Programme Officer

Programme Officer


Brussels, Belgium

Civitates is looking for a Programme Officer for a one-year temporary position (renewable) based in Brussels to coordinate a new sub-fund to support independent, public interest journalism in Europe.

Application deadline: 19 January 2020

About Civitates

Civitates is a philanthropic initiative for democracy and solidarity in Europe. It provides funding for civil society actors to come together, revitalize public discourse, and ensure that all voices are heard. The fund supports initiatives across Europe that strengthen the resilience of the civil society sector in their respective countries, collectively and more effectively; as well as initiatives that push for a healthy digital public sphere in which public and democratic values are safeguarded. It will soon also start to support independent, public interest journalism in Europe.

Since becoming operational in 2018, Civitates has provided 38 grants in 14 countries across Europe. In addition to providing funding, Civitates has a Funding Plus component, through which the fund provides capacity development and networking opportunities to its grantees.

Civitates is supported by a large group of diverse foundations, of different shapes and sizes, which bring in a wealth of expertise and different perspectives. The initiative, which is hosted by the Network of European Foundations and housed in the Philanthropy House in Brussels, builds on lessons learned from other pooled funds. Its secretariat has up until now been composed of two people, a Fund Manager and a Programme Officer. We are now looking to strengthen the team with a third person.

About the role

The main activities of the Programme Officer will be related to the new sub-fund aimed at supporting independent, public interest journalism in Europe. The Programme Officer will be responsible for the coordination of the new sub-fund, which is a portfolio of grants in a defined thematic area. He or she will be a key point of contact for civil society organisations seeking and receiving civitates funding and for foundations working with Civitates. The Programme Officer will also contribute to the evaluation and monitoring of the sub-fund and the capacity development of the grantees.

Additionally, the Programme Officer will contribute to fund-wide activities, the nurturing of synergies among the different sub-funds, and the communication about the fund. He or she may occasionally also be asked to provide support with regard to the other two Civitates sub-funds.

Civitates has a small secretariat, so the Programme Officer is also expected to provide administrative and logistics support where needed. He or she is expected to travel regularly within Europe.

As the Network for European Foundations provides the legal structure for Civitates, the contract will be issued by NEF and the Programme Officer is located within the NEF office at the Philanthropy House.

Main tasks

  • Coordinate the activities of the sub-fund on independent, public interest journalism in Europe:
    • Prepare, facilitate and follow-up on decision-making within the Working Group composed of foundation representatives contributing to the sub-fund;
    • Coordinate meetings and internal communications of the sub-fund Working Group;
    • Contribute to the design of the capacity development of the sub-fund’s grantees;
    • Liaise with the NEF secretariat for all financial disbursements to ensure proper recording of sub-fund expenditure and income, and follow Civitates’ multi-annual budget as approved by the Steering Committee;
    • Communicate on developments in related projects and/or the field;
    • Share learnings and developments in related projects and/or the field;
    • Build relationships with internal and external stakeholders in the field.
  • Function as a grants officer:
    • Serve as a key point of contact for organizations seeking and receiving Civitates funding;
    • Take care of various aspects related to grant management, including due diligence, contracting and payments;
    • Contribute to the (pre)selection of grants by analyzing grant proposals and budgets;
    • Contribute to the assessment of grantees, by analyzing progress reports, conducting site visits, and extracting project learnings to contribute to the evaluation of Civitates’ work.
  • Other:
    • Contribute to fund-wide activities, including the nurturing of synergies among the different sub-funds;
    • Conduct research and synthesize information to be used in decision-making, strategy development or other programme processes;
    • Contribute to the communication about Civitates;
    • Provide administrative and logistics support where needed.

Desirable profile

Civitates expects the successful candidate to have:

  • A Bachelor degree or equivalent in journalism, media studies, social science, political science, international relations, European studies, or related studies;
  • Three to five years of work experience in journalism/media development or a related field;
  • Significant knowledge of the field of journalism, the digital sphere, and a good understanding of the extent to which journalism finds itself under pressure in Europe;
  • Excellent communication skills in English;
  • Proven ability to work efficiently in a fast-paced environment, to troubleshoot and follow projects through to completion, consistently on schedule, without loss of attention to detail and budget;
  • Flexibility and willingness to work simultaneously on a wide range of tasks and projects across the team, and ability to prioritize tasks;
  • A strong interest to learn and adopt new skills which respond to changing circumstances;
  • Ability to adapt and work within a multicultural, multidisciplinary environment;
  • Experience working with civil society organizations, philanthropic institutions, or multi-actor collaborations; and
  • The legal right to live and work in Belgium.

What we can offer you

  • An exciting job opportunity at a newly established philanthropic initiative;
  • Meaningful and challenging work;
  • A diverse and inclusive workplace;
  • A learning organization;
  • A contract for one year, potentially renewable, for 37.5 hours a week; and
  • A gross salary between 38,000 to 50,000 € annually, depending on the level of experience, accompanied by a generous benefits package.


If you are interested in being considered for this position, please send your CV along with a covering letter explaining how you are to fulfil the requirements of the role to, by 19 January 2020.

Civitates welcomes applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.

There’s a desire for the successful candidate to assume his/her position as soon as possible.

Don't forget to mention EuroBrussels when applying.

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