Ford Foundation: Programme Officer - East Africa

Ford Foundation
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Wednesday, 25 July, 2012
Opportunity type: 

The Ford Foundation supports visionary leaders and organizations on the frontlines of social change worldwide.

The Ford Foundation seeks to appoint a Programme Officer for Advancing Public Service Media in East Africa, based in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Programme Officer will be responsible for developing and managing a portfolio of grants and related activities focused on advancing public service media in East Africa. The goals of the initiative are to foster debate and dialogue, promote learning, increase awareness of the media as an instrument for exploring social justice issues, and enhance public access and contributions to targeted campaignsas well as to assist in the emergence of an independent, journalistic and storytelling community committed to social justice content.  The Initiative promotes the public media sphere as a platform to give voice and visibility to the marginalized, and to add diverse perspectives to everyday struggles for social change while simultaneously transforming alternative media into a critical and cohesive voice of civil society. Additionally, a principal focus of the grant making is to encourage the development of content and institutions that further the goals and work of the broader East Africa field office strategy, which focuses on “Fulfilling the Promise of Democracy”.

As the Programme Officer’s efforts will contribute significantly to the office’s wider goals, s/he will work collaboratively and in tandem with other Nairobi-based Program Officers to advance the objectives of other Initiatives focused respectively on strengthening civil society; protecting women’s rights; expanding livelihood opportunities for poor households; and expanding community rights over natural resources. S/he will also collaborate with colleagues in New York and other foundation officers worldwide to support regional and global networks and initiatives.

Under the supervision of the foundation’s representative in East Africa and the director of the Freedom of Expression Unit in New York, the Programme Officer will develop grant making strategies and related activities to:

  • Promote fair practice and strengthen public service media both within and beyond the region’s currently existing media platforms;
  • Support grantees to better engage with media to attain visibility, scale and impact;
  • Innovatively stimulate the creation and wide dissemination of high-quality, independent, diverse, appropriate and targeted content that supports and deepens the impact of other office Initiatives;
  • Build strategic communications and investigative journalism skills, tools and practices of development stakeholders.

To these ends, grant making could support film production, radio programming, (citizen) journalism, and the use of mobile phones and web-based media as essential tools in promoting the office's social change strategies, or the development of distribution platforms and print or online destinations to serve as hubs of social justice content.


  • Review existing lines of work;
  • Formulate grantmaking strategies;
  • Identify potential grantees;
  • Solicit, review and respond to grant proposals;
  • Monitor grants and other developments in the field;
  • Prepare recommendations for foundation funding;
  • Develop and maintain close working relationships with existing and potential grantees, and with relevant leaders in governments, the media, research institutions, civil society and other funders;
  • Provide intellectual leadership in the field, and promote coordination and cumulative learning among key stakeholders. 


  • Substantive knowledge of the media field in East Africa and its potential to drive social change at scale;
  • Significant professional experience working to advance development/social change through diverse platforms in the media, public or non-governmental sectors;
  • Good understanding of the role, power, and likely impact of digital innovation and social media in the emerging new media landscape;
  • Relevant educational background, including an advanced degree in journalism, media and development, the social sciences and/or public policy;
  • Ability to conceptualize programme ideas and strategies and translate them into practice;
  • Demonstrated creativity, analytical and organizational skills;
  • Knowledge and vision to strategically identify opportunities for the foundation to promote social justice;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work with colleagues of diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Salary: Based on experience and on the Foundation’s commitment to internal equity. A benefits package is provided.

To apply, refer to

Please quote the source of this advertisement in your application - NGO Pulse Portal.

This is an equal employment opportunity and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles at The Ford Foundation, where employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation/affectional preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status or any other protected characteristic as established under law.

For more about the Ford Foundation, refer to

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