Open Government Network for Europe Lead (Brussels)

Deadline: 20 July 2020, 9:00 CET (extended)

To apply, please send a CV and covering letter describing your interest and how you meet the person specification to Kelly McBride,

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Europe is changing, and opening up its government and decision-making processes. The Democratic Society (Demsoc) are seeking an outgoing and motivated senior officer with experience and networks in Brussels, to help civil society and the EU move further and faster on transparency, accountability and citizen participation.

We’re looking for someone that is ready to hit the ground running in Brussels to lead development of the open government network for Europe and to support delivery of activities that strengthen open government and participation.

This role will suit an individual who can demonstrate the ability to think strategically, build great relationships and deliver practical outcomes. The successful applicant will have a significant understanding of all aspects of open government.


The OGNfE is a platform for open government practitioners and champions – whether they are working for civil society, private sector or the European institutions, to come together to share experiences and expertise and to be inspired.

The network and the job are hosted by the Open Government Partnership (OGP) and the Democratic Society (Demsoc) in their Brussels office. The successful candidate must be based in or willing to relocate to Brussels.

The role will report to a senior individual inside Demsoc, as well as directly to Paul Maassen (Chief, Country Support) at OGP.


  • The opportunity to work with leading NGOs on transparency, accountability and citizen participation issues.
  • A central Brussels office shared with a friendly team of democracy and open government advocates.
  • Up-close engagement with European institutions on one of the critical issues of the day.
  • Scope to define the strategy and approach you take to fulfil the role’s requirements.


You will be responsible for a number of key activities, working alongside the existing team at the Democratic Society and Open Government Partnership. These include:

Relationships and network
1. Building relationships with key institutional figures and changemakers within the EU institutions.
2. Developing relationships with civil society and opportunities for collaborative action.
3. Working with existing teams within Demsoc and OGP to build a network of champions and partners that can work together on strategic EU related issues.
4. Overseeing development and maintenance of a rich and easily accessible ‘who’s who’ database, and implementing a concrete and ambitious engagement strategy.

5. Developing OGNfE activities to ensure an engaging programme throughout the year, coorganised with partners from civil society, the European institutions and other sectors.
6. Support connected programmes of work involving participation on European issues, including those identified through the open government network for Europe.

Strategy and governance
7. Running and developing a core, cross-organisational board and governance structure for the OGNfE that reflects the principles and values behind the network.
8. Designing and delivering a 3-year strategy for OGNfE that ensures transparency, accountability and participation are built into the activities and plans of the new Commission.

Project management
9. Project management through Demsoc’s existing structures, as well as ensuring regular reporting to funders of the OGNfE, including OGP.

Supporting the wider team
10. Providing thought leadership and delivering an effective presence for Demsoc and OGP within European civic spaces. You will provide professional, effective thinking and communications internally and externally, promoting appropriate models of democracy with partners, attending relevant fora, seeking out and securing communications opportunities (in partnership with colleagues). This will include external speaking, networking, bid development and wider leads generation.


Initiative: you’re a self-starter that can organise your own workload to meet business needs and use initiative to respond to unanticipated problems or situations.

Team work: you work collaboratively as part of a team to deliver a service to others.

Equality: you support and protect equality and diversity and respect colleagues and everyone we work with regardless of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion or ethnic origin.

Customer service: you work with a focus on delivering services to clients, acting with integrity and respect on behalf of the organisation and honouring confidentiality.

Problem solving: you have strong problem-solving skills with the ability to anticipate issues and resolve matters independently, developing sound pragmatic solutions.

Strategy: you ensure that at all times your work informs, reflects and supports the aims and objectives of this role.



  • A deep commitment to growing open government and participation in Europe.
  • Understanding of different approaches to participation and the ability to recommend methods and tools in a variety of situations.
  • Understanding of the challenges faced by government institutions in implementing open government. Possible ways to demonstrate this might be through showing 3 years’ experience in working in these areas, a period of time working in government, or through an advanced degree in a relevant field (e.g. development, political science, or international relations).
  • Experience of working with civil society at a European level. A proven ability to build civil society coalitions, broker technical cooperation and partnerships, and organise training workshops and events would be beneficial.
  • Proven ability to work effectively with a range of diverse stakeholders from a range of contexts/cultural backgrounds, and work across civil society, private sector, and with national governments, and EU institutions.
  • Demonstrable experience and confidence in engaging with officials within governments and EU institutions at different levels, including senior levels, and ensuring effective communication.
  • Full proficiency in English and French.


  • Experience of coordinating participatory democracy activities, ideally in an international and/or multilingual context. Possible ways to demonstrate this might be through demonstrating experience of designing, facilitating or advising on processes for citizen participation, face to face and/or online;
  • Research and communication skills to help draft briefings and speaking points for other colleagues, to draft stories and case studies, writing blogs, and crafting strategic messages, both for public and internal consumption.
  • An existing network and credibility within European or global civil society networks, working on open government issues;
  • A track record working in multi-stakeholder environments or working with governments.
  • Networks and/or experience of working with the European Parliament and Council.


  • Self-starter who can work independently but likes working as part of a (virtual) team, proactive in sharing information with team members to update on both progress and setbacks;
  • Comfortable using online collaborative tools such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Google Docs/Sheets, or able to learn this rapidly;
  • Solid understanding of issues that are important to civil society and familiarity with civil society networks and organizations;
  • Networker;
  • High emotional intelligence, able to develop trusting relationships with diverse stakeholders from different background;
  • Passionate about diversity, and committed to inclusion;
  • Positive outlook, humble and with a healthy sense of humour;
  • Sound judgment, professionalism and integrity;
  • Strong public-speaking skills;
  • Strong writing and presentation skills, articulate, persuasive;
  • Ability to patiently and diplomatically forge consensus between diverse stakeholders on strategic advocacy issues;
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills, active listener who seeks to truly understand other perspectives;
  • Ability to build strong working relationships across a multicultural virtual team.

Demsoc is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes all suitably skilled persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation, education or age.

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