Associate Director – Learning, Sharing & Solidarity
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 35-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.
ABOUT THE ROLE
As an organization deeply embedded in local and global movements across diverse contexts, WITNESS is constantly learning about new tactics –and gaps– in the global field of video-for-change. These learnings belong to the movement, not to WITNESS, and so sharing what we are learning (as well as supporting our partners/allies to learn from each other) is an ethical obligation core to how we work. Some of what we’ve co-learned over the years is compiled and offered in the WITNESS Library, currently home to 180+ training resources in over 27 languages. Much more invaluable knowledge lives in the practices, experiences and power of communities and activists globally. The Learning & Sharing lead, a relatively new position created in 2018, is tasked with both strengthening and nurturing WITNESS’ learning muscle across themes, geographies and ecosystems while also overseeing the organization’s overarching strategy for solidarity and strategic dissemination of WITNESS’ learnings/resources online.
On the Learning side, this role will work both within WITNESS’ own Learning communities (Archiving, Video as Evidence, New Technologies and Regional teams) as well as more broadly across the video/tech/human rights landscape to identify opportunities aimed at promoting and enhancing learning within/across/beyond the WITNESS team. This role will also provide training support/coaching for regional trainers when needed and oversee the WITNESS curricula & training resources to determine what materials need to be created and to ensure existing resources remain accurate and up-to-date. On the Sharing & Solidarity side, L & S & S will supervise the Global Engagement Manager and support the broader team working towards the organizational goal of reaching 1+ million people each year online with WITNESS guidance so that safer and more effective use of video and technology leads to stronger human rights change. This role will also help connect and amplify peers, partners, allies and campaigns across WITNESS’ ecosystems globally to strengthen resistance, solidarity and learning.
Learning (internally/externally) & WITNESS Curriculum and Training Materials – 45%
- Design and implement the organization’s global strategy and vision for learning, including by:
- advancing, supporting and sustaining a strong and inclusive culture of cross-learning within the organization, including by developing collaborative approaches to assessment for learning and through stronger leveraging of existing WITNESS’ M&E systems for learning-related purposes;
- identifying, designing and facilitating opportunities for ongoing skill sharing both within the team as well as in collaboration with external allies (e.g. learning exchanges with peers/partners across contexts);
- helping the WITNESS team continue to innovate on how it shares what it is learning more nimbly and effectively, including via ongoing content derivation and tailoring for digital audiences and more scalable formats, tools, and medium;
- leveraging feedback, conducting needs assessments/gap analyses that can support WITNESS team to more optimally capture and share learnings from regional work;
- In close collaboration with the Global Program Director and WITNESS’ learning communities (Video as Evidence, Archiving and New Technologies), lead decision making on the development of new training materials and tools based on internal collective prioritization, needs assessment and distribution capacity; the Learning & Sharing AD will also anchor processes to update WITNESS resources and curricula by soliciting feedback and ensuring that publicly available content remains current, relevant and accurate;
- Stay abreast of new models, methodologies, workflows and practices for learning in the human rights sector and more broadly at the intersections of video+tech+human rights movements, including via online learning tools, emergent digital tools and other new/scalable formats for teaching/learning;
- Support regional staff to improve training workshops by supporting programmatic onboarding as needed, facilitating access to best practices/case studies during training prep, and by helping train new team members in both the content and the soft skills needed for effective capacity-building;
- Plan, organize and facilitate the learning-specific components of WITNESS’ annual global team retreat in consultation with the Senior Leadership Team.
Solidarity & strategic engagement/sharing of WITNESS resources and learnings online – 30%
- Oversee the Global Digital Engagement Manager in the development and implementation of WITNESS’ overarching strategy aimed at building stronger engagement/distribution of WITNESS resources and learnings online. This includes supporting our team of regionally-based programmatic comms coordinators towards the shared goal of continued growth of our prioritized audiences online as well as stronger articulation/connection of the “global glue/connective tissue” of resistance and solidarity across the regions and themes WITNESS contributes to;
- Foster solidarity and cohesion by strengthening the global connective tissue underlying WITNESS global programmatic communications, particularly around strengthening WITNESS’ reputation/visibility/thought leadership to targeted programmatic audiences with diverse levels of engagement, skill sets and geographies to ensure our collective programmatic goals are being met;
- Collaborate with the Director of People and Systems and other relevant team members to update and build necessary organizational information architectures as they relate to Learning & Sharing (WITNESS Library, programmatic web properties and other internal/external infrastructures as needed).
Management & Institutional – 25%
- Direct supervision of three team members
- Fundraising support
- Administrative duties (planning, budgeting, reporting, etc)
- Representing WITNESS at public events and conferences
- Global Program Director (direct supervisor) + Program Director
- Associate Director -Video as Evidence (direct report)
- Archives Program Manger (direct report)
- Global Digital Engagement Manager (direct report)
- Global Engagement Program Associates
- Regional Program Managers & Coordinators
- Regional Programmatic Comms/Online Engagement Team
THE IDEAL CANDIDATE
Global Human Rights: 8-10 years experience working in human rights education/advocacy, social justice and/or campaigning locally, regionally and/or globally, including by working collaboratively with diverse stakeholders like community-based organizations, activist networks and NGOs across different geographies/contexts (experience outside the “Global North” a plus). Skilled trust-builder with experience navigating nuance, political sensitivities and security precautions needed to do this work ethically.
Learning/Teaching: Experience in designing and leading trainings/workshops, developing and updating training materials for different audiences/needs, and facilitating strategic spaces aimed at building capacity within movements fighting for human rights and social change. Seeking a forward-looking educator that is curious, comfortable and experienced with newer/more innovative methods for learning/training – experience with online learning platforms and digital methodologies is a must.
Video-for-Change: Experience/knowledge of how video, audiovisual documentation and technology are (or can be) used in communication, social justice and human rights advocacy contexts.
Communication: Strong listening skills. Ability to communicate clearly and effectively in verbal, visual and written forms cross-culturally and at a variety of levels (NGOs, donors, UN, government, media, youth). Strong understanding of digital communications and effective messaging/distribution online are a must.
Languages: Fluent English required to work with a global team who uses this as a shared language. Additional languages are a plus especially Spanish, French, Portuguese or Arabic. Native speaker of English not required.
Management: Though internal training is provided on an ongoing basis, previous demonstrated experience directly supervising people, projects and budgets is required; cross-cultural competency a must.
Characteristics: Strong people/project management and organizational skills; superb attention to detail; ability to multi-task and troubleshoot in pressure situations; demonstrated resourcefulness, optimism, and flexibility in approach to project assignments; strong team player yet able to work independently; demonstrated high degree of maturity. Commitment to WITNESS’ values/mission.
Education: You can tell us about your degrees, but we’re more interested in your passions and what you know how to do. If your degrees are part of that story, great, tell us! (But no formal education required).
Location: The location is flexible provided some overlap of working hours with the rest of the team can be ensured. WITNESS is registered as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in the state of New York, USA, and currently retains an office in New York City. However, since 2020, its staff is currently working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Compensation: The salary for this position is based out of New York City. The salary will be localized considering relative cost of living in the applicable country using the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) Post Adjustment Multiplier- a metric system that is revised monthly and that WITNESS uses to determine salaries globally.
WITNESS offers a range of benefits, depending on the location of the individual, and 15 days of paid annual leave in addition to public holidays and end of year leave.
WITNESS also offers additional monthly “reading days” where employees may request one day in the month to do reading/further study related to WITNESS work.
WITNESS also offers competitive and robust medical benefits that cover an individual at 100% and covers a % of the individual’s dependents.
After 1 year of service at the organization, WITNESS will contribute 3% of an individual’s gross salary towards a global retirement fund.
WITNESS recognizes that flexible working arrangements are key to equity and inclusion in the workplace and we provide a monthly remote work allowance, we are happy to talk about the type of flexible arrangements that might work best for you.
HOW TO APPLY
To apply, send your cover letter, resume, and contact information for 3 references to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Job” [Your name]”.
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.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Applications accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled; 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.
WITNESS aims to build an inclusive workforce that is reflective of the communities we work with, and actively seek 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 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. Authorization to work in the U.S. is not required.
WITNESS is legally a non-profit that is registered as a 501(c)3 in the United States. This position description is a guide to the critical duties and essential functions of the job, not an all-inclusive list of responsibilities, qualifications, physical demands and work environment conditions. Position descriptions are reviewed and revised to meet the changing needs of WITNESS at the sole discretion of the management.