Senior Programme Officer – Democracy Measurement and Analysis

Senior-level , Short-term contract assignment
Posted on 10 July 2018

Job Description

The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance – International IDEA – is an intergovernmental organization that supports sustainable democracy worldwide. Its objective is to strengthen democratic institutions and processes. The Institute acts as a catalyst for democracy building by providing global comparative knowledge resources and tools, policy proposals and supporting democratic reforms in response to specific national requests, specifically in electoral processes, constitution building processes, political participation and representation, democracy assessment and analysis, gender and inclusion as well as conflict and security.

International IDEA’s democracy support work takes place in a complex, fast paced political environment, involving a plethora of different policy actors and influencers as well as democracy assistance providers working in the field of democracy and governance, all of whom compete for declining donor resources. The fulfillment of International IDEA’s mandate to ‘promote sustainable democracy worldwide’ has become more challenging since the optimism of the 1990s.

To effectively fulfill its mandate, International IDEA – as a democracy supporter and a hybrid ‘think and do tank’ – faces the dual challenge of needing to provide evidence-based assessments and analysis of developments impacting on democracy on the one hand and providing actionable, timely and useful policy recommendations as well as knowledge products and tools on the other. The new Global State of Democracy Indices constructed by International IDEA as an evidence base for the Global State of Democracy publication is such a resource that allows trend analysis based on International IDEA’s broad definition of democracy and a dataset covering the period 1975-2015.

According to the 2017 Institutional evaluation, there is scope for International IDEA to improve its assessment and analysis capacity, to empower the organization in its ability to advocate for and support democracy. In this regard, the Institute established the DAPA unit with a mandate to:

  • Conceptualize, develop content and implement future biennial reports of the Global State of Democracy, which may have flexible and different formats, responding to political analysis and developments impacting on democracy. The report is aimed at becoming the Signature Publication of International IDEA, that contributes to the global democracy debate and inform democracy strengthening policies at different levels;
  • Undertake political analysis, yielding products that respond to political developments in a time sensitive manner, such as policy briefs and papers, op eds, webinars and blogs including recommendations which analyze political developments and their impact on democracy;
  • Further develop, maintain and interpret its key evidence base– the Global State of Democracy Indices (GSODI). The indices are a key statistical evidence-base for GSOD, but also function as a stand-alone web-based database, to be used by researchers, policy-makers and practitioners in their work;
  • Establish, strengthen or revise partnerships that support, enhance and multiply the strategic objectives of DAPA and of International IDEA, with a view to influencing dialogue and debate on democracy.

The Senior Programme Officer will lead and manage International IDEA’s work on the GSOD Indices and analysis.

Duties and Responsibilities

Content development of GSOD Indices & capacity-building and outreach

  • Leads GSoD Indices development, including providing guidance on direction and ‘vision’ for GSoD Indices methodological framework, development of technical and methodological documents and oversee annual updates;
  • Conducts research and analysis and writes policy papers, reports, chapters, op-eds and media articles on democratic trends and current challenges and opportunities for democracy, as part of the GSOD and other International IDEA knowledge products, using the GSOD Indices;
  • Supports and provides advice to International IDEA on GSOD Indices and democracy assessments in terms of their development, application and use. Coordinates, conducts and provides advice for representational and outreach activities on the GSOD Indices (speeches, presentations, workshops) for internal and external audiences with the aim of raising awareness on the indices and encourage use;
  • Develops and implements a capacity-building plan for International IDEA staff on the use and analysis of GSOD Indices;
  • Develops and implements an internal and external outreach plan on the GSOD Indices, with the aim of making the data and trends impacting on democracy more accessible and understandable for democracy practitioners, policy makers and influencers.

Project management of GSOD Indices

  • Leads GSOD Indices project work planning, budgeting and implementation;
  • Internal and external GSOD Indices reporting;
  • Work plan, deliverable and budget monitoring of project;
  • Leads the co-ordination with the GSOD publication;
  • Manages, expands and establishes new partnerships and expert networks in support of GSOD Indices.

General Profile

  • Combines in-depth knowledge, acquired through post-graduate academic achievements, excellent skills and significant experience in their field;
  • Contributes to assigned projects with authority, and provides policy analysis and design as appropriate; Is experienced in leading meetings and discussions, supervising publications and reviewing input from external providers;
  • Contributes to publications; is recognized as an expert in his/her broad professional community;
  • Has the intellectual leadership to integrate innovation into his/her field of expertise;
  • Fosters team-based activities in his/her unit; collaborates with other entities of the Institute;
  • Acts as a model and mentor for less experienced 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;
  • Actively integrates the inclusion of cross-cutting perspectives, including gender and inclusion, sustainable development and conflict sensitivity in the design and implementation of activities.

Reporting Line

  • Head of Democracy Assessment and Political Analysis

Programmatic Knowledge

  • Has expert knowledge and extensive work experience in the field of democracy measurement and assessment, good governance and political analysis and with the different democracy measurement and assessment methodologies and frameworks, combined with excellent understanding of related disciplines in order 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 thorough understanding of developments around the world and how they affect democratic developments more generally, and has in-depth knowledge of developments in at least one of the geographical regions in which International IDEA has regional offices or
  • Is active in the search for 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.


  • Some people management responsibility over permanent staff is expected;
  • 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;
  • Will also impact other teams and projects in related fields.

Communication and Interpersonal Skills

  • Liaises permanently to 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.

Education and Experience

  • Post-graduate qualification (PhD advantageous), in social sciences, political science, development or a related field;
  • Academic training in statistics and quantitative measurements;
  • 8-10 years of relevant experience in the field of democratization and good governance, within the context of a think tank, research institution, international organization or NGO working in the field of democracy, with specific experience of democracy measurement and assessment;
  • Demonstrated experience in conducting research and analysis and drafting of analytical papers and assessments on democracy measurements;
  • Excellent writing skills and drafting ability of documents in English for diverse audiences;
  • Field experience in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Wider Europe or Latin America is advantageous.

Terms of Contract

International Post. Two (2) year fixed-term appointment.

Applying for this position

  • Applications should be submitted no later than 31 July 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.