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We are Hiring: Programme Officer, South Africa

Posted 15 September 2023 in EMpower News, Careers   |   Share

About EMpower: 

EMpower, a global philanthropic organisation, is dedicated to improving the lives and horizons of marginalised young people ages 10-24 in 15 emerging market countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Turkey. Through grants and other support (learning exchanges, technical assistance, thought partnering etc.), EMpower partners with ~125 local organisations working to strengthen education and livelihoods of young people, and to build their resilience, self-confidence, and well-being. EMpower has offices in Hong Kong, Delhi, Singapore, London, and New York, as well as programme staff in Nigeria, Turkey, Mexico, Argentina, and South Africa. EMpower is at an exciting time in our evolution and organisational strengthening. In the past few years, we have grown in staff size and global footprint, with a deliberate focus on fostering a workplace that ensures diverse perspectives, opportunities for contribution, and belonging.

Our Vision: We are building a world where all young people at the margins, especially girls, have the skills, opportunities, and power to live their full potential.

Our Mission: We partner with local organisations in emerging market countries, and other change-makers, to enable marginalised young people to transform their lives and communities.

Our Values: • We experience and build a trusting connection with each other. • Our commitment is sustained by our integrity. • Together we drive flexible innovation. 

Position Summary 

The Programme Officer, South Africa, will manage a part of EMpower’s grant making portfolio in the region, working closely with and supporting the Senior Programme Officer, South Africa. One of the primary responsibilities would be to work with young people to develop a participatory initiative on gender and mental health to help shape MYE (Meaningful Youth Engagement) component in SA. They will also support regional capacity strengthening initiatives and contribute to programmatic organisational learning more broadly (strategic reviews, learning products, etc.). They will report to the Senior Programme Officer, South Africa. This position is critical to EMpower’s mission in finding, supporting, engaging, and learning from youth-centred local organisations in Africa and serving as a strategic conduit between their knowledge and learnings and global practice.

Note : This position is a full time position and hired via our Employer of Record partner.

Primary Responsibilities The duties that follow represent the primary responsibilities for this role. All employees are responsible for performing other duties as assigned. Primary responsibilities for this role include the following:

Meaningful Youth Engagement (40% time):

  • Act as the regional lead and focal point on Meaningful Youth Engagement (MYE).
  • Design and implement a 12-month MYE programme for a group of young women and a second group of young men. The programme must combine aspects of gender and mental health and explore the interconnection between these areas.
  • Recruit a diverse group of young women and a second group of young men, building strong collaborative relationships with them.
  • Responsible for maintaining and tracking the project workplan and budget.
  • Conceptualise, create, and manage an MYE engagement that could eventually evolve into a youth advisory structure for EMpower’s work in SA.
  • Be a thought leader on MYE and contribute to organisational learning and strategic direction on MYE.
  • Identify and manage complex problems and risks that arise because of MYE. This includes managing partnership and safeguarding challenges and contributing to the development of appropriate safeguarding frameworks.

Grant making (35% time):

  • Identify and build a pipeline of prospective grantees, building relationships with grantee partner organisations.
  • Review, screen and make recommendations on grant proposals.
  • Monitor grants through meetings, site visits, grant reports, and correspondence.
  • Prepare analyses and written grant summaries and present grant recommendations to the Grants Committees 2 times per year.
  • Other ad hoc assignments that may arise.

Visibility, Networking and Management (15% time):

  • Organise/support EMpower events in SA as appropriate.
  • Represent EMpower’s mission, strategies, and regional portfolio before diverse audiences.
  • Provide programmatic content for proposals and reports to EMpower donors; facilitate occasional visits by directors/donors to grantee partner organisations.

Programme learning and capacity building (10% time):

  • Provide support to capacity strengthening initiatives with and for grantee partner organisations.
  • Plan and facilitate cross-learning among grantee partners through learning products, panels, social media, webinars, and other learning forums.
  • Share, exchange, contribute to programme learning within the region and more broadly (with other POs and colleagues) and sector colleagues outside of EMpower.

Knowledge, Skills, Values and education 

The Programme Officer, South Africa contributes to grantmaking efforts to improve the lives and horizons of marginalised young people ages 10-24 in emerging market countries. The knowledge, skills, values, and abilities for this position are as follows:

  • At least 5 years’ experience in designing and facilitating youth engagement processes and a record of accomplishment in devising appropriate curricula and methodologies in participatory processes.
  • At least 5 years’ experience in the philanthropic and/or nonprofit sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa required; experience in grants management desired.
  • University degree in a field related to youth development, such as international development, public policy or administration, psychology, or social anthropology preferred, but not required.
  • Strong understanding of youth development, adolescent girls, gender equality, and youth programming related issues in Sub-Saharan Africa required.
  • Knowledge and practical experience of working with youth-led organisations, youth movements, and of youth organising trends in the region.
  • Strong conceptual understanding of meaningful participation, shifting power, and sharing decision-making with young people.
  • Understanding and experience of working within established safeguarding frameworks.
  • Experience of risk management in relation to MYE, partnership management and safeguarding.
  • Work experience with community-based, including youth-led, organisations strongly desired.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated cultural sensitivity/awareness.
  • Demonstrated commitment to collaborative and trust-based approaches to philanthropy.
  • Strong creative, strategic, and analytical thinking skills.
  • Strong English speaking and writing abilities required and proficiency in a regional South African language preferred.
  • Self-starter; highly organised; proven ability to work independently, anticipate, prioritise, complete multiple projects, and meet deadlines, with consistent attention to detail.
  • Ability to work independently with high degree of judgment and professionalism, as well as virtually with a team across multiple time zones.
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills with culturally diverse audiences; from marginalised, underserved youth to high-profile finance professionals.
  • Skilled in PC computers and standard software programmes.
  • A commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; alignment with EMpower values.
  • Ability to work and reside in South Africa.
  • Ability to travel within South Africa and internationally, as needed.

Application Deadline : 6th October, 2023

Compensation and Benefits EMpower offers competitive wages, benefits, and growth opportunities consistent with industry standards. Flexible benefits packages include health insurance and other insurance; pension plan with employer contribution/match; time off; and work/life benefits.

Work Environment and Physical Requirements This individual operates in a professional office environment. The physical demands described in this section are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, printers, filing cabinets, and fax machines. This role routinely uses the English language to engage with internal and external stakeholders by phone, email, and in person. Employee is expected to be able to accurately exchange information with these stakeholders.

Equal Opportunity Employer Statement EMpower is a public foundation that makes grants globally to benefit marginalised youth, including adolescent girls. We are committed to attracting, developing, motivating and retaining exceptional talent and to a work environment that recognises contribution, fosters respect and teamwork, and facilitates strong performance. We encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds, recognising that diversity enriches all staff and our work globally. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or faith, or physical ability. This policy applies to all employment practices within our organisation, including hiring, recruiting, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, leave of absence, compensation, benefits, and training. EMpower makes hiring decisions based solely on qualifications, merit, and business needs at the time.


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