Deputy Executive Director/Head of Programmes, Johannesburg


OSISA is a growing African institution committed to deepening democracy, protecting human rights and enhancing good governance in the region. It‘s vision is to promote and sustain the ideals, values, institutions and practices of open society, with the aim of establishing vibrant and tolerant southern African democracies in which people, free from material and other deprivation, understand their rights and responsibilities and participate actively in all spheres of life.

In pursuance of this vision, OSISA‘s mission is to initiate and support programmes working towards open society ideals and to advocate for these ideals in southern Africa. Established in 1997, OSISA works in10 southern Africa countries: Angola, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. OSISA works differently in each of these ten countries, according to local conditions.

Role Overview

  • The Deputy Executive Director / Head of Programmes will work with the Executive Director to develop and implement the strategic vision of the Foundation.
  • The Deputy Executive Director / Head of Programmes will be responsible for leading and supporting the overall implementation of OSISA’s strategic plan with particular emphasis on programme strategy and ensuring that all programmes are adhering to the principles laid out in the strategy.
  • S/he will identify current trends and provide thought leadership relevant to OSISA’s programmes.
  • S/he oversee the Cluster Team Leaders in order to sustain and grow programmes in line with OSISA’s strategic mandate.
  • The Deputy Executive Director / Head of Programmeswill in collaboration with the Senior Finance & Operations Manager to oversee the submission of programme budgets and ensure the quality and accuracy of quarterly substantive and financial reports to Executive Director.
  • He/ She has full-delegated authority to act on behalf of the Executive Director in his/her absence; Responsible for the development and execution of the OSISA’s programmes strategy.
  • Provides leadership and direction for programme staff, setting an effective agenda and ensuringperformance goals are met and set.
  • Serves as a mentor, coach and guide to senior staff, particularly with regards to programming and grant making.

Key Performance Areas

1.Strategic Vision and Leadership

  • Works with the Executive Director providing strategic vision and leadership on matters relating to OSISA’S programming, strategy, management, governance, and budget.
  • Implements and monitors strategic parameters for grant making, operational and advocacy work in the region and across programme clusters.
  • Works with the Executive Director in providing substantive guidance, feedback and support to programme staff in refining the overall strategic direction of OSISA’s focus areas, in establishing programme priorities, and in designing and carrying out projects.
  • Monitors the applications for programme funding.
  • Works with the Executive Director in managing OSISA’s annual strategy/budget drafting and submission process.
  • Plays a key role in conceptualizing and supporting programme evaluations and reviews.
  • Provides strategic guidance to Cluster Team Leaders, Senior Grants & Partnerships Manager and Finance team to collaborate effectively.
  • Works closely with the leadership and programme staff of other OSF Foundations and partner organizations.

2. Financial and Administrative Oversight

  • Oversees the procedures and processes to safeguard the financial health of the programme clusters with particular attention to audit preparedness and financial management.
  • Works with the Executive Director and Senior Finance and Operations Manager in ensuring quality and accuracy of financial information.
  • Oversees the adherence to the highest fiduciary standards of grants made to OSISA partners as well as appropriate management systems and processes for the current grants portfolio.
  • Ensures the DRC and Angola Offices and programme clusters compliance with OSISA internal policy, legal and registration requirements and other statutory obligations.
  • Oversee the evaluation and review processes within programmes.
  • Works with the Senior Grants & Partnerships Manager to ensure that grant processes are managed appropriately and consistent with annual programme work plans and grants policies and procedures.
  • Ensures that risks are identified and managed in all stages of programme cycle.

3. Communication and Advocacy

  • Where required serves as a spokesperson for the organization in dealing with external stakeholders.
  • Ensures regular and efficient communication with all programme staff on key policy matters.
  • Ensures that effective channels of internal and external communications regarding OSISA programming are established and respected by programme staff.

4. Programme Impact

  • Establishes and maintains an effective system to assess and analyse the impact of grants, advocacy, communications and other programme activities with regard to effectiveness, consequences, alignment with OSISA’s goals and objectives and financial and technical quality.
  • Works with the Executive Director in developing processes for OSISA leadership and staff to learn from past activities and improve their performance.
  • Works with the Executive Team approving new programme initiatives identified through key research.

5. Security and Safety

  • Supports the Executive Director in developing protocols to ensure security and safety of OSISA staff.
  • Ensure compliance with OSISA and OSF security and safety procedures.
  • In collaboration with the Executive Director, Senior Finance & Operations Manager, Senior HR Manager and Country Directors develop a disaster prevention, recovery and business continuity plan in respect of all OSISA offices.

6. Work Environment and Staff Development

  • Ensures a conducive working environment which promotes staff development, wellbeing and productivity.
  • Promotes teamwork, collegiality and effective communication between programmes and operational units.
  • Integrates the organizational values into the performance of tasks within and across programmes.
  • Ensures consistent standards of excellence within the organization.


  • A Master’s degree in Social Science, Law, Human Rights or related fields.
  • 7 – 10 years overall experience.
  • 5 years’ experience at a Senior Management or Leadership level working on issues related to
  • democracy promotion, good governance, human rights, rule of law, socio-economic development and access to justice in a multi-lateral, intergovernmental, civil society or regional organization setting.

How to Apply

All applications much be sent directly to stating OSISA-DED-SA in the subject line.