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Program Officer Sudan and Horn of Africa

PAX means peace. Together with people in conflict areas and concerned citizens worldwide, PAX works to build dignified and peaceful societies across the globe. PAX brings together people who have the courage to stand for peace.

PAX works together with local peace organizations and activists in conflict areas and builds bridges between hostile groups, always adapting the work to suit the countries and regions we operate in. PAX links its work with partners on the ground in conflict areas to decision makers at the national and international level. In this way we connect local security needs to policy makers at the EU, NATO and the UN. To this end we have advocacy offices at the UN in New York and the EU in Brussels.

The work of PAX on Sudan supports a number of grass roots peace-building initiatives and advocates for a shared, viable and inclusive vision for peaceful democratic transformation in Sudan. In doing so it suggests a reorientation of the way the EU, it’s member states and international actors engage with Sudan, currently dictated by the challenges facing the EU to deal with the refugee and migration crisis. A prerequisite for Sudanese civil society to organize and push for changes they deem necessary is ‘civic space’, recognized as a combination of the freedoms to associate, assembly and expression. In order to support CSOs in their attempts to widen this space, the Sudan Program is also responsible for the project for ‘Civic Space in the Horn of Africa’, aiming to address the shrinking space for civil activism in the greater Horn of Africa region (Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda) by providing a platform for civil activists. The project enables the creation of stronger connections between various civil society actors in the region, provides information about the perceived state of affairs in relation to the political space for activism in the region and develops an advocacy strategy to address the need for ample political space at regional and international institutions such as the African Union, European Union, and United Nations. This work is built around consultations with civil society actors on the perceived state of affairs and possible coping mechanisms of civil society actors in the greater Horn of Africa and addresses the dwindling space for civil society through a regional and international campaign.

For our Sudan Program PAX is looking to recruit a:

Program Officer (0,8 fte)

You are a focused individual with a strong hands-on mentality and attitude. This position requires the capacity to successfully operate in an evolving context by strategically linking the several program and advocacy activities of PAX and partners in Sudan and the HoA region. You will operate within the Northeast Africa team of colleagues based in Utrecht, and will be working directly with the Sudan Program Manager in Utrecht.

Responsibilities and tasks
The Program Officer supports the Program Manager in the widest sense possible, including management support of various PAX projects in Sudan and the HoA region, in accordance with internal and external (donor) guidelines and regulations and supporting departments at the head office (Finances, Public Affairs, Communication and Fundraising departments).
Specifically, the Program Officer will be responsible for the ‘Civic Space in the Horn of Africa’ portfolio and support in the implementation of the Sudan lobby and advocacy strategy.

Planning, Monitoring and Reporting

  • Integral management of the project portfolio (planning and budget management, content and financial monitoring, reporting, evaluation);
  • Support to program manager in collecting and compiling regular, timely and adequate narrative and financial reports by all partners;
  • Contribute to the development of annual plans, reports, and external back-donor reporting.

Lobby and Advocacy

  • Implementation of the ‘Civic Space in the Horn of Africa’ lobby and advocacy strategy;
  • Contribute to implementation of the Sudan lobby and advocacy strategy;
  • Map strategic opportunities for advocacy linking to PAX programming;
  • Follow up on relevant policy developments in Sudan/HoA region affecting the program;
  • Contribute to and participate in local and international lobby and advocacy activities;
  • Support in the development of positioning of PAX through Policy Briefs and Alerts;


  • Co-monitor relevant developments in the HoA region;
  • Contribute to PAX overall expertise, strategy and program development for Sudan and the HoA region;
  • Cooperation with colleagues within the Northeast Africa team in order to coordinate joint initiatives on relevant regional issues;
  • Assistance in organization and preparation of (internal and external) meetings, missions, conferences /workshops etc.;
  • Contribution to project proposals and communication with back donors.

What are we looking for
You are an adventurous and courageous individual seeking opportunities to develop yourself as well as the program. Ideally you are outgoing, flexible and a learner by trial and error; you explore new ideas and ways to strengthen yourself, the program and PAX’ vision. You have a sound judgment and a good sense of humor, and don’t mind having fun colleagues with whom to enjoy the occasional good discussion, accompanied by a drink.  


  • Academic degree (MA), preferably in a relevant field such as: Conflict Studies, International Relations, Politics or Law;
  • Project management and organizational skills, including at least 2 years relevant professional experience in a conflict setting for a local or international non-profit organization;
  • Proven strategic and analytical skills – ability to contribute to PAX’ policy advocacy efforts;
  • Tact, conflict-sensitivity skills;
  • Good communication, interpersonal and representation skills;
  • Able to adapt to changing circumstances: inventive and assertive attitude;
  • Native or fluent English speaker, including excellent writing skills;
  • Adequate command of Dutch;
  • Capacity and willingness to travel regularly and at short notice within Europe and Eastern Africa;
  • Affinity with the work and mission of PAX.


  • Up-to-date and deep understanding of the situation in Sudan and the HoA, knowledge of current (geo)political and conflict resolution processes in the region;
  • Able to work responsibly under pressure;
  • Basic knowledge of Arabic;
  • Able to adapt quickly to changing circumstances; inventive and assertive attitude;

We offer

  • A position in a dynamic and highly international working environment with committed and enthusiastic colleagues;
  • An organization with budget and opportunities for personal development (including HEAT training soon after employment);
  • Place of employment: Utrecht, The Netherlands;
  • Appointment starting as soon as possible;
  • Appointment for 28,8 hours per week (0,8 fte), initially for 12 months, with possible extension;
  • Pay scale 9 according to PKN terms and conditions of employment, depending on experience min. € 2,364 – max. € 3,435 gross (for a fulltime position) plus regular secondary benefits for Dutch PAX staff (such as: travel cost reimbursement, company phone and laptop, possibility to compensate overtime);
  • 8.3% year-end bonus.

Application Procedure
For more information about the position please contact Ms. Jelena Sporin, Sudan Program Manager by e-mail sporin(javascript needed for readable email)

Interested candidates matching the profile and requirements can submit their application, consisting of both a letter of motivation and resume in English addressed to Jelena Sporin, only by using the application form on the bottom of this page. Closing date for vacancy is 25 May 2017.

Applicants for this contract must be Dutch nationals or nationals of a European Union member State or have a valid work permit for the European Union.

PAX is an equal opportunity employer and encourages everyone with skills, passion and courage to participate. We invite applicants from all backgrounds, also with special needs, to apply for this position.


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