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Nonprofit Remote Digest - Issue #492
Open contracting is critical to increasing accountability and ultimately to reducing poverty. Contracts are at the nexus of revenue generation, budget planning, resource management and delivery of public goods.
Open Contracting Partnership: open, fair & efficient public contracting — www.open-contracting.org We connect governments, civil society and business to open up and monitor public procurement. Open contracting results in fairer deals and less corruption.
Senior Program Manager for Latin America
The Open Contracting Partnership (OCP) is an independent not-for-profit working to open up and transform government contracting and procurement worldwide. We were spun out of the World Bank in 2015 and we currently work in over 30 countries including around a dozen in Latin America. We work along the whole process of government contracting to use the power of open data and open government to deliver better goods and services to citizens, deter corruption, and create a better business environment for all.
We are both advocating for systematic change across Latin America as well as bringing government and civil society together to implement cutting edge reforms that will result in real progress on the ground. We also want to unlock and share regional learning to document what works and doesn’t to drive procurement reform across the region.
We are looking for a Senior Program Manager for Latin America with the ambition and vision to drive this work forward and deliver our many exciting projects in the region. You will complement our Latin American team, composed of our Head of Latam in Bogotá and a Senior Program Manager in Santiago and contribute to achieving our impact, progress and data targets, as outlined in our current strategy.
We have documented several impact and progress stories in the region, including how open contracting has led to increased competition in Colombia; how reform based on open data improved the Bogota school meals program; changes in public procurement in Paraguay sparked by civil monitoring of contracts; and progress on infrastructure delivery in Honduras, among others. We have supported the implementation of the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Bolivia; and are working with partners in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States to publish OCDS data in the near future. Some of our main partners in the region include the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), the World Bank, the British government, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Organization of American States (OAS), the BHP Foundation, the Open Data Charter, the Latin American Open Data Initiative (ILDA) and Hivos.
We are starting several new and exciting projects in the region, including several with a focus on emergency procurement and economic recovery following the current pandemic. With support from the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) we will be working with civil society partners in Mexico to share best practices and innovative solutions to address corruption risks in emergency and post-Covid 19 recovery procurement, as well as promoting the collection and use of open data by governments, businesses, and civil society, to prevent, denounce, and investigate corruption. With support from the Development Bank of Latin America - CAF, we are working in Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, and Paraguay, to improve the efficiency and integrity in COVID19-related procurement during the emergency response and the subsequent economic recovery phase. We envisage that these countries will be able to publish their entire procurement in open formats, which will be a first step to implementing better emergency procurement procedures, health spending, and increasing the scope and quality of contracting data. This will help create more robust procurement systems that level the playing field for suppliers, reduce corruption risks, and therefore contribute to reactivate the economy.
We can offer you an important role working on a great mission within an awesome team in a friendly, flexible, fast-moving organization. We are looking for a motivated, talented professional to join us as a Senior Program Manager for Latin America. You will support our strategy in the region with a focus on projects related to the COVID-19 emergency and recovery phase. You will join a savvy, hard-working global team fostering innovation on, and implementation of, open contracting around the world. You will support our country program portfolio across Latin America, reporting to our Head of Latin America to provide in-country partners from government, civil society and business with implementation, advocacy and learning support.
Your primary role will be to identify and implement locally relevant best practices to improve procurement outcomes using open contracting strategies, which may include coordinating capacity building efforts, deploying data analysis tools, and building multi-stakeholder coalitions. We want to provide best procurement practices and support our partners to transform procurement, whether from within government, or from civil society, media, academia and the private sector. We intend to connect practitioners to each other and help facilitate peer-learning and support.
We are looking for a self starter and a hard worker with good knowledge of procurement in Latin America. You should have experience working with governments and ideally also with civil society and the private sector in the region and a good understanding of challenges and opportunities that they face in relation to public procurement. You should have experience with project management, including familiarity with budgets and donor reporting across multiple countries.
The position will ideally be based in Mexico City, Panama City or Bogotá given our opportunities to go deeper in these countries, but we are also open to other strategic locations in Latin America. You need to have a valid work permit for the country where you will be based.
Implementation: You will manage our CAF and FCDO Mexico projects, and will support other engagements in our Latin American portfolio. You will help strengthen the capacities and resources of governments, civil society and other relevant organizations in Chile and other countries in Latin America (including academia or companies), to use open contracting data to drive reform and change. You will interact with government agencies and non-government stakeholders to understand contracting issues, and work with them to develop solutions based on open contracting to improve their procurement outcomes. You will support them in building sustainable reform coalitions, and building feedback loops and improving procurement especially in specific sectors (such as infrastructure or health). You will also assist them in designing and leading local advocacy campaigns. If conditions are appropriate, this will involve frequent travel to different countries across the region. Working on projects will also entail donor and budget reporting and tracking.
Advocacy: You will work at the highest levels of national and regional government and with civil society to make a compelling case for change and to embed open contracting in strategic reforms backed by legal, policy and practical changes.
Guidance: You will help us develop sector-specific guidance for open contracting reform based on our strategy in topics such as infrastructure and health, among others. This will include drafting blog posts and guides, and collaborating with other team members to develop tools that are useful for our partners across the world. You will provide them with actionable answers to their most pressing issues related with contracting, including legislative and regulatory guidance.
Community building & learning: You will help convene and foster a strong community of open contracting champions with civil society, government and business within and across countries in the region and in key cities in other parts of the world. You will strive to build strong relationships with government, civil society and private organizations in the region, link them to each other, and to relevant government and business partners and ensure that OCP’s project, approaches, services and tools meet their needs. You will lead community outreach, capacity building events and calls. You will draft blogs, and support research and guidance development on key issues. From time to time, you will provide administrative and logistical support, coordinating travel for partners, facilitating group meetings, etc.
We want to be surprised, intrigued and excited by applicants. We expect that the Senior Program Manager for Latin America will have the following professional qualifications:
Substantial, demonstrable experience of working with government, and ideally civil society or business, in several countries in the region advancing reforms to improve government performance using data. Having experience and deep networks in Latin America, and especially in Mexico and Panama is a big plus.
Experience working on public contracting, or relevant governance issues such as transparency, accountability, governance of extractive industries.
A proven track record of persuading governments to adopt best practices and in navigating the many different silos across government to implement reforms effectively.
Some understanding of open data issues and experience in working with partners on implementing data projects that are centered around user needs and the use of data. Knowledge of the Open Contracting Data Standard is a big plus.
Demonstrable experience in community and network building, facilitating peer-learning and designing and delivering capacity building interventions in Latin America, especially in Mexico.
Experience in coordinating donor-funded projects, project management and reporting is a plus.
Ability to generate and deliver clear and persuasive oral and written communications both in English and Spanish, being technically sound without sounding technical. Working knowledge of Portuguese is a big plus.
Ability to frequently travel regionally and internationally. We expect that up to 30% of the time will be spent travelling, if conditions for travel are appropriate.
Ability to inspire trust, motivate partners to work well together, and design and manage projects in a collaborative manner.
Ability to deal with stakeholders with different and often conflicting agendas.
Committed to our mission and strategy.
Proactive & focussed on delivery and getting tasks done.
Ability to work independently on assignments.
Capacity to prioritize well, effectively handling regular deadlines and last minute requests.
Open to new ideas, new alliances, diversity, sharing, taking chances and new ways to solve problems.
Ability to listen to others and learn from their best ideas.
Humility and grace, flexibility, an ability to give credit and recognition to others.
Impeccable integrity and a high energy level.
A sense of fun and joy for your work and the ability to encourage that from others.
We are dedicated to equal employment opportunity and aim to cultivate and sustain a diverse, equitable, and inclusive team. We really value and prioritize diversity as a range of experiences and perspectives enriches our work and strengthens our ability to address complex challenges. We also have a safeguarding policy that can be found here.
All applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Qualified candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The final deadline for applications is December 4th, 2020. We expect to interview and appoint a candidate by January 2021.
We offer opportunities for professional development and extensive travel, as well as an excellent benefits package and compensation that is commensurate with reputation, experience and location and a generous matched pension contribution.
How to Apply
Please complete the application through our website. Applications sent by other means will not be considered. We will ask you to submit the following documents:
A short cover letter explaining your interest and suitability for this position (less than 500 words)
Two writing samples in English and Spanish that showcase your writing skills. There is no length or topic requirements for the writing samples. Consider using any sample of your past work or studies. We are interested in seeing your writing skills in Spanish and English and are looking for someone who can communicate in an engaging and interesting style.
Likely start date and location