Careers and Internships at PHR | Senior Program Officer for Innovation and Technology – Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones

Senior Program Officer for Innovation and Technology – Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), which shared in the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997, is a U.S.-based international advocacy organization working at the intersection of medicine, science, and law. With a global network of thousands of medical, scientific, and legal experts, PHR uses the power of medical and scientific evidence to document human rights and humanitarian law violations and prevent abuses, protect survivors, and promote justice and universal human rights for all.

Building upon its highly respected place in the field, and supported by a committed and talented team, PHR seeks a Senior Program Officer for Innovation and Technology – Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones.

Work Authorization: Applicants must be authorized to work in Kenya or the United States.

Location: Kenya or the United States (New York or Boston Office) 

Reports to: Director, Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones

Organizational Overview

Physicians for Human Rights was founded in 1986 by five physicians who were united in the belief that health professionals, with their specialized skills, ethical duties, and credible voices, are uniquely positioned to prevent harm and promote respect for human rights. Since its founding, PHR has built a long and distinguished record of accomplishment by conducting groundbreaking investigations and advocacy, in concert with strategic partners.

PHR’s approach includes extensive documentation of the use of illegal and inhumane weapons in armed conflicts, attacks on civilians, and the physical and psychological impacts of torture and sexual violence as a weapon of war. Other core activities include protecting the rights of those seeking asylum in the United States, the human rights implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, and halting attacks on medical facilities and frontline health professionals.

With its dedicated staff of approximately 50 people, dozens of interns, consultants, and thousands of volunteer experts, Physicians for Human Rights:

  • Produces evidence about human rights violations based on medical science, research, investigations, and forensic documentation that supports prosecution of perpetrators in local, regional, and international justice settings;
  • Trains and supports medical, law enforcement, legal, and justice professionals in conflict and post-conflict regions to document torture, sexual violence, and other violations so that there is an evidentiary foundation for prevention, protection, justice, and redress for these crimes;
  • Works with medical associations and individuals to reinforce the highest standards of medical ethics and uphold their professional obligation to “do no harm”;
  • Defends medical professionals when they are harassed, attacked, or jailed by authorities for carrying out their professional obligations;
  • Corroborates the human rights abuse claims of people fleeing government-sanctioned persecution and torture through a network of more than 2,000 medical professionals who conduct physical and psychological examinations of U.S. asylum seekers; and
  • Advocates for human rights policy reforms globally and for robust responses to rights violations from local and national governments, regional bodies, and the United Nations.

Role Description

PHR is seeking to hire an experienced and dynamic Senior Program Officer for Innovation and Technology to lead our work to leverage technology and innovation to strengthen forensic evidence of sexual violence in conflict zones. The senior program officer will lead innovation, strategy, and partnerships related to MediCapt, a mobile app developed by PHR that enables clinicians to compile medical evidence of sexual violence, photograph survivors’ injuries, and securely transmit the data to police, lawyers, and judges involved in prosecuting sexual violence crimes. The app converts a standardized medical intake form for forensic documentation to a digital platform and combines it with a secure mobile camera to facilitate forensic photography.

The senior program officer for innovation and technology will work with the Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones to oversee the development, implementation, and transition to scale of MediCapt. After being successfully piloted in Kenya and currently being piloted in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the app is ready to scale. The senior program officer will play a critical role in supporting the growth of the MediCapt project.

The senior program officer is responsible for leading implementation of the project and scaling strategy, including managing grant deliverables related to MediCapt; supervising staff and consultants working to design, implement, and scale MediCapt; cultivating relationships with scaling partners and formalizing partnerships; developing PHR’s strategic vision for MediCapt and designing a consulting model; supporting fundraising and donor relations; and collaborating with PHR staff and consultants in Kenya, the DRC, the United States, and Europe.

Responsibilities

  • Lead the development, implementation, and transition to scale of MediCapt, a mobile application that guides clinicians through the effective and comprehensive documentation of sexual and gender-based violence and securely stores and transmits evidence to the justice sector;
  • Manage MediCapt-related grants to ensure the program remains on target in achieving grant deliverables and commitments and support reporting to funders;
  • Supervise the technical project manager and provide mentorship and support to MediCapt managers and technical consultants in the DRC and Kenya;
  • Oversee technical maintenance of the MediCapt app;
  • Oversee piloting processes of MediCapt in the DRC, Kenya, and other expansion areas, including by project managing pilot processes, gathering feedback from partners, supporting mentorship and troubleshooting, and documenting pilot processes;
  • Lead PHR’s initiative in partnership with the technical project manager to publish open source code for MediCapt, including technical aspects, development of the dissemination strategy, and monitoring utilization and revision of the open source code once published;
  • Develop and implement robust plans for monitoring and evaluating the reach and impact of MediCapt with end users and beneficiaries, and disseminating evaluation reports;
  • Support scaling of MediCapt, including by drafting strategy documents, developing and launching PHR’s consulting model, and conceptualizing a costing model;
  • In collaboration with team members, develop criteria list and screens for scaling partners;
  • Lead on identifying and mitigating challenges in scaling, including but not limited to ethical issues, data protection and data security, and quality control;
  • Identify and build relationships with potential scaling partners, including humanitarian organizations, international organizations, and governments;
  • Represent PHR and the MediCapt project to external partners, including donors, potential scaling partners, and at international conferences;
  • Maintain relationship and lead engagement with PHR’s Technical Advisory Board to strengthen MediCapt; and
  • Monitor developments in the global human rights tech and digital health landscape.

Qualifications of the Ideal Candidate

  • Currently possesses appropriate authorization to work in the United States or Kenya;
  • Bachelors’ degree with at least seven years of progressive experience in international program development and implementation of complex programs;
  • Passion for scaling innovation and demonstrated experience in growing projects from pilot stage, ideally digital human rights, development, access to justice, or global health tools;
  • Demonstrated project management and budget/expense tracking experience;
  • Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office, including expertise in using Excel;
  • Strong work ethic, with the ability to identify problems and develop solutions;
  • Strategic, creative, and innovative thinker with the ability to exercise measured and appropriate judgement;
  • Ability to engage experts, stakeholders, and partners in a professional and proactive manner;
  • Willingness to travel to the DRC, Kenya, and elsewhere for project implementation;
  • Experience with open-source technology projects highly desirable;
  • Knowledge or experience in sexual violence, international justice, human rights, and/or women’s rights highly desirable;
  • Previous experience working in resource-constrained environments and conflict-affected regions a plus;
  • Superb oral and written communication skills and fluency in English required; advanced proficiency in spoken French and/or Swahili highly desirable; and
  • Demonstrated passion for PHR’s mission, and commitment to human rights and public interest work.

Salary and Benefits

This is a full-time position located in Kenya or the United States (remote until offices reopen). Salary is commensurate with experience. PHR offers comprehensive employer-paid benefits, including medical, dental, disability, and life insurance, a retirement savings plan, and generous vacation.

How to Apply

Please email cover letter and resume to resumes@phr.org. Please include the job title of the position you are applying for in the subject line of your email and where you saw this job posting in the email body.

Physicians for Human Rights is an equal opportunity employer. We recruit and hire without regard to race, national origin, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, prior conviction, arrest history, disability, marital status, veteran status, or age.