Africa Program Manager



WITNESS believes in the power of effective civic media to protect human rights and drive social change. As advocates and visual storytellers, we know the power of media and technology to amplify marginalized voices, hold abusers accountable, and catalyze movements. We are a global hub of innovative problem-solvers committed to maximizing the potential of the 21st century’s most powerful tools for defending human rights.

For the past 26 years, we have supported activists in more than 100 countries and built trusted networks with grassroots communities, lawyers, and technology platforms – ceaselessly innovating to accelerate human rights and maximize civic participation. We are at a pivotal moment where we have the opportunity to exponentially expand our influence and reach, and are building a dynamic communications team to help lead the way


WITNESS is seeking to hire a Program Manager who will lead WITNESS’ work in Africa by supporting human rights activists and citizen witnesses from all over the continent. This support will focus on adopting video into efforts to expose human rights violations and promote change through trainings, partnerships with key influencers, online engagement, and maximizing use of mobile phones and other complementary technologies.

The Program Manager provides direction and guidance to ensure an effective strategic approach, wider access to WITNESS tools, expertise, and materials regionally, and manages any regional consultancy contracts and relationships.

This position will be based in Africa and require extensive travel throughout the continent and abroad.  This position will be part of the team that helps forecast, advise, engage, train, support advocates and citizen witnesses in human rights situations, and reach out to video activist communities in the region.

Primary Responsibilities

Strengthening use of video for human rights in Africa through:

  • Training
  • Network building
  • Resource development
  • Feedback to ensure global solutions are relevant to Africa

Training and Knowledge sharing:

  • Support key advocates and citizen witnesses’ power-up their use of video for human rights change.
  • Forecast and recommend situations in the region where WITNESS should be engaged and where responsive training is needed.
  • Act as a senior trainer of other advocates.
  • Support advocates and citizen witnesses’ needs, including responsive training, resource provision, tools distribution, materials distribution, and other forms of engagement.
  • In relation to WITNESS’s vision, train advocates and citizen witnesses to stimulate strategic, wider, and more effective uses of video in human rights advocacy and documentation.

Resource Sharing and Development:

  • Oversee Regional Consultant to help ensure video activists and citizen witnesses have access to WITNESS training materials and methodologies in formats best suited to them and to share with other networks — online and off.
  • Help identify leaders to share WITNESS’ 20 years of resources, curriculum, and expertise. Strategically choose and engage human rights networks and situations to improve and strengthen the creation of human rights video safely, effectively and ethically.
  • Provide feedback to the Engagement Team on experiences in the use of video by communities and networks in Africa, including lessons learned, as well as new approaches that can be scaled and spread to human rights communities in other countries.
  • Oversee a consultant and a regional budget to: design, translate, create, draft, and be part of a team to help repurpose or develop and distribute content and expertise throughout the region.
  • Use traditional media, social media, and online and offline networks to connect and engage activists in guidance around using video for human rights change.

Tech Advocacy:

  • Program Managers will participate to support the work WITNESS does to advocate to technology companies (e.g. YouTube and Facebook) on how products and policies of these platforms can better support human rights users and values.
  • Provide direct feedback on key challenges experienced in region in order to inform this strand of WITNESS’ work.

Regional Insight:

  • Provide input to overall programmatic direction of WITNESS and how regional trends in the human rights landscape inform overall WITNESS strategy.

Organizational and Departmental Support:

In collaboration with the Program Director and Deputy Program Director, the Program Manager will contribute to the overall programmatic framework for the purpose of advancing programmatic activities and growth of WITNESS:

  • Planning and Budget: Develop and monitor networks, regional plans, programmatic priorities, and budgets.
  • Evaluation: Monitor, assess, and evaluate activities, partnerships, and plans.
  • Reporting: On an as needed basis, provide programmatic activity details, status, and progress measurements to Program Director for the annual report, case studies, and other organizational updates.
  • Fundraising Support: Support the Executive Director, Program Director, Deputy Program Director, and the External Relations Team in raising funds for relevant projects by providing input on fundraising proposals, budgets, and reports with respect to programmatic activities and attending selective meetings with donors.

Other Responsibilities:

  • Outreach and Communication: Participate in public presentations in connection with various WITNESS activities; serve as specific spokesperson in Africa and provide input on WITNESS’ promotional materials with respect to region; create and contribute to content for use on WITNESS’ website(s), and social networking sites (including blogging, tweeting, and other social media) with respect to regional Video For Change developments, activities, updates, relevant news, and information, etc.
  • Consultants: Responsible for overseeing Communications Consultant to support WITNESS’ Africa social media and resources translation, adapt and  distribution strategies.
  • Recruitment, training, and supervision: In coordination with Human Resources and the Deputy Program Director, recruit, train, and directly supervise staff and volunteers; participate in the recruitment and training of program staff as needed.
  • Administrative functions: Undertake necessary administrative functions with respect to the Program region, including updating contact database, processing expenses, and managing budgets.


  • Work Experience: A minimum of 5 -7 years of experience working in a human rights context related to Africa, including working collaboratively with human rights and community-based organizations and networks.
  • Regional:   Understanding of national, regional historical, cultural, social, and general human rights norms and dimensions. Knowledge of human rights networks and Video for Change practitioners in region or sub region.
  • Languages: Ideally, Proficiency in English, French and Kiswahili
  • Human Rights: Strong knowledge of international human rights principles and policies; demonstrated strategic thinker; commitment to WITNESS’ values and human rights issues, and interest in social change.
  • Video: Exposure to human rights video, new media, and film being used in documentation and/or advocacy contexts. Deep interest and understanding in how video impacts human rights change.
  • Digital Activism: Active participant in technology and social media landscape, and experience leveraging and building communities across multiple platforms; familiarity and comfort level with technology and online community social norms and behaviors, and how to leverage new platforms and online publishing platforms to reach activists with materials and skills for human rights change.
  • Systems: Strong computer skills, including Microsoft Office, as well as internet research skills.
  • Work Style: Strong project management and organizational skills; superb attention to detail; ability to multi-task and troubleshoot in pressure situations; demonstrated resourcefulness, optimism, and flexibility in approach to project assignments; strong team player yet able to work independently; demonstrated high degree of maturity.
  • Communications: Ability to communicate clearly and effectively, in both written and verbal form at a variety of levels; Experience in cross-cultural communication.
  • Travel: Requires extensive travel throughout the continent many times a year and internationally once or twice a year


  • Deputy Program Director
  • Regional Consultant
  • Other Regional Coordinators and Managers
  • Video for Change trainers and practitioners in region
  • Engagement team

START DATE: Immediate

LOCATION:  Africa (Location to be determined in consultation with candidates)

TITLE: Africa Program Manager

SALARY: Commensurate with experience, with an excellent benefits package including generous vacation package

How to Apply:

To apply, send your cover letter with salary requirements, resume, and contact information for 3 references to jobs[@] with the subject line “Africa Program Manager” [Your name]”.

Please include a cover letter. We are really interested in hearing about what you’ve done, what you can do, and what you want to do at WITNESS.

APPLICATION DEADLINE:  Applications accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled; early applications encouraged. Please note that due to the volume anticipated, we will not be able to respond individually to each applicant.  We kindly ask that you do not send duplicate applications via mail or email, and no phone calls.

WITNESS is an equal opportunity employer. People of all ages, races, ethnicities, national origins, religions, genders, gender identities and expressions, sexual orientations, and individuals protected by any other statuses under federal, state or local laws, including but not limited to, disability, marital, domestic partnership, familial, caregiver, transgender, military or veteran statuses, are encouraged to apply. Authorization to work in the U.S. is required.

Thank you.



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