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Assistant Researcher - Forensic Architecture Investigation Unit

Title:

Assistant Researcher

Department:

Monitoring and Documentation Department, Al-Haq

Unit:

Forensic Architecture Investigation Unit

Reports to:

Senior Researcher

Contract Type:

One year (renewal)

Hours:

40h/ week

Type of Contract:

National - Palestinian citizens or resident of the OPT

Main Duty Station and Location:

Ramallah, Palestine

Expected start date:

February 2023

About Al-Haq

 

Al-Haq is an independent Palestinian non-governmental human rights organization based in Ramallah, West Bank. Established in 1979 to protect and promote human rights and the rule of law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), the organization has special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

Al-Haq documents violations of the individual and collective rights of Palestinians in the OPT, irrespective of the perpetrator's identity, and seeks to end such breaches by way of advocacy before national and international mechanisms and by holding the violators accountable. The organization conducts research; prepares reports, studies, and interventions on breaches of international human rights and humanitarian law in the OPT; and undertakes advocacy before local, regional and international bodies. Al-Haq also cooperates with Palestinian civil society organizations and governmental institutions in order to ensure that international human rights standards are reflected in Palestinian law and policies. The organization has a specialized international law library for the use of its staff and the local community.

 

About the Forensic Architecture Investigation Unit at Al-Haq

Housed in the Monitoring and Documentation Department (MDD) at Al-Haq, the Forensic Architecture Investigation Unit (FAI Unit) is composed of an interdisciplinary team of researchers who employ Forensic Architecture’s (FA) methodologies and techniques for taking on cases to monitor and document violations against Palestinians for the purposes of legal accountability and public advocacy.  The FAI Unit employs a frontier research project that mobilizes architectural techniques and technologies to reconstruct incidents of violations of human rights, war crimes, and environmental destruction in Palestine. This involves analyzing complex historical and current political events through developing bespoke research tools.  The first of its kind in the Middle East, the FAI Unit aims to produce a new generation of visual investigations led by Palestinian practitioners.

 

About the position

 

Al-Haq’s new FAI Unit is looking to hire one experienced assistant researcher who is versatile, proactive, and has a strong ambition and willingness to engage with the use of new technologies for the investigation of human rights and environmental violations by state and corporate actors in Palestine. Under the supervision of the unit’s coordinator and lead researcher, the Assistant Researcher will assist with investigative casework across regional and thematic areas. His/her contribution could include assisting with 3D and cartographic analysis, modeling, and open-source research.

The Assistant Researcher will have technical experience with technologies including spatial analysis, OSINT (open-source intelligence), and modeling 3D environments. Ideally, the candidate will need to be proficient in relevant software for 3D modeling (Blender Cinema 4D), Adobe Suite (especially After Effects and Premiere Pro), and mapping (QGIS). Upon appointment, s/he will also be trained in FA’s unique methodologies and techniques.

S/he will be required to follow and understand the day-to-day research logic and methods of Al-Haq and the FAI Unit, working closely in a team setting. The candidate also needs to be able to work independently on assigned tasks and be willing to learn about the wider contextualization of the cases s/he works on.

As part of the training component of this role, the Assistant Researcher will be involved in each phase of a project, from observing the early conceptualization of an investigation to active participation in the project’s development, and design, and finally in the production and presentation of our findings. S/he will be invited to contribute conceptually and work analytically to cross-check and consolidate research as it evolves.

The assistant researcher shall demonstrate good skills across all or some of the following: 3D modeling, spatial analysis, and/or open-source investigative research are absolutely necessary, as is a strong conceptual inclination to understand and help formulate research questions. A demonstrable capacity for learning new software and techniques and teamwork across various contexts and with people of various expertise is also required. Candidates will have to demonstrate that they are conscientious and responsible and are interested in understanding the ethical and political implications of the work.

 

Main duties:

  1. Research source and archival material.
  2. Assist in analyzing and interpreting data.
  3. Undertake technical work, including producing 3D models, animations, and video editing.
  4. Organization of research files and data.
  5. Assist in presenting research findings in a clear and creative manner.
  6. Report on the progress of his/her work to his/her line manager and possibly to the rest of the FAI Unit’s team.
  7. Undertake any other duties as may reasonably be required.
  8. At all times to help maintain a safe working environment by participating in training as necessary.

 

Person Specification

Detailed below is the types of qualifications, experience, skills, and knowledge that are required of the post holder. Selection will be made upon evidence of best-fit with these criteria.

 

Minimum Organizational Requirements

Education:  Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in architecture, design, or a relevant field

Work experience: Minimum one year

Technical and Functional Experience:

  1. Minimum one year of experience or training in architecture, design, project management or any other relevant field.
  2. Experience or training in 3D modeling and animating architectural environments. Past experience may include working within an architectural practice, academic research environment, working with NGOs, investigative journalism, conducting fieldwork, exhibiting or participating in art galleries and museums, political organizing, and activism.
  3. Research experience or training.
  4. Knowledge of architectural, spatial, urban, and/or environmental theory and methods; visualization, and aesthetic strategies.
  5. Knowledge of theories around politics or human rights or law or conflict studies.
  6. Software proficiencies: 3D modeling (Cinema 4D, Blender), Adobe Suite (especially After Effects and Premiere Pro), and mapping (QGIS).
  7. Be rigorous, communicative, capable of multi-tasking, willing to learn, and have a keen eye for detail.
  8. Good written and oral communication skills.
  9. Able to work independently with supervision but also as part of a dynamic team when required.

 

Required Competencies

 Core values:

  1. Integrity
  2. Professionalism
  3. Respect for diversity and gender equality
  4. Commitment

 

Core competencies:

  1. Planning and organizing
  2. Communication and trust
  3. Team orientation
  4. Pro-active and innovative
  5. Time management
  6. Organization skills

 

Languages:

Fluency in written and spoken Arabic and English is required.

 

Contact and Application process

 

Please submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, portfolio of previous works and contact information for three references before 31 January 2023 to: [email protected]

 

Please use “Assistant Researcher” as the subject of your email.

 

NOTE: Only complete applications will be reviewed and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

 

Al-Haq is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its hiring practices.

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