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Apr 24, 2010

Vacancy Asia Foundation

TITLE: Program Officer for Knowledge Sector Program
UNIT: Indonesia
REPORTS TO: Senior Director for Programs

Program Background

The Asia Foundation (the Foundation)’s Knowledge Sector program aims to strengthen Indonesia’s knowledge sector institutions, including university centers, think tanks and civil society organizations to produce the high quality research needed to inform Indonesia’s development policies and ensure that they are supported by evidence-based policy advice.

Enhancing the capacity of Indonesian institutions, including both government and nongovernmental organizations, to respond to development issues has been a core mission of the Foundation since its inception in Indonesia in 1955. To that end, the Foundation has a long history of support for Indonesia’s knowledge sector through study fellowships and exchanges, capacity building for research institutions, and research with Indonesian organizations on key policy issues. Since the early 1960s, the Foundation has provided fellowship grants to Indonesians to study at universities in the United States, and more recently at universities in other countries as well. The Foundation also has contributed to sending Indonesian researchers, political scientists, journalists, and civil society leaders to participate in the prestigious Congressional Fellows Program which provides Indonesians with hands-on experience in American policy-making and legislative processes. The Foundation also has a number of Foundation-funded Fellowships, aimed at enabling Asian thinkers and professionals to conduct research at international research centers in their fields. Since the late 1990s, the Asia Foundation has been a strong supporter to many initiatives led by Indonesia civil society organizations to produce important policy-related research.

This program is a continuation of the Foundation’s commitment to support Indonesia’s knowledge sector institutions. It begins with a participatory capacity-building and reflection process and is designed to foster better insight on the knowledge sector and better understanding of the inputs needed to support the development of creative, responsive, respected and sustainable policy research organizations. The findings and recommendations resulting from this program will be provided to relevant institutions that are stakeholders in the continued development of Indonesia’s knowledge sector. The program has three primary objectives: 1) to enhance the quality and volume of research able to inform development policy, 2) to improve the organizational capacity of select organizations within the knowledge sector, and 3) to increase learning about “what works” in building the capacity of the knowledge sector. To achieve this, the program will produce program learning about the efficacy of capacity building for key knowledge sector partners to strengthen their research skills, improve their ability to apply research to policy development, and strengthen their overall organizational capacity.


As part of a dynamic program team, the Program Officer is responsible to support the implementation and grant administration for the Foundation’s Knowledge Sector program. Specifically, the PO will assist in working with the team to develop, plan, implement, monitor, and evaluate the Foundation’s Knowledge Sector program.

S/he will also provide assistance to the Foundation’s partners as they develop, implement, and monitor the program. Program Officer is expected to make sure that the capacity building activities will lead to a better understanding of the needs of knowledge sector institutions. PO will meet with partners to evaluate project progress, ensure that project activities are conducted in ways that have been agreed upon, and maintain and manage M&E information and reports submitted by partners. The PO will also monitor disbursement of projects funds and other aspects of financial management by the grantee, and as needed, provide grantees with basic guidance in reporting and financial management.

A substantial portion of the Program Officers time will be devoted to writing – both report writing to donor, and consolidating information that documents program learning. Program Officers will be responsible for preparing the first draft of the Foundation’s activity report, which will provide a detailed assessment of each grantee’s progress towards achieving the goals outlined in their proposal and work plan.

This position is based in Jakarta but will require regular travel.


Experience and required knowledge
• Minimum of three years progressively responsible experience in an international development environment
• Knowledge of and experience working with Indonesia’s organizations in knowledge sector from university-based centers, think-tanks as well as advocacy NGOs
• Knowledge of international networks, resources and initiatives to enhance knowledge sector
• Understanding of the development programming environment in Indonesia
• Understanding of AusAID and other international or government funding agencies
• Proven experience and track record in writing proposals, reports, and other documents Academic background in fields of social sciences, economics, or law desirable

• Master’s degree in social sciences, economics, law, or development or related fields

• Excellent verbal and written communication skills in both English and Bahasa Indonesia
• Strong written and oral analytical skills
• Excellent interpersonal skills
• Professional organizational abilities
• Strong attention to detail
• Computer proficient in word processing and spreadsheets
• Internal Communication
• Regular contact with other program staff in the Foundation’s offices in the US and Asia
• External Communication
• Current and prospective grantees
• Civil society organizations, including university-based centers, think-tanks as well as advocacy
• NGOs
• Policymakers at national and regional levels
• Existing and potential program donors, both government, and private
• Foundation funded consultants/ specialists
• Other international and local NGOs

• Assist in developing, planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating Foundation
• Knowledge Sector programs and program learning
• Maintain and manage database of M&E information documenting program outcomes and lessons learned
• Assist in the preparation of letters of grant, internal narrative reports, and supervise preparation of grant administration
• Provide assistance to partners as they develop, implement, and monitor the program
• Assist in preparation and writing of reports to Foundation donors
• Understand and implement requirements placed on the Foundation by our donors
• Play a part in maintaining and developing relationships with existing donors and funding agencies
• Assist in drafting proposals for potential donors using established Asia Foundation and, if necessary, various donors’ guidelines
• Attend conferences, events and donor coordination meetings on behalf of the Foundation

Qualified applicants should email a cover letter and resume to hrd@tafindo. org with the subject “Program Officer – Sektor Pengetahuan”. Applications for this position must be received by April 18, 2010.

The Asia Foundation is an equal opportunity employer

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