Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Programme Officer

Responsible to:         Head of MENA Programme.

Key relationships:   MENA team, Digital Team, Communications Team,                                                                        Finance team, M&E Officer, Law Programme.                  

Contract:                    Permanent.

Working hours:         Full time (37.5 hours per week), with some evening and                                                                  weekend work.

Special Conditions: Occasional travel is required.



ARTICLE 19 works to protect and defend freedom of expression and information (FoE/I), particularly individual advocates of these rights. Our goal is that those at the front line of defending freedom of expression and information are supported by effective networks of institutions and activists at the local, regional and global levels, and by strong legal frameworks and mechanisms, thus ensuring that violations are known, perpetrators held accountable, and effective relief or redress is secured.


The protection of these rights requires a holistic approach encompassing physical, digital, psychosocial and legal security. ARTICLE 19 works to improve the security conditions and protection tools and mechanisms for journalists, media workers, human rights defenders (HRDs), bloggers and others engaged in defending human rights, particularly freedom of expression and information, and exposing corruption. We work to systematize our global monitoring and reporting methodologies, linking them to international and regional mechanisms, as well as specific governments, to raise cases of violations.

ARTICLE 19 focuses in improving access of women and sexual and gender minority journalists, HRDs, media workers and other communicators to specific tools and knowledge to protect themselves online and offline from physical, digital and legal risks or threats. Protection mechanisms and support networks are nuanced to effectively mitigate risk and threats for women and sexual and gender minorities. 



ARTICLE 19’s (Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Programme has significantly grown in terms of scope of work and variety of thematic areas, and will continue the trend in the coming years. This position is to manage the MENA Programme’s growing need to understand and analyse the complex legal context of Iran in relation to the projects run by the MENA team in order to facilitate a more efficient implementation of those projects.   

The MENA Programme Officer (MPO) will contribute to the MENA Programme's work under the thematic areas of Transparency and Digital projects in Iran. The MPO will play a leading role in providing legal expertise for the Programme’s work on Freedom of Information, General Data Protection Regulation, Computer Crimes Law as well as domestic Laws and Codes for the implementation of relevant projects and various submissions to United Nations mechanisms.

Under the supervision of the Head of MENA Programme, and in direct collaboration with MENA members of staff, other key tasks will include project management of assigned projects, including day-to-day implementation, budget management, maintaining relations with partners and funders, as well as conducting training sessions on legal issues. The MPO will also be expected, where relevant, to participate in wider advocacy and MENA strategy and the relevant thematic areas, as well as global ARTICLE 19 campaigns.



Providing high level legal and policy advice by:

  • Contributing to analysis of domestic legal documents in the areas of access to information, GDPR, and digital rights in the light of international human rights standards. 
  • Providing input to UN submissions (such as UPR, HRC resolutions etc.) by understanding and analysing domestic legal frameworks, including the Islamic Penal Code, the Constitution, Press Law, Computer Crimes Law etc.
  • Developing and delivering trainings to lawyers, media workers, civil society activists, human rights defenders, academics and other stakeholders in target countries and regions on freedom of expression and freedom of information standards.
  • Monitoring domestic legal and policy trends with regard to freedom of expression and freedom of information and identify key areas of concerns and involvement for ARTICLE 19.

Managing Current and Upcoming Projects of the MENA Programme, including by: 

  • Planning/coordinating and managing implementation of project activities and finances. 
  • Ensuring timely delivery of project outputs including by monitoring the delivery of work by partners, liaising with colleagues throughout ARTICLE 19 and by leading on project outputs for which ARTICLE 19 is directly responsible. 
  • Ensuring appropriate monitoring, documentation and evaluation of the project activities and impact. 
  • Maintaining strong collaborative relationships with project consultant and partners.
  • Maintaining good relations with project donors, including by producing narrative and financial reports as required. 
  • Promoting the wide dissemination of project outputs and publications.
  • Maintaining and developing project files and contributing to the development of relevant information systems to improve institutional memory and learning.

Maintain and strengthen ARTICLE 19's Impact and Profile in MENA, including by:

  • Monitoring freedom of expression trends and other developments in the region with a view to identifying potential advocacy interventions in line with the overall ARTICLE 19 MENA Programme strategy and operational plan.
  • Implementing advocacy work, including by drafting press releases and other materials. 
  • Representing ARTICLE 19 in relation to Iran, including through dialogue with others working on the region and by attending meetings.

 Contribute to ARTICLE 19's policy discussion and strategy by:

  • Facilitating cross-learning and collaboration with ARTICLE 19’s other regional/thematic teams.
  • Contributing to overall ARTICLE 19 policy and strategies on behalf of the MENA Programme.
  • Contributing to reports and other ARTICLE 19 materials and the website on behalf of the MENA Programme.
  • Responding to inquiries and providing information on MENA Programme activities. 
  • Providing input to ARTICLE 19 MENA Programme strategy and operational planning. 
  • Contribute to development of new project proposals to seek funding from donors. 


  • Take on responsibilities for new projects and undertake other duties commensurate with the role as may reasonably be assigned by the line manager. 





  • Law degree, preferably at master’s level or higher, preferably with specialisation in Iranian, regional and international human rights law.  
  • Knowledge of international law on freedom of expression and freedom of information.

Skills and Abilities: 

  • Proficient level in legal reading, analysing and writing in Farsi. 
  • Working knowledge of English essential. 
  • Understanding of Transparency and Digital issues specific to Iran.  
  • Understanding of UN mechanisms such as HRC and UPR.  
  • Ability to design, manage and implement projects with legal and policy focus. 
  • Excellent public speaking and interpersonal skills. 
  • Ability to work under pressure and manage time effectively to complete a variety of tasks, without administrative support. 
  • High level of organisation and self-motivation. 
  • Ability to show leadership, to take initiative, and to work independently as well as a part of a team. 
  • Ability to draft and proof-read Farsi material. 
  • Ability to organise and facilitate workshops and trainings in both Farsi and English.


  • Experience of working in the field of freedom of expression and freedom of information, especially, right to know, domestic law and penal codes and GDPR.
  • Experience in writing and/or editing materials for publications. 
  • Experience in managing projects, monitoring and evaluating of impact, and managing the work of others. 
  • Experience of working in a team and understanding of the importance of efficient communications for the coordination and effective functioning of teams, including ability to supervise interns/volunteers. 
  • Experience of working with local partners in/on Iran. 

Other requirements:

  • commitment to support and work within ARTICLE 19’s philosophy and objectives.
  • Ability to work in a multicultural work environment and commitment to equal opportunities and non-discrimination.
  • Willingness and availability for regular, and sometimes extended, overseas travel.                                                                                                                                          

Application deadline: 17 June 2019