the delivery of Programme results and demonstrates value-for-money in accordance with International IDEA’s resource mobilization strategy and the relevant rules of funding organsiations;
  • Leads and strategically directs the core programme team (approx. 30 ) and relevant experts to plan, deliver, monitor, propose adjustments to implementation as needed, and reports on implementation of all activities;
  • Manages production, use, updating, and comunication on all relevant project management documentation including Theory of Change, Political Economy and Conflict Sensitivity Analysis, Baseline-Endline Surveys, Gender Analysis, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Strategy, Communication Strategy, Risk Management Strategy, and other relevant Policy Briefing Papers;
  • Drives innovation, learning and evidence through the oversight of robust Programme MEL systems and processes;
  • Guides and prioritises continuous liaison, consultation, communication, engagement and relationship management with key Programme partners and stakeholders including national (Union level) and local government, electoral management bodies, civil society organisations and international development partners;
  • Oversees the recruitment and performance management of all Programme staff and consultants in support of the delivery of Programmes results;
  • Ensures timely and quality communication, outreach, publicity and visibility, both locally and internationally, whilst paying special attention to acknowledgement of source of funds from funding organisations;
  • Provides timely and insightful reports on political developments in Myanmar; Participates in dialogue processes, advocacy in the field of democracy, governance and social development, and the preparation of publications;
  • As required, negotiates renewal of MoUs with relevant ministries and accreditation for the International IDEA offices in Myanmar;
  • Maintains and develops relevant professional contacts and networks of cooperation with those active in relevant fields, including practitioners, policy makers, academics and the international community, and notably with International IDEA member states;
  • Represents International IDEA externally as appropriate, including development and maintenance of positive and effective relations with the Government of Myanmar, International IDEA Member States, donors, UN and other relevant interlocutors;
  • Designs International IDEA's project proposals for Myanmar and manages fundraising initiatives in Myanmar for projects in line with International IDEA policies and procedures;
  • Ensures communication and cooperation with International IDEA’s global and crosscutting programmes.

General Profile

  • Proven strategic, advisory-and team leadership experience in the democracy and governance sector, specifically in the field of electoral processes, constitution building or political participation and representation in developing country contexts;
  • Dynamic and proactive leadership with the ability to serve as a unifying force and to position discussions at both the strategic and tactical level; Relationship builder with the ability to use communication to help effect change;
  • Technically credibile, with proven leadership and management abilities; Has the intellectual leadership to integrate innovation into his/her field of expertise;
  • Leads assigned projects with strategic vision throughout the project life cycle, i.e. from strategic planning and project design, funding and budgeting to project assessment and accountability; leads meetings and discussions, oversees publications and input from external providers;
  • Acts in accordance with International IDEA’ s core values; Respect, Integrity and Professionalism;
  • Integrates a gender and inclusion perspective in all activities.

Reporting Line

  • Director Asia and the Pacific Region.

Programmatic Knowledge

  • Has excellent knowledge and work experience in the democracy and governance sector combined with an excellent understanding of the complexities of democratic transitions in order to approach programmatic activities in a holistic manner;
  • Has demonstrated capacity in policy analysis and strategy development.

Operational Knowledge, skills and experience

  • Integrates a results-based approach into the design, management and evaluation of all his/her programmatic activities;
  • Has thorough understanding of relevant programmatic issues in Myanmar and/or in South East Asia where his/her work is implemented;
  • Illustrates integrity, a collaborative spirit with programmes partners, a sense of achievement, and an understanding of risk management;
  • Is active in the search for information on donors and partners, preparation of reports and project briefs, identification of opportunities for initiation of new projects, and all other activities related to resource mobilization and partnership building.


  • Leads strategically a multi-talented team to achieve milestones and objectives; sets team priorities and manages resources in projects of considerable complexity; Fosters team-based activities; Collaborates with other entities of the organization;
  • Acts as a model and resource for colleagues.

Problem Solving

  • Solves unique and complex challenges, approach issues with new perspectives, and analyze situations from a multitude of intervening factors.

Communication and Interpersonal Skills

  • Liaises permanently and constructively to all internal and external stakeholders involved in his/her programmes: acts and is perceived as an initiator of relevant communication to solve issues;
  • Drives strategically programmes and assignments through communicative personal energy and engagement;
  • Can explain sensitive information with diplomacy, and build consensus;
  • Explains sensitive information with diplomacy, and builds consensus;
  • Excellent knowledge in written and oral English required. Knowledge of a widely spoken language in an International IDEA priority region would be an asset.

Education and Experience

  • Advanced university degree in social science, political science, international law, international development, peace and development studies or a related subjects;
  • A minimum of 12 years relevant experience working in the field of democracy and governance specifically in the field of electoral processes, constitution building or political participation and representation in developing country contexts;
  • Experience working in Myanmar and/or South or South East Asia would be a considerable asset;
  • A minimum of 5 years experience in people management positions, including senior level positions, with direct supervision over complex international teams;
  • Proven experience in engaging, cultivating and influencing stakeholders; Experience of working in an international environment is essential;
  • Experience of managing EU or DFID funded projects would be a considerable asset.

Terms of Contract

  • International post;
  • Two (2) year fixed term appointment;
  • Salary: EUR 6 900 - 9 146 NET per month plus benefits.

Applying for this position

  • Applications should be submitted online no later than 23:59 (CEST) 14 July 2020;
  • All applications must be made in English.
  • International IDEA is an equal opportunity employer which seeks to further diversify its staff in terms of gender, culture and nationality.

Source: https://idea.easycruit.com/vacancy/2535247/25038

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