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  • Organization: IDEA - International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance
  • Location: Brussels
  • Grade: Senior - Internationally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2019-02-19

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Head of Programme

Brussels (Belgium)

Head of Programme

Under its 2018-2022 Strategy, International IDEA will support the integrity of processes and institutions of political participation and representation through strengthening the capacity of formal institutions of political participation and representation, such as parliaments and political parties. In this regard, International IDEA and the European Union (EU) have entered into an Agreement to implement the INTER PARES | Parliaments in Partnership, EU Global Project to Strengthen the Capacity of Parliaments. The Global Project aims to strengthen representative and inclusive democracy through support for the effective functioning of parliaments in partner countries, by enhancing their legislative, oversight, representative, budgetary and administrative functions. The Global Project focuses both on elected Members of Parliament (MPs), particularly in their capacity as members of parliamentary committees and on the staff of parliaments' secretariats.

The Project will be implemented through the following three main components:

i)              Peer-to-peer parliamentary strengthening operations between selected parliaments from partner countries and parliaments from European Union Member States (EU MS).

ii)             Promotion of sustainable inter-parliamentary cooperation and parliamentary support approaches, with a focus on selected thematic issues; and

iii)            Production of comparative research and knowledge and of practical and innovative tools on parliamentary matters and support approaches. The Head of INTER PARES | Parliaments in Partnership will be responsible for providing strategic leadership and management of the overall planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting, communication and visibility of the Global Project.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Ensures the successful implementation of the INTER PARES project, throughout the entire project cycle; accountable for a timely and efficient implementation of the project objectives within the budgetary frames;
  • Leads, manages and provides strategic direction to the INTER PARES | Parliaments in Partnership Project, in line with the agreement with the European Union and International IDEA policies and procedures;
  • Manages and directs the work and team of the Project Management Unit to deliver efficiently, within agreed timeframes and budget, and in accordance with approved procedures and processes; ensures the delivery of agreed programmatic outputs and outcomes in cooperation and coordination with other areas of work within International IDEA’s Global and Regional Programmes as well as external project partners.;
  • Oversees project planning and implementation, and ensures quality control of project outputs in coordination with the Project Implementation Task Force; closely monitors project performance and prepares and provides periodic project reviews in a timely and effective manner;
  • Designs the Monitoring and Evaluation framework in accordance with the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) plan outlined in the Project document, responding to both EU needs and aligned with International IDEA’s M&E results framework;
  • Develops and maintains relevant professional contacts and networks of cooperation; Represents International IDEA externally as appropriate, including with the EU, Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and other relevant partners and stakeholders;
  • Co-ordinates and co-chairs the Project Steering Committee; Actively builds and fosters strategic partnerships that can advance democracy development;
  • Leads and coordinates and is responsible for ensuring the quality of the draft Terms of Reference for the peer to peer assistance for parliamentarians and staff of parliaments;
  • Plans, facilitates, participates in and makes presentations at coordination meetings, seminars, workshops and conferences;
  • Communicates, represents and ensures the visibility of the Project in line with the Communication and Visibility Plan;
  • Takes responsibility for overall Project risk management and actively manages risk in line with the risk assessment of the project as well as organizational policies and procedures;
  • Ensures adherence to both EU and International IDEA regulations and procedures in the Project implementation and reporting.

General Profile

  • Combines in-depth knowledge, acquired through post-graduate academic achievements; excellent skills including managerial skills and relevant experience in the field of parliamentary support;
  • Leads assigned teams (including staff members and consultants) and projects throughout the project life cycle; leads meetings and discussions;
  • Regarded as an expert in his/her broad professional community;
  • Has the intellectual leadership to integrate innovation into his/her field of expertise;
  • Fosters team-based activities in his/her unit; collaborates with other entities of the Institute;
  • Acts as a model and mentor for colleagues;
  • Is expected to travel globally to any geographical area involved in implementing projects under INTER PARES;
  • Follows internal procedures to ensure high standards of performance and compliance with Institutional guidelines;
  • Solves unique and complex problems that have a broad impact on the organization;
  • Integrates a gender and diversity perspective in all activities.

Reporting Line

  • Director Global Programme

Programmatic Knowledge

  • Has in-depth knowledge and extensive work experience in parliamentary support and development, working with members of parliaments, parliamentary secretariats and committees, combined with a broad knowledge of related disciplines within the function, in order to approach activities in a holistic manner;
  • Knowledge and working experience on mainstreaming gender in governance and democracy and parliamentary support;
  • Possesses excellent knowledge and extensive work experience in the application of parliamentary needs assessments methodologies and approaches for parliamentary support and development programming.

Operational Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Integrates a results-based approach into the design, management and evaluation of all his/her programmatic activities;
  • Possesses a thorough understanding of relevant programmatic issues in the key geographical zone where his/her work is implemented;
  • 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;
  • Strong analytical, negotiation and communication skills, including ability to produce high quality reports and knowledge products/tools;
  • Strong diplomatic skills and ability to engage with high level EU Officials, Parliament Officials, international community and other key stakeholders;
  • Illustrates integrity, a collaborative spirit, a sense of achievement, and an understanding of risk management;
  • Understands and manages the budget and planning of his/her project(s).


  • Strong leadership and people management skills;
  • Capacity to provide intellectual leadership in projects and teams;
  • Collaborates with other entities of the Institute, creating and maintaining bilateral partnerships;
  • Leads multi-cultural and multi-talented teams;
  • Manages programmes and/or projects with notable risk and complexity; develops the strategy for execution;
  • Acts as a model and resource for colleagues.

Problem Solving

  • Solves unique and complex problems with broad impact on the organization; requires conceptual and innovative thinking to develop solutions; Leads others to solve complex problems; uses sophisticated analytical thought to exercise judgment and identify innovative solutions.


  • Impacts the direction and resource allocation for programmes and projects;
  • Impacts other teams and projects in related fields.

 Communication and Interpersonal Skills

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including high level presentation skills;
  • Diplomatic skills and ability to engage at all levels;
  • Communicates complex ideas, anticipates potential objections and can persuade others, often at senior levels, to adopt a different view;
  • Liaises permanently to all internal and external stakeholders involved in his/her project; acts and is perceived as an initiator of relevant communication to solve issues;
  • Drives projects and assignments through communicative personal energy and engagement;
  • Can explain sensitive information with diplomacy, and build consensus;
  • Is able to represent International IDEA and the INTER PARES project effectively in all professional circles;
  • Excellent knowledge in written and oral English is required; Any other widely spoken language in an International IDEA priority region (Arabic, French, Spanish) and/or official EU language would be an asset.

Education and Experience

  • University degree in social science, political sciences, law, international development or other relevant discipline;
  • A minimum of ten (10) years’ of relevant experience in parliamentary support and development, programme management and implementation, the provision of expert advice and advocacy in the field of democracy and governance;
  • A minimum of five (5) years’ management experience, including motivating and leading teams and solving problems;
  • Excellent understanding of programming, monitoring and evaluation approaches and procedures is essential;
  • Experience in planning, developing and managing EC funded projects, as well as familiarity with EU processes and systems considered an advantage;
  • Relevant experience from an international and/or regional organization in the work of democracy assistance would be considered an asset; 
  • Relevant field experience in providing parliamentary support would be a considerable asset.

Terms of Contract

  • International Post
  • Two (2) year fixed-term appointment
  • Salary €8 175 NET per month plus benefits

Applying for this position

  • Applications should be submitted no later than 19 February 2019. Please note that 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


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