Digital Protection Advisor
New York City (United States of America)
The Violence Prevention and Response Unit (VPRU) is comprised of approximately 50 team members supporting programming, resource development, research and policy and advocacy for over 20+ countries. The VPRU is formed by three teams that came together under one umbrella to better serve our beneficiaries. These are the Child Protection (CP), Protection & Rule of Law (PRoL) and Women’s Protection and Empowerment (WPE) teams. With an audacious vision of a world where women and girls, children and other vulnerable populations are valued and live free from violence, and can exercise their rights to promote their own safety, equality and voice, the IRC is known for its cutting edge anti-violence programming in humanitarian settings. This position is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the IRC’s Protection and Rule of Law (PRoL) programs, which seek to safeguard the human rights and well-being of people impacted by crisis and disaster, giving them the tools, the support and information they need to help themselves and one another.
IRC believes that access to information can be life-saving and positively affect your life when this information is verified, true and respectful of rights and protection principles. In the last decade, the way people access information has increasingly shifted from an offline ‘word of mouth’ to an online ‘word of mouth’ using social media. In many cases information on social media platforms has improved people’s safety and ability to access what they need in times of crisis. However, there is growing evidence that such a powerful channel also poses a significant amount of risk and that communities in protracted conflict and displaced populations and their host communities are vulnerable to online misinformation and disinformation. As a leading protection agency, IRC acknowledges that digital risk and the need for protection can no longer be ignored if we want to create a safe environment for our clients.
The digital protection advisor will support IRC’s meaningful engagement in the social media space to prepare IRC, humanitarian agencies and our clients for inherent risks therein. Based on the Do No Harm principles and through an in-depth protection risk analysis on social media, working closely with a social media analyst, the Digital Protection Advisor will collaborate on and drive the creation of a Digital and Social Media Engagement Strategy and policy for the IRC, that can help set a standard for humanitarian agencies. This strategy and regulatory policies will help IRC to create an in-depth understanding of:
·what risks programming via social media would create for our clients,
·how to adequately support protection of our clients online by developing better frameworks for understanding risks associated with online engagement.
·how to effectively react and respond when a risk related to mis/disinformation is identified, perpetuating the cycle of online to offline violence
The Digital Protection Advisor will have a key role in coordinating and advising collective efforts of key humanitarian agencies also engaging in this space to create a convening space and support global regulatory policies.
1. Develop internal expertise to provide industry-leading effort to prepare for and deliver humanitarian programming through digital and social media channels
•Put in place internal expertise to support identification of opportunities and develop successful and protective models to engage in the digital space.
•Identify the type of humanitarian programming that can be implemented or strengthened through digital/social media channels (e.g. Accountability; information; referrals; service access)
•Cross-sectoral support to our various programming units to adapt and operationalize safe, accessible and inclusive social media engagement strategies.
•Digital risk analysis report and toolkit, to improve IRC’s cross-sectoral ability to bring Do No Harm and Protection mainstreaming approaches to digital and social media engagement.
•Develop a plan to implement a safe digital engagement capacity building strategy for IRC staff to better design and implement digital engagement project
2. Build and coordinate a Humanitarian Advisory group for digital engagement with key and leading humanitarian agency representation:
•Support existing network building and common approach among key and lead agencies in the humanitarian and digital engagement field to create a stronger voice and stronger legitimacy of the regulation of this space.
•Conduct mapping exercise of existing groups, academics and experts engaging in similar advocacy, research or policy making work
•Identify key partners among humanitarian and development implementers, country teams and digital experts, including from the private sector, engaged in the digital space to create a diverse Advisory Group to help identify risks and needs surrounding digital/ social media engagement
•Through the Advisory Group, support the development of a working and sharing platform to advance a shared vision for preventing and addressing online harms and violence and inform global strategy creation (see responsibility 3 below)
•Identify key research questions to support and frame a strategic research agenda including through a desk review
•Represent IRC and the Humanitarian Advisory group for digital engagement at conferences, media fora and other events to position the IRC in conversations that seek to prevent polarization, offline violence and harms particularly when caused by online engagement
•Represent IRC and advisory group member and network to liaise with technology company leaders, including for advocacy purposes.
•Identify and nurture strategic partnerships with other organizations and institutions to support smooth adaptation and growth of the advisory group network partner and its role.
3. Digital and social media engagement strategy, regulation and policies
Based on Information gathered and shared
•Develop a Digital and Social Media Engagement Strategy across programming to enable safe and high impact deployment of digital and social media tools across IRC and humanitarian digital programming.
•Develop key recommendations on safe digital engagement.
•Based on formative learning/piloting, develop key recommendations and proposed regulations to support not only a safe digital engagement minimizing risks and harms but to effectively respond and react when a risk related to mis/disinformation is identified, perpetuating the cycle of online to offline violence
•Support the testing, development and piloting of social media and digital engagement strategies and policies across key programming areas, thereby laying a pathway for increased partnership with social media platforms in future.