The Institute of International Education (IIE) seeks applications from qualified individuals for a full-time Democracy Fellow for Digital Technology, Civil Society, and Media to serve within the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance (DRG Center) in the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA). IIE manages the Democracy Fellows and Grants Program (DFG) for USAID. Initial appointment is for approximately nine (9) months, to be concluded by January 31, 2019. The Fellow will be hired as a full-time, salaried IIE employee, with benefits. The Fellow’s salary will be commensurate with salary history and experience.
The Democracy Fellow for Digital Technology, Civil Society, and Media will provide technical expertise and recommendations for civil society strengthening and civic advocacy, with a focus on linkages among new media, technology, and civic advocacy. Recognizing that civil society advocacy is increasingly diffuse and may be conducted by networks of digital technology-enabled activists, rather than formal organizational structures, USAID seeks to support citizen-focused advocacy in a rapidly changing communications and social movement landscape. The Fellow will provide support to programs across USAID’s portfolio; however, special attention may be given to countries experiencing a closing of civic and political space.
USAID’s Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance provides technical advice and support to USAID missions implementing programs in democracy, human rights, and governance; generates and disseminates knowledge to build the evidence base for global advancement in the area; and elevates the role of DRG in key USAID, U.S. Government, and multilateral strategies. The Center is structured into nine technical/functional Divisions: Civil Society and Media (CSM); Elections and Political Transitions; Inclusion and Empowerment; Governance and Rule of Law; Human Rights; Cross-Sectoral Programs; Global and Regional Policy; Learning; and Strategic Planning. This position sits within the CSM Division.
The CSM Division provides technical leadership, training, and support to international field missions and regional bureaus engaged in programs designed to strengthen the civil society and independent media sectors to promote USAID’s democracy, human rights, and good governance goals. The Division also oversees central contracts and grants that provide millions of dollars of technical assistance in a myriad of developing countries. CSM supports USAID Missions, regional bureaus, and DCHA leadership with the design, implementation, and evaluation of civil society and independent media strengthening programs and ensures that the Agency is up to date on cutting-edge research and technologies being used by civil society and media globally. CSM also partners with USAID’s Policy, Planning, and Learning Bureau in implementing USAID’s Closed Space Guidance, which helps ensure that the Agency properly balances transparency in programming with the safety of our beneficiaries and partners in some of the most challenging political environments. The CSM Division also leads the effort to develop an intra-agency Closing Space Community of Practice to facilitate learning across the Agency on how to effectively program in extremely challenging political environments.
Scope of Work Summary
As part of the CSM Division, the Digital Technology, Civil Society, and Media Fellow will provide technical leadership and expert advice on the planning, design, and evaluation of civil society and media strategies and programs globally, with a special focus on countries experiencing a closing of civic and political space. S/he will provide research and technical support to USAID programs worldwide in the areas of civil society and independent media, with a focus on how civil society and media actors – including social movements – use digital technology to network, advocate, and improve their operations, with an awareness of digital security issues. The position will provide technical support in the design and implementation of programs encompassing digital development, including the areas of internet freedom, internet governance, open data, and online activism to support democracy development objectives, as well as broader civil society programming. S/he will be responsible for drafting guides, toolkits, training modules, and other products meant to analyze and disseminate best practices in civil society, media, and information security programming for use by USAID Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance (DRG) Officers in field missions. As appropriate, s/he may also provide technical guidance and support to some of CSM’s core programs and related evaluation activities. S/he will contribute to other key CSM Division and DRG Center duties, including training, annual reporting, country backstopping, and advancing the CSM Division’s learning agenda.
Roles and Responsibilities
This position will provide technical assistance toward developing strategies for effective use of digital technology and data to strengthen movements for social change. The Fellow will assist the DRG Center in advancing the effectiveness of digital development, internet freedom, internet governance, open data, media, and civil society programs worldwide through contributions to strategy, program design, field support, training, monitoring, and evaluation. S/he will provide advisory support for civil society and media activities funded through Civil Society & Media Division and DRG Center contracts and agreements.
Required Skills, Knowledge, and Experience
Supervision and Guidance
The Digital Technology, Civil Society, and Media Fellow will serve as a member of the DRG Center’s CSM Division and will be managed on a day-to-day basis by the CSM Division Chief (or his/her acting designee). The Fellow will participate in relevant working groups in other parts of USAID, as required. The Fellow is expected to exercise professional initiative, resourcefulness, and discretion consistent with USAID’s overall policy and procedural framework.
The Fellow will be an IIE employee and will report for administrative purposes to the DFG Program Director.
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