The Southern Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (Southern Defenders) is a non-profit sub-regional network consisting of human rights-defending civil societies and non-governmental organisations, which coordinates regional efforts to offer rapid, practical, and inclusive 24hr support to human rights defenders (HRDs). At the heart of the Southern Defenders is a deep commitment to standing with HRDs in adversity. Utilizing the “backyard” concept, in which our members, national level human rights defenders, coalitions, organic social movements and human rights defenders are the front runners, while we occupy the backyard and provide holistic protection support as well as demand-driven technical and programmatic back-up. In this connection, Southern Defenders works on the ground in sixteen countries across the Southern African region to improve the situation of HRDs and increase their civic agency. In addition, Southern Defenders invests in building the capacity, credibility and resilience of HRDs and HRD networks in the region.
Southern Defenders is an equal opportunities employer and fights against all kinds of discrimination.
With a view to expanding and diversifying its human capital and technical capacity, the Southern defenders seek a dynamic and detail-oriented communications and visibility specialist to enhance the visibility of HRDs and the positive impact of their work in the Southern Africa Region, and to promote Southern Defenders content and mission while driving engagement across all Southern Defenders branded media channels while working closely with the Secretariat and project teams.
Position Title: Communications and Visibility Specialist
Opportunity Type: Employment
Position Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Reports to: Team Leader
Application Deadline: 10 March 2023Duration of Contract: April 1, 2023 – March 31, 2024
- Develop and maintain a communication and visibility strategy for the Southern Defenders.
- Devising advocacy priorities and strategies, identifying advocacy opportunities, and undertaking advocacy directed at influencing governments, intergovernmental organisations, and human rights bodies and experts on the protection of civic space and HRDs;
- Undertaking research and analysis, and preparing reports and publications, in relation to matters relevant to civic space, HRDs and human rights systems;
- Acting as a spokesperson for Southern Defenders where appropriate, including through the preparation of statements, media releases, and op-eds and representing Southern Defenders on panels and events;
- Manage the website and social media accounts of Southern Defenders, Executing a mixture of reactive social content and planned campaigns to the highest editorial standards.
- Develop a Southern African-focused media list for Southern Defenders;
- Monitoring key developments in relation to HRDs and threats to civic space, and preparing and publishing timely commentaries on such developments;
- Contributing to the writing, editing and publishing of Southern Defenders publications; newsletter, and research op-eds;;
- Provide the Southern Defenders with an assessment of its media footprint, branding and reputation in the Southern African region;
- Assisting with planning, preparations and conduct of Southern Defenders events; online dialogues, interviews, webinars and field visits;
- Undertaking all such other tasks, including administrative and logistical tasks, as necessary for the effective operation of a lean Network;
- Be available upon reasonable notice for regular meetings at the Southern Defenders’ Offices or via online media with Southern Defenders Staff and other partner organisations; and
- Report to Southern Defenders Team Leader through the Regional Programmes Manager and coordinate with other Southern Defenders staff and Network, including regularly sharing progress made with regards to all activities in terms of this agreement.
- Contribute to the compilation of the annual work plan and monitor the progress of its implementation;
- Work as a team member and actively support the achievement of collective goals and professionalism in line with stated rules and specific global and individual achievements as stated in the work plan;
- Work in line with provisions stipulated in the Southern Defenders’ human capital and talent management policy;
- Carry out any other responsibilities as assigned by the Team Leader or designated supervisor.
Qualification and Experience:
- A degree or diploma in Communications, Media, Journalism, Law Political science, Human Rights, Psychology, Social Science etc or a relevant professional credential;
- Proficient knowledge and proven experience in non-profit and NGO communication, media, advocacy work, and training facilitation, with a strong focus on Human Rights Defenders for a period of 3 to 5 years;
- Experience working within the NGO sector is desirable;
- Journalistic experience is desirable;
- Experience in content creation and social media strategies for human rights work in Southern Africa;
- Excellent level in English (written and spoken); Proven writing skills a must;
- Commitment to defending human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and advancement of civic space.
- Fluent across social media, digital media and communications platforms;
- Skilled at quickly crafting accurate content with a knack for storytelling and advocacy messaging;
- Excellent organisational, planning and time-management skills, ability to take initiative and capacity to adapt to changing priorities and needs;
- Attention to detail and accuracy;
- Excellent interpersonal skills, ability to work well as part of a diverse and inclusive team and thrive in a fast-paced, multicultural environment;
- Excellent language skills in spoken and written English, French, Portuguese and major local vernacular languages of Southern Africa an added advantage;
- Advanced computer skills, especially with Word Press, Canva, Adobe Applications, Microsoft Office, Social Media Platforms, and Digital Technology;
- Ability to operate spreadsheets and word-processing programmes at a highly proficient level;
- Knowledge about one or more computerised digital design and content creation software is necessary;
- Ability to maintain the highest degree of confidentiality regarding all aspects of work at all times.
Submit your application letter and CV via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org before 10 March 2023 – 5:00 pm SAST, addressed to the Team Leader, Southern Defenders
Please specify the position in the subject line: Communications and Visibility Specialist
The application should include:
- Application letter (in English, no longer than two pages, incl. salary expectations)
- Curriculum vitae (in English, no longer than 2 pages)
- Two (2) reference persons (only short-listed candidates’ reference persons will be contacted)
Please note: Only short-listed candidates will be invited for interviews.