International IDEA - The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance

Programme Manager (International Position)

International IDEA - The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance

Kathmandu, Nepal

The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance — International IDEA is an intergovernmental organization that supports sustainable democracy worldwide. International IDEA’s mission is to support sustainable democratic change by providing comparative knowledge, and assisting in democratic reform, and influencing policies and politics.

International IDEA acts as a catalyst for democracy building; by providing knowledge resources, policy proposals and supporting democratic reforms in response to specific national requests. It works together with policy makers, governments, UN organizations and agencies and regional organizations engaged in the field of democracy building.

International IDEA develops, shares and enables the use of comparative knowledge in its key areas of expertise: electoral processes,constitution building,political participation and representation, democracy and development and democracy assessments.

It also addresses the important issues of gender, diversity, and conflict and security as they relate to democracy.

International IDEA is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and works worldwide through offices in New York, Brussels, The Hague, Latin America, Africa and Asia.


International IDEA, an intergovernmental organization with Member States in all continents, aims to support sustainable democracy worldwide, working with both new and long established democracies, helping to develop the institutions and culture or democracy. At the interface between research, field experience and the donor community, International IDEA provides a forum for dialogue and uses comparative experience, analysis and dialogue with practitioners to identify examples of good practices and produce tools and guidelines on democracy support. It builds networks of experts, develops training materials and provides strategic advice at international, regional and national level, working in partnership with a range of institutions.

In 2015, the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD) and DFID commissioned a study on the coherence of development programming and service delivery at the local level, focussed on one example district (Dailekh). This study found that development programming and service delivery is highly fragmented, implemented through multiple independent ‘silos’ or project pipes, and based upon concepts of recipients as ‘users’ of services, not citizens with rights.

Also in 2015, Nepal entered into a period of major transition with the promulgation of the new Constitution in September of that year. The new constitution proposes a federal, multi-party democratic system of governance, with a commitment to end all forms of discrimination, recognising unity in diversity. It commits to achieve this by devolving power to local and provincial levels.

This provides an important opportunity to support the opening of policy debate about options and trade-offs to remedy the problems identified in the Dailekh study, as well as operationalise the vision of the Constitution.

International IDEA, Nepal and DFID Nepal have agreed a joint project to support local government coherence (the Project).

This programme explicitly joins informed policy debate and thinking with practical, operational engagement with existing DFID programmes on the ground. The goal is to improve coherence in local development, increase the availability of discretionary resources that can respond to local priorities and reduce fragmentation at the local level.

The practical work of the programme will focus in one or two regions and – working with DFID implementing partners and MoFALD – look for ways to improve coherence of programming (in terms of efficiency and political accountability), focusing on large DFID programmes. This will involve reducing the types of duplication and overlap identified in the Dailekh Mapping Study. It will use practical engagement to understand the implications of the Constitution, the new elected bodies and federalism. It will bring together key influencers with DFID advisers and implementing partners in the field and in Kathmandu to workshop, brainstorm and change practice. Where there are obvious gaps in practice, technical assistance will be made available to support improvements (e.g. for poverty mapping, monitoring etc.).

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Designs, manages and coordinates project activities and provides specific expert advice in the area of local governance, to improve coherence and democratic accountability;
  • Provides leadership and vision on improving local governance, political devolution and democratic accountability in line with Nepal’s Constitution and based on comparative experience in different developing country contexts;
  • Leads a team of contributors to the project, including staff members and consultants;
  • Creates an environment for learning within the team and among project partners based on the principles of Doing Development Differently and Thinking and Working Politically;
  • Identifies, formulates and develops programme activities based on the political context and builds coalitions for change and networks;
  • Manages the assigned project throughout the project life cycle, i.e from strategic planning and project design, budgeting, project assessment and accountability;
  • Leads meetings and discussions, supervises publications including input from external providers;
  • Coordinates with International IDEA´s headquarters and other regional programmes to support planning and budgeting of activities at an institutional level;
  • Maintains and develops relevant professional contacts and networks with key actors and stakeholders, including practitioners, policy makers and academics both internationally and in Nepal;
  • Leads in disseminating reports and briefings on project activities and developments.

General Profile

  • Combines in-depth knowledge, acquired through operational experience in local governance and democratic accountability and academic research with excellent managerial and leadership skills;
  • Manages assigned projects 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, supervises publications and input from external providers;
  • Has contributed to publications on their relevant subject; is recognized as a knowledge resource in his/her broad professional community;
  • Has the intellectual leadership to integrate innovation into his/her field of expertise;
  • Directly manages a team of contributors to the project, including staff members and consultants;
  • Fosters team-based activities; 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 his/her projects;
  • Follows internal procedures to ensure high standards of performance and compliance with Institutional guidelines while using professional judgement and knowledge of context to drive decisions;
  • Integrates a gender and diversity perspective in all activities with a deep commitment to political devolution and democratic accountability.

Programmatic Knowledge

  • Has in-depth knowledge and extensive work experience in the design and management of local governance programming with a focus on political accountability and democratic development.

Operational Knowledge, skills and experience

  • Integrates learning into the design, management and evaluation of all his/her programmatic activities, is prepared to test assumptions and change direction as the context and/or understanding evolves;
  • Has 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 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;
  • Illustrates integrity, a collaborative spirit, a sense of achievement, and an understanding of risk management;
  • Understands and manages the budget of his/her project(s).


  • Sets team priorities and manages resources effectively; encourages a culture of learning and adaptation which drives innovation and change in programming in response to the context or new evidence;
  • Focus on outcomes (not activities) and build a clear vision within the team which encourages creativity and an iterative approach to solving problems;
  • Acts as a model and resource for colleagues.

Problem Solving

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


  • Has a clear impact on the programme development and delivery;
  • Can also impact other teams and projects in related fields.

Communication and Interpersonal Skills

  • Liaises permanently with 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 present his/her activities and represent International IDEA effectively in all professional circles;
  • Fluency in English i.e. written and oral proficiency, required.

Education and Experience

  • University degree in political science, law, international relations, public administration or other related discipline;
  • Minimum of eight (8) years of relevant experience in strengthening local governance and political accountability in a range of developing country contexts;
  • Minimum of five (5) years of management experience, including motivating and leading teams;
  • Demonstrated experience in report writing and reporting under an RBM system;
  • Demonstrated experience in conceptualization, formulation and management of project activities.

Terms of Contract:

  • Two (2) year contract;
  • Salary entry point EUR 5 456 net, per month.

Applying for this position:

  • Applications should be submitted online no later than 20 January 2017;
  • You may apply directly by pressing the Send Application button.

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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