Digital Rights Researcher

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If you have experience in advocacy and are interested in research on growing digital rights issues and tech implications for human rights and privacy in the Southeastern and Central Europe region, we have an excellent job opportunity for you.

JOB DESCRIPTION

BIRN’s Digital Rights Programme department is seeking a passionate and dedicated researcher with advocacy experience, interested in the fast-evolving digitalisation process and its impact on our guaranteed rights, societies and lives, and who wishes to join our designated digital rights team and analyse more deeply the following trends:

  • Use of algorithms and the limitations they pose to freedom of expression
  • The spiraling force and implications of hate speech and discrimination in the digital environment
  • Digital security and phishing campaigns
  • Privacy and personal data breaches and (non)existent protection mechanisms
  • Surveillance policy and technology use in authoritarian regimes
  • Accountability of the big platforms and online safety of users
  • Information security breaches
  • Arrests for posting on social media and pressures over expression and activities on the internet
  • Blocking and filtering of content
  • Holding intermediaries liable
  • Manipulation and propaganda in the digital environment
  • Machine learning algorithms, artificial intelligence and algorithmic decision-making processes
  • 5G technology in the region
  • Cryptocurrencies/blockchains in the world of financial crime
  • Social media bots and troll farms

You will produce reports and analysis dealing with the health of the digital ecosystem and the use of advanced technologies. The researcher will be expected to work in accordance with BIRN’s professional reporting standards and be in daily communication with the Digital Rights Programme Manager.

We see the ideal candidate as a proactive individual, able to see the cross-sectorial nature of digital rights challenges in the region, deadline driven and ready to work in a dynamic, collaborative environment. The researcher will have the opportunity to participate in investigative video production projects.

 ABOUT BIRN HUB

Balkan Investigative Reporting Network is a network of non-governmental organisations promoting freedom of speech, human rights and democratic values in Southern and Eastern Europe.

BIRN Hub is a non-governmental organisation, a part of the Regional BIRN Network, working in the field of media development, promoting freedom of speech, human rights and democratic values in Southern and Eastern Europe. BIRN has local organisations in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Romania and Serbia, while the Network is editorially also present in Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia, Moldova, Montenegro, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia. BIRN strives to empower people to access their rights, by providing accurate and relevant information and by creating opportunities for them to participate in democratic processes.

ABOUT THE PROGRAMME

BIRN’s Digital Rights Programme team is growing fast and aims to cover under-reported topics related to the health of the digital ecosystem and digital rights violations in the Southeastern and Central Europe region.

BIRN produces compelling content covering important developments in the digital sphere that have direct impact on the state of our democracies and the lives of citizens. The produced content is published on Balkan Insight and BIRN’s Investigative Resource Desk (BIRD).

Regarding digital rights reporting and monitoring, BIRN takes an interdisciplinary approach and looks at the problems from the legal, political, tech and societal angle, in an attempt to show that the problems and solutions to these violations should also be holistic and overarching.

WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR

We are seeking a professional researcher with advocacy experience who understands the challenges posed by the processes of digitalisation and the importance of protection and advocacy of citizens’ fundamental human rights in the digital ecosystem.

Responsibilities:

  • Analysis of the data obtained through digital rights monitoring in nine countries from the region (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia).
  • Identifying issues and advocacy opportunities for influencing the development, application and regulation linked with digital rights.
  • Developing advocacy strategies and participating in the processes of building new partnerships (CSOs, experts’ groups, lawyers, think tanks, international organisations, journalists, etc.) on a regional and European level.
  • Writing reports, op-eds, press releases, analysis, statements, policy recommendations and other materials to disseminate our monitoring findings and to contribute to BIRN’s Digital Rights Programme goals.
  • Communication with BIRN digital rights team members and with SEE Digital Rights Network members.
  • Traveling regionally and internationally, when needed, to conduct research, media work and advocacy.
  • Participating in the process of writing and developing new project proposals together with the Programme Manager of BIRN’s Digital Rights Programme.

Skills

  • Relevant experience (developing and implementing advocacy strategies, project coordination, networking, articles published, etc. )
  • Data science and research
  • Advocacy experience
  • Good writing skills
  • Excellent knowledge of spoken and written English

WHY YOU SHOULD JOIN OUR TEAM

 We said a lot about what we are looking for, but here is what we offer our future colleague:

  • A proactive and dynamic working environment
  • Opportunities for professional growth
  • Travels and participation in BIRN-organised workshops and trainings
  • Empowering experience of working as a part of a big regional organisation with more than 50 employees all around the region
  • Possibility to meet and collaborate with the most prominent digital rights organisations in Europe
  • Space for developing and implementing your own ideas as long as they are in line with BIRN’s Digital Rights Programme’s agenda and values

WHO CAN APPLY?

BIRN welcomes application from researchers all around Europe*. Researchers with at least three years’ experience in reporting on digital rights challenges are eligible to apply.

BIRN encourages researchers of both genders and offers an equal chance to all interested persons without any prejudice based on any grounds.

*The country of residence doesn’t have to be a member of European Union

 HOW TO APPLY?

To apply for this position, please use the online form from this link.

The call for applications will be active until July 26, 2021. Only shortlisted candidates will be called for an interview. All candidates will receive information on the status of their application.

NOTE: We strongly advise you not to wait for the last day of the call since we will be contacting the most interesting candidates on the receipt of their applications.