The Middle East and North Africa (“MENA”) Division of Human Rights Watch (“HRW”) is seeking applicants for the position of Tunisia and Algeria Researcher. The Researcher will be primarily responsible for developing and implementing a research and advocacy strategy on Tunisia and Algeria and will also have some administrative, finance, human resources, and legal duties in the Tunis office where the Researcher will serve as the Office Director. The position will be based in Tunis and report to the Deputy Middle East and North Africa director.
Due to COVID-19, many of our global offices are currently closed or operating in reduced capacities. The successful candidate may be required to work remotely initially or if local requirements mandate it. We recognize that this moment, during the pandemic, is a uniquely difficult time for most people, particularly those with caregiving responsibilities, and we aim to be as flexible and supportive as possible in both the recruitment for and onboarding of this position.
1. Research, monitor, and document human rights abuses by collecting and analyzing information from a wide variety of sources including governments, local media, NGOs, victims, witnesses, journalists, diplomats, security forces, and others in the field;
2. Conduct fact-finding missions in Tunisia and Algeria and other MENA countries, as needed and if security permits;
3. Write and publicize reports, briefing papers, letters, news releases, op-eds, and submissions to international bodies based on research findings;
4. Assist in the development and implementation of local, regional, and international strategies to change abusive laws, policies, and practices;
5. Present human rights issues and concerns to government officials, opinion leaders, inter-governmental agencies, and the media to promote human rights reforms;
6. Work closely with colleague non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and local human rights organizations to ensure that HRW’s work complements and enhances their own work;
7. Respond promptly to queries from the media, public, and colleagues in the human rights community and take initiative to project concerns in public debate;
8. Liaise effectively with relevant HRW staff located in multiple locations throughout the world to ensure effective coordination and delivery of activities;
9. Travel domestically and internationally, as required, in order to carry out research and advocacy;
10. Supervise a research assistant’s work, security, and personal and professional development, and manage coordination with other HRW staff supporting human rights research and advocacy work on Tunisia and Algeria.
11. Establish clear work plans for any staff or consultants and communicate priorities clearly and effectively. Provide oversight and take responsibility for assignments delegated to others.
12. Operate in compliance with organizational regulations and rules, including the policies of applicable employee agreements.
13. Ensure that the workload of any staff and consultants are manageable.
14. Manage and guide staff by listening, having two-way communication, sharing pertinent information, responding appropriately, and delegating appropriate responsibilities.
15. Provide appropriate and timely feedback on staff performance and provide guidance, coaching and training, as necessary.
16. Perform other duties as required.
1. Participate in making decisions about unplanned closings, office cleanliness, security, layout, office space allocation, location, and safety;
2. Sign locally issued insurance policies for the office, if needed;
3. Enable staff to question the way the office is run and empower the Operations Coordinator to enact changes amongst diverse staff;
4. Liaise with the Director of Physical Security in a crisis;
5. Act as a signatory on the bank accounts and authorize payments, as needed;
6. Sign letters of employment, extension, immigration, etc., as requested by HR (depending on the entity);
7. Act as a knowledge base with regards to recruitment;
8. Handle office morale – including scheduling staff cultivation events, regular office-wide staff meetings, and celebrations when appropriate;
9. Liaise with HR in cases of office grievances, disciplinary or other serious matters;
10. Act as an HRW representative in corporate governance matters related to the local entity, as necessary; and
11. Attend all local entity governance meetings.
Education: An advanced (graduate) degree in international relations, journalism, law, history or social sciences is required. Candidates with equivalent experience or training and a passion for human rights work are encouraged to apply.
Experience: A minimum of three years of experience working on human rights issues, ideally in the Middle East and/or North Africa, is required.
Required Skills and Knowledge:
1. Ability to identify, research, analyze, and effectively communicate important human rights developments in Tunisia and Algeria.
2. Ability and sensitivity to conduct interviews with a wide range of people, including victims and witnesses.
3. Ability to produce high-quality written material under tight deadlines, excellent editing skills, and excellent oral and written communication skills and dynamic public speaking skills in English and French or Arabic.
4. Ability to identify and advise on strategies to conduct research and advocacy.
5. Ability to demonstrate strong political judgment based on regional knowledge and experience working in a politically sensitive environment.
6. Must be adept at setting priorities based on a perceptive analysis of critical emerging human rights issues in Tunisia and Algeria that Human Rights Watch can best address.
7. Ability to develop and implement realistic and effective local and international advocacy strategies and establish and maintain close relationships with government officials, policymakers, media contacts, civil society organizations and other key interlocutors.
8. Strong interpersonal skills in order to work collaboratively within HRW, as well as with external partners.
9. Must be highly self-motivated with strong initiative and follow-through, able to multi-task effectively, including having strong planning and organizing skills, and ability to work under pressure.
10. Ability to work flexible hours to accommodate developing and urgent situations.
11. Ability to carry out security assessments and analysis in order to inform Human Rights Watch research opportunities.
12. Strong management skills, including managing more junior research staff working on Tunisia and Algeria research. Management skills should also include incorporating stress and resilience techniques into your own work activities and those colleagues under researcher’s supervision.
13. Demonstrated awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations.