Consultant – Citizen Observer Program Manager

The Carter Center is guided by a fundamental commitment to promote human rights, alleviate human suffering, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health conditions. The Center seeks a highly-qualified, motivated and energetic consultant with extensive experience working with Civil Society Organizations to serve as a Citizen Observer (CO) Program Manager in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Start date: As soon as possible.

Location: Kinshasa, DRC (with potential internal travel within the country)

Length of assignment: 1 year, with the possibility of extension.


The Center’s overarching goal in DRC is to promote accountability, transparency and respect for human rights through strengthening the capacities of both civil society actors and government institutions. In 2007, the Center created the Human Rights House (HRH) in Kinshasa as a vehicle to build a vibrant citizenry to hold the government accountable. Following involvement in the 2011 Presidential and Legislative elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Center began partnering with local civil society organization, Justice and Peace Congo (JPC), to strengthen their capacity to advocate for more credible electoral processes based on international obligations for democratic elections. These activities led up to the JPCs successful large-scale citizen observer deployments throughout the election cycles for the 2018 and 2023 national elections.


Working with The Carter Center in the DRC, the CO Program Manager will supervise CO program staff, ensure proper development and implementation of CO program activities, and work with the SCR and headquarters to enhance donor relationships and secure necessary project funding. The Program Manager will be responsible for advancing the relevant strategies, plans and priorities of the program and providing analysis and advice to the Senior Country Representative and Atlanta Program Staff on programmatic, operational, and substantive issues about the program. In coordination with the Senior Country Representative, this position represents the CO program in the DRC and maintains collaborative relationships with donors, government officials, and representatives of international and local non-governmental organizations.

This position will be based in Kinshasa, with travel to the provinces.

Minimum Qualifications and Requirements

The qualified candidate will have some or all of the following qualifications:

  • Post-graduate degree in law, human rights, international relations or a related field;
  • A minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible experience, including 5 years field experience implementing programs related to governance (preferably election related), electoral reform, civil society strengthening or advocacy; experience working in a post-election transitional context preferred.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including full professional capacity to communicate in both English and French, draft materials in English, and conduct trainings in French.
  • Proven fundraising success and experience working with donors, government officials, international organizations, and local civil society organizations are essential. Proven success drafting successful donor proposals and subsequent reports.
  • Applicant should be well-organized and able to work under pressure and with tight deadlines when necessary.
  • Applicant should possess strong analysis, problem solving, and prioritization skills. Strong interpersonal skills, cross-cultural understanding and the ability to lead and motivate a diverse team are crucial.  Prior training experience highly desirable.
  • Experience working in the DRC or the Great Lakes region.

Key Responsibilities

  • Representation: In close coordination with the SCR, act as the Center’s representative for the Citizen Observation program in the DRC. Maintain productive, strategic relationships with key stakeholders, including government and political leaders, electoral authorities, NGO and civil society leaders, donor contacts, members of the diplomatic community and other critical institutions and groups. Represent The Carter Center with pride, integrity, professionalism, humility, understanding and respect of persons, and sensitivity to local culture and traditions. Be constantly aware that you represent an organization founded by a former President of the United States who believes in working to assist and strengthen our host counterparts.
  • Human Resources Management: Supervise the CO program staff in the DRC including mentoring and preparing them for increased responsibilities. In collaboration with the Senior Country Representative, design performance management plans and engage in periodic performance reviews. Provide support to and collaborate with project staff and consultants. Maintain active awareness of staff needs and engage in staff development efforts. Promote a cooperative work environment and a positive and collaborative work culture. Assist the Senior Country Representative with recruitment of local staff members and expatriate staff and consultants, as needed. 
  • Program Design and Implementation: Provide leadership in the design and implementation of program activities and priorities, in collaboration with the Senior Country Representative and the Associate Director in Atlanta; draft and revise workplans and trainings with input from other project staff. Assist the Senior Country Representative and Atlanta-based program staff in developing new (internal and external) project proposals. Ensure effective and timely delivery of activity plans and their implementation. Monitor quantitative and qualitative data related to project implementation.
  • Strategic Program Leadership: In coordination with the SCR and Atlanta staff, identify areas for new programming initiatives related to decentralization and electoral reform. Assist with developing initiatives and seeking out needed funds. Provide analysis and advice to the Carter Center on important programmatic, operational, and substantive issues.
  • Enhance Program Partnerships: Oversee relationships with program partners including, but not limited to, conducting initial and ongoing technical needs assessment with potential partners; assisting identified civil society organization (CSO) partners with planning and implementing sub-grant projects; supporting identified CSO partners throughout the project by developing and implementing trainings, conducting follow-up, providing continuous mentoring, and identifying and sharing other opportunities for organizational development.
  • Communication and Reporting: Ensure effective and timely coordination and communication between relevant headquarters and field office staff, as well as between field office staff and local civil society partners. Provide timely input to or draft sections of donor reports and other reports as requested by management. Provide regular input to the Senior Country Representative on project and donor developments and opportunities. Draft Carter Center press releases, periodic public statements, and other relevant reports as needed, in consultation with and with the pre-approval of the Senior Country Representative and the Atlanta-based Associate Director. Submit weekly CO field reports to Atlanta and participate in weekly calls with headquarters.
  • Operational Management: Oversee logistical and administrative processes of the CO program. Engage with operational staff, including the Senior Country Representative and Operations Manager, to ensure that all staff members operate in compliance with Congolese laws and regulations, as well as the Center’s code of conduct, policies, and procedures.
  • Financial Management:  Ensure grant compliance. Manage expenditures and forecasts. Assist the Finance Manager and Senior Country Representative with financial reporting. Review and provide input on budgets, as requested. Accept fiduciary responsibility for any Carter Center funds entrusted to you. Safeguard such funds and at all times, expend funds in a fiscally prudent manner and keep adequate financial records.
  • Sub-Grant Management: Ensure development of meaningful sub-grants that are targeted to support development of sub-grantees’ capacities in agreed upon areas. In coordination with Sub-grant Officer, support technical staff and local civil society partners in negotiating and implementing sub-grants. Ensure timely activity implementation and accurate financial reporting for all sub-grantees. Maintain sub-grant files in compliance with the Center’s policies and procedures. Carry out other program-related tasks as required and/or assigned.

Working relationships

As the Citizen Observation (CO) Program Manager in the DRC, contractor will be primarily accountable to Romain Ravet, DRC Senior Country Representative, and Beth Plachta, Democracy Program Associate Director.


Salary is commensurate with experience. Costs associated with international travel as well as accommodation, transportation and communications in DRC are undertaken by The Carter Center.

Applications reviewed on a rolling basis, with a goal of filling the position as soon as possible. To apply, please send a cover letter, CV, references, and salary requirements to When applying, please include “DRC Citizen Observation Program Manager” in the subject line. Only those candidates selected for an interview or additional consideration will be notified by the Center, no phone calls please.