Advocacy Coordinator – Technology, Threats & Opportunities
We are a global human rights organization, a collective of passionate human rights activists with (mostly remote) team members all over the world. WITNESS’ mission is to help people use video and technology to protect and defend human rights. We are a 40-person multi-disciplinary team with staff based across 5 continents. While we’re legally a non-profit that is registered as a 501(c)3 in the U.S, we are a global collective: our staff members (as well as consultants, interns, fellows and a vast community of partners and collaborators) are based around the world and reflect a group of activists with diverse skills and backgrounds.
WHAT WE DO
WITNESS pairs grassroots community support with advocacy at a systems level. Our team works holistically on a global scale to understand how communities are using and want to use video and technology for human rights. With a cellphone camera, anyone can become a human rights defender and expose injustice, making it harder for perpetrators to hide or for systems of oppression to remain invisible. But using video for community organizing, justice and accountability can be dangerous – videos can put defenders (or those they film) at risk, can be used against communities in court or deceitfully discredited by tired old power narratives. Filming is almost never enough – for videos to make a difference they need to work alongside strong advocacy or legal strategies; they also need to be created, preserved and shared in ways that avoid creating more harm or trauma. New threats to human rights are emerging at the intersection of artificial intelligence, misinformation and disinformation and a global wave of rising authoritarianism.
When it comes to systemic challenges we are on the watch for both existing problems – like how large amounts of critical human rights footage are lost because of the arbitrary decisions of platforms – but also emerging threats and opportunities, such as those posed by ‘deepfakes’, new ways to manipulate media to make it look like someone said or did something they never did.
The Advocacy Coordinator for Technology Threats and Opportunities will work closely with regional teams in the regions where WITNESS operates (North America, Latin America, Brazil, Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and North Africa, and Asia-Pacific), our Digital Engagement Team, and other colleagues across the organization. This role is a newly created position that will provide thorough strategic advocacy advice, and policy and trend analysis, to advance WITNESS vision of systemic change. This role will also support WITNESS policy, advocacy and technical interventions directed at technology companies, governments – in particular the EU, UK and US (but others as needed), and other external stakeholders.
This is a permanent position, ideally based in London, San Francisco, Washington DC, or somewhere in the EU or Europe. The projects this role will work on fall into these categories:
- Effective, globally-grounded advocacy around current, large-scale problems experienced by communities/activists using video and technology for human rights: for example, interventions to ensure the preservation of critical video that is otherwise removed and lost from social media platforms.
- Research and globally-grounded advocacy around emerging threats and opportunities related to audiovisual media and related technology for witnessing: for example, interventions to ensure the integration of human rights-centered approaches into techniques for validating the origins and manipulation of video.
- Other policy, technical and legal interventions to ensure WITNESS’s work is guided by the lived and practical experience of communities we work with: for example, interventions to ensure that technology development addresses mis- and disinformation narratives globally, with an emphasis on creating and bringing new tools to the communities WITNESS serves, such as reverse video search.
You will support strategic stakeholder engagement to allow us to influence as effectively as possible, identifying key contacts in relevant governments in the EU, UK, USA and beyond, technology companies, national and international stakeholders, other NGOs and civil society groups, and help building strategic coalitions.
You will provide ideas and develop relevant advocacy strategies including identifying, carrying out and commissioning new research–always ensuring the lived experiences of the communities we serve are reflected throughout. You will coordinate the design and delivery of creative and impactful policy, advocacy and technical interventions, using the most appropriate methods, such as proposing briefings with government officials, meetings with decision makers, and convening discussions with technology companies.
Convening, Research, Analysis and Advocacy
- Develop and take responsibility for implementing strategies for engaging with technology companies, policy makers, regulators, governments and other external stakeholders;
- With other team members, engage in advocacy and organizing towards key technology platforms in one-on-one, small group, large group and public settings.
- Provide strategic analysis of the regulatory and policy environment to identify relevant upcoming opportunities;
- Remain updated on developments in relevant countries and sectors as necessary to inform policy, advocacy and technical interventions;
- Ensure the development of effective and sound policy positions and recommendations;
- Monitor key developments and participate in relevant conferences, meetings and public events;
- With the rest of the team, provide strategic input into research that supports evidence-based advocacy messages;
- Coordinate and build coalitions for advocacy and other interventions; and
- Project manage the development of relevant materials including outreach, logistics, invitations, preparations, follow-ups.
- Develop or assist the development of relevant content including reports, research summaries, threat scenarios, op-eds, blogs on solutions, training materials;
- Prepare presentations for meetings and briefings with external stakeholders, in particular technology companies.
- Contribute to direct social media and media outreach around priorities, suggesting strategies to build relationships with members of the media and proactively looks for effective, creative and innovative ways to communicate our core messages;
- Engage in online and offline spaces in targeted work around priorities and content outlined above – to include both written/video presentations as well as in-person talks or presentations;
- Deliver high quality research and drafts that support compelling, evidence-based advocacy messages; and
- Edit and fact-check public-facing documents.
- Carry out relevant administrative work around activities above;
- Do relevant internal financial and funder reporting;
- Update and maintain Salesforce, Contacts and other applicable data or organizational records; and
- Maintain other existing systems that support our work in TTO area, including tracking spreadsheets and metrics.
THE IDEAL CANDIDATE:
Experience: You should have 3-5 years of related experience, ideally in issues relevant to digital threats to democracy globally. You have strong communication and project management skills, with a proven track record of writing, editing and producing a variety of written materials to a high standard for a variety of audiences. You need a deep intuitive and practical understanding of video and technology trends combined with experience of advocacy interventions at a local, national and/or international level. You will have a demonstrable track record in conducting advocacy that has effectively influenced technology companies and other decision makers, either in the public or private sectors. You understand the complexities of how technology presents distinctive threats and opportunities across different environments, cultures and countries. You are a hands-on user of social media and video tools, not just an observer.
Human Rights: Background in (or passion for) human rights; understands networks, grassroots organizing and how activists mobilize online. Understanding of the implications of current and emerging technologies for human rights, including the role of online platforms and current misinformation/disinformation and content moderation issues. Committed to social justice and WITNESS’ values/mission and to a global, human rights perspective.
Languages: We are a global team who use English as our shared language, as such this role requires a high proficiency of written and spoken English. Additional languages are a plus.
Other Important Skills:
- Personal or professional experience using social media, video-sharing or meme platforms
- Proficiency w/Google worksuite as Gdocs, sheets, forms are heavily used across WITNESS.
- Strong digital communication skills, including creating visual messages and writing/editing for the web.
Characteristics: Strong interpersonal skills and aptitude for cross-cultural communication, in particular with technology companies and stakeholders in the public sector. Team-minded. A doer. Is organized and follows through. Espouses good humor under pressure; inspires others. Flexible – early morning or later evening calls will be needed as this job requires working with people in different time zones (this is offset in your weekly workload as work-life balance is a core value for WITNESS).
Education: You can tell us about your degrees, but we’re more interested in what you have done, what your passions are, and what you can do with WITNESS. If your degrees are part of that story, great!
Location: We are a globally distributed, remote workforce; this is a full-time position, the location is flexible with a strong preference for candidates located in London, San Francisco, Washington DC, or somewhere in the EU or Europe. Flexibility in location will be considered provided some overlap of working hours with the rest of the team can be ensured and subject to the organization’s ability to offer employment in new locations.
At this time, our team members are working through hybrid office arrangements, combining remote at-home work with intermittent use of offices and/or co-working spaces.
These include: USA, Mexico, Brazil, UK, Netherlands, Nigeria, Kenya.
Typically, we can only consider applicants who are already legally able to work in the country in which the role is based. Visa sponsorship or relocation allowance are rare, and offered only for specialized positions. The successful candidate must have the legal right-to-work in the location in which they will be based.
WITNESS operates a salary localization policy using a combination of regularly reviewed FX and salary adjustment multipliers for location.
Based on current rates, gross salaries for some of our current locations are given as an example:
- U.S. – USD 56,200
- U.K. – GBP 43,900
- Switzerland – CHF 57,400
- Health: WITNESS also offers competitive and robust medical benefits that cover an individual’s medical, dental and vision at 100% and covers a % of the individual’s dependents.
- Life Insurance & AD & D: WITNESS provides life insurance and AD&D payable at one time (1x) the employee’s salary, to the beneficiary, in the event an employee were to expire while employed by the organization.
- Remote Work Stipend: WITNESS recognizes that flexible working arrangements are key to equity and inclusion in the workplace and we provide a $175 USD monthly remote work allowance, we are happy to talk about the type of flexible arrangements that might work best for you. This remote work stipend is provided to all staff members to pay for extra equipment, electricity, stationery, internet, wellness, or whatever an employee deems necessary in order to work remotely. Please note that a computer and basic accessories are provided to all employees at the time of hire.
- Pension Contributions: After 1 year of service at the organization, WITNESS will contribute 3% of an individual’s gross salary towards a global retirement fund.
- Paid Time Off: WITNESS has a range of paid time off types that support our staff.
- Vacation leave: that meets local statutory levels or 15 days whichever is higher, in addition to staff’s local public holidays.
- The vacation allowance increases by 5 days to 20 days after 3 years of service.
- Personal / Wellness leave: 5 days staff can use at any time to recharge in recognition of the importance of supporting positive mental well being.
- End of Year closure: which usually is equivalent to a minimum of 5 days leave in addition to any public holidays across the last week of December and early January.
- Sick Leave: follows local statutory guidance however;
- WITNESS ensures a minimum of 10 days paid time off for occasional sickness and health related absences.
- A minimum of 6 weeks of full pay in instances of longer term absence.
- Sabbatical Leave: At the 10 year mark we offer staff 10 weeks of paid time off in order to take a break, gain new insights and expand their horizons.
- Vacation leave: that meets local statutory levels or 15 days whichever is higher, in addition to staff’s local public holidays.
- Work/ Life Balance :WITNESS believes in creating a healthy work environment in which flexible schedules are available, we also understand that sometimes an employee may just require a few hours to take care of personal issues in which case they can adjust their hours to make up for the time instead of taking a full day of leave. Both are allowable once agreed upon with the departmental supervisors.
- Mental Health Policy: WITNESS feels that all employees should feel supported both physically as well as mentally while they are at work and realizes that many times the issues that we deal with, the materials that we watch and the events surrounding some of the work that we do, can lead to feeling “unwell” and not in a “good space”.
Should a situation arise in which an Employee requests support on mental health, WITNESS will award (10) days of “WITNESS” paid leave.
- Professional Development: In support of the growth and development of our staff, WITNESS regularly seeks opportunities for professional development, exposure to new skills and supports a culture of learning.
- As part of this we offer staff Reading Days (1 day per month) where staff can take a day to read, study and connect more deeply with peers, partners and colleagues to further functional knowledge relevant to their role or deepen their general understanding and ability to support human rights work.
Reports to: Senior Program Manager – TTO
Technology Threats and Opportunities Team
Global Digital Engagement Team
HOW TO APPLY
If you are interested in joining the WITNESS team, please apply through BambooHR. You will need to attach your resume, cover letter, and contact information for 3 references.
Please include a cover letter. We are interested in hearing about what you’ve done, what you can do, and what you want to do at WITNESS.
Please note that if you are applying via a link in a 3rd party system (Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, Zip Recruiter etc), be sure that you are going through the application link in BambooHR.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until candidates have been shortlisted; early applications encouraged. Please note that due to the volume anticipated, we will not be able to respond individually to each applicant. We kindly ask that you do not send duplicate applications via mail or email, and no phone calls. No recruiters please.
WITNESS is a global human rights organization and aims to build an inclusive workforce that is reflective of the communities we work with. We are interested in building a talented team that brings their true selves with diverse backgrounds, cultures and perspectives. We are interested in receiving applications from those who are marginalized and underrepresented.
WITNESS is an equal opportunity employer. People of all ages, races, ethnicities, national origins, religions, genders, gender identities and expressions, sexual orientations, and individuals protected by any other statuses under international federal, state or local laws, including but not limited to, disability, marital, domestic partnership, familial, caregiver, transgender, military or veteran statuses, are encouraged to apply.