Middle East and North Africa Researcher and Representative at Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, an international human rights organization tracking the social & environmental impacts of over 6000 companies worldwide, is seeking a highly-motivated person to be its Middle East & North Africa Researcher & Representative.  The researcher will join our global team, which includes 12 regional researchers based in other regions.

Summary (see below for full job description and person specification)

2.5 days (17.5 hours) per week

Based in the Middle East & North Africa region – the country will depend on where successful candidate is based

Applicants must have:

  • 5-10+ years’ work in the field of human rights, labour rights, development, environmental or social justice – including in the Middle East & North Africa region
  • Fluent Arabic and excellent English-language skills (French a plus)
  • Commitment to advancing human rights in the business sector
  • The right to work in the country in which you are based (within Middle East & North Africa region)

Fees: In the range of US$2200 – 2600 per month (for working 17.5 hours/week): level will be calculated in line with cost of living in the country where the researcher is based.

How to apply: Please download and complete the application form and send it by 30 November 2015 to Alex Janczenia, Program Support [email protected] with a cc to Annabel Short, Program Director [email protected], with “Application: Middle East & North Africa Researcher” in the subject line.

 Job description

Job Purpose:

To provide greater transparency and accountability for companies’ human rights impacts throughout the Middle East & North Africa, and to empower others to act:

Transparency: Collecting & publicizing 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 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 70%.  Identifying strategies to step up the pressure when companies do not respond, or provide weak responses.  Helping to strengthen our regional coverage of legal cases involving companies’ human rights impacts.

Empowering others to act: By ensuring that organizations throughout the region are aware 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 impacts in the Middle East & North Africa region (in English and Arabic; French if applicable), and present them on the Centre’s website in a compelling format for users.

Build an active network of contacts throughout the region with: NGOs (local, national & regional), companies & business organizations, 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.

Represent the organization in the region, including at meetings & conferences; occasionally organize workshops.

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

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.

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

Translate materials, & assist translators so that we can increase the amount of guidance and case materials available in Arabic.

Participate in global team projects as needed, and in one-hour skype-meetings with all the Centre’s global team, every two weeks.

Person specification

Values: Strong, demonstrated commitment to human rights.  Shares values and ethos of the Resource Centre. 

Human rights experience: 5-10 years’ work in the field of human rights, labour rights, development, environment or social justice – including in the Middle East & North Africa region.

Research & analytical skills: Able to search 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 organization in the region, including at meetings, conferences, and on regional missions.

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

Languages: Fluent Arabic, and strong English (reading, writing, speaking); French a plus but not essential.

Communications: Strong writing skills, including succinct writing for the web.

Strategic insight: Able to identify new opportunities to increase the Resource Centre’s impact and role in the Middle East and North Africa.

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

Self-initiative and motivation: Able to use own initiative, and work independently within agreed framework; motivated by achieving results and completing tasks.

Organization and prioritization: Strong organizational and prioritization skills, enabling efficient and effective work.

Terms and conditions

Note that 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 those costs are taken into account in calculating the fees.  The Resource Centre will reimburse necessary work-related expenses such as for travel.

2.5 days (17.5 hours) per week.  The hours worked are flexible, provided that there is effective communication with team members in other regions, and that the hours are spread reasonably throughout a week.

Reports to: Program Director, based in New York

Based in the Middle East & North Africa region – the country will depend on where successful candidate is based.

Fees: Between US$2200 – 2600 per month (for working 17.5 hours/week): the precise level will be calculated in line with cost of living in the country where the researcher is based.

The consultant will have the freedom to organize paid days off from doing consulting work for the Resource Centre, in an amount expected to be 10 days during the year (70 hours) – i.e. equivalent to four weeks 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.

Application form