A just and equitable world where communities and ecosystems can thrive is possible. But social injustice, democratic backsliding, and the climate crisis threaten us all. The courageous people and communities daring to speak out face attacks and reprisals from powerful vested interests. Many pay the ultimate price.
Open Briefing is a vital part of the response. We build resistance and resilience among the people and communities challenging power. And we are answering more calls for assistance across more countries than ever before. Last year, our international team provided nearly 6,000 hours of direct support to activists and advocates under threat of physical, digital, and psychological harm across 68 countries.
Alongside this local support, we provide consultancy and advisory to help nonprofits and foundations supporting and resourcing grassroots change to take the right risks. We ensure that these international partners are equipped and empowered by enhancing their security risk management, information security and data protection, and staff care and wellbeing. Our work in this area frequently involves being both a trusted ally and a critical friend.
Our team protects many high-profile activists and well-known organisations. But much of our work is behind the scenes, with ordinary people and communities who are targeted for challenging power. For 12 years, we have worked together towards a better future. And we are just getting started. We are expanding our diverse, inspired, and purpose-driven team; will you join us as one of our new safety and security consultants?
You will play a key role in providing expert and tailored security and protection advice and training to local organisations and activists and their international partners to help disrupt attacks and reprisals from highly-capable and motivated adversaries.
You will be directly supporting these truth-tellers, changemakers, and risk takers by helping them resist and recover from the security threats that they face. You will provide mentoring, remote accompaniment, and knowledge sharing and capacity building, in a scalable and bespoke manner.
It is a challenging and rewarding role. It requires consultants to work across a broad range of countries, civil society actors, and rights and justice issues. You will be supported in this by experienced and knowledgeable colleagues and leaders in the safety and security team and wider organisation.
Depending on your skills and experience, your primary responsibilities will include:
- Working with at-risk human rights defenders to help them better understand their allies and adversaries, co-design the actions that they will take to reduce the risks to them and their colleagues, and agree what they will do should things go wrong.
- Working with the leadership teams of international nonprofits and foundations to develop security risk management policies and procedures, share knowledge and build up their capacity, and lead other strategic risk management and duty of care initiatives.
- Reflecting our organisation’s values and liaising in a professional and friendly manner with the clients and recipients assigned to you, escalating any concerns or challenges to your line manager.
- Being highly organised and taking ownership of any project management and administration duties for the projects that you are assigned to.
- Sharing learnings with the team and providing input into our processes and procedures in order to help us continuously improve our support to clients and recipients as well as our own security risk management.
- You will have a proven track record of either or both:
- Providing security and protection advice and training to human rights defenders, activists, and local civil society organisations.
- Building the capacity of international organisations for security risk management and duty of care, including developing security policies and procedures and conducting audits.
- You will have a deep knowledge of security risk management, security in violent environments, duty of care, protection strategies, shrinking civic space, and state and non-state adversaries.
- You will be highly organised and possess strong project management skills.
- You will be sensitive to the progressive and rights-based missions and diverse profiles of our clients and other stakeholders.
- You will be a good listener and able to adapt your approach and style to suit different projects and stakeholders.
- You will have excellent written and spoken English.
- You may have a proven track record of in one or more of:
- Change management in the nonprofit sector.
- Living and working in violent environments or closed civic spaces.
- Delivering training in-person and remotely to a diverse range of learners.
- Engaging with senior leadership and board members.
- You may have excellent written and spoken French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, or other additional languages.
Terms and remuneration
We are a remote-first organisation, and this is a home-working role with some potential for international travel. We are looking for someone who wants to become part of our close-knit team and develop a long-term working relationship with us and our clients. You will be properly onboarded and continually supported by empowering managers and highly-experienced colleagues. Your line manager will be Tom Bendall, our director of safety and security.
We welcome applications from established consultants with a range of backgrounds, experiences and profiles, from anywhere in the world. The hours can vary from month to month, depending on demand and your availability, and the role may require occasional remote meetings outside of normal office hours depending on your location. Please note that this role is not suitable for those in full-time employment or currently searching for full-time employment. You will need to usually be available to take on new assignments by agreement within 2-3 working days.
You will receive £52.50 per hour, ongoing mentoring and support, and a package of wellbeing and mental health support, including an Employee Assistance Programme. As a consultant, you will need to have or obtain your own professional indemnity insurance, including cover for work in the United States.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion
Open Briefing values diversity. We are committed to being equitable and inclusive, and to being a place where all can be their authentic selves. We therefore encourage applications from all who may meet the person specification and particularly from candidates who are from historically-marginalised communities and are underrecognised in our safety and security team. This currently includes Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour and women and/or non-binary people. Please read our diversity, equity, and inclusion policy for more information.
Open Briefing is neuroinclusive, positive about mental health, and a Disability Confident Employer. We welcome applications from all candidates who meet the person specification. Please let us know in your cover letter how we can be the recruiter and employer that you need us to be.
We follow the gender pay gap reporting guidance from the UK government. This reveals that women currently have higher average pay than men in our organisation. We have also checked the text of this advert using the Gender Decoder tool.
How to apply
To apply, please email your CV to our office manager, Lauren Smith, at [email protected]. Please also include a cover letter of no more than two pages setting out:
- What excites you about Open Briefing and the role of safety and security consultant.
- How you meet the advertised person specification.
- A project in which you advised a low-capacity organisation at high risk of attacks and reprisals.
We will conduct interviews on a rolling basis until we recruit suitable candidates. If you are interested in this role, please submit your application as early as possible.