Digital Specialist

Region: Global
Office: Global Office, The Hague
Hours: 36
Apply before: September 6, 2019

We are currently seeking to appoint a progressive, creative and ambitious Digital Specialist to join our team of change-makers in The Hague, the Netherlands.

Hivos is developing a Digital Futures Agenda, which aims to future-proof our work in light of digitalization and datafication. To work towards green and open societies, we want to be more aware of and better understand the implications of developments in digital technology and data.

The aim is to actively shape these developments in tune with our mission and to become smarter in working with data and digital technologies ourselves.

Major issues that we anticipate include securing basic human rights in a context of shrinking civic space and increasing threats and infringement of these rights through applications of machine learning, algorithmic decision-making, surveillance and commercial use of personal data. At the same time, we see the new potential to advance sustainability, participation, equality and accountability, when developed, governed and used responsibly.

Internally, the aim of the agenda is to ensure – by design – that we improve on existing and develop new staff capacities, get new knowledge and new competencies in-house to contribute to program development as well as present a clear intervention strategy and focus for Hivos. This will all contribute to making sharper choices for future program development. The departure point for this sharper focus is the current idea that we need to make decisions in three areas;

– Do digitization developments warrant a programmatic change for Hivos and hence a specific approach or thematic focus in the area of “Digitization and its effects on Human Rights” under the Open Society program?

– How do we improve and embed the opportunities and challenges of “the digitization agenda” in current and future programming within the Open and Green society domains?

– How do we make Hivos as an organization and Hivos staff more digital savvy and prepared for the challenges and opportunities that digitization brings?

The focus of the position is in the areas 1 and 2 mentioned above are both external:  establishing strategic goals, scoping new fields, and internal: advising the Executive Board (EB), Program Directors (PDs) and Hub Directors and their staff on program opportunities as well as advising EB on how to improve Hivos staff digital literacy.

We are looking for a Digital Specialist (DS), who can take the current Agenda draft and take the lead on further design, ownership, and implementation throughout the organization, in close cooperation with colleagues around the globe. The DS will be embedded in our Strategy, Knowledge Innovation & Learning (SKIL) team and function as a full member of this global support unit. S/he will directly report to the Coordinator SKIL; advise the EB and Management Team (MT )and closely collaborate with the global Program Development Managers (PDMs) and relevant programs (such as Digital Defenders Partnership) in our OPEN and GREEN departments and Hubs

Your responsibilities

Strategy design & implementation

– Formulate strategic advice to the organization on the Digital Futures Agenda and implement options (including staffing, investment priorities)

– Co-lead and facilitate inclusive consultations across the organization

– Lead capacity building needs assessment

– Identify new avenues of work and collaboration supporting the vision of Open & Green Societies

– Support PDs and PDMs in developing a portfolio and R&D to road test and showcase Digital Futures Agenda.

Direct support & Capacity building in support of digital agenda:

– To EB and MT to enable decisions making

– To PDMs for program development

– To teams implementing Idea Accelerator projects

– On-demand, to global Hivos staff through SKIL direct support services

Outreach & Positioning

– Identify and integrate frontrunners outside OECD countries

– Network and build relationships

– Co-develop global advocacy agenda

Your profile

The DS is a technologist who connects critical theory with practice from a global perspective. You are on top of your game and understand current technological as well as related political, cultural and social developments and their potential future implications for open and green societies. You have a critical and analytical view of current and future policy and governance issues from a human rights and social justice angle. You also fully understand the sustainability implications of digital technologies, which are of major interest to Hivos.


– A minimum of seven years’ experience and broad network in the social good sector. You understand the current trends in technology and international development and are well connected to key players.

– Experience with digital transformation of international organizations of a comparable size to Hivos. You have previously (co-) led similar processes in a similar context.

– You have a track record of leading and implementing social good projects with extensive technological components (from both the programming and the project management side).

– Relevant professional experience.

Skill set

The ideal candidate will:

– combine in-depth domain expertise and critical thinking with a concrete, practical, mission-driven project development perspective

– be able to fully understand digital technologies and how they work (as shown e.g. by the ability to reverse-engineer by analyzing a tech solution and infer the building blocks and logic that it’s composed of)

– be able to ‘translate’ between technologists, development practitioners and social justice activists

– Be an excellent communicator, in writing and orally, in English and, preferably, Dutch and/or Spanish

– be capable of designing and communicating a long-term, multi-year digital transformation strategy,

– have very strong collaborative skills: ability to lead co-creation processes with peers in order to deliver the strategy

– be service-minded and a strong leader by example

What we offer

We offer a stimulating work environment in a professional international organization with very dedicated staff. Employment is offered as soon as possible for the period of one year. The salary will be determined by your experience: in salary scale 12 with a minimum of € 4069, 85 and a maximum of € 5180, 03 gross per month, based on a 36-hour workweek. Travel costs are compensated in accordance with Hivos Regulations. We offer participation in the pension fund.

About Hivos

Hivos is an international organization that seeks new solutions to persistent global issues. With smart projects in the right places, we oppose discrimination, inequality, abuse of power and the unsustainable use of our planet’s resources. Counterbalance alone, however, is not enough. Our primary focus is achieving structural change. This is why we cooperate with innovative businesses, citizens and their organizations. We share a dream with them of sustainable economies and inclusive societies.

Please apply before September 6, 2019. Please submit both a letter of motivation and resume in English to Hivos via e-mail to with reference code: 500-02 in the subject line

Both a statement of conduct (VOG) and a minimum of three references will be checked prior to entering into service at Hivos.

Direct applications only. No recruiters, please.