ESN Project Officer

1. Background to the European Social Network

The European Social Network (ESN) is the independent network for public social services in Europe. ESN brings together people who plan, manage, regulate and deliver social services in public authorities across Europe. Our members are mainly associations of local and regional directors of social services, social services in regions, counties and municipalities, funding and regulatory agencies, universities, research and development and improvement bodies. ESN supports the development of effective social policy and social care practice through the exchange of knowledge and expertise. We represent local public authorities at European level and bring local practice experience into European policymaking. We believe that social services should protect and support vulnerable people, respect the dignity and independence of people using services, pursue excellence in social work and care practice, listen to service users and respond to their needs, promote solidarity with disadvantaged people and communities and promote equality and non-discrimination.

2. Background to the RuralCare project

The RuralCare project is a project led by ESN member, the Junta de Castilla y León- Consejería de Familia e Igualdad de Oportunidades- Gerencia de Servicios Sociales, Servicios Sociales. The European Social Network is a partner in the RuralCare Consortium. The project is financed under the EaSI (Employment and Social Innovation Programme) of the Directorate General for Employment and Social Innovation.

In 2017, 27.3% of European citizens were living in rural areas. Due to the ageing of the population, increasingly, EU Member States are encountering challenges related to the equal provision of long-term care services to people living in rural areas in relation to accessibility and affordability of care services.

The project RuralCare aims to tackle this challenge, in line with Principle 18 of the European Pillar of Social Rights: Everyone has the right to affordable long-term care services of good quality, in particular homecare and community-based services. 

In order to respond to challenges such as greater ageing of the population, dispersion and isolation, decline in family support and increase of loneliness, the RuralCare project explores new ways of providing long-term care in rural areas, by respecting people’s rights, especially the right to remain linked to their natural environment and to maintain a sense of belonging.

RuralCare aims to offer an innovative social and health model that facilitates the permanence of people with dependency, disability or chronic illnesses in their own homes. The provision of more accessible, affordable and sustainable quality long-term care quality will be provided in the framework of a person-centred care model. The pilot project aims to advance proactive models that start from the consideration of the person from a holistic point of view, valuing not only the degree of dependency, but also his/ her physical, social and family environment.

ESN will support the Social Services department of Castilla y Leon throughout the entire project, specifically in the identification and analysis of similar international practice, providing advice to the development and implementation of the project based on the international practice collected, the organisation of four international workshops with a focus on knowledge transfer, and two international events in Spain and Belgium. ESN will also be responsible for the dissemination of the project including identity, website and social media.

ESN work on long-term care

  • European Social Network (2012) ESN Seminar- Retaining and regaining independence in later life: the role of social services, accessible here.
  • European Social Network (2013) ESN Discussion note: Long-term care & social investment: issues for social services, accessible here.
  • European Social Services (2014-2016) ESN Working Group on Ageing and Care, accessible here.
  • European Social Services (2017) Investing in later life: A toolkit for social services, accessible here.

Job description

This post involves the coordination of all aspects related to the tasks ESN is involved in this project through practice identification, report drafting, and organising a range of meetings and events.

Key Tasks

  • Working with an international expert in identification of relevant practice
  • Drafting policy & practice briefings related to the project theme in ES & EN
  • Planning and organising four international workshops and two international events in Spain and Belgium. This includes sourcing venues, drafting budgets and monitoring expenditure, coordinating communications and being responsible for logistics.
  • Developing and maintaining effective administration and financial systems to ensure the correct, efficient and smooth delivery of the events.
  • Working with the ESN communications team and the RuralCare Lead on the promotion of the project activities and deliverables

Person specification

We are looking for someone who has:

  • Excellent spoken and written Spanish (RuralCare’s working language) and English (ESN’s working language)
  • Prior experience of working in a similar position, for example managing a similar project funded by an EaSI grant
  • Experience in grant project implementation & reporting, specifically/desirably on the EaSI programme
  • Excellent organisational skills and great attention to detail
  • Project and event management experience with good coordination skills
  • Ability to multi-task and to manage a varied workload within deadlines
  • Interpersonal, team work and intercultural communication skills
  • University degree
  • Strong knowledge of Excel & other MS office applications
  • Knowledgeable of online meeting applications like Zoom or Teams
  • Willingness to travel
  • Problem-solving approach
  • Ability to learn quickly with a ‘can do’ attitude.
  • Knowledge of another European language is an advantage
  • An interest in social services

In the ESN secretariat, you would:

  • Report to and work alongside the Chief Executive on the technical coordination of the project
  • Work with the Finance Manager on all aspects related to the project financial reporting
  • Work with the Senior Communications Officer on all aspects related to the project dissemination
  • Work with a Policy and Communication Support Officer who will support you in the project coordination


The role is part-time for 24 to 28 hours a week for three years. There may be the possibility to work on additional projects if the selected candidate wishes to do so. It is possible to work remotely or based in Brussels, where the ESN office is based. Gross salary is in the region of 3,280€ f/t pro-rata according to the weekly number of hours (e.g. 2,150€ for 25 h).

Application process

Please submit a personal statement in Spanish highlighting why you wish to coordinate the project RuralCare and how your skills and experience match the person specification. Your statement should be accompanied by a CV in English.

Both documents must be sent in a single PDF file not longer than 3 pages addressed to ESN CEO Alfonso Montero to

Deadline for applications: 18 October at midnight.

Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an online interview in Zoom on a rolling basis, so if you are interested please apply early.

Please only apply if you fulfil the job spec.

Equal Opportunities Statement

It is the policy of the European Social Network (ESN) to treat all employees and job applicants fairly and equally regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, marital status, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion, age, disability or trade union membership status or any other protected characteristic provided for under the relevant legislation.