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Programme Officer Job in Nairobi, Kenya

Protection International is looking for a Regional Programme Officer based in Nairobi, Kenya - French Speaking

Background: Human rights defenders (HRDs) work towards the protection of internationally recognized human rights, document violations and seek justice for victims. Their work greatly contributes towards the struggle against impunity and towards democracy and accountability.

Despite international declarations and commitments by governments to respect their rights, human rights defenders continue to face intimidation, persecution, defamation as well as arbitrary arrest and physical mistreatment for their legitimate work.

PI is an international non-profit organization researching strategies and security management tools that protect human rights defenders and sharing its expertise in this area with people at risk for their human rights work all around the world.

PI sees human rights defenders as agents of change who form a pillar of free and just societies. In many parts of the world, HRDs face threats from state and non-state actors for their human rights work.

PI works with human rights defenders to develop strategies tailored to their profile and context.

The Role: PI Regional Programme officer is responsible for implementing PIs work in the region of the East and Horn of Africa and the wider African continent (except DRC) under supervision of the Representative. The RPO will have a focus (but not work exclusively) on French speaking African countries.

The PI RPO is part of a team of four, based in Nairobi. (S)he travels regularly in the region and occasionally beyond.

Key Responsibilities: This job will entail some work in Francophone Africa where the RPO will be expected to know how to prioritise their work keeping in mind the regions PI works in. The candidate must also be fluent in spoken and written French.

Capacity Building
  • To accompany partners in building their capacity to manage their security and protect their sources and the people whose rights they defend;
  • To propose improvement of PI’s capacity building approach and tools with an eye for the specific requirements of local, national and regional context;
  • To actively monitor and evaluate change, positive or negative.

  • Undertake research on issues related to the way HRDs protect themselves, the State and its duty to protect and the ways of other actors with a stake in the protection of HRD;
  • To capture lessons learnt and best practices in HRD protection in suitable formats and share within PI for internal learning and strategic use with external stakeholders.

Lobby and advocacy
  • To contribute to the development of advocacy activities and documents in coordination with the PI Representative;
  • To liaise with other regional, national and/or local HRDs organisations with a view to establishing or reinforcing relationships and possibly developing partnerships;
  • To undertake advocacy activities before national, regional and international authorities;
  • To liaise with NGOs, international organisations and bodies working in the region on the protection of human rights defenders.

Monitoring and evaluation
  • To analyse the situation of HRDs and HROs at risk in EHA and other sub regional countries covered by the project and provide security advice;
  • To collaborate and prepare reports for the PI Representative on programmatic and thematic topics;
  • Monitor and evaluate PI projects and partners with a view to document and learn from the process.

General responsibilities
  • To contribute to the timely update of the organisation security plan and abide by it;
  • To keep abreast of the political situation in the country and contribute to the organizational political analysis.

Skills and experience
  • University degree in law, human rights, political science, social sciences or related field;
  • Experience in human rights work of at least 3 years;

Proven research skills;
  • Experience in the practical delivery of training preferably adult learning;
  • Understanding of the UN Human Rights system, the European Union and African Union Human Rights systems;
  • Experience with local human rights organisations and human rights issues;

Field mission experience;
  • Ability to prepare reports and conduct presentations on key issues by formulating positions, articulating options concisely, and making and defending recommendations;
  • Ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate, implement and review work processes and plans;
  • Work with minimal supervision but able to take direction;
  • Analytical skills as well as creative and interactive skills;
  • Interactive/ Assertive/ Self-confident;
  • Understanding of rules of participation and how to encourage inclusion;

Proven team work skills;
  • Experience in a multi-cultural and/or international work environment;
  • Ability to work under pressure and to multi task;
  • Willingness and ability to travel for extended periods of time;
  • Commitment to gender equality as well as to cultural, ethnic, sexual orientation and religious equality;
  • Diplomacy and extensive capacities to deal with challenges and situations of conflict constructively;
  • Awareness of issues surrounding gender, ethnicity, etc.
  • Proven ability to write and speak concisely and clearly and communicate effectively; in English and French;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity;
  • Valid driving license.

Location: The position is based in Nairobi, Kenya with frequent travels in the sub-region of the East and Horn of Africa.

Languages: Fluency in spoken and written French and English are a precondition. Kiswahili will be positively valued.

The offer: One-year, renewable contract with six month probation period. Contract conform Kenyan labour law. Competitive remuneration

How to apply:

To apply for the position please send your resume, cover letter and names and contact details of 3 references before 4 April 2014 to the following email:  

Include your name in the file name of your application documents, e.g. John_Smith_CV.doc.

Do not attach any certificates or references at this stage of the recruitment process.

Include the following subject line in your email: Application for PI Regional Programme Officer EHA.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted

Further information about the activities of Protection International can be obtained from

We value diversity and aspire to reflect this in our workforce.

People from all communities are encouraged to apply.

Female candidates are especially encouraged to apply.

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