Senior Programme Officer

Global Dialogue

Location Home based (see full role profile for details)

Position Full time

Salary £55-65,000 pro rata

Application deadline 12:00, 22 March 2021
The application deadline for this role has passed

Global Dialogue seeks a Senior Programme Officer for a new fund being developed by the Funders’ Initiative for Civil Society (FICS). This is a full-time role, although we would also consider offering the role at 4 days/wk (0.8 FTE). We would welcome joint applications as a job share.

FICS’ vision is a world in which people – both collectively and as individuals – have the power to hold their leaders accountable and shape their government, economy and society towards justice, equality and fairness for all.

In order to achieve that goal, FICS defends and expands civic space – the physical, digital, and legal conditions through which progressive movements and their allies organise, participate, and create change.

We do this through:

  • Thought leadership: FICS forecasts the trends that shape the future of civic space to ensure that progressive organisations and donors are ahead of the curve, and identify strategic opportunities to disrupt and reform the drivers of closing civic space.
  • Building a donor ecosystem: FICS builds support from a community of donors and donor networks in alignment with its analysis, creating a community of learning and practice around what works to defend and expand civic space.
  • Incubation: FICS hosts new civic space initiatives to enable donors to mobilise resources collaboratively and at scale around key opportunities to disrupt and transform the drivers of closing civic space.

Through these new initiatives FICS will offer civic actors not only grants but support with field-building, technical assistance and building alliances across sectors and movements. FICS is hosted by Global Dialogue, registered as a charity (1122052) and a limited company (05775827) in England and Wales.

Launching a new global initiative on civic space and securitisation

In 2019 FICS carried out a global review on the future of civic space and the trends that will most impact it in the coming decade. The final report, published in May last year, incorporates an analysis on the political legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic and action that funders must take to tackle the drivers of closing civic space.

On the basis of this analysis, we're launching a new global funder initiative in May to tackle the growing trend of governments using counter terrorism and security laws, technological tools and discourse to criminalise, surveil and delegitimise those campaigning for contested issues including climate justice, democracy, racial justice, transparency and migrants' rights. We're seeking to seed a global networked civic response to this trend and build a wide and diverse community of funders behind our strategic vision.

Over the next three years FICS and its partners will build the capacity of movements and civil society organisations to counter this driver through:

  • Building a wide and diverse coalition of funders willing to fund this work and track collective progress with reference to a shared strategic framework and learning agenda;
  • Providing new analysis and intelligence for funders and civil society that could be used to inform both civil society and funder strategies;
  • Building the field by providing civic actors with technical assistance, convening capacity, and resources to build alliances across movements and geographies;
  • Resourcing civil society to strengthen existing work and test new approaches to:
    • Disrupt and prevent security laws, technological tools and rhetoric being used to close civic space;
    • Seek reform, regulation and, where possible, transformation of the security paradigm in ways that opens civic space.

Job Description

We are looking for an experienced Senior Programme Officer to design and implement a programme of grant-making and field-building activities that will deliver the Initiative’s ambitious three-year strategy.

Primary responsibilities will include:

  • Strategy and thought leadership
  • Working closely with FICS' Director, and in consultation with subject experts and civil society, develop field-building and grant-making strategies and set priorities.
  • Monitor issues, strategies, and funding in the field through literature reviews, research, participation in relevant conferences and meetings, and through regular dialogue with peer funders.
  • Prepare strategy documents, background memos, and grant recommendations.
  • Develop and contribute to monitoring, evaluation and learning systems.
  • Represent FICS’ work to external audiences through the production of written content (reports, briefings, articles, blogs) and through presentation at conferences, funder meetings, webinars, and other venues.
  • Build collaborative relationships with movements, civil society organisations and thematic experts in academia, INGOS, regional bodies and think tanks.

Grant-making and field-building

  • Develop and manage a grant-making pipeline in line with the initiative’s key priorities.
  • Identify, develop and assess submitted applications, interviewing potential grantees, undertaking due diligence and preparing analytical reports and recommendations to a grants panel.
  • Build and develop collaborative relationships with grantee partners that make it possible to strengthen proposed projects and support their successful development; undertake site visits, once travel restrictions are lifted.
  • Review reports submitted by grantees and sign off on grant payments.
  • Design and provide technical assistance and accompaniment (capacity building, convening space, network building, etc.) to grantees and other partners.
  • Cultivate connections to prospective grantees and establish and maintain deep relationships with colleagues in the field. 

Supporting cross-fertilisation between and across FICS’ initiatives

  • Work collaboratively with other members of the FICS team to identify and assess opportunities to build FICS’ programming, strengthen its impact, and further develop its organisational infrastructure and staffing.
  • Other duties commensurate with the role.

Person Specification

We are looking for a skilled and thoughtful individual with significant experience of working collaboratively and internationally on social change issues. We are committed to being a diverse team and are looking for talented people from a wide range of backgrounds, cultures and experiences who share our values. In your application, you need to demonstrate how you address the following criteria:


You will have:

  • A developed understanding of the drivers and trends that shape civic space globally and in a range of geographic contexts.
  • Deep expertise in issues related to counterterrorism and security and / or digital technology, and the ways in which security frameworks and digital tools are being used to restrict the civic space of progressive movements and impact democracy.
  • Minimum 5-7 years’ programme or grant-making experience, in human rights, business and human rights, digital rights, peace and security, or other relevant field - ideally with experience of monitoring, evaluation and learning.
  • Experience of or interest in forecasting and futures thinking.
  • Excellent communication skills – ability to communicate complex topics in accessible ways to a range of audiences.
  • Strategic and tactical insight, including how different strategies and actions interact; how local, national, regional, and global efforts work together; how to identify political opportunities; and how to assess and strengthen organisational and movement capacity.
  • Knowledge of the ecosystem of organisations and actors in the field; solid understanding of human rights strategies, advocacy, and social movements.
  • Knowledge and understanding of private philanthropy in an international context – either as a grant-maker or grant-seeker.
  • Experience and passion for working with grassroots movements and funds or a demonstrable commitment to valuing diverse perspectives.
  • Understanding of the power dynamics in the funder / grantee relationship and commitment to handling relationships with humility and respect.
  • Strong IT skills, with sensitivity to the relevance of digital security in human rights work (the main tools we use are O365, Slack, Zoom, and Wordpress).
  • The ability to travel internationally up to 15% of the year, once travel restrictions are lifted.

You will be:

  • Committed to FICS’ organisational values.
  • Comfortable working in a ‘start-up’ culture – flexible, with the capacity to learn quickly, proactive in identifying new or improved ways of working and with a ‘pitch-in’ attitude (i.e., staff make their own copies and schedule their own appointments).
  • An exceptional communicator with excellent spoken and written English.
  • Able to build strong, productive relationships, including the ability to collaborate and build consensus among stakeholders across sectors (philanthropy, public sector, financial institutions, NGOs, social movements, etc.).
  • Committed to your own personal professional development.


  • Experience of working for an intermediary fund or funder network, participating in donor collaborations, or in managing pooled or aligned funds.
  • Experience working with national level civil society and / or community-led movements.
  • Postgraduate degree in law, public policy, social sciences, or a related field.
  • Fluency in a language other than English.
To apply

Please send an email to by 12pm GMT on 22 March 2021 with the phrase Senior Programme Officer and your name in the subject line.

You should attach a CV and two-page cover letter setting out why you are interested in this role and how you meet the criteria set out in the person specification.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview online on either 30 or 31 March 2021.

We are committed to the employment and career development of disabled people. We will make reasonable adjustments during the recruitment process and during employment. If you declare that you have a disability and meet the minimum criteria for the job we will offer an interview to give you the opportunity to demonstrate your abilities at an interview.

By ‘minimum criteria’ we mean that you must provide us with evidence in your application which demonstrates that you generally meet the level of competence required for each competency as well as meeting any of the qualifications, skills or experience defined as essential.

FICS is hosted by Global Dialogue, a registered charity (1122052) enabling innovative and collaborative philanthropy. As part of any recruitment process, Global Dialogue collects and processes personal data relating to job applicants. Global Dialogue is committed to being transparent about how it collects and uses that data and to meeting its data protection obligations. Please read our Privacy Notice for job applicants.

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