Head of Programme - Nepal

International IDEA

Detailed Job description / requirements:

Head of Programme - Nepal

Job type

Fixed Term Contract 

The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance — The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) is an intergovernmental organization with a mission to advance democracy worldwide, as a universal human aspiration and an enabler of sustainable development, through support to the building, strengthening and safeguarding of democratic political institutions and processes at all levels. 

We believe that democracy is a universal human aspiration and an experience that is pursued and lived in different ways around the world. Beyond the basic tenets of citizens’ choice and citizens’ political equality, the critical choices are best made and the quality of democracy is best gauged by those directly concerned: the citizens themselves. We systematically nurture an open and pluralistic understanding of democracy. This is respectful of the national context, and is in line with our non-prescriptive and non-intrusive approach, as well as with the priorities set by national actors. 

International IDEA produces, shares and enables the use of comparative knowledge in its key areas of expertise: electoral processes, constitution building processes, political participation and representation, as well as on democracy as it relates to gender and inclusion, conflict sensitivity and sustainable development. 

It has its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, and offices in the Africa and West Asia, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean and Europe regions. International IDEA is a Permanent Observer to the United Nations. 


Since 2004, International IDEA has supported three main areas of the democratic process in Nepal: transition to peace and to a democratic system, constitution building and electoral processes. During the period 2004-2015, International IDEA’s main partners included the two Constituent Assemblies, their Legislature Parliaments and Secretariats, the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development and the Election Commission of Nepal.

In 2015, once the new Constitution was promulgated and Nepal became a Federal Republic with three spheres of government – federal, provincial and local -  International IDEA’s work shifted towards supporting the implementation of key constitutional provisions, supporting the newly introduced federal system by strengthening local government system through deliberative political decision-making processes, in partnership with the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration (MOFAGA) and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). Support also included informing and engaging citizens about their rights, roles and responsibilities in Nepal’s new federal system of governance, with support from the Governance Facility (GF).

From 2016 to date , International IDEA has been supporting the implementation of Nepal’s Constitution by contributing to effective state capability in partnership with the relevant entities of the Government of Nepal – at federal, provincial and local spheres, as well as with key development partners, in addition to continue supporting meaningful engagement of citizens through civil society actors and partners.

The Head of Programme will design, manage and account for International IDEA country programme in Nepal, build a close professional relationship and collaborate with relevant entities of the Government of Nepal, development agencies, civil society organisations, other international organizations and the private sector.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Oversees all initiatives funded by development partners, reporting to, and liaising regularly with them and with the Government of Nepal;
  • Formulates the overall strategy and action plans for International IDEA’s programme in Nepal and leads related fundraising efforts;
  • Liaises and works with partner organizations, consultants and relevant national governmental bodies, non-governmental actors and with other international and inter-governmental organizations;
  • Provides regular reports to the Director Asia and the Pacific on all matters pertaining to International IDEA’s programme and related activities in Nepal;
  • Supports the Asia and the Pacific Team, contributes to its work and represents International IDEA in Nepal and outside, when required.
  • Leads, manages and provides strategic direction to International IDEA’s Nepal programme, demonstrating its strategic value to the attainment of the Institute’s programmatic and institutional goals;
  • Manages and directs the Nepal programme’s team of staff and project consultants to ensure full delivery of the agreed programme outputs, while fostering a conducive working environment, spirit of collaboration and team cohesion;
  • Ensures, as well as engages in, communication and cooperation with International IDEA’s global and cross-cutting programmes and focusses on learning and sharing across the Asia and the Pacific region;
  • Ensures consistent implementation of International IDEA’s operating procedures and guidelines, security protocols and, where applicable, recommends process improvement;
  • Provides oversight to effective financial management, forecasting and reporting;
  • Ensures an effective financial control and good value for money in International IDEA’s programmatic implementation and delivery;
  • Maintains a good relationship with International IDEA’s funding development partners and associated primary stakeholders, as well as with secondary stakeholders – including other development partners, international organizations and civil society groups;
  • Maintains and develops relevant professional contacts and networks of cooperation with government representatives, political leaders, practitioners, policy makers, academics, and representatives of the international community; and
  • Coordinates and, where possible, collaborates with other donor funded programmes to maximize synergies and impact.

General Profile

  • Combines in-depth knowledge, acquired through post-graduate academic achievements, excellent skills including managerial skills and relevant experience in their field;
  • Leads assigned projects with authority throughout the project life cycle, i.e. from strategic planning and project design, funding and budgeting to project assessment and accountability; leads meetings and discussions, oversees publications and input from external providers;
  • Contributes to publications; is recognized as an expert in his/her broad professional community;
  • Has the intellectual leadership to integrate innovation into his/her field of expertise;
  • Leads a team of contributors to the project, including staff members and consultants;
  • Fosters team-based activities in his/her unit; collaborates with other entities of the Institute;
  • Is expected to travel locally within Nepal and globally to any geographical area involved in his/her projects;
  • Follows internal procedures to ensure high standards of performance and compliance with Institutional guidelines;
  • Anticipates internal challenges and issues and recommends process improvements;
  • Integrates a gender and diversity perspective in all activities.

Reporting Line

  • Director Asia and the Pacific          

Programmatic Knowledge

  • Has excellent knowledge and extensive work experience in own discipline, combined with excellent understanding of related disciplines in order to approach programmatic activities in a holistic manner.

Operational Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Integrates a results-based approach into the design, management and evaluation of all his/her programmatic activities;
  • Has thorough understanding of relevant programmatic issues in the key geographical zone where his/her work is implemented;
  • Is active in the search for information on donors and partners, preparation of reports and project briefs, identification of opportunities for initiation of new projects, and all other activities related to resource mobilization and partnership building;
  • Illustrates integrity, a collaborative spirit, a sense of achievement, and an understanding of risk management;
  • Understands and manages the budget and planning of his/her project(s).


  • Leads a multi-talented team, sets team priorities and manages resources;
  • Acts as a model and resource for colleagues.

Problem Solving

  • Will solve complex challenges, approach issues with new perspectives, and analyze situations from a multitude of intervening factors.


  • Has a clear impact on the programme development and delivery;
  • Will also impact other teams and projects in related fields.

Communication and Interpersonal Skills

  • Liaises regularly with all internal and external stakeholders for International IDEA’s Nepal programme, acts and is perceived as an initiator of relevant communication to solve issues;
  • Can present International IDEA’s Nepal programme and represent the Institute effectively in all professional circles;
  • Drives International IDEA’s Nepal programme, related projects, activities and assignments through communicative personal energy and engagement;
  • Can explain sensitive information with diplomacy and build consensus.
  • Excellent knowledge in written and oral English and Nepali language required. Knowledge of another widely spoken language in Nepal or in the region would be an asset.

Education and Experience

  • Post-graduate qualifications in political science, law, international relations, public administration or other related disciplines; 
  • A minimum of ten (10) years’ experience working in the field of democracy and governance in Nepal. Experience working in similar types of contexts, outside Nepal is desirable;
  • A minimum of five (5) years’ experience in leading and managing teams; Proven experience in engaging, cultivating and influencing stakeholders is essential.

Terms of Contract:

Local Post. Fixed-term appointment until 31 December 2020

Competitive Salary

Please note as this is a local post, International IDEA will bear no costs relating to relocation of the selected candidate to the duty station. This position is open to those currently legally authorized to live and work in Nepal.

Applying for this position:

Applications should be submitted online no later than 24:00 (CET) 10 December 2019. Interested candidates with the described profile are invited to apply via International IDEA’s website on


Please note that all applications must be made in English.

International IDEA is an equal opportunity employer which seeks to further diversify its staff in terms of gender, culture and nationality.

Job Overview

Category Development and Project
Openings 1
Position Level Full Time / Contract
Experience Please check vacancy details.
Education Please check vacancy details
Posted Date 26 Nov, 2019
Apply Before 10 Dec, 2019
City Kathmandu