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OKF is hiring! Could you be the person we’re looking for?

October 1, 2010 in News, Open Knowledge Foundation

I’m very pleased to announce that the Open Knowledge Foundation is seeking to create a new, paid role to serve our organisation and community, and to help us respond to the phenomenal growth in interest in all things “open knowledge” we’ve been witnessing this year.

We’re looking for a Project Coordinator, someone with a passion for the mission of the Foundation and an ability to connect with people from many different walks of life – be they civil servants, academics, coders or simply enthusiastic volunteers. You’ll need a proven track record in project management and/or operations (preferably in a technical setting), and you’ll need to feel comfortable in a volunteer-centred, consensus-driven, experimental environment. Your main responsibilities will be to maintain an overview of all live projects where the OKF has direct funding from partners and institutions, reporting to the Board of Directors and using your insight into day-to-day operations to spot opportunities for collaboration across projects and working groups.

The role is initially offered on a part time basis (roughly two days per week) but we anticipate that there will be opportunities to get further involved with the organisation for the right candidate. A full job description and how to apply is posted below, and on the the OKF Coordination Wiki. Deadline for applications is 31 October, and interviews will take place (UK location tbc) in the week beginning 8 November.

And finally, even if this job is not for you, please help spread the word that we’re hiring by flagging this post to your own networks. Thanks!


About the OKF

Founded in 2004, the Open Knowledge Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation promoting open knowledge: that’s any kind of information – sonnets to statistics, genes to geodata – that can be freely used, reused, and redistributed.

We’re community-driven and volunteers are behind everything we do – our network extends to practitioners and experts in chemistry, genetics, archaeology, linguistics, libraries and law. Our infrastructure, software and expertise drives the government’s open data portal, data.gov.uk, as well as the public-spending analysis tool, Where Does My Money Go? We maintain the legal licence that has been chosen to underpin the world’s largest collaborative mapping project, Open Street Map, as well as the servers that drive some of the UK’s most popular parliamentary transparency websites, TheyWorkForYou and PublicWhip. As open knowledge rises up the political agenda across the globe, the Open Knowledge Foundation has seized the opportunity to be the front-running non-partisan partner organisation offering expert advice to a range of actors, including institutions and governments wondering how to open up their knowledge and data, campaigners for transparency in state aid (famrsubsidy.org, IATI) and journalists seeking to make sense of raw spending data released from government (the Guardian).

Job Description

In the newly-created role of Project Coordinator, you will be responsible for:

Maintaining an overview of all live projects where the OKF has direct funding from partners and institutions:

  • Liaising with project managers, keeping track of delivery schedules, cashflow etc and in general making sure the organisation’s exposure to risk is minimised

Reporting quarterly to Board of Directors:

  • Liaising with the Chair’s administrative assistant and the Treasurer to prepare management accounts
  • Liaising with general counsel to flag potential legal issues
  • Working with the Coordination Committee Chair to prepare overview report of network activities.

Using overview of organisational activities to participate in Coordination Committee meetings, a weekly forum for all projects (funded and unfunded) to develop the direction of the OKF’s work:

  • Helping to spot opportunities for different project groups to work together, or to learn from each other’s experiences
  • Highlighting and eliminating process duplication
  • Working with Committee Chair to review ongoing development of Coordination Committee as a networked self-governing body.

Terms

The role is part time (roughly 2 days per week, or up to 10 days per month), offered initially on a fixed term contract of 12 months. However, the Board anticipates further opportunities for the right candidate to get involved with the work of OKF on a day-rate basis, for example:

Undertaking direct project management on several ongoing legal, technical and design projects where the OKF has direct funding from partners and institutions:

  • Creating and executing project work plans and revising as appropriate to meet changing needs and requirements.
  • Managing operational aspects of a project, liaising with a variety of skilled contractors
  • Reviewing deliverables before passing to client, enforcing standards, and maintaining relationship with partners
  • Minimizing the organisation’s exposure and risk
  • Ensuring project documents are complete, current, and stored appropriately
  • Communicating project progress to the OKF community and wider public
  • Tracking and reporting team hours and expenses and managing project budget

Contributing in an ad-hoc fashion to other organisational activities, for example:

  • OKCon, the OKF’s annual Spring conference
  • Fundraising

Salary

Compensation commensurate with experience.

Skills

For the right candidate, the job offers the opportunity to work in a growing, networked organisation with people who are leaders in their respective fields and passionate about the organisation’s mission. The project coordinator is a new position, created in response to the dramatic success of the OKF over the last year. In this sense, the role is ripe for development, and the successful candidate will have a considerable stake in defining it. The project coordinator will be joining the OKF at a crucial time in its development, and will be expected to hit the ground running. OKF is and intends to remain a virtual organisation, with no physical location/offices. As project coordinator, you would therefore be expected to execute your duties remotely, and the Board is looking in particular for examples which show that you are a self-starter.

The Project Coordinator will report to the Board at quarterly meetings, and will be expected to be in regular contact with the Coordination Committee chairman, General Counsel, Treasurer, and Chair of the Board. Two other paid staff members, the Chair’s administrative assistant, and the Community Coordinator, should also be regular contact points. Much of the work required of the project coordinator is currently being handled by the Chair, and so the successful candidate will be expected to work closely with the Chair in the first few months after gaining the position to ensure a successful handover.

The successful candidate will have the following skills:

  • Understanding of and passion for the mission of the Open Knowledge Foundation
  • Self-motivated, ability to work remotely
  • Comfortable in a volunteer-centred, consensus-driven, experimental environment
  • Proven track record in efficient project management, preferably in a technical setting
  • Ability to work with a variety of people from all areas of life: government, NGO sector, coders, designers, academics, volunteers
  • Experience managing budgets
  • Experience preparing management accounts
  • Some fundraising skills desirable, both in academic and grant-giving foundation context

To apply, please send a CV and covering letter to project-coordinator@okfn.org by 31 October 2010. Interviews will be conducted in Cambridge, UK or London, UK (tbc) in the week beginning 8 November 2010.

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