Regional Programme Manager - Young Mediterranean Voices
Middle East North Africa (MENA)
Country / Territory
Education & Society
Job Category
Project Management
Pay Band
Locally appointed Grade E
Vacancy Description
Contract Type: FTC 2 years Location: Beirut, Lebanon Pay Band 8/E (Locally appointed) Salary: 5,627,140 LBP / medical insurance / annual leave Closing date: 16 December 2018
Role Purpose

The Regional Programme Manager Young Mediterranean Voices (YMV) will manage the Young Mediterranean Voices programme which is delivered in eight countries across the region to agreed client and British Council standards and objectives.  It is also expected that the post-holder will support the programming and business development for other Youth programmes in the region and this part of the role will grow as YMV becomes more established.  

Young Mediterranean Voices (YMV) seeks to empower young people to enhance a culture of dialogue, to contribute to public policy and shape media discourses, and to create a shared understanding with peers across the Mediterranean on how to address issues of common concern to their communities.

To achieve this, the programme focuses on four specific objectives:
  • A cadre of young influencers with enhanced skills for dialogue and debate will be created;
  • Debating practices will be embedded in education institutions and CSOs;
  • Platforms and mechanisms for young influencers will be enhanced to shape public policy, influence decision-makers and shape media narratives; 
  • Exposure among young debaters for shared understanding and capacity will be enhanced to develop shared responses with peers to socio-cultural challenges.
  • YMV brings the experience of a successful pan-Arab programme (“Young Arab Voices”), launched in Alexandria in 2011 by the Anna Lindh Foundation and the British Council, to other parts of the Euro-Mediterranean region. 
YMV is coordinated by the Anna Lindh Foundation, co-founded by the British Council, and developed in partnership with the Centre for Mediterranean Integration (CMI), Friends of Europe, the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid, MEDAC and Soliya. The programme is funded by the European Commission and co-funded by the Government of Finland and World Bank Group.

Function Overview

Politics, population, economics

There are deep historical ties between the Middle East and North Africa and the region remains critically important for UK security and prosperity as well as a high priority for the British Council.
The region is currently blighted by conflict and instability, rooted in the geopolitical struggle between regional powers and weakening of the social contract between governments and their populations. The Iran-Saudi and Shia-Sunni conflict is playing out in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, and is having a huge impact more widely in the region. It shows no sign of abating.  The breakdown in the social contract that drove the 2011 anti-government uprisings has occurred due to a number of longstanding barriers to political, economic and social progress. 

Dominance of ruling monarchies, authoritarian regimes, and limited democratic institutions. 
Exclusion of young people from political processes and few opportunities for them to express themselves freely.
A very young demographic and mounting youth unemployment at 30%, twice the global average. 
Poorly performing education systems and low learning outcomes against international benchmarks.
Inequality of opportunity for women; most development indicators show that women have an increasing participation in education but are under-represented in economic and political life. 
An under-developed sense of citizenship and weak civil society.
An economic model heavily dependent on oil.  Lower oil prices are already having an impact on the social contract in the Gulf. 

The majority of young people are finding their path to economic independence and self-fulfilment blocked, and given the limited legitimate outlets available to express their grievances and create change, radical thinking and radical action has powerful appeal.

The region is now at a crossroads in its transition, with huge generational shifts taking place in politics, society, geopolitics and the economy. As well as creating conflict as different parties contest the direction of this transition, it is also generating significant opportunities - the new generation is more connected, more educated, more entrepreneurial, innovative and expressive than previous generations. They have the potential to drive sustainable economic growth and stability. Moreover, governments have greater impetus to engage with youth due to their rising numbers and the end of the oil boom, which has increased their need to diversify their economies away from oil and towards a model based around harnessing the region’s human capital.

British Council response

British Council MENA contributes to the following corporate plan objectives in MENA: 

  • Making a positive contribution to the countries we work in and the UK – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.
  • Making a lasting difference to the security of the UK and to stability worldwide by creating opportunities and connections in fragile and conflict-affected states to build resilience and respond to crises.  
  • Working to strengthen the resilience of young people vulnerable to recruitment to violent extremism in priority countries.
  • Responding to the refugee crisis in Syria, Iraq and neighbouring countries, contributing to peace building and to return of refugees when safe and appropriate, strengthening education and delivering cultural programmes.
We also make a contribution to the UK Prosperity and Development policy objective, with a primary focus on North Africa and in particular Egypt. In the Gulf our work with the Next Generation and our substantial English and Exams operations contribute principally to the Influence and Attraction policy objective, but also to UK prosperity. 

Our 2020 vision in MENA is:

By 2020 we will connect tens of millions of people across the Middle East and North Africa with the UK, helping them reach their potential through development of English and skills, creation of positive pathways, and engagement with the UK’s cultural resources. We will support the creation of more secure, open, prosperous, and equitable societies. Our programmes will result in greater trust, understanding and friendship between people in the UK and MENA.

About Us

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body.

Role Profile
British Council Core Skills
British Council Behaviours

Additional info:

  • If you are interested in this vacancy, kindly submit your application by 16 December 2018
  • Kindly note that interviews will take place 2nd week of January 2019

Valuing diversity is essential to the British Council’s work. We aim to abide by and promote equality legislation by following both the letter and the spirit of it to try and avoid unjustified discrimination, recognising discrimination as a barrier to equality of opportunity, inclusion and human rights.All staff worldwide are required to ensure their behaviour is consistent with our policies.