Civic Space Research Officer

  • Location
    Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    May 07

Position description

At CIVICUS our focus is simple: to strengthen civil society and citizen action around the world. We are a global movement with 4,000 members in over 180 countries who fight for the freedoms of ordinary people. We believe that together we are stronger.  Our supporters are inspired by hope for a better world and work to strengthen civil society through campaigning and international solidarity.


·       We monitor, research and analyse global events and trends that impact civil society.

·       We strengthen civil society by bringing it together to generate and share knowledge, to improve its working and to act collectively. 

·       We work to ensure that civil society voices are heard. To achieve impact we communicate, campaign and  advocate.


In seeking to amplify the voices and opinions of ordinary people CIVICUS adheres to certain principles in the way we act:

·    Justice and Equality - CIVICUS believes in the equality and dignity of every person, and that all people should be free to exercise their rights as citizens as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

·    Reciprocity - CIVICUS exists to ensure that people treat one another with the respect with which they themselves wish to be treated. Civil society cannot thrive without mutual respect.

·    Knowledge - CIVICUS realizes that, in order to increase its global awareness of civil society and before it can assist to take action, it needs to form alliances with other concerned bodies to increase its influence and knowledge.

·    Vision - CIVICUS is realistic about conflict in today’s world, but remains optimistic that most people, organisations, governments and businesses will work together for the benefit of all.

·    Principled Courage - CIVICUS will always promote civil justice and pledges to act in a manner that honours the principles of democratic civil society.

CIVICUS Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

CIVICUS positively promotes diversity and inclusion across all areas of the organisation. CIVICUS ensures that its policies and practices do not discriminate on the basis of gender, family status, marital status, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability or race. Furthermore, CIVICUS ensures that its recruitment policies are designed to enable candidates from under-represented regions, with diverse educational backgrounds and with diverse language skills to access employment opportunities with CIVICUS. 

Overall purpose of the role: 

A researcher to support the continued publication of high-quality daily content on the CIVICUS Monitor platform, to support the strengthening of the Monitor’s global research collaboration and to support the technical development of the Monitor platform itself. In addition, to advance the civic space research agenda at CIVICUS through contributions to periodic research papers, analysis of trends and continued tracking of violations and abuses.

Specific tasks and responsibilities:


·     Coordinate the publication of between three and five daily updates on the CIVICUS Monitor site.

·     Provide editing and feedback for content submitted to the CIVICUS Monitor.

·     Contribute to the identification, planning and implementation of discrete research papers on civic space.

·     Conduct structured interviews with in-country civil society contacts.

·     Other tasks related to the furtherance of CIVICUS research on civic space, as assigned. 

Managing partner relations

·       Manage the global schedule of updates for approximately 20 research partners.

·       Manage the contracts of 20 research partners.

·       Organise regular online meetings of research partners, and one annual research partners workshop


·     As required, speak about CIVICUS research to external audiences during online or in-person meetings or conferences.

·     Coordinate with the CIVICUS Communications teams to ensure maximum visibility for posts on the CIVICUS Monitor.

·     Coordinate with the CIVICUS advocacy team to ensure a clear connection between Monitor content and CIVICUS advocacy efforts.

·     Promote the Monitor through social media and other channels as appropriate.

Required qualifications and competencies:


CIVICUS is looking for an energetic candidate with research experience and a real passion for the work of civil society organisations and human rights defenders. While education qualifications are an asset, we will prioritise candidates with a good hands-on experience of working with or in support of civil society, ideally in the global south. 


·       Candidates must have five to seven years experience working directly with civil society organisations and/or human rights defenders, ideally in the global south. 

·       In addition, diplomas/degrees in the following domains will be taken into account, although are not mandatory for this position:

o  Political science

o  Law

o  Sociology

o  International relations

o  Development.


·       Preference for candidates with practical hands-on experience and/or understanding of working with civil society organisations or human rights defenders, ideally in the global south. 

·       Competence with a wide range of languages – these can be either UN or non-UN languages – is considered a strong asset.

·       Good understanding of global civil society, human rights and development issues and trends.

·       An understanding of international human rights frameworks related to fundamental freedoms of association, peaceful assembly and expression.

·       Previous experience of working on research or advocacy projects related to human rights, social justice or democracy.

·       Basic computer literacy, with any web-based publication experience an advantage. 

·       Previous experience of drafting documents in any language for publication.


·       Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work as part of a diverse team.

·       A good communicator – someone with a passion for advancing the cause of civil society and human rights.

·       Well-organised, with the ability to work independently.

·       Ability to analyse complex sets of information and reveal trends.

·       A commitment to improving respect for human rights.

Application instructions

Submit a motivational letter and detailed CV with contact details of three current referees by 11 May, 2018.

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