Call: Advocacy Program Researcher – Tunis Office

In News by CIHRS


JOB TITLE:  Researcher on Yemen and Iraq
PROGRAM:  Arab Regional Advocacy Program (ARAP)
LOCATION: Tunis, Tunisia
DURATION: One year, renewable.
REMUNERATION: Competitive salary rate for Tunis-based non-governmental organizations, dependent on experience.

The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) is seeking well-qualified applicants for the position of Advocacy Program Researcher on Yemen and Iraq of the Arab Regional Advocacy Program (ARAP). The researcher reports directly to the Senior Director for Advocacy.

The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies:  The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) was established in 1993 as a regional NGO dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights.  Its mission is to strengthen the human rights movement within the Middle East and North Africa. For more than 25 years, CIHRS has played a unique and central role in identifying and responding to the challenges and needs of this movement and helping to shape its development.   CIHRS enjoys consultative status with the United Nations ECOSOC and observer status with the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights.  CIHRS has received numerous awards for its work including the French Republic Award for Human Rights in December 2007, and an award from the Library of Alexandria (2010).

The Arab Regional Advocacy Program (ARAP):  The ARAP is designed to increase the ability of human rights actors in the Arab region to achieve positive change by enhancing their campaigning capacities, with a specific emphasis on creating synergy between national, regional and international advocacy and influence.  This is achieved through a partnership based process that involves research, capacity-building, network creation and joint advocacy initiatives.  To achieve this, the ARAP is currently expanding its regional research capacity, and regularly engages with partners at international human rights mechanisms and in approaching other international advocacy targets, including the United Nations, African Union, European Union, other multilateral forums, as well as in strategic capitals in Europe and around the world.

The mission of the ARAP is to identify, protect and empower human rights defenders and strengthen the human rights movement in the Middle East and North Africa region in order to defend and expand the enjoyment of universal human rights by all people of the region. Empowering human rights defenders requires a particular focus on freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of association.

JOB PURPOSE:  The researcher is responsible for developing a program of research, network creation and advocacy to achieve positive human rights change in the Mashriq sub-region, with a particular focus on Yemen and Iraq, taking into consideration the influence of neighboring states and other regional and global powers on human rights conditions.  A central part of the job is to maintain and develop a network of human rights activists to partner with CIHRS in coordinated advocacy with international organizations to achieve human rights objectives. In coordination with CIHRS advocacy offices in Brussels and Geneva, and with CIHRS staff members and partners in the United States, the researcher implements advocacy to achieve specific human rights policy objectives targeting international organizations and influential governments.  The researcher serves as an in-house expert at CIHRS on the political, legal and social contexts shaping human rights conditions in the Mashriq, with an emphasis on Yemen and Iraq.

The researcher will join a small but expanding team of advocacy research staff based in the Tunis office.  While this position will have primary responsibility for developing an advocacy program for Yemen and Iraq, all researchers are expected to be flexible and able to respond to human rights developments in the Arab region according to expertise, availability and need.

JOB DESCRIPTION:  The researcher carries out research on human rights conditions, outreach to local, independent civil society organizations, support and capacity building for local partners and coordination with colleagues in other human rights organizations focused on similar issues. The researcher works with a growing team of ARAP researchers in the Tunis office, as well as with a larger team of program and CIHRS staff located in multiple countries.   The researcher works with partner organizations and human rights activists from the Arab region and around the world to carry out national, regional and global human rights advocacy campaigns and initiatives.

Tasks and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Follow and monitor developments that impact human rights conditions in Yemen, Iraq and the Mashriq region.
  • Develop advocacy goals for CIHRS and its partners at the United Nations and other international advocacy targets.
  • Produce research and analysis on human rights conditions in the target countries.
  • Provide training, support and assistance to partner organizations focused on Yemen and Iraq in their work and relations with international mechanisms and officials throughout the year.
  • Represent CIHRS in high-level international meetings, strategy sessions, events, trainings, etc.
  • Articulate clear and measurable advocacy objectives, and establish coherent strategies, plans and activities to achieve them.
  • Perform media outreach, produce press releases, and build working relations with media outlets and individuals.
  • Regularly consult and strategize with CIHRS staff and partner organizations to formulate international and national advocacy strategies and goals the reflect the mission of CIHRS.
  • Participate in CIHRS and program meetings to assist in the formulation and creation of organizational and program specific goals, plans and strategies.
  • In consultation with the Senior Director for Advocacy and other ARAP staff as appropriate, contribute to developing CIHRS regionwide focus on human rights promotion depending on expertise, regional developments and availability.


  • A Master’s degree in a relevant social science field (e.g. Political Science, International Relations, Law etc.) desirable, an academic background in human rights is an asset. Relevant experience in the human rights or international civil society area will also be taken into consideration.
  • Minimum 3 years (full-time) working experience in the human rights field on the MENA region, previous experience in international advocacy is a strong asset.
  • Strong understanding of international politics and international human rights mechanisms, experience engaging with and building advocacy campaigns directed at the UN and national capitals is strongly preferred.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English and Arabic required.
  • Excellent analytical skills and a strong understanding of the political and social context in the Mashriq region and of the human rights field is expected.
  • Strong public speaking and presentation skills.
  • Ability to formulate and carry out successful human rights advocacy campaigns.
  • Previous experience in capacity building with local activists is preferred.
  • Demonstrated commitment to universal human rights.
  • Willingness and ability to travel regularly, work extra hours (sometimes during weekends), work well under pressure and adapt to emerging issues and changing priorities.
  • The ability to work both as part of a team and to be individually motivated and organized.
  • Ability to work in a multicultural environment.
  • Willingness to take on new and challenging tasks and goals.


All applicants must submit:

  • Updated CV or resume (including details of language skills)
  • Cover letter, containing two references with email and phone contact information
  • Please indicate which position is being applied for in the subject line of the email.

Applications should be submitted to: by September  20, 2020

Only applicants who have been selected for an interview will be contacted.

CIHRS is committed to ensuring equality and non-discrimination on grounds of sex, race, religion or belief in its hiring process.

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