Senior Elections Specialist - International Foundation for Electoral Systems

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Senior Elections Specialist - International Foundation for Electoral Systems

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The Senior Elections Specialist at International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) will provide technical support to key institutions and civil society in election activities in Ghana during elections in 2023 and 2024, including political finance, anti-corruption, civic education, capacity building, legal reform, inclusion, and electoral administration. This position is contingent on funding.

Position Scope

Builds relationships with key program stakeholders. Manages and performs highly technical work requiring ingenuity and capacity to evaluate and respond to new and changing issues. Supports technical implementation of IFES programming and provides broad technical and organizational development expertise to assure successful achievement of goals and objectives.

Monitors and evaluates interim results and develops contingency plans if objectives are off track. Demonstrates mastery of electoral administration, with comprehensive knowledge of professional best practices. Uses global/ industry outlook to determine the impact on IFES’ strategy. Applies thought leadership and innovations to work approaches.

This position is open to Ghanaian nationals.



Technical Direction And Program Implementation

  • Serve as the IFES Ghana in-country point of contact for stakeholders and manage all outreach and interventions with local electoral stakeholders regarding technical assistance.
  • Manage and deliver technical assistance and capacity building to key electoral institutions and civil society through the provision of global best practice and comparative experience.
  • Manage the Accra-based IFES office to achieve program objectives, including building the capacity of all team members and overseeing program administration, operations, and finance.
  • Build consensus for support and/or assistance with institutions with electoral mandates to ensure they are in line with program objectives, budget, and international best practice.
  • Oversee the design, implementation, and evaluation of the program within the stipulated period of performance and adherence to the approved budget.
  • Provide oversight to field operations and manage local field staff and consultants including performance appraisals, staff development and other management issues.
  • Support the establishment of a technical assistance plan, based on the election calendar, and identify and prioritize areas for assistance.
  • Contribute to donor-specified deliverables (e.g., workplans) and reporting requirements, including quarterly performance reports, activity reports, annual reports, and participate in the collection of monitoring and evaluation data for log frame/PMP updates, with support from the programmatic and monitoring and evaluation teams from IFES HQ.
  • Support the preparation of papers, analyses, and briefings on the political environment, election-related topics, and programmatic work for donor and IFES stakeholder consumption, as appropriate.
  • Advise on the general implementation of electoral activities, providing support to improve electoral systems and procedures.
  • Work with the IFES HQ technical and program teams to provide necessary technical support to CSO partners to develop subawards and work plans for IFES activities, as appropriate.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with key stakeholders and liaise with other election assistance implementers, the donor, and the diplomatic community to coordinate activities, maximize the impact of collective technical assistance efforts, and identify new business opportunities.
  • Develop and maintain constructive working relationships with national stakeholders and international assistance providers, and democracy and governance organizations in Ghana.
  • Other duties as assigned by IFES Headquarters, Africa Division Leadership

Decision-making / Problem-solving

Identify risk factors with the potential to disrupt the achievement of operational goals. Consult with internal and external stakeholders to identify, propose, and build consensus around the best solutions. Complex decision-making is subject to management review.

Supervision Exercised

Provides oversight and management of host country national staff, consultants, and field experts in order to complete the project’s work plan.


  • A master’s degree is required in a field of study such as political sciences, social sciences, law, development economics, international development, public/business administration, or governance, or another relevant field.




  • Minimum of ten years of relevant work experience related to elections and governance. Expertise in political finance, campaign finance, and/or anti-corruption is preferred.
  • Strong background managing donor-funded programs. Knowledge of USAID rules and regulations is preferred.
  • Extensive experience in electoral processes, with specific experience in capacity-building for EMBs, civil society and other government institutions.
  • Existing familiarity and working relationship with the Election Commission of Ghana.
  • Experience in providing specialized technical assistance, capacity building, and training to election stakeholders.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated initiative and problem-solving skills.
  • Strong professional and collaborative management skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop effective training materials.
  • Experience managing a team and administrative and finance processes.

Technical Skills

  • Familiarity with political, economic, social, and electoral context within Ghana.
  • Proven track record with democracy and governance programming.
  • Prior experience working in an international office in a fast-paced electoral environment. Strong professional and collaborative skills when working with a team.
  • Ability and skills to promote and inspire effective collaboration between individuals, organizations, and networks, demonstrating strong diplomacy skills and cultural and gender sensitivities.
  • Demonstrated experience working with senior government officials, local governments, NGOs, and the international donor community.
  • Technical knowledge and experience in election management, civic education, political finance, and capacity building for electoral actors such as election management bodies, civil society, and government agencies.
  • Familiarity with the international donor community and experience as an action-oriented interlocutor with democracy-development actors at all levels.
  • Ability and skills to promote and inspire effective collaboration between individuals, organizations, and networks.
  • Strong interpersonal, presentation, and communications skills to meet the diverse technical and managerial requirements of the program and to effectively coordinate with a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Strong analytical reasoning skills.
  • Ability to adhere to and enforce standard operating procedures within the program office.

LANGUAGE SKILLS: Fluency in written and spoken English required. Proficiency in at least one other language in use within assigned project location is strongly preferred.

TRAVEL: As the need arises to support the project.

Physical Requirements/Work Environment

Standard office work environment. Reasonable accommodation may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.



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