23 October 2015

VACANCY: Advocacy Officer - Freedom of Information Programme

SAHA is an independent activist archive committed to documenting and raising awareness of past struggles against apartheid, as well as ongoing struggles in the making of democracy in South Africa. In line with this central mission, SAHA's Freedom of Information Programme (FOIP), launched in 2001, is dedicated to using the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (PAIA) to extend the boundaries of access to information in South Africa, by:

  • increasing compliance with, and the use of, PAIA, through practice-based research and advocacy;
  • empowering individuals and organisations to understand PAIA as a strategic advocacy tool; and
  • creating awareness of the right to access to information an enabling right, fundamental to the realisation of other human rights both within South Africa, and across the continent, in order to invigorate citizen demand for the right to know.

For more information about FOIP, please visit http://foip.saha.org.za


Summary of key responsibilities:

  • Draft and submit requests for records on behalf of members of the public and as part of SAHA’s community training and capacity building training programme – in terms of the provisions of PAIA – and prepare all related correspondence, appeals against refusals of access to information, complaints to relevant authorities and contribute to litigation;
  • Coordinate the development, planning and delivery of PAIA training and related resources;
  • Provide support and guidance to members of the public, notably communities and community based organisations, on issues relating to freedom of information;
  • Contribute to advocacy and community mobilization efforts relating to the implementation of PAIA and access to information, and related law and policy reform work, often in partnership with other human rights organisations;
  • Prepare documents released under PAIA for physical and digital archiving at SAHA, in conjunction with the SAHA archival team;
  • Keep abreast of developments in freedom of information within South Africa and globally;
  • Contribute to the maintenance of FOIP related web products, including the PAIA Tracker;
  • Contribute to FOIP and SAHA’s work plans and reports;
  • Support the work of the FOIP Coordinator, and the learning of FOIP interns & other project workers.

Required qualifications and skills

  • Degree in Law, Political Science, Public Administration or related field;
  • At least 1 year’s fulltime related experience working in an advocacy, training and / or mobilising role;
  • Familiarity with the human rights sector and a strong commitment to human rights;
  • Experience in community outreach and training;
  • Excellent written and spoken language skills, in English as well as at least two other South African languages; and
  • A driver’s licence.

Preferred qualifications and skills

  • Understanding and experience working on access to information and related issues.
  • Experience in developing, running and evaluating legal training programmes at the community level.
  • Own transport.

The role will be based at the SAHA offices at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg and will report to the FOIP Coordinator.

This is a contract post: 1 year fixed period post, starting January 2016, renewable depending on funding and performance. This role will require some travel, and weekend work.

Application process

To apply, please prepare a 1 – 2 page letter of motivation (no more than 500 words) that incorporates:

  • Examples of some of the barriers to the right of access to information in South Africa today?
  • An example of how you think PAIA could be used to challenge corruption and combat impunity in South Africa.
  • An example of how you think mobilisation has affected the right of access to information in South Africa.

Submit this letter of motivation, along with 1) your 2 – 3 page CV, 2) a sample of workshop materials that you were responsible for developing and delivering, and 3) up-to-date contact details for at least 2 professional referees by email to recruitment@saha.org.za. NOTE: The subject line of your email must include the following:  FOIP Advocacy Officer Application 2015/10 – [Your Name].

Closing time and date for applications: 5pm, Friday 6 November 2015.

Starting date: Monday 4 January 2016

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Interviews will be conducted at the SAHA offices in Johannesburg in week of 16 – 20 November 2015. 

Download the job advert in PDF.