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Thematic Specialist, Public Financial Management Systems (m/f/d)


  • Organization: Transparency International
  • Location: Berlin
  • Grade: Mid level - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Economics
    • Banking and Finance
    • Public Policy and Administration
  • Closing Date: 2024-12-07


Transparency International is a global movement with one vision: a world in which government, business, civil society and the daily lives of people are free of corruption. With more than 100 chapters worldwide and an international secretariat in Berlin, we are leading the fight against corruption to turn this vision into reality.



The Transparency International Secretariat (TIS) is currently seeking a Thematic Specialist, Public Financial Management Systems (m/f/d) to join the Research & Knowledge Team to conduct and coordinate research and provide policy support to TI’s Strategic Objective of protecting public resources, with a focus on strengthening public financial management systems and institutional oversight in Zambia and Malawi.

TIS is currently negotiating a grant agreement with the French Foreign Affairs Ministry to implement a project in Zambia and Malawi entitled “Collaboration, Action and Dialogue to Strengthen the Engagement of Supreme Audit Institutions and CSOs in Improving public financial management (PFM)”. The project is expected to start in March 2024 and aims at improving the transparency and accountability of PFM systems in both target countries by strengthening collaboration between civil society organisations and supreme audit institutions. By facilitating collaboration between CSOs and SAIs, through capacity building and joint advocacy actions, the project promotes strong checks and balances on public resource management.It will strengthen the role of CSOs and SAIs as watchdogs that hold government institutions accountable for their financial activities, identifying irregularities and areas for improvement, as well as mobilising citizens to advocate forchange.This will result in greater transparency and effective accountability in the allocation, management and expenditure of public resources.

To meet these objectives, a number of research activities are foreseen, including for example:

  • An assessment of the knowledge and skills of civil society and SAIs in matters of Public Finance Management (PFM) and their level of collaboration in the 2 countries.
  • An analysis of the existing legal frameworks in the target countries.
  • Development of capacity building materials and toolkits.
  • Delivery of trainings targeting local CSOs and SAI representatives.
  • Organisation of conferences and symposia on cross-cutting issues such as the consideration of gender in the different stages of PFM and the transparent management of resources in specific sectors.

Transparency International is looking for a Thematic Specialist who will be responsible for research and knowledge generation to support this agenda. The Thematic Specialist will provide research and policy support to generate the evidence for conducting evidence-based advocacy at the national, regional and global levels on issues related to strengthening PFM systems and the collaboration between CSOs and SAIs. They will engage with TI national chapters to promote and follow up on research findings and concrete advocacy opportunities. The Thematic Specialist will also support the establishment of dialogue spaces within the TI Movement and with relevant partners to exchange knowledge, solutions and good practices related to anti-corruption, transparency and accountability of PFM systems and more generally the collection, allocation, management and oversight of public resources.  

The position is currently estimated to start in March 2024 for two years.

IMPORTANT: This project proposal has been invited for grant preparation, so is in pre-approval stage with the donor. The confirmed funding and actual start date for this role is therefore still subject to final, formal contracting.



Role Purpose:The Thematic Specialist, Public Financial Management Systems will conduct and coordinate research activities and provide technical expertise to support the implementation of the “Collaboration, Action and Dialogue to Strengthen the Engagement of Supreme Audit Institutions and CSOs in Improving public financial management (PFM)” in Zambia and Malawi.

Team: Research and Knowledge

Reporting Lines: Head of Research and Knowledge

Salary Band: salary according to TI-S internal salary structure; for this position corresponding to band PF2 a salary starting EUR 42,000.00 gross per year depending on relevant experience

Starting Date: 1 March 2024, or as soon as possible thereafter

Contract Duration:Currently we can offer an employment contract limited for a duration of 2 years

Working Hours: full time [100%; 40 hours per week]

Location: Transparency International Secretariat (TI-S), Berlin – with international travel

Job ID: TIS-R&K-RPCPFMS-102023


Based in the Research and Knowledge Team, the Thematic Specialist, Public Financial Management Systems will:

  • Lead the development of knowledge materials, tools, and research methodologies, and provide thematic support to meet the project objectives in the area of protecting public resources, with a focus on strengthening PFM systems.
  • Produce on-demand research and policy support to local CSOs, focused on:

oScrutinising, tracking, and demanding transparency and accountability in the development and implementation of PFM and audit processes.

oPromoting and/or monitoring of the engagement and participation of citizens, in particular of underrepresented groups, in PFM and budget processes.

oMobilising civil society actors to demand government responsiveness, meaningful reforms, access to information, as well as credible and effective sanctions to hold duty-bearers accountable for corruption.

  • Undertake and coordinate cross-country research as needed and develop knowledge materials, including providing quality control of project’s research outputs.
  • Support the development of policy positions on issues related to strengthening PFM systems and promoting collaboration between SAI and CSOs
  • Write blogs and produce evidence needed for advocacy and communication campaigns;
  • Design and convene dedicated skills training for national chapters and SAI representatives as well as providing thematic support on a demand driven basis
  • Establish and / or nurture spaces for exchange and dialogues within the TI Movement and with external partners on issues related to PFM systems
  • Generate ideas, develop concept notes/proposals, and activities that are aligned with organisational priorities
  • Contribute to day-to-day work implementation, including work planning, budget management, monitoring, and reporting, ensuring that all phases are consistent with the design and delivery schedule and internal processes and procedures
  • Stay abreast of developments relating to the area of work and be available to respond to on-demand internal and external stakeholder needs


In order to succeed in this role, candidates will need to meet the following:

  • University degree or equivalent in a relevant field of the social sciences, such as political science, sociology, economics, public administration or a related field, with an academic emphasis on research
  • 5+ years of relevant professional experience in social research with a track record of producing operationally and policy relevant research on issues related to institutional oversight, PFM, citizen participation and community monitoring
  • Extensive knowledge and expertise of anti-corruption, good governance and development fields required
  • Substantive experience in research coordination in a multi-country/international setting, with a proven ability to adapt approaches to different local contexts and country-specific accountability challenges
  • Strong knowledge and experience in research design and methods
  • Experience in providing training, technical assistance and quality control on projects related to horizontal accountability, preferably in a multi-country/comparative context, with excellent attention to detail
  • Demonstrated project management skills with strong organisational skills and the ability to successfully manage priorities in a dynamic and fast paced environment;
  • Solid writing, editing and communication skills
  • Professional language proficiency in English required and an additional language an advantage
  • Proven commitment to social justice issues and the values of Transparency International
  • Willingness to travel


Joining the Transparency International Secretariat candidates can expect:

  • the opportunity to become part of the global movement against corruption and make a positive contribution to the work of TI in the field of transparency and accountability working on a wide range of relevant and challenging issues
  • a role with purpose, working in a team of engaged and enthusiastic experts in the field of anti-corruption, driven and united by the desire to fight corruption and achieve significant and large-scale replicable impact
  • a dynamic, flexible and international working environment with peers representing 45+ different nationalities
  • a high degree of collaboration and autonomy in a lean and agile organisation with streamlined decision-making processes and a shared leadership culture with servant leadership philosophy
  • opportunities to learn and grow, including regular Show & Tell meetings and visits by external experts

Staff at TI-S enjoy a competitive compensation & benefits package designed for staff well-being and work life balance, incl.:

  • a relocation package incl. sponsorship of work permit if needed and eligible
  • financial contribution to German language classes
  • generous time off with 30 days of annual leave per year and flexible working times around core hours
  • Remote-hybrid working model from within Germany
  • the possibility of Work from Abroad for periods of time (currently for up to 10 working days at a time for a maximum of 20 working days per calendar year)
  • Friday afternoons alternately free or meeting-free during the summer months
  • Sodexo Restaurant Checks with plenty of options nearby the office for reduced prices for meals
  • reduced membership fees with Urban Sports Club
  • Mental wellbeing and counselling support by OpenUp
  • a centrally located office in a vibrant metropolitan city with excellent public transportation connectivity at the river Spree



Interested candidates are invited to submit a CV and cover letter in English, merged into one PDF file, via the online recruitment system clicking on the button ‘Apply Online’. 

Closing date for applications is Thursday, December 7th.

Only applications duly completed and received through the online recruitment system will be considered.

Transparency International is committed to creating an inclusive work environment where diversity is valued and where there is equality of opportunity. We actively seek a diverse applicant pool and therefore welcome and strongly encourage applications from qualified candidates of all regions, countries, cultures and backgrounds. Existing permission to work in Germany is not a selection criterion and TI-S supports successful candidates in the process for applying for a work permit, if needed and eligible.

Selection of staff is made on a competitive basis and we do not discriminate on the basis of national origin, race, colour or ethnic background, religious belief, sex, gender identity and expression or sexual orientation, marital or family status, age or ability. We kindly ask applicants to refrain from including in their application information relating to the above as well as from attaching photos.



Please note that Transparency International does not charge any fees at any stage of its recruitment and selection process (whether at application, processing, testing, interviewing, traveling or otherwise), nor does Transparency International require or need to know any information relating to the bank account details of applicants. Transparency International will also not ask you to join any group or account on social media or elsewhere.



To learn more about Transparency International please visit our website and follow us on social media:






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