Program Executive for Diakonia / Churches and SDGs

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has an opening in its Geneva offices for a






Starting date:  as soon as possible

Closing date for applications:  17 November 2019

Duration of contract:  initial contract of 5 years

Extensive travel of more than 20 days per year

Candidates for this position require a church endorsement



The Department for Theology, Mission and Justice (DTMJ) is primarily responsible for programs and themes geared towards supporting the presence and witness of the member churches (MCs) of the Lutheran World Federation – a Communion of Churches (LWF) globally and locally.  DTMJ also houses the advocacy unit of the LWF.

DTMJ develops and inspires theological reflection that articulates the understanding of being Lutheran churches in communion. It discerns and addresses issues that represent theological challenges to the churches today and require global reflection. It supports, equips and strengthens LWF MCs in holistic mission.

DTMJ programs are related to Theological Studies, Church in Mission and Action for Justice and cover a wide area of themes, among them building the capacity of member churches on humanitarian responses, migration projects, UN SDGs agenda and partnerships, and member church development projects.

The purpose of the work done by the team “Churches in Mission” is to support, equip and strengthen LWF MCs in their holistic mission through reinforcing their leadership capacities and organizational / structural development, including youth and women.

The purpose of the position is to lead, in coordination within the wider program Diakonia and Development, the program named “Waking the Giant – Churches’ involvement in the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development”, an ecumenical multi-country program. This program aims at strengthening churches’ capacity to effectively contribute to the achievement of the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development, together with ecumenical actors. It is implemented with global and local ecumenical partners, and covers a wide range of themes such as good health and well-being (SDG3), quality education (SDG4), gender equality (SDG5), reduced inequality (SDG10) and peace, justice and strong institutions (SDG16).

The program is continuously being developed and funding is being raised on an on-going basis. The initial three-year phase was initiated in 2018 and includes work in four countries. In the long term, the aim is to expand the program to more countries.

Required Qualifications

  • University degree or equivalent in development studies, social studies or other relevant field.
  • Knowledge of the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development and related processes.
  • Working knowledge and/or experience in developing country and first-hand knowledge of LWF member churches or other churches within the ecumenical movement.
  • Excellent written and spoken English and ideally working knowledge in Spanish. Working knowledge of further LWF languages is an asset.

Additional Study and Experience

  • Proven international experience in positions involving project/ program planning, management and administration in the area of development with churches, mission societies, related agencies or ecumenical organizations.
  • Experience in making contribution to applied research.
  • Experience in working with the UN structures as well as multilateral and/or bilateral donors.
  • Advanced skills in monitoring and reporting; ability to comply with stringent requirements of multiple donors.
  • Problem-solving skills, initiative and empathy.
  • People management skills.

Supervises national Coordinators in up to seven countries (four effective in 2019) – no direct management line.

LWF Core Skills

  • Initiative – level high
  • Working effectively with others – level high
  • Leadership – level confirmed
  • Analytical thinking – level confirmed
  • Achieving results – level confirmed
  • Accountability – level confirmed

Required Skills

  • Project management – level high
  • Communication / networking – level high
  • Facilitation / Negotiation – level high
  • Innovation – level confirmed
  • Resources management / fundraising – level confirmed
  • Advocacy – level confirmed


Position Environment and Dimensions

Waking the Giant” is a complex and innovative multi-stakeholder, multi-country and multi-donor initiative. The program potentially attracts the interest of actors beyond the traditional partners of LWF, creating visibility of the work of DTMJ and the churches among governmental and intergovernmental actors. Reporting to the Program Executive for Diakonia & Development in charge of diakonal activities in member churches, the incumbent will liaise with the following persons:

Internally, interacts with the team of Churches in Mission-DTMJ, with National Program Coordinators in the target countries (four in 2019), with the internal Head of Advocacy, with communication staff, Resources Mobilisation and PMER coordinators and other Program staff in DTMJ, as well as with regional secretaries.

Externally, interacts and cooperates with MCs, donors and related agencies, ecumenical organizations (in particular ACT), UN, NGOs, any other LWF stakeholders concerned


Main Duties

Organisational Development Support

Supervises the implementation of program activities in the target countries done by National Coordinators. Leads the implementation of global activities related to the program, in consultation with ACT and in coordination with other DTMJ programs and other departments of the Communion Office.

Subject Expertise

Provides the overall coordination for the respective program work under her/his responsibility, including conceptual and methodological development.

Ensures the program is theologically rooted and advocacy oriented. Liaises with the Head of Advocacy for consistency.

Provides subject expertise to LWF MCs, WS country programs, and other CO departments.

Facilitates knowledge / practice sharing and collaborative processes with faith-based, ecumenical, or thematic-relevant organizations.



Ensures a proactive, high-quality and appropriate communication flow with all internal / external stakeholders and various audiences, particularly ecumenical organizations and global partners.

In cooperation with the LWF Office for Communication provides content material for and promotes news stories relating to the portfolio.

Develops and updates content for the Waking the Giant website.

Project Management, Fundraising and PMER

Establishes a monitoring system for the program, coordinates monitoring activities in target countries and globally with the cooperation of the DTMJ PMER Coordinator.

Produces regular progress reports on the program as per donor and internal LWF requirements.

Coordinates the budgeting process of the program in collaboration with the DTMJ Finance Coordinator, ensures financial monitoring, expenses approval, and financial reporting of the program.

Leads the communication with funding partners regarding the program. Coordinates further fund-raising efforts for the program, in collaboration with the DTMJ Resource Mobilization Coordinator.

People Management

Creates a conducive environment for the team with proven people management good practices.

Ability to facilitate relationships of political nature, both ecumenical, governments and the UN.

Special Duties

As may be assigned by the supervisor.

Major Challenges

This function implies coordination between a large variety of actors, related agencies (funding partners), churches and ecumenical actors as well as the UN and government in different geographical regions. The pilot nature of the program requires the incumbent to balance new opportunities with high quality and implementation of ongoing processes.

To apply, click on the following link: