Program Assistant- Political Incidence, Rights and Social Participation (m/f/d)

Panama City, Republic of Panama
Deadline for application

September 10, 2021

Organization Description

In 2019, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) established the FSC Indigenous Foundation (FSC- IF) as the operational office of the Permanent Indigenous Peoples Committee (PIPC). The FSC-IF is a private interest foundation in accordance with Law No. 25 of June 12, 1995 of the Republic of Panama. The mission of FSC-IF is to enable an enabling environment to guarantee the rights of Indigenous Peoples and promote sustainable forest-based solutions within 300 million hectares of indigenous forests on the planet. The vision is that Indigenous Peoples' global values, rights, livelihoods, ecosystem services, natural capital and communities are incorporated into forest governance, climate change governance and market systems.

Indigenous Peoples' Alliance for Rights and Development

The FSC-IF is the implementing partner of the five-year Global Development Alliance (GDA) program funded by USAID and FSC: Indigenous Peoples Alliance for Rights and Development (IPARD). The IPARD Program is guided by three development objectives:

Objective 1: To organize and convene a capacity building program for Indigenous Peoples' organizations and stakeholders;

Objective 2: To foster an enabling environment for the recognition, effective participation and joint decision-making by Indigenous Peoples in matters affecting them; and;

Objective 3: Promote the sustainable development of Indigenous Peoples based on sustainable economic models.

IPARD uses three interconnected approaches to support Indigenous Peoples in overcoming their development challenges:

A.         Multi-Sectoral Approach (MSA): under the strategic guidance of IPARD's Steering Committee (SC), the Program convenes and leverages the expertise of multi-sectoral partners to ensure that the needs of Indigenous communities are considered across a wide range of sectors.

B.         Country-Focused Approach (CFA): IPARD's programmatic strategy is guided by a country-focused approach, driven by specific national contexts related to Indigenous Peoples. IPARD implements a structured process to identify, evaluate and select countries for its programs. FSC-IF works in conjunction with the IPARD Steering Committee, and according to the guidelines of the multi-sectoral approach, in order to select countries and identify key priorities and strategies. 

C.         Indigenous Project Management Approach (IPMA): Leveraging FSC-IF's networks and relationships with Indigenous leaders and organizations around the world, IPARD seeks ongoing dialogue, consultation, and feedback with Indigenous Peoples to inform the Program. IPARD supports a forum through which the FSC-IF Indigenous Foundation serves as a bridge between Indigenous Peoples, technical partners, national governments, and the private sector. IPARD invests in best practice conservation and effective approaches and methodologies to ensure strategic cohesion of partnerships at various levels.

Through these three approaches, IPARD aims to empower Indigenous Peoples' organizations and catalyze an enabling environment where Indigenous Peoples can pursue their development.

Objectives of the Position

The Political Incidence Assistant for the IPARD Program assists the Program Lead for Political Incidence, Rights and Social Participation to ensure the  smooth and efficient implementation for Objective 2 of the IPARD program.

Key Responsibilities

  • Support the Program Lead on Objective No. 2 to stay informed of geopolitical events with potential impact on the performance and results of the IPARD’s activities  in the region and countries.
  • Manage and ensure timely reporting on partnership initiatives linked to IPARD activities in focus countries.
  • Provide advice and guidance related to international organizations initiatives towards rights and development of Indigenous Peoples at the global, regional and  national level, including  taking into consideration their perspectives on matters pertaining to funding and engagement, including shared value engagement and issues in support of Indigenous Peoples.
  • Serve as advisor on matters pertaining to Indigenous Peoples engagement, partnerships and fund leveraging within other stakeholders.
  • Act as focal point to manage working groups, task forces, special projects and other strategic and management tasks as and when required related to activities on Objective 2.
  • Serve and support in matters that may arise and require senior leadership, including to ensure that financial resources are managed efficiently and are matching with operational requirements.
  • Provide technical advice on the design and implementation of public policy and advocacy related to Indigenous Peoples and their inclusive development and social participation across the IPARD Program and country projects through high levels of influence and engagement for policy work.
  • Support and lead assessments and analysis at the country level on the effectiveness of constitutional, legal, policy and institutional frameworks oriented to recognize and protect the rights and inclusion of Indigenous Peoples and develop alliances to design and implement actions for improving Indigenous Peoples’ capacity to participate and influence national-­‐level decision making systems.
  • Help to develop advocacy approaches to improve the institutional capacity of Indigenous People Organizations (IPOs) and other pertinent stakeholders to engage with relevant policymakers, collaborate and influence the establishment of legal and policy frameworks in favor of Indigenous Peoples, and improve accountability, transparency, and information on Indigenous Peoples policies.
  • Work in collaboration with other IPARD’s Strategic Objectives, including Capacity Development and Inclusion and Indigenous Economy and Partnership, in the development and establishment of capacity programs and social learning approaches to improve knowledge and practices of IPOs on human rights, advocacy, campaign, and data management and decision making tools for policy designing and policy decision-making.
  • Monitor and inform program team and partners of the international and national policy landscape by developing clear, consistent, and coherent reporting informed by high quality analysis, policy briefings, recommendations, and positions related to program’s objectives and priorities.
  • Oversee grantees and contractors in the area of his/her responsibility ensuring timely, consistent, and adequate compliance with the work plans, budget, and FSC-­IF performance management system related to IPARD Program and USAID.
  • Participate in coordination meetings, conference calls and workshops with staff and consultants, possible trips to target countries.
  • Provides support in preparation of global, regional and other webinars, prepares invitations, prepares lists of contacts, and follows up on preparation tasks.
  • Carry out other specific operational tasks for project implementation as requested.

Key Areas of Requirements

  • Education: Bachelor's degree in Social Sciences or areas related to the Program´s objectives.
  • Field experience working or living with indigenous communities is desirable.   
  • Good interpersonal communication and coordination, organizational, and planning skills.
  • Experience working with International NGOs is desirable.
  • Experience in handling MS Office, communication platforms (Zoom, Teams, Google Meet and others), and other software. 
  • Demonstrated cultural awareness and sensitivity to the diversity of values, views and approaches to issues relevant to the FSC-IF.
  • Ability to respond adequately and efficiently to pressure meeting deadlines.
  • Candidates deeply familiar with Indigenous Peoples culture and communities or a native member of an Indigenous Peoples preferred. Strong oral and written communication in English and Spanish, presentation, and negotiation skills.

Terms and Conditions

Organization:  FSC Indigenous Foundation (FSC-IF)

Location: Panama City, Republic of Panama

Reporting to: IPARD Program Lead, Political Incidence, Rights and Social Participation

Work Percentage: 100%

Expected Start DateOctober 15, 2021

How to Apply

Please submit your application by September 24, 2021 (5:00pm Panama) to :

  • CV (2 page maximum)
  • Cover letter (one page maximum) including: (a) your motivation; (b) salary proposal); and (c) two professional references (name, position, organization, email, and phone)


We are looking forward to your application!