Project Coordinator, WITNESS Africa
WITNESS helps people use video and technology to protect and defend 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 or 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. And the actions of courageous individuals and communities at a grassroots level are conditioned by the structures and decisions of global technology platforms and emerging technologies that are distant and unaccountable to their needs. New threats to human rights are emerging at the intersection of artificial intelligence, misinformation and disinformation and a global wave of rising authoritarianism.
WITNESS pairs grassroots community support, and broad learning and sharing of tips and guidance to activists, with advocacy at a systems level on challenges. Our team works holistically on a global scale to understand how communities are using and want to use video and technology for human rights. 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, or an event happened that never occurred.
WITNESS is seeking to hire a Project Coordinator for Africa who will:
1) Support the work of the regional team to enable people to use video effectively for human rights;
2) Focus on more widely available skills and capabilities for countering the proliferation of manipulated media and mis/disinformation that undermine the trustworthiness of video and incite violence.
The Project Coordinator will work on specific projects that will incorporate research, training and resource development. Working with the Africa Program Manager and other team members, they will support trainings and material development; organize convenings and workshops to ensure WITNESS’s work is guided by the lived and practical experiences of the communities we work with; and develop and implement communications and advocacy around our work. A core focus will be our pilot program on better human rights community-based skills in confronting visual mis/disinformation.
The Project Coordinator will support the overarching regional program goal of ensuring that the millions of vulnerable and marginalized communities affected by human rights violations can turn to video and technology to defend their rights across Africa, while doing it safely and effectively.
This position will be based in Abuja, Nigeria and will be part of the global WITNESS team that helps forecast, advise, engage, train and support advocates and video activist communities across Africa. Consideration for other locations in West Africa can be made for the right candidate.
The Project Coordinator will have the following primary responsibilities:
- Research, plan and lead coordination of pilot project including workshops and material development to bolster skills around verification, mis/disinformation and human rights community response to manipulated media, deepfakes and shallowfakes on the continent
- Work with the Africa Program Manager to support key advocates and citizen witnesses power-up their use of video for human rights change.
- Support advocates and citizen witnesses’ needs, including resource provision, tools distribution, materials distribution, and other forms of engagement.
- Work with WITNESS’s Technology – Threats and Opportunities team to identify critical ongoing and emerging threats and opportunities around technology and human rights in Africa.
Experience: You should have 3 -5 years of related experience, including a track record of hard work. You have strong communication, and project management skills. You need practical understanding of video and technology trends combined with direct human rights activism experience. You are comfortable training or developing training materials
You have grappled, either personally or professionally with how mis/disinformation impacts communities. 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. Experience with human rights training approaches. Committed to social justice and WITNESS’ values/mission and to a global, human rights perspective.
Languages: Fluent spoken and written English. Additional languages a plus.
START DATE: Immediate
LOCATION: West Africa (preferably Abuja, Nigeria)
TITLE: Project Coordinator, WITNESS Africa
SALARY: Commensurate with experience, with an excellent benefits package including generous vacation package
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 “Project Coordinator, WITNESS Africa ” [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 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.