Thematic Specialist Vertical/Social Accountability (m/f/d) At Transparency International


Transparency International is a global movement with one vision: a world in which government, business, civil society and the daily lives of people are free of corruption. With more than 100 chapters worldwide and an international secretariat in Berlin, we are leading the fight against corruption to turn this vision into reality.


The Transparency International Secretariat (TI-S) is currently seeking a Thematic Specialist on social/vertical accountability to join the Research & Knowledge Team.

Strengthening Accountability Networks among Civil Society (SANCUS) is an EIDHR grant worth 5 million Euros over three years, from January 2021 to December 2023. It involves four TI chapters as co-applicants and a network of CSOs in seventeen other countries, with extensive sub-granting of 3.8 million Euros. SANCUS aims to improve democratic accountability of public institutions globally by empowering CSOs to demand systemic change to address accountability and anti-corruption deficits. SANCUS will be steered by a Global Management Team at TI-S, composed of a Project Thematic Lead, a Project Manager, two Thematic Specialists, a Technology Specialist, a Finance Specialist, a Communications and Visibility Specialist and a Research Project Associate.

A full-time Thematic Specialist is needed to lead the global level activities under the SANCUS grant related to strengthening vertical accountability mechanisms between public authorities and non-state actors. Specifically, this will involve supporting initiatives by civil society organisations and citizens to improve the openness of institutions, broaden public participation, and make policy and budgetary processes more responsive to public needs. The Thematic Specialist on social/vertical accountability will be the first port of call when it comes to developing, coordinating and guiding the implementation of citizen mobilisation strategies as part of the SANCUS project.


Role Purpose: The Thematic Specialist will lead the development of knowledge materials and methodologies, provide thematic support to TI chapters and quality control of project outputs in the area of vertical/social accountability.

Team: Research & Knowledge Team

Reporting Line: Head of Research & Knowledge

Salary Band: salary according to TI-S internal salary structure; for this position corresponding to band PF2 a salary starting EUR 40,000.00 gross per year depending on relevant experience

Starting Date: 1 June 2021 / as soon as possible

Contract Duration: Currently we can offer an employment contract limited for a duration of 2 years.

Working Hours: full time [100%; 40 hours per week]

Location: Transparency International Secretariat (TI-S), Berlin/Germany



Based in the Research & Knowledge Team and reporting to the Head of Research & Knowledge, the Thematic Specialist will:

  • Lead the development of knowledge materials, tools and research methodologies to meet the project objectives in the area of social/vertical accountability
  • Provide thematic support to TI’s national chapters to guide their work in the following areas:

1) Scrutinising, tracking, and demanding transparency and accountability in the development and implementation of public policies and budget processes

2) Promoting and/or monitoring of the engagement and participation of citizens, in particular of underrepresented groups, in policy and budget processes

3) Mobilising civil society actors to demand government responsiveness, meaningful reforms, access to information, as well as credible and effective sanctions to hold duty-bearers accountable for corruption

4) Supporting citizen action filing complaints and follow up on specific cases, through whistleblowing mechanisms, legal protection, case management, and awareness raising

  • Produce and disseminate original materials, with a special emphasis on vertical accountability to support project outputs and deliverables, including the production of research briefs and the provision of on-demand support via the Anti-Corruption Helpdesk
  • Identify, promote and facilitate the scaling-up of proven social accountability approaches
  • Provide quality control of SANCUS output related to vertical accountability and oversee the development of relevant knowledge materials by chapters
  • Design and convene dedicated skills training for national chapters in the areas listed above, as well as providing thematic support based on needs identified in chapters’ peer-exchange plans
  • Generate ideas, develop concept notes/proposals, and activities that are aligned with organisational priorities
  • Contribute to day-to-day work implementation, including work planning, budget management, monitoring, and reporting, ensuring that all phases are consistent with the design and delivery schedule and internal processes and procedures
  • Stay abreast of developments relating to the area of work and be available to respond to on-demand internal and external stakeholder needs
  • Represent the organisation at relevant fora within area of expertise as needed; build relationships and form alliances with external counterparts, communities of practice and stakeholders
  • Contribute to the overall functioning of the Research & Knowledge Team by providing proactive and ad hoc support where necessary


In order to succeed in this role, candidates will need to meet the following:

  • Masters or equivalent in a relevant field of the social sciences, such as political science, sociology, economics, public administration or a related field
  • 5+ years of relevant professional experience in social research with a track record of producing operationally and policy relevant research on issues related to social accountability, citizen participation and community monitoring
  • Substantive experience in research coordination in a multi-country/international setting, with a proven ability to adapt approaches to different local contexts and country-specific accountability challenges
  • Experience in providing training, technical assistance and quality control on projects related to vertical/social accountability, preferably in a multi-country/comparative context, with excellent attention to detail
  • Strong knowledge and experience in the design, customisation and roll out of accountability and anti-corruption practical knowledge resources, as well as fostering peer learning and knowledge-sharing
  • Demonstrated organisational and project management skills and the ability to successfully manage priorities in a dynamic and fast paced environment
  • Solid writing, editing and communication skills
  • Ability to work in a team as well as independently, particularly at distance communication
  • Professional language proficiency in written and spoken English, additional languages (in particular Spanish and/or other languages) an asset
  • Proven commitment to social justice issues and the values of Transparency International


Joining the Transparency International Secretariat candidates can expect:

  • the opportunity to become part of the global movement against corruption and make a positive contribution to the work of TI in the field of transparency and accountability working on a wide range of relevant and challenging issues
  • a role with purpose, working in a team of engaged and enthusiastic colleagues experts in the field of anti-corruption and driven and united by the desire to fight corruption and achieve significant and large-scale replicable impact
  • an inspiring, stimulating, dynamic, flexible and international working environment with peers representing 45+ different nationalities and Getting Things Done (GTD) approach to work
  • a high degree of collaboration and autonomy in a lean and agile organisation with flat hierarchies, streamlined decision- making processes and a shared leadership culture with servant leadership philosophy
  • ample opportunities to learn and grow, from annual team training allowances to onsite professional development opportunities, including regular Show & Tell meetings, Jours Fixes/Flexes and brown bag lunches with visiting experts

Staff at TI-S enjoy a competitive compensation & benefits package designed for staff well-being and work life balance, incl.:

  • a relocation package incl. sponsorship of work permit if needed and financial contribution to German language classes
  • generous time off with 30 days of annual leave per year and flexible working times around core hours
  • organisational access to the employee assistance programme PME offering support in various areas
  • Sodexo Restaurant Checks with plenty of options nearby the office for reduced prices for meals
  • selection of fruits and hot drinks, summer and winter parties, and ‚Social Fridays’ with complimentary snacks and drinks
  • free health sessions (e.g. back pain prevention) as well as reduced membership fees with Urban Sports Club
  • a centrally located office in a vibrant metropolitan city with excellent public transportation connectivity at the river Spree


To learn more about Transparency International please visit our website and follow us on social media:






How to apply

Interested candidates are invited to submit a CV and cover letter (max. two pages each, mentioning also the source of the application) in English, merged into one PDF file, via the online recruitment system at…

clicking on the button ‘Apply Online’.

Closing date for applications is Sunday, 25 April 2021.

Only applications duly completed and received through the online recruitment system will be considered.

The Transparency International Secretariat is committed to creating an inclusive work environment where diversity is valued and where there is equality of opportunity. We actively seek a diverse applicant pool and therefore welcome applications from qualified candidates of all regions, countries, cultures and backgrounds. Existing permission to work in Germany is not a selection criterion and TI-S supports successful candidates in the process for applying for a work permit, if needed.

Selection of staff is made on a competitive basis and we do not discriminate on the basis of national origin, race, colour or ethnic background, religious belief, sex, gender identity and expression or sexual orientation, marital or family status, age or ability. We kindly ask applicants to refrain from including in their application information relating to the above as well as from attaching photos.


Please note that Transparency International does not charge any fees at any stage of its recruitment and selection process (whether at application, processing, testing, interviewing, traveling or otherwise). In addition, TI does not require or need to know any information relating to the bank account details of applicants.

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September 2023