Open Government Network for Europe – Senior Officer (Brussels)

Closing date: 21st February 23:59 (CET)

Location: Brussels, Belgium

Start date: March 2020 (ideally)

Duration: One year fixed term, with the possibility of extension. We are open to applicants looking for a secondment.

About the Role

The Open Government Network for Europe (OGNfE) is seeking an outgoing and entrepreneurial network officer with great experience and tested networks in Brussels, to help civil society and the EU move further and faster on transparency, accountability and citizen participation.

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.

This role will suit an individual who can demonstrate the ability to think strategically and to deliver practical outcomes. The successful applicant will also have a significant understanding of all aspects of open government and be able to use their existing networks within Brussels and the EU institutions. The role will report into a senior individual inside Demsoc as well as directly to Paul Maassen at OGP.

We offer:

  • 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 the Commission and Parliament 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 ensuring a number of key activities, working alongside the existing team at the Democratic Society and Open Government Partnership. These include:

  1. Building relationships with key institutional figures and changemakers within the EU institutions;
  2. 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;
  3. Ensuring OGNfE activities take place regularly throughout the year, co-organised with partners from civil society, private sector or the European institutions;
  4. Overseeing development of and maintaining a rich and easily accessible ‘who’s who’ database, and implementing a concrete and ambitious engagement strategy;
  5. Running and developing a core, cross-organisational board and governance structure for the OGNfE that reflects the principles and values behind the network;
  6. 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;
  7. Project management through Demsoc’s existing structures, as well as ensuring regular reporting to funders of the OGNfE, including OGP.

Key Competencies

Initiative: you can organise your own workload to meet business needs, use initiative to independently 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 customers, clients and other members of staff 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.

Person Specification


  • A deep understanding of the issues related to open government, transparency, accountability, and citizen engagement and government responsiveness, and understands the challenges faced by government institutions in implementing these. 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);
  • Proven ability to build civil society coalitions, broker technical cooperation and partnerships, and organize training workshops and events;
  • 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;
  • Confidence in engaging with senior officials within governments and EU institutions and ensuring effective communication at this level. One way this might be demonstrated is through showing 5 years of work experience, or being able to showcase a number of instances in which you have done this;
  • Full proficiency in English and French.


  • 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;
  • 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.


  • 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 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 backgrounds
  • Passionate about diversity, and committed to inclusion;
  • Positive outlook, humble and with a healthy sense of humor;
  • 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;
  • Ability to travel extensively for work (10-15% initially, although this may increase).

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.

Please send a CV and covering letter describing your interest to Kelly McBride – 

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