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Call for applicants – Program Coordinator Latin America (Brussels, Belgium, 37.5 hours/week)

6 January 2015

Protection International (PI) is recruiting a Program Coordinator for its work in Central and South America.

PI is an international not-for-profit organization. It researches and develops strategies and tools for the security management of human rights defenders. PI sees human rights defenders (HRD) as agents of change who form a pillar of free and just societies. In many parts of the world the defense of human rights evokes pressure, threats and attacks from state and non-state actors. PI works with local human rights movements to develop strategies and tools aimed at preventing and countering such pressure. PI tailors its approach to context and profile, but usually works through ‘protection desks’: teams implementing PI’s as closely as possible to HRDs, in a comprehensive and sustained way. PI works in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin-America, with presences in Thailand, Indonesia, Kenya, DR Congo, Burundi, Colombia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Belgium (head office).

PI is embarking on a decentralization process, aiming at increasing the autonomy and the responsibility of its desks. The position of the Program Coordinator Latin America is part of this process, and will be evaluated after one year – the position is therefore of strategic importance, but may be discontinued after one year.

The role

The Program Coordinator Latin America reports to the Executive Director and is part of the Programme Coordination Team and aManagement Team of six persons: the Executive Director, the Program Coordinator Africa and Asia, and the Heads of Finance & Administration, Advocacy & Outreach, and Policy & Research & Training Units.

PI’s mission is three-fold:

  • empowering HRDs to protect themselves;

  • urging state authorities to fulfil their responsibility to protect HRDs;

  • encouraging other stakeholders to contribute to protecting HRDS, or at least to respect their right to defend human rights.

The Program Coordinator will:

  • facilitate communication and interaction between protection desks in Latin America and thematic units in the head office in Brussels;

  • support the protection desks in building and sustaining alliances with local partners;

  • contribute and support the development and implementation of work plans at country lelve and more generally assist the desks’ planning process, in close coordination with the PI’s Planning Monitoring and Evaluation Officer;

  • provide technical advice on protection issues and as well as on working policies;

  • act as a security focal point for staff in the region;

  • to support the protection desks if necessary to arrange main legal, administrative, and major logistical needs;

  • support and contribute to research and advocacy activities of the Protection desks, representing PI in regional and international for a and events;

  • team up with the Programme Coordinator Africa and Asia to create opportunities for synergies between PI desks across all 3 continents;

  • monitor developments in the region on the protection of human rights defenders.

As part of the decentralization process, the Program Coordinator Latin America will:

  • evaluate the relationship between the head office of PI and the protection desks, and propose ways to modify the interaction between both, with a view to increase the autonomy and responsibility of the desks;

  • evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the support given by the head office of PI to the protection desks in Colombia and Guatemala;

  • evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the protection desks in Colombia and Guatemala, including their relationships with other organizations and regional mechanisms, with a view to increase their autonomy and responsibility;

  • explore concrete opportunities for synergies between the PI desks and projects in the region.

The Program Coordinator Latin America is the main link in the accountability lines between the PI protection desks and the Executive Director.

Qualifications, skills, knowledge

  • University degree in in law, political science, international relations or other relevant domain is required.

  • Minimum five years of relevant experience in protection and human rights, of which at least two years in a country or countries where HRDs are at risk is a requirement. Specific experience in Human Rights Defenders’ protection is strong asset.

  • Proven experience in strategy development and programming ability: planning, implementation oversight, monitoring & evaluation, particularly in contexts of complex social dynamics is an asset.

  • Strong knowledge and/or work experience in the region.

  • Experience in organizational support to civil society organizations is required.

  • Experience in distance management is an asset.

  • Excellent communication, networking and inter-personal skills are a requirement.

  • Fluency in both English and Spanish is required; fluency in French is an asset.

  • Availability for regular travel overseas.

  • Qualifying for a work permit in the EU.

The offer

A full-time (37.5hrs/week) one-year, contract with a four months’ probation period, governed by Belgian law.

Start date: March 2016

Recruitment process

PI promotes gender equality and strongly encourages female applicants to apply for this position.

To apply, please send your resume and cover letter by 25 January 2016 to the following email: recruitment [at]” href=”mailto:recruitment [at]“>recruitment [at] Please include your name in the file name of your application documents (e.g. Joan_Smith_CV.doc) and include the following subject line in your email: Application for Program Coordinator Latin America. Please do not attach any certificates or references at this stage of the recruitment process. References are not required at the application stage, but will be required in the selection process.

 Interviews will be held on the second week of February 2016. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

For further information can be obtained from Gorik Ooms: gooms [at]” href=”mailto:gooms [at]“>gooms [at]