Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 80 years it has worked with visionary people on the front-lines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has ten regional offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
Ford Foundation, Southern Africa office seeks a dynamic, innovative Program Officer to be part of a team that is driving and shaping the foundation’s social justice work in the Southern Africa region. Reporting to the regional director, the Program Officer will support the implementation of the strategy.
Addressing inequality is a key focus of the Ford Foundation globally. Unequal access to, and engagement with, government is a fundamental driver of inequality, leading to the adoption and implementation of policies that privilege the already powerful.
Many countries in southern Africa are among the most unequal in the world, and this needs to be addressed urgently if instability and violence in the region are to be effectively addressed. We are already seeing signs of unrest brought about by high levels of unemployment in the region.
The failures of some governments have resulted in the movement of people across borders, resulting in untold suffering and Afrophobia in countries like South Africa. A disregard for human rights is on the rise in several countries, often resulting in people being excluded from decision-making processes on issues that affect their lives.
The primary goal of the NRCC program in the Southern Africa region is to ensure that companies’ and governments’ policies and practices related to energy transition and mining better reflect the expressed needs of communities most impacted by patterns of investment and disinvestment in these sectors. z
The challenge in the region is that public institutions that are meant to ensure that communities meaningfully participate in and have a say over whether mining and energy related investment happens on their lands are failing to do so.
As a result, collusion between governments and the private sector results in communities being rendered invisible. This, in turn, can drive polarization and violent conflict between communities most impacted by mining and governments and the private sector.
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- Undergraduate degree plus a minimum of 8 years leading impact-driven strategies and/or subject-matter expertise in a relevant thematic area, (e.g., natural resources policy, natural resource governance, public policy, environmental sciences, rural development, geography, law, social sciences and economics) or equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Demonstrated knowledge of natural resource governance, extractive industries, benefit sharing, and energy transition.
- Experience in multiple countries in Southern Africa, demonstrated collaboration with civil society, and a perspective informed by the global context.
- Deep understanding of the social, cultural and political context of Southern Africa, especially South Africa and the geopolitical landscape.
- Familiarity with natural resource governance policy at the national, regional or global levels, community based natural resource management, and/or rural development,
- Experience applying an intersectional lens and gender analysis to the work.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills in English.