Civil Society Specialist

International Research and Exchanges Board, Almati, Kazakhstan
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Job Summary

Job Description

IREX is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to building a more just, prosperous, and inclusive world by empowering youth, cultivating leaders, strengthening institutions, and extending access to quality education and information. Founded in 1968, IREX has an annual portfolio of over $90 million, offices in 20 countries, and a global staff of 400. We work in more than 100 countries worldwide.


IREX seeks qualified and dynamic Civil Society Specialist (CSS) candidates for an anticipated five-year USAID-funded program in Central Asia which will strengthen civil society actors across the region to better represent the interests of citizens and act both as an effective partner and, when necessary, hold the government accountable for being responsive to citizens' needs and interests. Based in Almaty, Kazakhstan, the CSS will provide technical leadership on civil society capacity building, grants and government engagement.

Citizens/residents of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, or Uzbekistan are highly encouraged to apply. This position is contingent on funding.


  • Provide leadership and management to civil society support activities that advance capacity for civic engagement across the region, leveraging both local and regional partnerships, resources, and subject-matter research to evaluate impact and support collaboration, learning, and adaptation under all civic initiatives.
  • Provide expert guidance on civil society support activities, responding to changing program results to ensure impact.
  • Liaise with civic actors and organizational leaders throughout the region to support an integrated and localized development approach.
  • Contribute to documentation of program results and support the COP/DCOP in reviewing, compiling, editing, and formatting program deliverables related to civil society activities.
  • Communicate program results to IREX staff, donor representatives, partners and other relevant stakeholders to enable data and experience-informed decision-making.
  • Liaise regularly with regional and IREX HQ civil society experts.
  • Oversee research and advocacy expert, gender and social inclusion (GESI) expert and civil society support staff.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Minimum of seven years’ professional experience supporting civic engagement, civil society research and advocacy, and organizational capacity development through international development programs in Central Asia (with strong preference for past USAID-funded project experience).
  • Proven success in designing and implementing civil society support projects from start-up to closeout stages.
  • Strong leadership skills and demonstrated success in managing and training teams for results in civil society programs.
  • Demonstrated experience in developing strong working relationships with regional civil society partners, senior government officials, community officials, civic leaders, private sector leaders, international donors, and other stakeholders throughout the region.
  • Familiarity with the political, social, economic, and cultural context of Central Asia and specifically regarding the civil society landscape.
  • Familiarity with up-to-date subject-matter research, data and analyses, dealing with both Central Asia specifically and broader civil society global trends.
  • Strong writing skills, and experience with reporting and MEL.
  • A bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as International Development, Human Services, Political Science, Public Policy, Public Administration, Economics, Social Sciences, etc.; advanced degree in a related field is preferred.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English required; proficiency in Russian and/or local Central Asian languages preferred.