CIVICUS Digital Strategy Consultant

CIVICUS is hiring a Digital Strategy Consultant to carry out a digital ecosystem analysis between September and December 2021 focused on the intersection of civic activism, digital rights, and digital transformation.  This is a unique opportunity to contribute to a digital strategy that will help to define how CIVICUS supports its global community of informed, inspired and committed activists to use technology and digital spaces to contribute to a more just, inclusive, and sustainable world.  

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to co-design the approach to this assignment with the CIVICUS research team, while also engaging staff and members across the alliance in the implementation.  The primary purpose is to inform CIVICUS’ work advocating for digital civic freedoms, contributing to an enabling digital environment, and enhancing digital programming and operations to both meet our duty of care for how we manage constituent data and to support CIVICUS members to engage with technology and participate in digital spaces safely, securely and on their own terms.   

The digital ecosystem analysis should help in responding to the following areas of investigation, which will help CIVICUS determine how to contribute to locally driven, network supported systems change:

  1. Who are the players, the participants in the ecosystem?
  2. What roles do they play?
  3. Why are they able to command attention? What are the sources of their power and influence?
  4. How did they achieve their position in the ecosystem?  Who are their allies?  challengers?
  5. Who are the stakeholders?
  6. What opportunities and threats can we identify? How healthy is the ecosystem?
  7. Where could CIVICUS engage?  Do we have the capabilities to influence? How will we make an impact?

It is expected that in carrying out the analysis, the digital strategy consultant will also help to define key terms so that we have a common language for discussing a digital strategy and identify and map promising examples of how civil society is engaging with technology and digital spaces to exercise their civic freedoms and progress struggles for human rights and social justice.  

About you

The ideal candidate will bring a Global South, activist perspective, and commitment to strengthening civil society and citizen action. You may have a background working in the tech industry or employing tech for human rights and social justice.  You are curious about issues that arise at the intersection of civic activism, digital rights, and digital transformation. You have demonstrated research experience and understand the importance of rigour in research, but also think creatively about inclusivity and engagement approaches.

You understand and will strive to reinforce the principles underpinning the CIVICUS digital strategy:

  • Systems change.  We won’t be satisfied with tinkering at the edges.  We will work to understand the power imbalances and rights abuses in digital spaces, how new digital systems impact civic freedoms, and who and how we should target our advocacy to change digital systems that undermine people’s civic rights.
  • Networked approach. We will focus on where we can add the most value based on our strategic niche and core mandate to protect and promote civic freedoms, while working in coordination and solidarity with others who are contributing in different ways to digital rights and freedoms. We will embrace what we do not know, interrogate our assumptions, and learn from others who have different expertise and experiences, hold different opinions, engage in different spaces, and take different actions.
  • Constituent-focused. We will ensure that the expertise and experience of civil society groups and the communities they serve are reflected in the recommended actions.  We will enable their participation in defining emerging digital systems, technology, and policy.  And our advocacy agendas, programmes, and operations will reflect their needs and priorities, protect and promote their interests, and leverage digital technologies in their service.

About CIVICUS

CIVICUS exists to defend people's power. As a growing global alliance of more than 11,000 members in 175 countries, we work together to monitor violations of basic civic freedoms, call out the perpetrators of violations and strengthen the power of people to organise by supporting a more accountable, effective, and innovative civil society. We strive to promote excluded voices, especially from the Global South. We were established in 1993 and since 2002 have been proudly headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with additional hubs across the globe. 

Our definition of civil society is broad and covers non-governmental organisations, activists, civil society coalitions and networks, protest and social movements, voluntary bodies, campaigning organisations, charities, faith-based groups, trade unions and philanthropic foundations. Our membership is diverse, spanning a wide range of issues, sizes, and organisation types.

How to apply

Please send the following materials to no later than 30 September 2021:

  • Cover letter (addressing how you meet the necessary qualifications and why you want to work with CIVICUS)
  • Resume or CV (for you and any additional team members)
  • List of three references
  • Work plan and budget proposal (2-pages max., to be refined with CIVICUS research team, if selected)

 

Consultancy to strengthen data curation and evaluate the CIVICUS Monitor methodology

Location: Global

Duration: 1 to 3 months

About CIVICUS

CIVICUS exists to defend people power. As a growing global alliance of over 10,000 members in over 175 countries, we work together to monitor violations of basic civic freedoms, call out the perpetrators of violations, and strengthen the power of people to organise by supporting a more accountable, effective, and innovative civil society. We strive to promote excluded voices, especially from the Global South.

Background

The CIVICUS Monitor is a dynamic, online portal that tracks conditions for civil society in 196 countries by collating information from a variety of sources, including civic groups and activists. These sources provide a stable approximation of the current state of civic space (freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly, and freedom of association) to arrive at a rating for all assessed countries. These ratings are constantly updated through a live component and country ratings are quality controlled by an independent advisory panel of experts. In 2018, we published a methodology paper after a review by an external quantitative research methodology expert, which involved an in-depth examination of the finer details of our initial civic space datasets.

As the CIVICUS Monitor is evolving through an intentionally iterative process of conversations with experts and civil society groups from all over the world, we seek to continuously reflect on the data being generated by the Monitor and ensure that its methodology includes the latest thinking and data sources on civic space.

Tasks and responsibilities      

The purpose of this consultancy is to evaluate the CIVICUS Monitor’s methodology in order to achieve the development of a Data Center that will enable users to disaggregate information and engage with CIVICUS Monitor data, making it easily accessible for a wide range of audiences. The consultant will work closely with the Civic Space Cluster team.

The consultant will have the following responsibilities throughout the consultancy period:

  1. Review of human rights research methodologies that combine qualitative and quantitative data, as well as the different approaches used when coding qualitative data.
  2. Examine the current CIVICUS Monitor methodology and propose improvements based on the review made in point 1, and specifically:
      • Revise the methodology of the qualitative data component, signalling pros and cons of their use, and assess potential challenges (including biased sources, sources duplication between indicators, among others).
      • Evaluate the current method used to code qualitative information and determine whether it is necessary to establish a detailed protocol.
      • Test the aggregation of the indexed components and suggest alternative approaches where applicable. If possible, also test how the improvements proposed in point 2 would affect the index.
      • Analyse the weight given to different index components and the impact of potential changes.
      • Evaluate how to incorporate country consultation, surveys, and additional data into our methodology as sub-components.
      • Evaluate the durability and permanence of the live adjustment score in the total score.
      • Establish a protocol to incorporate panel members’ feedback.
      • Propose a measure of quality and/or quantity of the data that helps settle the scope of the inferences that can be made.
      • Estimate this measure for both the global index and its components for each country. 

        3. Any other relevant tasks agreed upon during the consultancy.

 Proposed deliverables

1. Conduct a data audit of all data in the CIVICUS Monitor.

2. Organise a day-long methodology meeting with members of the CIVICUS Monitor team. This will include:    

      • A presentation of findings, criticisms, and suggested amendments.
      • Facilitating discussions with the CIVICUS Monitor team to establish next steps and any additional follow up or actions needed by the team or website developers.

3. Update the current methodology paper with the approved amendments and a methodology update to publish along our annual report.

4. Develop a roadmap for setting up a Data Centre replete with innovative ideas for curating various categories of data, suggesting pathways to disaggregate various types of data, in addition to suggesting tools and software programs to make the data accessible to interested persons, including those based in locations with limited digital access and internet bandwidth.

5. Support the Communications Cluster at CIVICUS in the preparation of communications materials that explain the CIVICUS Monitor’s methodology for different stakeholders.

Key requirements

  • Degree in social science, international relations, statistics, or any relevant discipline
  • Experience with various quantitative and qualitative research design and analysis techniques
  • An understanding of international human rights frameworks related to fundamental freedoms of association, peaceful assembly, and expression
  • Demonstrable competency and experience in using information and communications technology (ICT)

How to apply

Interested candidates are welcome to email their applications to

Your application should comprise:

      • A full CV
      • A two-page (max.) cover letter describing relevant skills and experience, the approach to this assignment, and daily rate

 

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