Program Officer
(Budapest based)


The Open Society Mental Health Initiative (MHI) is a part of the Public Health Program of the Open Society Institute (OSI), based in Budapest. OSI is a private operating and grant making foundation which aims to shape public policy, to promote democratic governance, human rights, and economic, legal, and social reform. On a local level, OSI implements a range of initiatives to support the rule of law, education, public health, and independent media. At the same time, OSI works to build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as combating corruption and rights abuses.

MHI seeks to ensure that people with mental disabilities (mental health problems and/or intellectual disabilities) are able to live as equal citizens in the community and to participate in society with full respect for their human rights. MHI promotes the social inclusion of people with mental disabilities by supporting the development of community-based alternatives to institutionalization and by actively engaging in policy based advocacy. MHI is both a grant making and an operational program, providing training and technical assistance to its partner organizations. MHI operates in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

The Program Officer is involved with program development and implementation and reports to the Program Director. This post is based in Budapest, Hungary.


The following list of responsibilities is not exhaustive and the post holder may be asked to undertake other duties from time to time as requested by the Program Director.

• Works with the Program Director and the other Program Staff on the development and implementation of MHI’s country strategies, including monitoring and evaluation of programs;
• Manages part of MHI’s grant making activities in designated countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Maintains active correspondence with local partners and grantees, reviews grant applications and conducts on-site interviews and monitoring visits throughout MHI’s target region;
• Represents MHI at meetings within the OSI/Soros Foundations network and outside at conferences and other relevant meetings and events;
• Coordinates and/or oversees the development of training events and exchange visits in response to the needs of MHI’s grantees and partners;
• Liaises with OSI programs, National Soros Foundations and other partners and donors with missions congruent to that of MHI;
• Participates and coordinates on-site monitoring and technical assistance visits in collaboration with MHI staff and consultants, including preparation of written reports;
• Assists National Soros Foundations in strategy development, implementation and evaluation, as applicable.
• Develops and coordinates training of MHI partners and other relevant key constituencies crucial to the creation of sustainable mental disability efforts, including but not limited to: donors, medical and public health professionals, public officials and policy makers, lawyers, and National Soros Foundation staff.
• Coordinates MHI’s effort to ensure the sustainability of partner NGOs throughout the region, including assisting in the development of advocacy strategies at the national, European and international levels;
• Develops and oversees calls for proposals and/or grant competitions throughout CEE and the FSU in collaboration with National Soros Foundation and/or other partners.
• Initiates grant contracts and liaises with the Office and Finance Coordinator to complete them.
• Administers all personal financial transactions including cash advances, reimbursements for business expenses and corporate Visa payments.



• Minimum of 3 years relevant work experience in program development and management.
• Graduate degree in law, social work or other relevant field.
• Native or near native skills in oral and written English, Russian and/or other regional languages a plus.
• Excellent analytical and organizational skills.
• Ability to work as a team member and independently, with high level of self-motivation.
• Ability to effectively manage several projects simultaneously in a fast-paced working environment.
• Ability to listen and communicate clearly and effectively with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds.
• Willingness to travel internationally on a frequent basis.
• Demonstrated interest in mental health, human rights and disability issues.
• Excellent computer skills

Preferred Qualifications:

• Knowledge of Central Eastern Europe/former Soviet Union
• Experience in the human rights/mental disability field

START DATE: Immediate opening

TO APPLY: Send curriculum vitae, cover letter, salary requirements, three reference contacts and a maximum 2 page writing sample in English about the relevance of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities to MHI’s work in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union by March 20, 2009 to . In the subject line please indicate Program Officer – MHI.

Further information on the Open Society Mental Health Initiative is available at

OSI is an Equal Opportunity Employer which supports diversity and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, ethnicity, nationality, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation.

Program Officer
Open Society Mental Health Initiative, OSI
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Last Date: March 20, 2009


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