Unit Manager, Goal Unit Equal – Championing Civic Space

Do you want to fight for equality? Tackling inequality at its roots, together with colleagues, our partner organizations and activists in more than 90 countries? To change the systems behind it, once and for all!

Oxfam Novib stands behind the people who stand up for equality. Together, we fight for a world where everyone has equal opportunities, regardless of gender, ethnicity or skin color. A world where everyone feels safe; where income gaps are shrinking instead of growing, where climate change is tackled in a firmer and more honest way.

Equality is the common thread throughout our activities and projects, but also internally. We are aware that our team of colleagues can be even more diverse and that having a diverse team is the only way to see the world from a broad perspective. To obtain a multi-voiced team, we are therefore calling in particular on women, members of the BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities, or people with disabilities to apply for this job.

Apply and become part of Oxfam Novib!

Program Department

The Championing Civic Space (CCS) unit is part of the Oxfam Novib’s Programs Department working towards an inclusive (Equal), secure (Safe), equitable (Fair) and sustainable (Green) world in an efficient and effective manner, ensuring high quality. Feminist principles and social inclusion are leading its work. Civic space, gender justice and conflict sensitivity are mainstreamed. Our programs are driven by the voice of the people whose lives we seek to impact in order to achieve systemic changes.

CCS Unit

Together with the Equal Rights for All unit, the CCS unit works on the Equal change goal, with the aim that “Every individual has equal rights and opportunities, and space to be heard, in an inclusive society over-riding differences such as gender, sexual orientation, ability, age, education, class, race, ethnicity or caste, religion and/or geography. A just and sustainable future where safe and vibrant spaces allow all people to hold the powerful to account and present their solutions to societal issues.”

The CCS unit thrives on civil society rights and civic space, creating safe (digital) spaces, supporting civil society and movements and activist-human rights defenders in particular, to amplify the voices of the most marginalized and excluded in their struggle for an accountable State and a responsible Private Sector. This is a voice and rights-based goal, where we will work with partners to actively defend, reclaim, and expand civic space, bring the voice of impacted people to the table, and contribute to holding government and private/financial sector accountable. We accompany Oxfam country teams and partners in navigating civic space effectively.

Almost all Oxfam Novib’s projects and programs – across the world – are confronted with shrinking civic space and a decline of democracy. It results in increasingly challenging conditions for our operations and limiting our humanitarian assistance. It is affecting both our programs and our partners, especially Human Rights Defenders and activists while there is decreased funding for civic space and governance work.

Job description of the manager

  • Manages and is responsible for the CCS Unit’s team, portfolio and deliverables, including annual plans, reports and budget aligned with Oxfam Novib’s mission/vision;
  • Leads civic space related strategy development, design and implementation of projects, ensuring high quality, for building and sharing knowledge, expertise and innovation;
  • Leads on the content on civic space for Oxfam (Novib’s) influencing and campaigns agenda;
  • Responsible to engage with and raise funds from institutional donors for the respective projects to achieve their goals;
  • Proactively participates in external and internal (Oxfam) thematic networks and signals developments relevant for the unit for improved strategies and ways of working;
  • Responsible for radical mainstreaming of civic space in all projects and contributes pro-actively to strategic goals and programs of the organization and ensures cross unit connection and engagement;
  • Leads external visibility and representation of Oxfam in the Netherlands and on global level by participating in relevant networks, influencing work and decision making;
  • Manages performance of staff in the CCS team on high quality output and fosters professional and personal development.

Who are we looking for?

We encourage everybody to apply. At Oxfam Novib we welcome everyone with equal enthusiasm – regardless of race, colour, age, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, disability or veteran status. We strive for diversity, we fight for equality, and we want to be inclusive!


  • Have thorough knowledge and understanding of the delicacy of (online and offline) civic space work and networks to strategically guide both the standalone and the mainstreaming work;
  • Have academic thinking and working level, in a field relevant for the unit (human rights/governance/civic space/etc.);
  • Have relevant (senior) management experience, preferably in an international organisation and context for 5+ years;
  • Have a proven track record in leading and motivating teams in complex matrix organisations. Be a strong people manager, able to manage staff remotely and from different cultural backgrounds;
  • Have a sound understanding of project & financial management in a development organization, as well as grantmaking to different kind to civil society actors;
  • Have proven affinity with feminist principles and shifting power to the Global South;
  • Are entrepreneurial, an excellent and pro-active connector and communicator who leads in building relationships, motivating and engaging others and can represent the organisation externally;
  • Have excellent written & spoken English and Dutch, other languages are welcomed.

Working at Oxfam Novib

  • All our work is guided by our core values: Empowerment, Accountability, Inclusiveness, Courage, Solidarity and Equality.
  • At Oxfam Novib, we work according to the Feminist Principles – Oxfam Policy & Practice.
  • Oxfam Novib is committed to offer you a motivating work environment at our offices in The Hague. We offer a one-year contract from start (including a 1-month trial period), with the possibility to extend.
  • Oxfam Novib offers an attractive and honest benefits package, including a year-end allowance and yearly pay increase from the Collective Labor Agreement. Moreover, we offer complementary options to choose from. The salary range for this position is set in scale 11 with a salary range between €3.893,- and €5.989,- gross based on 36 hours a week.
  • Oxfam Novib is based on the power of difference. That is why we aim to attract a diverse mix of talented people who share our standards, values and principles, and who are committed to prevent and eliminate any type of misconduct.
  • We have an active policy against sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse, any form of abuse of power or lack of integrity and financial misconduct. This subject will be covered in our application and selection process.

Additional information

  • Do you believe that this is the job you are looking for? Then we would love to meet you! Please send your resume and cover letter via our application portal.
  • If you have questions regarding the position, please contact Mariska Bodewes, Corporate Recruiter Interim;
  • Only applications received before the closing date 2nd October 2023 and submitted via our application portal will be considered.
  • Interviews will take place in week 41.
  • This job opening is posted internally and externally, simultaneously. Internal candidates are given preference if they are sufficiently qualified or can be obtained in short term. We believe it’s important in our organization that our employees are offered maximum opportunities for growth in new themes and competencies. Priority for internal candidates supports this.
  • At the time of a contract offer, it is necessary for Oxfam Novib to request valid references. Our candidates will be subject to appropriate screening checks, including criminal records and terrorism, financial checks or integrity screenings/references.
  • Oxfam Novib reserves the right, to its sole discretion, not to make agreements regarding this job opening, make an agreement in a lower level, or make an agreement with an amended job description.
  • We are currently working hybrid (50% in the office in The Hague and 50% at home).
  • Qualified candidates residing in the Netherlands, or other EU/EEA countries and who are willing to relocate to the Netherlands at their own expense and responsibility, are encouraged to apply.
  • Qualified candidates residing outside of the EU/EEA who are willing to relocate to the Netherlands at their own expense and responsibility, are encouraged to apply.
  • Oxfam Novib is unable to provide visa sponsorship at this time.