Programme Officer - Databases - Stockholm

Full-time staff position
Posted on 25 May 2018

Job Description

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.

Programme Officer - Databases - Stockholm

International IDEA works across a range of areas to increase the knowledge and skills of democracy practitioners around the world through the development and provision of comparative knowledge resources, institutional strengthening and capacity development, and promoting networking and dialogue opportunities.

As a part of this effort, International IDEA maintains several databases related to electoral processes, political finance, and gender quotas.

The Political Participation and Representation (PPR) team maintains the political finance database. The Electoral Processes (EP) team maintains the following eight databases:

  1. Voter turnout
  2. Electoral system design
  3. Direct democracy
  4. Use of ICTs in elections
  5. Electoral management design
  6. Electoral justice
  7. Voting from abroad
  8. Gender Quotas

Data collection for these databases started since the early years of the institute. The earliest database, Voter turnout, is based on the data that was collected since the end of 1990s. Data for other databases have been collected during the publication of the corresponding handbooks (e.g. the initial data for Electoral System Design database was collected when IDEA’s famous Electoral System Design handbook was developed). The online templates for databases were created roughly during 2006-2007, and since then databases have been updated periodically. However, beginning from 2012, when the post of Programme Officer in charge of databases was established, the EP databases are continuously updated, and much work has been done to improve their online presentation.

Today EP databases are consulted by more than half million users annually. Media, researchers, NGOs, CSOs, election administrators, and many other stakeholders use the data on daily basis. Well-known international media outlets, such as Economist, Financial Times, US News, Le Monde, and many other regional and national news outlets have used the data from databases. In addition, databases are widely used by academia: articles in peer reviewed journals frequently cite EP databases; data from databases have been imported to global datasets, such as V-DEM and Quality of Government (QoG). Therefore, EP team continuously updates and develops the databases in order to meet this great demand. Together, EP databases largely contribute to IDEA’s visibility and credibility in the elections field.”

In addition to providing its own databases, International IDEA is also one of the partner organizations of the ACE Project. As part of this partnership IDEA also participates in maintaining an additional election related comparative data set on the ACE website.

The Programme Officer will be part of international IDEA’s Electoral Processes (EP) team as the main point of contact for EP databases. A significant part of his/her time will be dedicated to working with other Global Programme teams, especially Political Participation and Representation (PPR), and also the ACE Project on database related issues. The role is primarily oriented towards research and research communication. The incumbent will work closely with the Technical Manager who has the overall responsibility for coordinating the technical development of IDEA databases.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Research design: Establishmes research needs, priorities, designs research questions, data collection, measurement, and analysis methods in consultation with programmatic staff from International IDEA’s Headquarters and regional offices and partners;
  • Database updates: Ensures databases are accurate and periodically updated through scrutiny and management of data collection efforts in collaboration with International IDEA’s programmatic staff, regional teams, external partners and consultants;
  • Database design and development: Engages closely on issues related to further developing and improving the front and back end of the databases. Thefront-end includes publicly accessible features for working with the online content of databases, such as the layout and functional design, analytic tools availed to users, links and texts in each database page. The backend of the databases includes functionalities such as editing, approval and feedback workflows for the data collection processes etc. Such features are implemented in close collaboration with the Technical Manager;
  • Data analysis: Takes initiative and supports requests from International IDEA programmatic and regional staff related to the design of analytical tools; provides data analysis and responds to questions from database users; creates analytical outputs and papers using International IDEA databases; ‘mining the gems’ and extracting highlights from available data sets; etc. Cooperates with consultants as needed to achieve these aims.
  • Promotion of databases, research communication: takes an active role in promotion of databases, working closely with the Communications team by developing content for social media posts, developing graphics/infographics (data visualization), writing articles and analyses, publishing thematic reports, responding to media /general public enquiries, supporting academic researchers as they seek to the databases in their work. Utilizes a range of standard design templates for infographics, and, as needed, also has access to a graphic designer.

General Profile

  • Requires in-depth knowledge, excellent skills and relevant experience in their field;
  • Will contribute significantly to assigned projects all along the project life cycle, i.e. from project design and funding to project assessment; will lead meetings and discussions, supervise publications and review input from external providers;
  • Has contributed to publications on the relevant subject; is recognized as a knowledge resource in his/her broad professional community;
  • Can work with minimal guidance and supervision;
  • Adds value to team-based activities in his/her unit; collaborates with other entities of the Institute;
  • Acts as a model or mentor for less experienced colleagues;
  • Can be 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;
  • Integrates a gender and diversity perspective in all activities.

Reporting Line

  • Senior Programme Manager

Programmatic Knowledge

  • Has in-depth knowledge in own discipline and good understanding of related disciplines to be able to approach programmatic issues in a holistic manner.

Operational Knowledge, skills and experience

  • Integrates a results-based approach into the design, management and evaluation of all his/her programmatic activities;
  • Has a good understanding of relevant programmatic issues in the key geographical zone where his/her work is implemented – which may imply field experience at some point;
  • Contributes to the research of 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;
  • Illustrates integrity, a collaborative spirit, a sense of achievement, and an understanding of risk management in past experiences.


  • No people management responsibility over permanent staff;
  • Acts as a model and resource for more junior colleagues;
  • May assume project management responsibilities.

Problem Solving

  • Identifies and resolves complex problems; approaches issues with new perspectives; analyses 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

  • Fluency in English and at least one other language (Arabic, Russian, French, Spanish) is preferred;
  • Liaises to all internal and external stakeholders involved in his/her project; acts and is perceived as an initiator of relevant communication to solve issues;
  • Ability to build and maintain broad networks of partners;
  • Drives projects and assignments through communicative personal energy and engagement;
  • Can explain sensitive information with diplomacy, and build consensus.

Education and Experience

  • University degree, preferably in political/social sciences, international affairs and development studies or other relevant discipline.
  • Minimum five (5) years’ experience, including substantial internship(s) in the field of elections, democracy or governance;
  • Experience working with research organizations (such as a university), governments or civil society sector;
  • Experience managing databases with the purpose of research and policy influence;
  • Knowledge of external databases and resources in the field of elections and democracy;
  • Excellent knowledge of research design and quantitative and qualitative research methods. This includes defining a topic area or domain to be researched, questionnaire design, piloting the questionnaire, data collection, data organization and uploading to databases, developing codebooks, and data analyses using standard statistical packages (STATA, SPSS, etc.). Understanding and practical experience in coding qualitative data, such as legal provisions, is considered an asset;
  • Experience using social media, drafting web articles and thematic reports, delivering presentations at high-profile events are required
  • Ability to communicate effectively with external actors, including media for the production of specific analysis, such as custom graphs and infographics. Basic knowledge of Adobe Illustrator is considered an asset;
  • General knowledge of Drupal, MySQL or database development is considered an asset.

Terms of Contract

  • Two (2) year fixed term appointment
  • Salary €4 745 NET per month plus benefits

Applying for this position

  • Applications should be submitted no later than 17 June 2018. 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.

About the Organization

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.

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