Senior Programme Officer - Civic Space

Responsible to: Regional Director, Eastern Africa

Key Relationships: Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) focal points, Programme Officers, Fundraising and Compliance Focal Points

Contract period: One year renewable

Working Hours: Full time (37.5 hours per week)

Location: Nairobi, Kenya 



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.



Under the supervision of the Regional Director, the post holder will be responsible for ensuring that ARTICLE 19 plays a crucial role in promoting an enabling legal and policy environment for people’s participation in shaping their societies in the Eastern African Region.

S/he will be developing policy documents of freedom of expression and freedom of information related issue, analysing laws related to freedom of expression, and freedom of information, freedom of assembly, freedom of association, right to privacy, public participation and laws regulating and affecting civil society engagement vis a vis their conformity with the international and regional standards; researching and monitoring new developments and trends relevant to the above rights; undertaking national, regional and international advocacy; assisting with national, regional and international litigation; representing ARTICLE 19 at conferences and meetings; and developing and delivering trainings on freedom of expression and freedom of information and other incidental rights standards to local and regional stakeholders. 

S/he will also contribute to ARTICLE 19 work in the region, which will include developing and implementing project/s, contributing to the implementation of other projects, and to efforts to raise funds to support ARTICLE 19’s activities.  The post holder will be based in Nairobi, Kenya and maintain key relations with other ARTICLE 19 offices.  



  • Developing and implementing all the projects within the Civic Space thematic area including Minority rights, peaceful protests and assembly, etc. Preparation of the annual work plans and coordinating the same with the program officers and assistants working under Civic Space; 
  • Monitoring and researching legal and policy developments related to freedom of expression and freedom of information and civic space in the Eastern  African region;
  • Analysing and critiquing laws and legislative proposals in the Eastern Africa region from the perspective of international standards;
  • Undertaking national, regional and international advocacy on laws affecting and incidental to civic space to the countries within the region;
  • Writing advocacy and policy briefs, including but not limited to briefing papers, reports to the universal periodic review and other sessions of the UN Charter and treaty bodies, advocacy alerts, letters and background analysis documents to support the advocacy objectives.
  • Drafting legal submissions and amicus briefs and advising lawyers in countries of the region on litigation on rights incidental to civic space such as FOE, RTI, right to assemble, right to privacy, freedom of association and laws on registration and regulation of CSOs in the region;
  • Developing and delivering trainings for lawyers, media workers, civil society activists, human rights defenders and other stakeholders in the region and enhancing their capacity to apply international standards in their work;
  • Develop concept papers and proposals, work plans and timetables; take the lead in fundraising for the civic space activities in conjunction with the Fundraising and Compliance Officer;
  • Contributing to standards setting work of ARTICLE 19, through research, preparing legal opinions, studies and briefs and developing specific and practical recommendations to ARTICLE 19 policies;
  • Undertaking public speaking on behalf of ARTICLE 19, including at international and regional conferences and meetings; 
  • Building regional network of freedom of expression and freedom of information experts and promoting cooperation and exchange of best practices between them; 
  • Contributing to ARTICLE 19 publications and web resources – both in Eastern Africa region and in general; 
  • Developing library of regional laws and policies on freedom of expression and other relevant materials; 
  • Working closely with other ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa officers to develop, as appropriate, projects that advance the goals and objectives of the organisation including providing input to budgets and reporting back to donors;
  • Ensure effective and timely implementation of assigned project/s, if appropriate, including effective project planning, budget management and narrative and financial reporting and evaluation; 
  • Undertaking other reasonable tasks as may be assigned by the Regional Director. 





  • At least 5 years experience in policy work, monitoring, advocacy and/or campaigning work in the human rights sector;
  • At least 2 year experience of managing budgets and projects;
  • Experience of working with partner organisations;
  • Experience of working in a cross-cultural environment.


  • Masters Degree level or equivalent with post-graduate qualification in human rights, law, African studies, international relations, political science, media, communication, or other relevant field being an added advantage.


  • Familiarity with human rights, freedom of expression and/or democratisation issues in Eastern Africa; 
  • Familiarity with international and regional mechanisms for promoting and protecting human rights;
  • Knowledge of politics and societies in Eastern Africa.


  • Able to operate on own initiative with demonstrable time-management skills;
  • Excellent written and spoken English and Kiswahili;
  • Analytical and strategic planning skills;
  • Excellent project management and administration skills (including financial management and reporting);
  • Excellent research and report writing skills;
  • Excellent writing and presentation  and advocacy skills;
  • Excellent communication skills and sensitivity in working with people from various cultural and social backgrounds;
  • Excellent organisational and logistical skills;
  • Excellent skills in word-processing and working with spreadsheets;
  • Familiarity with the use of e-mail and internet;
  • Ability to work under pressure, with little administrative support and to meet strict deadlines.


  • Commitment to ARTICLE 19’s values and objectives;
  • Commitment to equal opportunities;
  • Ability to travel extensively.



  • Knowledge of French; 
  • Experience of working in an NGO environment;
  • Experience with civil society capacity-building, including training;
  • Experience in the media field;
  • Research experience; and
  • Experience of writing/editing publications.

Application deadline is 16th June 2019.