IBP Program Officer (South Africa) – Catalyst Program

The International Budget Partnership (IBP) is based at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C.  Established in 1997, IBP collaborates with civil society organizations in countries around the world to use budget analysis and advocacy as a tool to improve governance and reduce poverty.  In addition to its support of civil society efforts within countries to improve budget policies and implementation, IBP and its partners conduct research and advocate at the national and international level for improvements in budget transparency, participation, and accountability.

The Catalyst Program is IBP’s country-level initiative that strives to strengthen the impact of civil society advocacy on budget policies and outcomes. Through deep and sustained engagement within countries, the program seeks to build the expertise and skills of civil society players involved in budget advocacy as well as strengthen the partnerships and dialogue between these groups and other stakeholders in the budget process, including government.  IBP-organized research, technical assistance, networking, and grantmaking are all integral components of this program.

IBP is seeking a Program Officer for South Africa to join the Catalyst Program team.  The Program Officer will represent IBP and manage the Catalyst initiative in South Africa.  This position reports to IBP’s Director of Partnership Development and Innovation.


Program Planning and Implementation:

  • With support from IBP’s Director of Partnership Development and Innovation, develop a country strategy for South Africa that defines and prioritizes actions and sets operational budget requirements for the annual work plan.
  • To implement the strategy:
    • Identify and engage with the stakeholders involved in monitoring and providing critical social services, – including civil society groups, government officials, and oversight institutions
    • Convene relevant stakeholders and forge strategic relationships among them for joint campaigns and advocacy
    • Keep abreast of issues and budget debates that impact social services
    • Identify potential grantees among local civil society organizations
    • Work with civil society partners on advocacy strategy and grant proposals (and their associated reporting requirements)
    • Arrange with IBP’s Capacity Building Manager for the provision of training and technical assistance to meet civil society partner needs
    • Be knowledgeable of and coordinate efforts with all IBP programs engaging in South Africa, including the biennial Open Budget Survey
    • Conduct and/or arrange for relevant research that will enhance in-country advocacy efforts
    • With the IBP Learning Manager, develop a plan to monitor and evaluate Catalyst’s work in South Africa for strategic adjustments and impact
    • Prepare reflection pieces for IBP publications and regular status reports for IBP managers

Administration & Logistics:

  • Manage and monitor the in-country operational budget
  • Identify the need for and develop terms of reference for local consultants
  • Supervise the work of local staff/consultants
  • Make necessary logistical arrangements for local meetings and workshops

Skills and requirements:

The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, or ability required to perform the essential duties of this position satisfactorily. 

  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree in Public Policy or equivalent preferred
  • 5 to 10 years of relevant professional experience in each of the following:
    • Public financial management
    • Working with civil society organizations, preferably on budget issues
    • Advocacy
    • Management
    • Technical assistance and training
  • Strategic thinker; excellent analytical skills
  • Very strong oral and written communication skills, including fluency in English  (knowledge of additional South African languages is a plus)
  • Ability to work independently, with minimal supervision, and in regular contact remotely with team colleagues around the world
  • Demonstrated ability to meet multiple deadlines
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to thrive in and contribute to a culture of collaboration

Salary commensurate with experience.

To Apply:
Send a resume and cover letter via email to Nantika Ghafur at nghafur@internationalbudget.org.  Please note the position title – Program Officer – South Africa – in the subject area.


The Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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