Anglophone Southern & Western Africa Researcher & Representative at Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

3 days (21 hours) per week

Based in South Africa

Applicants must have:

  • At least 5 years’ work in the field of human rights, labour rights, development, environmental or social justice – including in the Southern and/or West Africa sub-regions
  • Fluent English-language skills (mother tongue)
  • Commitment to advancing human rights in the business sector
  • The right to work in South Africa

Fees: In the range of ZAR 26,250-27,560 per month (for working 21 hours/week); depending on experience, skills, language abilities & education.

How to apply: Please download and complete the application form here, and send it by email to Alex Janczenia: [email protected] with Cc to Greg Regaignon: [email protected], putting “Africa Researcher” in the subject line.  Please note we cannot accept CVs.

Closing date: 4 September 2015

Interviews of short-listed candidates: Planned for week of 28 September 2015, in South Africa

Appointment of successful candidate: Planned for early October

Start date: Planned for beginning of November

Below you will find: job description; person specification; terms & conditions

 

Job (consultancy) Description

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, an international human rights organisation tracking the social & environmental impacts of over 6000 companies worldwide, is seeking a highly-motivated person as its Anglophone Southern & Western Africa Researcher & Representative.  The researcher will join our global team, which includes 12 regional researchers based in all regions of the world.

 

Job (consultancy) Purpose:

To provide greater transparency and accountability for companies’ human rights impacts throughout Anglophone Southern & Western Africa, and to empower others to act:

Transparency: Collecting & publicising information from a wide range of sources on our multilingual website and in our Weekly Updates, to bring attention to alleged human rights abuses as well as positive steps by business.  Communicating on pressing business and human rights issues in the region through blog posts, media articles, and briefing notes.

Promoting accountability: By seeking public responses from companies to allegations of abuse.  (The Resource Centre has approached companies over 2000 times for responses to allegations, with a global response rate of 75%).  Identifying strategies to support civil society when companies do not respond, or their responses do not address civil society’s concerns.  Helping to strengthen our regional coverage of legal cases involving companies’ human rights impacts.

Empowering others to act: By ensuring that organisations and companies throughout the region are aware of how to use the Resource Centre to obtain the information and guidance they need, and to channel their concerns to an influential audience.  This will be achieved through effective representation, online and in-person networking, missions throughout the region, and the occasional organizing of small civil society workshops.

 

Specific activities include:

Conduct online research to identify stories about companies’ human rights & environmental impacts in the Anglophone Southern and West Africa sub-regions, and present them on the Centre’s website in a compelling format for users. The wide range of subjects covered will include discrimination, labour rights, displacement, access to medicines, pollution affecting health, poverty alleviation, security issues, etc.

Invite companies to respond to concerns raised by civil society.  This involves an initial approach by email, and often extensive follow-up via phone as well as email with relevant representatives of the company.  Identify strategies to increase the accountability of non-responding companies.

Build an active network of contacts throughout the region with: NGOs (local, national & regional), companies & business organisations, media, development agencies, investment firms, academic institutions, governments and others – who send material for highlighting on the site, and also use its information in their own work.  Includes developing contacts in regional media in order to be quoted as an expert, and place blogs and op-ed pieces.

Seize opportunities to increase the Centre’s impact, showing initiative by proposing innovative approaches tailored to local realities and needs of people affected by companies’ impacts in the region, and identifying points of leverage to support embedding human rights in companies’ business models – as well as recognising current issues and debates that may present space to raise the organization’s profile.

Represent the organisation in the region, including at meetings & conferences; occasionally organise workshops. Spread the word about the Resource Centre by informing individuals & organisations in the region about the Resource Centre and its Weekly Updates. Increase sign-ups for Weekly Updates and traffic to our website.

Organise and conduct regional research missions to gain a clearer picture of what is happening on the ground, and to build local contacts with civil society and business representatives.

Write materials for our website and outreach, including blog posts, briefing notes and papers, and articles to be submitted to relevant media outlets.

Participate in global team projects as needed on specific topics. Assist with Africa-wide projects and with any local/regional interns.

Assist the Director, Research Director, and other staff in further developing the organisation and advancing its work, including assisting with fund-raising and reporting back to donors.

Administrative duties: Be self-servicing in terms of administrative tasks, e.g. financial record-keeping, filing, ordering supplies, printing & distribution of materials, taking notes in meetings, etc.

Person specification

Values: Demonstrates strong commitment to human rights.  Shares the Centre’s values and ethos. 

Human rights experience: Has at least5 years’ work experience in the field(s) of human rights, labour rights, development, environment and/or social justice – including in the Southern and/or West Africa sub-regions.

Research & analytical skills: Able to research and identify relevant information online; persistent in seeking out difficult-to-find information; creative in identifying new sources of information.

Representation skills: Able to represent the organisation in the region, including at meetings, conferences, and on regional missions.

Data input capacity: Able to deal with fast-moving data & contacts input & management; willing to learn how to work on a news-style website.

Self-initiative and motivation: Motivated and able to use own initiative to think creatively, propose and act on new ideas to further the Resource Centre’s mission, effectively assist people affected by companies’ impacts, and engage more constructively with civil society, companies and other stakeholders.  Able to work independently within agreed framework; motivated by achieving results and completing tasks.

Strategic insight: Motivated and able to identify new opportunities to increase the Resource Centre’s impact and role in Southern and Western Africa.

Outreach and networking: Able to foster productive, professional relationships with a broad range of contacts, including activists, company representatives, government officials and media.

Languages: Fluent English (reading, writing, speaking) at a very high level (mother tongue). (Knowledge of other African languages is a plus but not essential.)

Communications: Has strong writing skills, including succinct writing for the web.  Able to communicate via social media and develop contacts in regional media, or willing and able to learn.

Team-work: Able to operate effectively and constructively as part of a multi-cultural, global team, and ensure smooth communication despite geographical distances between team members.

Organisation and prioritisation: Has strong organisational and prioritisation skills, enabling efficient and effective work.

Strategy, planning, development: Willing to provide input into strategy & planning discussions about the organisation & website; willing to assist with fund-raising for the organisation.

Conflict of interest: Has no activities or membership/affiliation with organisations in conflict with the aims & objectives of the Resource Centre or which may jeopardise its independence, impartiality or image.

Terms and conditions

  • This is a part-time consultancy position.  Payment will be made on the researcher’s presentation of a monthly invoice showing the number of hours worked.  The researcher will be responsible for paying from the fees his/her own taxes, health insurance, pension, etc., and will be responsible for personal office costs such as ordinary printing & stationery, local telephone & Internet.  These costs are taken into account in calculating the fee level for the consultancy.  The Centre will reimburse necessary work-related expenses such as for travel, and will provide a computer if needed.
  • 3 days (21 hours) per week.  The hours worked are flexible, provided that there is effective communication with team members in other regions, that the hours are spread reasonably throughout a week, and permits the Researcher to respond to issues as they arise as expeditiously as possible.
  • Based in South Africa.
  • Fees: In the range of ZAR 26,250-27,560 per month (for working 21 hours/week); depending on experience, skills, language abilities & education.
  • Reports to: Research Director, based in New York
  • The Anglophone Southern & Western Africa Researcher & Representative will be trained and supported in particular by our Research Director, with additional support from our Francophone and Eastern Africa Researchers, our London-based staff, as well as other team members. He/she will participate in 1-hour team meetings, held virtually every two weeks with all our team worldwide.
  • The consultant will have the freedom to organise paid days off from doing consulting work for the Resource Centre, in an amount expected to be 13 days during the year (91 hours) – i.e. equivalent to 22 days per year for full-time work.  The consultant will not be expected to work on national holidays of the country where the consultant is based.
  • Workplace: From home, or if the consultant does not wish to work from home, from an agreed hosting institution.
  • The consultancy contract will be a one-year contract, which can be extended by mutual agreement.

Due to the small size of the Resource Centre, all people assisting with its work must be willing to shift priorities and tasks quickly, and be willing to have their work reviewed by colleagues. The specifics of tasks will be agreed in advance with the Director and Research Director.

Job title: Anglophone Southern & Western Africa Researcher & Representative

Location: South Africa

Salary: In the range of ZAR 26,250-27,560 per month (for working 21 hours/week); depending on experience, skills, language abilities & education

Contract: 3 days (21 hours) per week; consultancy contract for 1 year extended by mutual agreement

Job Announcement [PDF]

Application Form