Field Programs Director – Strategic Research and Community Organizing
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Type: Full time, upper management position
Reports to: Executive Management
Starting date: Immediately
Compensation: 43,560 – 54,450 MXN net / month + benefits, per qualifications
The Project on Organizing, Development, Education, and Research (PODER)® (www.projectpoder.org ) is a non- governmental, non-profit regional organization founded in 2010 whose mission is to improve corporate transparency and accountability in Latin America from a human rights perspective and to strengthen civil society actors affected by corporate practices as long term accountability guarantors. The main problem PODER addresses is state capture, whereby an economic and political elite controls public decision-making and effectively limits the realization of sustainable capitalism and democracy for the rest of society. PODER believes that existing mechanisms fail to hold elites accountable and, therefore, it is in the hands of citizens, communities, and civil society organizations to pressure corporate and government actors so as to right the imbalance of power. The main strategies PODER utilizes to accomplish its mission are strategic research, community organizing, advocacy, and the development of transparency technologies. PODER believes that in order to achieve greater corporate transparency and accountability in Latin America it is necessary to catalyze a regional citizen-led movement.
Objectives of the position
Lead two of the organization’s key programs, Strategic Research and Community Organizing, which together conform PODER’s strategy to build community power vis- a-vis corporate power at strategic nodes of Latin American economies; contribute to and implement our strategic vision, together with the Management Team; and lead and participate in other decision-making teams of the organization. Critical to PODER’s vision for social change is ensuring that collective organizing processes are informed by great research, both to maximize opportunities and to prevent unnecessary risks. The end result is that information tools with real use-value for local communities and workers, in the hands of local leaders, organizers, and collectives, potentiate organizing strategies and lead to strategic campaign wins and on-going accountability.
Responsibilities of this directorship
Strategic Research Program
The creation and dissemination of information tools – the synthesis of raw data, research, analysis, and use -value training applications – lie at the core of PODER’s work. Research products must directly benefit civil society stakeholders of corporations and adapt to their campaigning and engagement needs. To accomplish this PODER develops methodologies, including power analyses, unique methods for analyzing financial flows in strategic industries, advanced freedom of information mechanisms, economic cartography, and vertical (proprietary structures) and horizontal (supply chains) corporate analyses, to name a few, and trains communities, workers, and accompanying organizations to adapt and use these tools and results. For example, in Mexico PODER works to open previously inaccessible datasets and analyze the impacts of mining, oil, gas, water, infrastructure, and other strategic industries on human rights and the environment. It also collaborates with affected communities to provide them with information tools, such as crowd -sourced maps, so they can contribute from their experiences and control the end use of such products. Recently PODER created the Colaboratorio, a collaborative digital research platform where datasets, maps, and reports are available for partner organizations and society at large. These information tools inform and drive PODER’s overall programmatic work.
Community Organizing Program
Using research results to identify companies’ strengths and liabilities, as well as to conduct due diligence and risk analyses before human rights defenders and other corporate stakeholders engage with companies directly, PODER accompanies collective organizing processes and strengthens the capacities of local communities, workers, and other civil society organizations (CSOs) affected by corporate malfeasance. For example, in Mexico PODER and rural communities conducted ex ante human rights impact assessments on extractive projects and, through capacity building and accompaniment, local communities increased their capacities to prevent negative impacts from extractive projects before the shovel hit the ground; PODER also conducts participatory processes with communities and accompanies their corporate accountability efforts, both in Latin America and in the Global North where many companies are located; likewise, PODER accompanies communities and workers affected by a huge mining spill to form the Comités de Cuenca Río Sonora, a collective empowerment vehicle for thousands of local residents to seek environmental and legal remediation. This program is critical to PODER’s mission to strengthen communities, workers, and CSOs as long-term accountability guarantors.
Strategies and processes
• Contribute to and implement the organizational vision for each program, together with Executive Management.
• Determine the medium and short-term objectives, methods, and expected outcomes of the strategies and actions of each program.
• Lead triennial strategic planning and annual operational planning processes for each program and inter-programmatic collaborations.
• Participate in the ongoing construction and revision of the organizational strategic vision, as part of decision-making and other management teams.
• Determine and manage, together with the Executive Management, the financial and human resources required for each program and inter-program strategies, as needed.
• Implement evaluation and learning activities before, during, and after products, actions, and processes.
• Design, plan, implement, direct, and evaluate accompaniment and community organizing campaigns with and for organizations, communities and/or workers at the local and regional level.
• Supervise the activities and performance of the Strategic Research and Community Organizing coordinators and teams, including: training, reporting on progress, assuring continuity, problem solving, monitoring, and evaluation.
• Ensure that personnel adhere to organizational policies, guidelines, and code of ethics.
• Advise and revise the actions and products developed by each program’s team, providing guidance, feedback, and appropriate autonomy.
Internal communication and institutional spaces
• Participate in regular planning meetings and supervision with Executive Management.
• Participate in meetings with the Board of Directors, as needed.
• As part of the Management Team, participate in broad organizational and strategic-planning conversations, including problem solving, managing expectations of staff and potential conflicts, and coordinating institutional positions closely with other leaders of the organization.
• Co-lead and facilitate the work of the Coordination Team (programmatic directors and coordinators, as well as the responsible of external communications).
• Co-lead and participate in decision-making teams and other managerial activities.
• Proactively coordinate with the administrative area, other programmatic managers, and transversal areas such as external communications.
• Actively participate in diverse institutional strengthening processes and co-facilitate staff meetings.
• Build and maintain alliances with civil society actors at the national, regional and international levels, as needed, including grassroots actors.
• Engage strategically with civil society partners, communities, regional and international organizations, and funders, and occasionally with governments, embassies, companies and investors, multilateral institutions, communications and media and journalists.
• Seek funding opportunities and secure new grants and additional resources.
• Prepare grant proposals and reports for funders.
• Plan and supervise the budget management of both programs, as well as that of transversal initiatives and other collaborations together with relevant team members, working closely with the CFO-COO.
• Solid knowledge about human rights, the business and human rights framework, corporate accountability, and financial transparency.
• Solid knowledge about economic, political, and social issues in Latin America.
• Basic knowledge about key stakeholders in civil society, government, companies, and international organisms.
• Solid knowledge of economic and financial concepts and language.
• Knowledge of strategic industries, such as extractive, infrastructure and transportation, and financial, is highly desirable.
• Experience with right to know and freedom of information systems.
• 2+ years of professional experience in Latin America, preferably in Mexico, including 7+ of professional experience overall.
• Managerial experience, including administrative, financial, supervisory and evaluation, and reporting to senior-level management.
• Work experience in a coordination or managerial role with an accountability, transparency, human rights, environment, or social justice organization or think tank.
• Proven research experience, from original research question to final product, including qualitative and quantitative methodologies and techniques.
• Preferably a higher education degree in social sciences or business administration. Experience producing and implementing pedagogical materials and methodologies.
• Proven knowledge of and experience with the planning and execution of capacity-building processes with communities and/or workers, staff- led community and/or worker accompaniment, and autonomous community organizing.
Skills and qualities
• Genuine interest in the issues of business and human rights, corporate and financial transparency and accountability, and community empowerment and power building.
• Open-mindedness and ability to take and follow strategic direction and assume ownership for the decisions and positions of the organization.
• Strong communication and interpersonal skills with diverse actors.
• Availability to work full-time and travel often.
• Capability to work bilingually in English and Spanish, including excellent written skills in both languages, perfect spelling and grammar, and convincing argumentation.
• Natural researcher and/or organizer.
• Curiosity and ability to learn new things quickly, and strong problem-solving skills.
• Capability and patience to work under pressure and adapt to complex, changing environments.
• Creativity and flexibility, including in the search for reliable sources and the selection of presentation formats for research products.
• Independent self-starter.
• Proven efficiency administering time, economic, and human resources.
• Integrity from an ethical, human rights-based perspective.
Please send the following documents to firstname.lastname@example.org:
• Curriculum Vitae 3+ writing samples in English and Spanish
• 3+ professional references (full name, position, how do you know them, e-mail, and telephone number). Letters of recommendation will not be considered.
No phone calls please. Only competitive applicants will be contacted.
PODER ensures equal opportunity in employment or volunteer positions for all people without regard to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, ancestry, national or ethnic origin, marital status, or disability.