Job Description for a Privacy & Right to Information Fellow

IFF is a civil liberties advocacy organisation working on technology and fundamental rights. We champion human freedom in the digital space, have high impact and visibility in the sector. Our aim is to ensure that people in the world’s largest democracy are able to use technology with liberty and justice guaranteed under the Constitution of India.

We value talent density!

Privacy and surveillance is a core area of IFF’s work. We have discovered quite often this involves filing RTI requests and talking to impacted communities and persons who have been surveilled. In order to augment the growing need to document, write and convene such spaces we are hosting a “Privacy & RTI Fellow” who will help us in the broad functions described below which may be supplemented by tasks assigned by IFF’s Associate Policy Counsels.Advertisements

Preferred qualifications, culture and skills

  • A documented passion for digital rights: :
    • Not necessarily a lawyer: A passion for policy analysis and advocacy on technology issues, and optimism in our mission. Graduate degree in law/journalism/economics/public policy/public administration/social work/media studies, or related fields. A legal degree is not a requirement. However, a core job function relies on a familiarity with legislative and governmental processes, tracking the developments in the Indian Parliament, authorship on policy documents around surveillance technologies as well as a working understanding of the RTI Act.
    • Prior work is the best credential: We would prefer candidates with 2 years of dedicated experience but that is not a qualification criteria for candidates. Past experience in working in multi-function roles and managing researchers, volunteers is a plus. You should like talking to other people on digital rights and helping organise convenings!
  • A writer, collaborator, and geek, all in one: The candidate will be expected to possess excellent written and oral communication skills. Know your audience: be as comfortable speaking with civil servants and policy wonks as you would simplifying complex issues for the general public, press, and public representatives.
  • A startup team spirit: As a small, impact focused civil liberties organisation, it is crucial for our policy role to work with colleagues across verticals. The right candidate will be highly adaptable as we work with the energy of a passionate start-up.You should be ambitious in setting the organisation’s goals and collaborative in your work style.
  • Candour, empathy and discipline: IFF’s core strength are its people! They approach their work with a high degree of motivation and belief. To be sustainable, it requires high levels of workplace honesty, helping colleagues, and the ability to remain focussed on outcomes. We help each other to collectively advance ambitious goals.

Your job role in detail

Your work will be clustered within three core functions: research, writing and convening. They will involve you to reach out to people, talk to them and will involve hybrid skills of desk research or public advocacy. We urge you to look at it closely prior to making your application.

  • Ask for accountability on surveillance technology: Conduct new and/or integrate existing research and analysis for company-based case studies on dual use surveillance technologies in India.
    • Of particular interest will be human rights harms against individuals/communities, salient human rights issues, the role and responsibilities of actors (e.g., national/international companies, state or non-state end users, private sector offensive actors) and the relationships among them, relevant national and international law and/or regulatory regimes, and current accountability efforts.
    • The candidate will also be expected to design and implement deliverables such as workshops, a human rights due diligence model for surveillance technologies, engage with selected companies and private equity firms, and a white paper on advancing accountability for the surveillance technology industry.
  • Drive transparency and accountability: Maintain IFF’s RTI tracker containing details of IFF’s extensive repository of RTI requests and related processes.
    • Draft and file RTI requests, first appeals and second appeals as needed by program and litigation staff whenever deemed necessary on issues related to digital rights and civil liberties. A core part of the job role would be to ensure that physical files of all RTI filings stay up to date at the IFF office in New Delhi.
    • Rapid response and being on top of developments is key to be quick to deploy, but we want to make sure we can help win long term. The candidate should know when to note developments, shift gears, and pivot priorities. This will also include drafting and sending representations, letters and legal notices to the necessary government departments. The candidate will also be required to author explainers and blog posts around the issues that IFF engages on by providing necessary analysis.
  • Explain policy developments to our community: Represent IFF in national and international coalitions, and work collegially with relevant NGOs and advocacy partners to strategically advance IFF’s aims. Help the Executive Director and colleagues in Community and Fundraising. This particularly includes explaining complex policy processes from Delhi to our members and community – in Bangalore, Bharat, and beyond!

Power up Come work with us!

  • Hit the sprint: We favour candidates who are available to start in this position as soon as possible. Send it soon! All applications should be sent by April 15 to include: a resume and brief cover letter (both not more than 1 page) explaining your vision, your interests, core capacities and skills for this position and work samples/portfolio.
  • Commitment, discipline and focus: This is a full-time position based in New Delhi. Given the current situation with COVID-19 across India, this position will initially be remote for a period of at least six months in which you will report to IFF’s Policy Counsels.
  • Towards your financial expectations: The remuneration for this role will be rewarding and matching market standards. IFF is continuously growing to provide for the comfort and financial security with performance appraisals and increments.
  • Duration of fellowship: The candidate will be hosted at IFF for three quarters of the ongoing working year.

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