Communities Associate in West Africa
Location: West Africa
Accountability Counsel amplifies the voices of communities to protect their human rights and environment. As advocates for people harmed by internationally financed projects, we employ community driven and policy level strategies to access justice. Since our founding in 2009, our team has partnered with communities and advocates from 50 countries to defend their rights, demand justice, and achieve historic victories. We are seeking an advocate to accompany communities in the West Africa region to secure their environmental and human rights when negatively impacted by international investments.
We work toward change through three programmatic approaches. Our Policy Advocacy program advocates for accountability offices that are accessible, transparent, and fair tools for justice; advocates in our Communities program provide grassroots legal support and assist communities to use accountability offices effectively; and our Research team delivers concrete research and tools for the movement for accountability more broadly. Our respect-based approach underlies all that we do: internally, it guides how our team treats one another, and externally, it ensures that marginalized people, particularly Indigenous Peoples, women and girls, are included as full participants in community-led strategies seeking accountability.
Accountability Counsel is seeking an advocate based in the West Africa region to support its Communities program, which works to ensure that communities can access justice for human rights and environmental violations using accountability offices tied to international finance.
The Communities Associate’s primary responsibilities will include:
- Conducting trainings, meetings, and workshops with communities, and local and regional advocates, on how to trace financing and use accountability offices;
- At the request of communities, preparing and filing formal written complaints regarding human rights and environmental abuses, including documenting abuses through field investigations, interviews, document reviews, legal and technical analysis, consultation with experts, and other research;
- Supporting communities in all aspects of the complaint process, in particular by navigating the dispute resolution and compliance review processes associated with accountability offices;
- Advocating for case-specific and systemic outcomes at development finance institutions, corporations, government agencies, complaint offices, and other relevant authorities;
- Drafting or contributing to other written materials for internal and external use, including letters, memoranda, blogs, and other materials;
- Participating in strategic information exchange, knowledge sharing and capacity building opportunities to contribute to the development of an ‘accountability ecosystem’ (a network of civil society advocates for accountability, justice, and remedy for the negative impacts of international financial flows); and
- Managing interns and fellows.
WHO YOU ARE
- Personally committed to Accountability Counsel’s mission and values and respect-based approach. You believe in the agency of communities around the world to protect their human rights and environment. You are committed to meaningfully partnering with those communities and disrupting the systems of power, privilege, and injustice that undermine their rights and interests.
- An advocate for social and/or environmental justice that is committed to centering the voices of communities in those struggles.
- You have a degree in a related field, such as law, development studies, international finance, or human rights and at least three (3) years advocacy experience in a relevant field (e.g. human rights, environmental law, environmental and social justice campaigns, international development, corporate accountability, community organizing). We are seeking someone as equally talented at sensitively working with communities at the local level, as they are effective at international advocacy.
- Deeply grounded in the West Africa region. You have in-depth knowledge of the socio-political and economic context of the particular location in which you are based, and more broadly across the West Africa region.
- Enthusiastic about a non-traditional style of advocacy. We are seeking an advocate who prepares and empowers communities to advocate for themselves rather than speaking for them.
- A thoughtful relationship builder who develops rapport and trust across lines of difference, both internally and externally. You have a high degree of empathy, patience, emotional intelligence, and ability to work among diverse coalitions, including across different cultures and timezones.
- A critical, strategic thinker. You have strong written, verbal, research, and analytical skills, including the ability to review and evaluate highly technical information related to international financing and related policies. You have sound judgment and the ability to think strategically in a fast-paced environment.
- A self-directed team member who welcomes advice. You are comfortable working independently with remote supervision. You can organize and prioritize your workload. At the same time, you proactively, openly, and actively escalate issues to, and welcome feedback and direction from, the rest of Accountability Counsel’s team.
- A transparent and empowering advocate. You generously share knowledge and empower peers and partners to build their own advocacy skills, while also supporting their wellbeing.
- At home in a lean, but collaborative nonprofit environment working at the cutting edge of international environmental and human rights law, with the ability to stay both focused and nimble in the face of change.
- Proficient in written and spoken French as well as fluent in English.
HOURS AND LOCATION
This full-time employment opportunity will begin around 1 February 2024. This position will require close communication with Communities team members currently located in Kenya, San Francisco, Thailand and Indonesia, and regular communication with the rest of our global team. This position will require travel within the region and internationally.
Accountability Counsel is committed to competitive, equitable, transparent, and progressive compensation and benefits for staff and consultants. The compensation and benefits for this role will be commensurate with experience and location and informed by our Compensation Equity and Transparency Framework. We expect the successful candidate will qualify for the Program Associate II band with annual gross compensation of between USD52,500 and USD59,500 (assuming a location consistent with the lower cost of living setting) depending on specific location and experience. In addition to paid time off, team members are encouraged to take every other Friday off (Wellness Fridays), as part of our commitment to team wellbeing.
If this opportunity calls out to you, please click here (or go to https://www.accountabilitycounsel.org/work-with-us/) to submit: 1) a brief description of how Accountability Counsel’s respect-based approach appeals to you as you think about this role, 2) a tailored, authentic cover letter that explains why this mission calls to you and why this particular role is a fit, 3) your resume, and 4) a short writing sample (no more than 5 pages) reflecting your strengths as a compelling communicator, such as a blog or other public-facing piece of writing. Please address your cover letter to Teresa Mutua. We will review applications on a rolling basis starting on 15 November. Due to the volume of candidates anticipated and size of our organization, we regret that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted regarding further steps in the application process.
Accountability Counsel is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, disability, gender, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation or other prohibited category. We strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQIA+ individuals, people with disabilities, people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and all qualified persons to apply for this position.