Senior Advisor, Alliances and Outreach

Human Rights Watch
  • Location
    Nairobi, Kenya
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Sep 21

Position description



Global Alliances & Outreach Program

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

The Global Alliances and Outreach Program of Human Rights Watch (“HRW”) is seeking applicants for the position of Senior Advisor, Alliances and Outreach, Kenya. The program is a new initiative that will work on various sectors of civil society to re-imagine, reshape and reinvigorate democratic and human rights values globally. It aims to influence how human rights actors work by emphasizing organizing, alliance building and personal connections with the larger constituency that human rights organizations serve.

The Senior Advisor will work closely with the Program Director to establishing a baseline with respect to current civil society alliance-building efforts, documenting and analyzing the successes and lessons coming from local social movements and civil society, assess cross-sharing of activist’s experiences, and working to identify new and cutting edge areas for research. The Senior Advisor will also lead the program’s civil society alliance building work in Kenya. This is a fixed-term, part-time position for 1 year, working initially at 20 hours per week (50% schedule). The schedule of this position may increase to 100%, pending available funding. This position reports to the Program Director. 


1. Advise the Program Director on the following:

a. Contemporary challenges for civic space, democracies and human rights work and strategies to confront these challenges;

b. Creative new approaches to work with social movements, civil society at large and alliances of progressive actors;

c. Dynamics of local social movements, civil society and political dynamics in the pilot countries; 

d. Baseline parameters for the pilot experiences; lessons learned from the pilot experiences; local experiences in a global context and creative options to test experiences locally;

e. Research strategies that, in consultation with local (in pilot countries) and global civil society and human rights organizations, complement their work and efforts;


2. Identify cutting-edge research areas such as understanding successful tactics of anti-democratic movements; the role of private actors and international community on human rights work and the decline of democracy; and analyzing the impact of local and global alliances; 

3. Identify stakeholders for alliance building, both internationally and in Kenya; 

4. Facilitate convening key local actors in Kenya and identify creative ways to support the implementation of local strategic alliance objectives;

5. Organize mentoring activities for alliances and local civil society groups and actors; 

6. Participate in and co-facilitate local strategizing meetings to renew and reshape local democratic engagement; 

7. Identify supporting stakeholders outside civil society, convene with them and develop strategies to support re-imagine democracy with a stronger role for civil society; 

8. Co-design stakeholder meetings at local and international level, in collaboration with the Program team;

9. Liaise effectively with HRW staff located in multiple locations throughout the world to ensure effective coordination and delivery of activities;

10. Be prepared and willing to work flexible hours to accommodate developing and urgent events; 

11. Travel to the pilot countries and elsewhere as required, to facilitate and promote alliance building and ensure advocacy;

12. Deliver outputs in a timely manner and be consistent with the agreed strategy and priorities of the initiative; and

13.Carry out any other duties as required.


Education: An advanced (master) degree in international relations, journalism, law, social sciences, or related studies is required.

Experience: A minimum of eight years of experience in conducting social and legal research in the field of international human rights, law, democracy or related fields. Experience and expertise on civil society issues in Kenya is required, as well as experience working on civil society issues, human rights and democracy globally.


Related Skills and Knowledge:  


1. Ability to research and analyze complex challenges of contemporary democracies, civic space and international relations in a rigorous and efficient manner is required.

2. Ability and sensitivity to conduct interviews with a wide range of people, including government and international community officials and actors at the grass root level are required.

3. Ability to identify emerging issues with regard to democracy and human rights in a global and local context is required.

4. Excellent oral and written communication skills in English are required. Communication skills in Swahili are highly desirable.

5. Strong interpersonal and communication skills in culturally diverse environments along with the ability to interact with formal and high-level authorities, as well as local actors at grass roots level, are required.

6. Ability to identify and provide advice on creative approaches to alliance building based upon research and comparative analysis is required.

7. Knowledge of, and experience working in, international human rights at the global level and familiarity with international human rights law is required.

8. Ability to establish collaborative working relations with diverse teams in- and outside the organization to leverage research capacity is required.

9. Strong initiative and follow-through, the capacity to think creatively and strategically, excellent writing and editing skills, and a dynamic public speaking ability are required.

10. Demonstrated ability to maintain solid and effective working relationships at long distance, through modern technology is required.

11. Strong interpersonal skills in diverse cultural settings in order to work collaboratively within HRW, as well as with external partners, are required.

12. Ability to multi-task effectively, including having good planning and organizing skills and ability to work under pressure are required.

13. Ability to make sound decisions consistent with functions is required.


Duration: Initial fixed-term employment for a one-year period. Renewable dependent upon availability of continued funding.  


Other: Applicants for this position must possess valid Kenyan work authorization.


Human Rights Watch is strong because it is diverse. We do not discriminate in hiring practices and actively seek a diverse applicant pool. We encourage candidates of all abilities, ages, gender identities and expressions, national origins, races and ethnicities, religious beliefs, sexual orientations, and those with criminal records to apply. We welcome all kinds of diversity. Our employees include people who are parents and nonparents, the self-taught and university educated, and from a wide span of socio-economic backgrounds and perspectives on the world. Human Rights Watch is an equal opportunity employer.

Human Rights Watch is an international human rights monitoring and advocacy organization known for its in-depth investigations, its incisive and timely reporting, its innovative and high-profile advocacy campaigns, and its success in changing the human rights-related policies and practices of influential governments and international institutions.

Application instructions

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