Secretary for Diakonia and Development

Geneva, Switzerland Full-time

Starting date:  January 2018

Work time:  100%

Closing date for applicaitons:  31 August 2017


Basic Purpose

The main thrust of the program of diakonia and development is to accompany member churches toward sustainability and improved quality of their diaconal and development work. It emphasizes diakonia and development both within churches and with member church diaconal and development organizations.

Assists in capacity building of member churches in their efforts to plan, organize and implement diaconal and development programs. Serves as liaison between diaconal/development actors of the member churches and LWF World Service programs in the respective countries and administers the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) scholarships program.

Basic Position Qualifications

  • University degree or equivalent in diakonia or development studies, social studies, administration or other relevant field. Some theological knowledge would be an added advantage.
  • Proven international experience in positions involving project/program planning, organizational development, management and administration in the area related to diakonia and development.
  • Working knowledge and/or experience in a developing country and first-hand knowledge of LWF member churches or other churches, mission society or related agency within the ecumenical movement.
  • Excellent communication and presentation and facilitation skills in workshop/meeting settings.
  • Negotiating skills in political, conflictual and diplomatical settings and capacity to influence.
  • Excellent written and spoken English. Working knowledge of German and/or French and/or Spanish is desirable.
  • Problem-solving skills and empathy.
  • Able to establish good working relationships with a variety of people and culturally sensitive.
  • Demonstrated the ability to work as a team member.
  • Working knowledge of Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint.
  • Good knowledge of educational and/or capacity development needs in member churches and of study and training possibilities in home or other countries.

Years of Experience:  Requirement 3 to 7 years; desirable 8 to 12 years.

Language Knowledge:  Excellent written and spoken English.  Working knowledge of German and/or French and/or Spanish is desirable. 

Travel: Extensive - more than 20 days/year

Position Environment and Dimensions

The Lutheran World Federation, Department for Mission and Development (DMD), seeks a comprehensive approach for the accompaniment of member churches in building capacities for holistic mission encompassing proclamation, diakonia and advocacy for justice. This position is in line with the Lutheran World Federation, Department for Mission and Development (LWF/DMD) policies, procedures, program plan and the LWF cross cutting issues.

LWF member churches have different needs for capacity building as related to the development of their vocation to diaconal and development services. In order to do so, they need structural, conceptual and administrative systems which facilitate their action.

Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and Partnership on Religion and Development provide global environment in which LWF and its members need to work. 

Coordinates/works in close collaboration with: Area Secretaries in the department, other LWF departments (particularly World Service), LWF member churches, funding agencies, educational institutions and ecumenical partner organizations e.g. WCC and ACT Alliance.

Main Duties

  1. Addresses capacity building needs for diaconal and development actors of the member churches and linking them with the LWF.
  2. Administers the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) scholarships and training program for the member churches.
  3. Works as focal point and liaison for LWF World Service and member churches where World Service is active in respective countries. Hence, engages with member churches having diakonia entities and develop the relationships between these churches and the Department for World Service.
  4. Coordinates the planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting of the respective program work.
  5. Coordinates the budgeting process of the program in collaboration with the Secretary for Planning and Finance, ensures monitoring and reporting of the finances of the program and authorizes all expenses of the program.
  6. Supports fundraising efforts in coordination with Planning and Finance.
  7. Promotes the communication and the sharing of information about the respective program work.
  8. Responds to other emerging issues, which have clear relation with the respective program.

Major Challenges

Another challenge is to build bridges of complicated relationships between ecumenical diaconal actors, weak and new diaconal and development actors in many churches, as well as laying theological and structural foundation between diakonia/development and the churches.

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