Job Opportunity in the Helsinki Policy Forum

Forward Thinking is a London based NGO working in the fields of conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and political dialogue in the Middle East and North Africa.

We seek an outstanding candidate to support the delivery and development of the Helsinki Policy Forum and other aspects of our work in the region. The principal goal of the Forum is to bring together government officials, parliamentarians and economic experts from across the Gulf-MENA region in order to address misperceptions, develop a shared analysis on challenges and identify areas of potential cooperation.

We are looking for a self-starter with excellent project delivery, communication and relationship-building skills. The role will be based in London with regular travel to Europe and the Middle East once Covid-19 travel restrictions are lifted.

You will be a key part of the Forward Thinking team, reporting immediately to the Political Dialogues Director and under the overall supervision of the Director of Forward Thinking.

The Role:  

The role is diverse and requires the ability to learn fast, take initiative and balance independence with teamwork. As one of only three members of the Political Dialogues team you will be expected to assist with all aspects of our work from high-level meetings; preparing for workshops (both online and physical); drafting policy papers, reports of meetings and others pieces of research; and helping the Political Dialogues Director to maintain relationships with the diverse members of our network. You will have the opportunity to contribute to strategy, policy and learning across Forward Thinking’s projects in the Middle East – Gulf region.

Your main duties at Forward Thinking will include:

  • Assisting in the delivery of all aspects of the Helsinki Policy Forum. This requires developing liaising with government officials, parliamentarians and economic experts across Europe and the Gulf-MENA region.
  • Assisting in delivery of the Women’s Parliamentary Network and the Helsinki Policy Forum’s working groups. This will require both organising regular meetings, report writing and liaising with participants to develop the agenda for further activities.
  • Assisting in the delivery of our work in Tunisia by organising the logistics, keeping records of attendance at meetings, gathering feedback from participants and ensuring accurate report of all meetings.
  • Supporting all aspects of the Political Dialogues programme to ensure it is making progress towards its overall aims.

Required Skills and competencies 

  • Experience of project delivery, proven ability to manage competing priorities and a track record of delivering on ambitious targets.
  • Experience of developing /delivering monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) approaches.
  • Fluency in English and excellent written and spoken communications; experience of drafting papers and concept notes with the ability to write concisely, persuasively and to tailor your writing to a range of different audiences.
  • Strong working knowledge of the Middle East and Gulf.
  • A commitment to, and respect for, facilitating inclusive dialogue with groups holding highly diverse political, religious and ideological views.
  • Undergraduate degree in a related field (politics, history, languages, political sciences etc.) or relevant experience.
  • Excellent relationship building skills, with an ability to navigate the different approaches required to engage political, religious, civil society and governmental stakeholders.
  • Strategic thinking, with the skills to initiate and build new partnerships and source funding opportunities.
  • Able to prioritise effectively to tight deadlines and manage logistical and strategic responsibilities;
  • A ‘can-do’ attitude, with excellent problem-solving skills and ability to respond calmly and flexibly in a fast-paced and conflict-affected environment.
  • Experience in budget management desirable.
  • Knowledge of Arabic desirable.
  • Several years work experience desirable.

Contract type and Salary

This will be a fixed term contract for one year, including a period of probation. The position will be full time. Salary will be £23,000 – £27,000 subject to experience.

How to apply

Please write to harry.higginson@forward-thinking.org with your CV and short covering letter (no more than two sides of A4) explaining your interest in the position and why you would be well suited to the role. Please put in the subject line of your email: Helsinki Policy Forum Application.

Application period

Applications will be accepted from today until the 8th April 2021 at midnight. Any applications received outside of this period will not be considered.

Interviews and start date

Applicants we would like to interview, will be invited to an online interview in the week of the 12th of April.

The process will also involve a short aptitude test, also planned in the week of the 12th. More details will be sent to the candidates who are invited to take part.

Successful candidates from the first round would then be invited for an in-person interview in London (subject to Covid-19 conditions). Interviews would be held in a Covid-secure environment. An appointment will be made on the basis of these interviews.

Due to the high volume of applications we expect to receive, we will not write individually to unsuccessful candidates. If you do not hear from us by the 16th April, please assume you have been unsuccessful on this occasion.