Director of Programmes (m/f/d)

Full-Time / Part-Time | International Civil Society Centre

Berlin, Germany | June 28, 2024

Your Mission

We are seeking a dynamic and visionary Director of Programmes to join the International Civil Society Centre. This pivotal role is essential to drive our strategic initiatives and lead impactful programmes that address critical global challenges. The position is currently planned at 80%-100% level, with the possibility of job sharing. The post holder must be eligible to work in Germany. 

The ideal candidate will possess a deep understanding of global power dynamics, civil society trends, and the challenges of shrinking political spaces. As a key member of our Leadership and Programme Teams, you will be responsible for the major programme initiatives of the Centre and their alignment with the Centre’s strategy. In this role, you will have the opportunity to shape and influence the future of civil society on a global scale. You will engage with a diverse network of partners, enhancing your leadership and project management skills. This position offers a unique platform to drive organisational strategies alongside the Leadership Team, particularly in the realms of agile project management and digital work environments. By joining us, you will be at the forefront of innovative civil society solutions, fostering meaningful change and expanding your professional horizons. 

Key Tasks and Responsibilities 

The Director of Programmes will play a pivotal role in our team by focusing on these key tasks: 

  • Leadership of the Programme Team and its key processes, including MEAL and Knowledge Management. 
  • Line Management of 4-5 colleagues, manage their capacities and ensure professional  
    development, facilitate effective teamwork and smooth coordination with other Centre teams. 
  • Content leadership, including overall responsibility for conceptualising and implementing projects and programmes according to the Centre’s strategy and in coordination with the Centre’s Executive Director, on topics such as global power shifts, shrinking political space, civil society futures. Specifically, lead on SANEAccelerating Inclusive Power ShiftLeading Together, and the Global Perspectives conference.   
  • Partnership development, including network leadership in managing relationships and increasing engagement with project partners, facilitate workshops and meetings, and further develop and expand the Centre’s network and outreach (including principal liaison relationships). 
  • Principal oversight of SIDA funded programmes and co-lead in developing this donor relationship further.       
  • Fundraising Leadership in close cooperation with the Director of Business Development, supporting fundraising with grant proposals and programme conceptualisation, ensure professional donor reporting of a growing budget of approx. 1.5 – 2.0 million EUR per year. 
  • Co-lead incubation of new collaborative projects - both reactive when partners and shareholders raise potential collaboration as well as proactive and targeted in line with topic insights coming out of Futures and Innovation or other sector developments. 
  • Co-Leadership with Leadership Team on liaison strategy implementation as well as in developing and implementing organisational strategies, particularly in agile project management and team building in digital(ising) work environments. 

Your Profile

We are looking for a candidate who is autonomous, responsible, and has a proven track record in managing workstreams independently.  

These skills are essential for this role:

  • At least 5 years of relevant work experience, including the ability to develop and manage programmatic initiatives effectively. Overseas work experience is an asset. 
  • Demonstrated experience in fundraising and donor liaison, with a track record of attracting and maintaining donor relationships. 
  • Exceptional proficiency in both written and spoken English, with a strong ability to write compelling grant proposals and articulate ideas effectively. 
  • A creative and strategic thinker who can bring innovative solutions to complex problems. 
  • Proven ability to demonstrate commitment to the role and adhere to efficient and responsible work practices. Must be strategic, committed, and dedicated to achieving organisational goals while ensuring efficient team management and adherence to processes. 

There are other skills that might be beneficial for the role:   

  • Previous experience in a leadership role within a similar organisation or project setting. 
  • A master's degree or equivalent in a relevant field such as international relations, MBA, politics, sociology, or similar. 
  • Experience working in NGOs or other social impact organisations, demonstrating an understanding of the sector's challenges and opportunities. 
  • Previous experience working in an international or cross-cultural environment, contributing to global projects or initiatives. 
  • Proficiency in languages beyond English, such as German, French, or Spanish, enhancing communication and engagement capabilities in multicultural settings. 

We are looking for you if you are a strong team player who seeks to lead the team and be responsible for the outcome of the programmes, values diversity and wants to contribute to an inclusive working and learning environment. You should identify with the Centre’s mission and values and be willing to grow with your tasks, inspire others, and seek to make a difference for the people you work with.

We are dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive and authentic workplace, so if you’re excited about this role but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyways. You may be just the right candidate for this or other roles.

Why us?

We offer 

  • Opportunity to lead and shape critical programmes that drive global change in civil society. 
  • Access to continuous learning and development opportunities, including leadership training and international networking. 
  • Engage with a diverse network of global partners and stakeholders, expanding your professional and cultural horizons. 
  • The opportunity to be part of a small international and ambitious organisation with enthusiastic and diverse colleagues supporting the world’s largest ICSOs. 
  • Family friendly and flexible home working arrangements including working from abroad for agreed periods of time. 
  • Full salary compensation for up to 5 child sick days per child. 
  • Flexible working hours around a core time (10 am – 3 pm).   
  • 28 days of annual vacation and compensation with days-off for overtime. 
  • Professional development opportunities, including up to three days off per year for personal development (in addition to 5 days of standard educational leave provided by the law).  
  • Regular team events on- and offline. 


  • Title: Director of Programmes 
  • Member of: Programme Team 
  • Reports to: Executive Director 
  • Working hours: 32-40 hours per week (80-100%), job-share possible 
  • Holidays: 28 days per annum, on a pro-rata basis  
  • Location: Berlin, Germany. Please note that we cannot support a permanent working arrangement from outside of Germany. Right to work in Germany and hybrid work from our office is expected from a candidate 
  • Term: Temporary contract initially for 2 years with an opportunity to extend to a permanent contract 
  • Salary: salary range between 66,000 and 90,000 EUR annually according to the internal salary bands policy (band II) 
  • Starting date: asap


Your application should:  

  • consist of a CV, cover letter, and 3 references (that we will need to check after the final interview, in the form of a reference letter or contact details) expressing your motivation for this role and working with the Centre specifically, capturing why you are a suitable candidate for this position (all in English). Also, include the suggested amount of hours/week and the earliest possible starting date. Please refrain from including a photograph in your application documents, as we aim to base our evaluation solely on qualifications and experience. 
  • be submitted through our online application form by the latest 21. July 2024.  We review applications on a rolling basis and encourage candidates not to wait until the deadline to apply. Early applications are appreciated. 

Click on the APPLY NOW Button further down and send in your application. 

Please note that our review process may take some time both before and after the application deadline. Rest assured, we are committed to providing feedback to all candidates, so your patience in awaiting a response is greatly appreciated.  
Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is unwavering. We recruit without discrimination based on factors such as ethnic, national, or social origin, gender, disability, age, or sexual orientation. We believe in creating a welcoming and inclusive environment that values and celebrates the unique perspectives and backgrounds of all individuals, contributing to a stronger and more vibrant organization. 

We look forward to receiving your application!

About us

The International Civil Society Centre was set up in 2007 to support international civil society organisations (ICSOs) maximise their impact for a sustainable and more equitable world. The Centre is owned and supported by more than 20 of the largest international civil society organisations such as Amnesty International, Oxfam International, World YWCA or Islamic Relief Worldwide, working across human rights, social justice, environmental and humanitarian themes.

Our mission is to strengthen the impact and resilience of international civil society organisations to support people to change their world for the better. We do this through a range of activities, meetings and event formats, documenting and developing insights. We are a not-for-profit organisation and are passionate about building and sustaining an inclusive and equitable environment for staff, partners and everybody who interacts with us through various fora. Read more about our work and role on our website. 

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