Seeking a Civil Society and Engagement Specialist for USAID project

  • Posted on 17 February 2020

Job Description

Seeking a Civil Society and Engagement Specialist for USAID project


NORC at the University of Chicago is one of the largest and most highly respected social research organizations pursuing high quality social science research both in the U.S. and internationally. NORC is seeking a Civil Society Specialist to support a large USAID district governance strengthening project. The project will align with and support Zambia’s decentralization policy framework and will help build a local system of governance capable of responsive service delivery in health, education, nutrition, and natural resources management.

All individuals should be fluent in written and spoken English. Zambian nationals are preferred. Women are strongly encouraged to apply. This is a full-time position based in Lusaka, Zambia for a duration of 5 years. The position is contingent upon contract award and funding.

Civil Society and Engagement Specialist

The Civil Society and Engagement (CSE) Specialist will support a local governance and decentralization project to engage national and sub-national authorities to expand the capabilities of local government officials to deliver sustainable services related to health, education, nutrition, agriculture, natural resources conservation, and enterprise development; increase effective and private-sector involvement in local government planning and monitoring; and improve local public financial management and domestic revenue generation. Specifically, this position will build the capacity of citizens, civil society organizations (CSOs), and private sector organizations to improve their skills to effectively assess their public service-delivery needs and performance related to the above areas; to constructively engage with the local government to provide inputs into government planning, budgeting, and performance monitoring; and to conduct oversight of government performance. The CSE Specialist will use and strengthen existing social networks within districts to stimulate information sharing, monitoring, and collective action for change.

Required minimum qualifications for this position include:

  • University Degree in political science, public policy, development studies, economics, public health, education, nutrition, natural resources management, or related field. A Master’s Degree is preferred, however, a Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant field and five additional years of the relevant professional experience noted above may be substituted;
  • Five years of experience working in or with civil society, including building the capacity of civil society organizations (CSOs), and citizens;
  • Experience fostering engagement between the government and CSOs, citizens, and/or the private sector;
  • Experience in one or more of the following areas: health, education, nutrition, agriculture, natural resources conservation, or enterprise development;
  • Experience working in rural locations, especially at the district level;
  • Deep understanding of and experience working with existing social networks, including traditional structures;
  • Willingness to innovate and adapt in all aspects of design, planning and implementation;
  • Demonstrated ability to be collaborative, flexible, and creative;
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills with evidence of ability to establish strong working relationships with diverse stakeholders;
  • Proven success in leading highly collaborative, dynamic teams and managing change;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.

In addition, preference will be given to candidates who are Zambian nationals.

Interested candidates should email a CV and cover letter to

About the Organization

About NORC

A Tradition of Excellence

As one of the oldest not-for-profit, academic research organizations in the United States, and through its affiliation with the University of Chicago, NORC maintains the highest standard of professional excellence and scientific rigor, and is committed to broad dissemination of its findings.

A Passion for Innovation

NORC’s subject matter experts and survey professionals develop and employ innovative study designs, research methods, and technical applications to derive meaningful and accurate results.

A Commitment to Collegiality

NORC cultivates an interdisciplinary culture of achievement in which senior investigators from diverse fields and professional backgrounds collaborate with the next generation of researchers in an open, collegial environment.

NORC is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer that values and actively seeks diversity in the workforce. NORC evaluates qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other legally- protected characteristics.

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