John Ruggie Fellowship Program, Africa Intern
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Accountability Counsel amplifies the voices of communities to protect their human rights and environment. As advocates for people harmed by internationally financed projects, we employ community driven and policy level strategies to access justice. Since our founding in 2009, our team has partnered with communities and advocates from 50 countries to defend their rights, demand justice, and achieve historic victories. We are seeking a junior advocate to accompany communities in the Africa region to secure their environmental and human rights when negatively impacted by international investments.
We work toward change through three programmatic approaches. Our Policy Advocacy program advocates for accountability offices that are accessible, transparent, and fair tools for justice; advocates in our Communities program provide grassroots legal support and assist communities to use accountability offices effectively; and our Research team delivers concrete research and tools for the movement for accountability more broadly. Our respect-based approach underlies all that we do: internally, it guides how our team treats one another, and externally, it ensures that marginalized people, particularly Indigenous Peoples, women and girls, are included as full participants in community-led strategies seeking accountability.
ABOUT THE JOHN RUGGIE FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM
Professor John Ruggie was a preeminent scholar-practitioner in the field of international affairs. As a political scientist, his work focused on the impact of globalization on international rule-making. Professor Ruggie applied his theoretical work to complex global governance challenges directly through his work at the United Nations (UN). This included his appointment in 2005 as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative (SRSG) on business and human rights. During his six-year mandate, he authored the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), which were unanimously endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011, establishing them as the authoritative global standard on business and human rights.
Throughout his career, John was a tireless champion of both students and practitioners in the fields in which he worked. He consistently sought out, consulted and supported individuals from all backgrounds and perspectives, to grow and enrich the community of people working to turn the vision of the UNGPs into a reality. The John Ruggie Fellowship Program was created by Shift – the nonprofit, mission-driven organization dedicated to implementing the UNGPs of which John was the founding chair – in collaboration with John’s family to honor his life and legacy.
The goal of the Program is to enable talented students of business and human rights to gain practical experience as well as access to ideas and networks that can advance their own careers and their contribution to the field. It particularly seeks to support those students who may otherwise lack access to such opportunities.
Through the Program, Shift partners each year with a small number of leading organizations to support the placement of individual Fellows. The organizations reflect the diversity of actors in the business and human rights field, but they all share a demonstrated commitment to implementing the UNGPs in their work and to a high-value immersive experience for the Fellows. The host organizations for the inaugural year of the John Ruggie Fellowship Program are Accountability Counsel, PepsiCo and Verité.
For more information on the John Ruggie Legacy Fund and John Ruggie Fellowship Program, visit www.shiftproject.org/ruggie-in-memory.
Accountability Counsel is seeking applications for the position of John Ruggie Fellowship Program, Africa Intern. The Africa Intern will support Accountability Counsel’s Communities program, which works to ensure that communities can access justice for human rights and environmental violations using accountability offices tied to international finance.
This internship is suitable for current or recently graduated students with experience in international law; development and economics; public policy; business and human rights; and/or environment and human rights. It would be well-suited for current law students (subject to course commitments) or recent law graduates prior to undertaking their postgraduate diploma.
This internship provides an opportunity for students and recent graduates to enrich their knowledge and skills in international financial institutions and independent accountability mechanisms with the aim to address environmental, social and human rights harms from international financiers that operate in Africa.
The Intern will be integrated into our Communities team with a focus on our work in Africa. Their work will include research, brief-writing, legal analysis; communications work including blog and article writing, social media engagement, and media monitoring; supporting workshops, capacity building, and network building activities; and advocacy support to community partners.
Applicants are required to have excellent communication, research, writing, and critical thinking skills. Applicants must be fluent in English and Kiswahili.
The internship is expected to last three months, with a commitment of approximately 15 hours per week, with the possibility of extension for a further three months. Full-time employment with Accountability Counsel should not be expected at the end of the internship. The internship is based in Nairobi; the Intern will be expected to work from the office at least part-time.
The John Ruggie Fellowship Program, Africa Intern is expected to participate in at least two meetings (by video) with US-based representatives of the Program and will be invited to remain in contact with Program organizers in future years to share information and continue to honor John Ruggie’s legacy.
WHO YOU ARE
- Personally committed to Accountability Counsel’s mission and values and respect-based approach. You believe in the agency of communities around the world to protect their human rights and environment. You are committed to meaningfully partnering with those communities and disrupting the systems of power, privilege, and injustice that undermine their rights and interests.
- A student or recent graduate that is committed to centering the voices of communities in struggles for social and/or environmental justice. You are a current or recently graduated student with experience in international law; development and economics; public policy; business and human rights; environment and human rights. This internship is well-suited for current law students (subject to course commitments) or recent law graduates prior to undertaking their postgraduate diploma.
- Deeply grounded in the Africa region. You have knowledge of the socio-political and economic context and civil society landscape of countries across the African continent. You are based in Nairobi, at least for the duration of the internship.
- A thoughtful relationship builder who develops rapport and trust across lines of difference, both internally and externally. You have a high degree of empathy, patience, and ability to work among diverse coalitions, including across different languages and timezones.
- A clear communicator. You have excellent written, verbal, research, and analytical skills, including the ability to review and evaluate technical information related to international financing and related policies. You ask thoughtful questions, share information that others require, and seek out guidance and support when necessary.
- At home in a lean, but collaborative nonprofit environment working at the cutting edge of international environmental and human rights law, with the ability to stay both focused and nimble in the face of change.
- You appreciate the value of working in a healthy environment (or workspace, whichever communicates better) and take steps towards preserving, promoting and protecting a healthy workplace.
- Fluent in Kiswahili, with fluency or advanced language proficiency in English.
- Proficient in IT skills including email, G Suite, and Microsoft Office. Skills in graphic design and multimedia productions will be given special attention.
HOURS AND LOCATION
The internship is expected to last three months, with a commitment of approximately 15 hours per week, with the possibility of extension for a further three months. Full-time employment with Accountability Counsel should not be expected at the end of the internship. The internship is based in Nairobi; the Intern will be expected to work from the office at least part-time. This position will require close communication with Communities team members in Kenya, Thailand, Indonesia, South Asia, and the US, and regular communication with the rest of our global team. This position may offer the opportunity to travel within the region.
This role is an internship, not employment. Compensation will be provided by way of stipend in the range of US$500-800 a month (depending on expenses and need). In addition, we will provide reimbursement for costs associated with the internship, including transport, telecommunications, work-related travel, and equipment. Team members, including interns, are encouraged to take every other Friday off (Wellness Fridays), as part of our commitment to team wellbeing.
If this opportunity calls out to you, please click here to submit:
1) a brief description of how Accountability Counsel’s respect-based approach appeals to you as you think about this role,
2) a tailored, authentic cover letter that explains why this mission calls to you, why this particular role is a fit, and what you hope to gain from it,
3) your resume, and
4) a short writing sample (no more than 5 pages) reflecting your analytical strengths and/or ability to be a compelling communicator.
Please address your cover letter to Teresa Mutua and Robi Chacha Mosenda. We will review applications on a rolling basis starting on 5 June 2023. Due to the volume of candidates anticipated and size of our organization, we regret that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted regarding further steps in the application process.
Accountability Counsel is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, disability, gender, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation or other prohibited category. We strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQIA+ individuals, people with disabilities, people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and all qualified persons to apply for this position.