Career Opportunities

Part-Time Consultant: Latin America and the Caribbean

The American Bar Association Center for Human Rights is the ABA’s focal entity for critical human rights concerns in the United States and around the world. The ABA Center for Human Rights (the Center) works to promote and protect human rights worldwide by mobilizing lawyers to help threatened advocates and vulnerable communities; rallying leading experts on vital issues; and holding abusive governments accountable under law.

The Center is seeking a paid, remote, part-time consultant to assist with cases of human rights defenders at risk and threats to closing civic space in Latin America and the Caribbean. This is a 6-8-month consultancy position. Consultant is expected to begin in October 2020. 

Responsibilities include:

  • Monitor and update the ABA Center for Human Rights on developments in Latin America and the Caribbean (the region) that impact the rights of human rights defenders (HRDs) and the environment in which they operate
  • Document cases against HRDs in the region: outreach to and communication with local partners, analysis of relevant information, development of strategies for intervention, execution of these strategies
  • Identify systematic issues hindering the operation of HRDs in the region
  • Research and legal analysis of identified systematic issues, legislation, and policy
  • Draft and review reports, blogs, and issue briefs
  • Report weekly to ABA Justice Defenders Staff Attorney to discuss interventions, expected deliverables, and timelines
  • Other tasks as necessary and as agreed upon between the contractor and the ABA

Basic Qualifications:

  • The successful candidate must have a JD or LL.M and at least 4 years of experience.  
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in Spanish are required. Knowledge of additional languages is a plus.
  • Experience in communicating with local partners, including using secure communication platforms.
  • Experience in drafting reports that provide succinct and well-documented facts and analysis.
  • Demonstrated commitment to public interest and knowledge of international law
  • Prior experience working on issues of human rights and/or human rights defenders in the region

How to Apply:

  • Application deadline: October 2, 2020
  • Consultant is expected to begin in October 2020. This is a 6-8-month consultancy.
  • Please send the following documents in a single PDF to Emma Watson:
    • Statement of interest detailing your experience working on related projects
    • Resume or CV
    • Quote that includes an hourly rate

Final Evaluation: The Justice Defenders Program

The American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights (hereinafter the Center) is seeking an evaluation consultant (hereinafter evaluator) to undertake a final evaluation of the Justice Defenders Program. Candidates with substantial experience evaluating human rights advocacy programs are preferred. This assignment will be remote.


The Justice Defenders Program aims at 1) increasing adherence to international standards for the protection of human rights defenders; and 2) increasing awareness of threats to human rights defenders, the legitimacy of their activities, and the responsibilities of state and non- state actors under international law. In order to achieve these objectives, the Justice Defenders Program (hereinafter the Program) provides pro bono legal assistance to human rights advocates working in difficult environments and vulnerable circumstances by:

  • Advising on, and raising public awareness of, sensitive trials and cases;
  • Connecting pro bono lawyers with requisite expertise with local lawyers to provide advice on international law standards, share best practices, and assist in developing advocacy and litigation strategies; and
  • Observing trials that have garnered local, regional, or international attention and/or have the potential of changing the law, for better or worse, within the country, and providing analysis of those trials.

The Program’s global reach enables it to help human rights defenders in 65 countries around the world. The Program is sensitive to varied political and factual circumstances and its assistance is tailored to local contexts. With experienced staff and a dynamic network of pro bono lawyers at the ready, the Program is able to address acute crises or take on long-term projects as needed.

Evaluation Objectives

The Program commissioned a mid-term evaluation in 2016. The 2016 evaluation proposed a set of key recommendations that were incorporated in the Program’s work. As it enters its tenth year of operation, the Program is undertaking a final evaluation to identify successes and challenges, determine progress achieved in implementing the 2016 evaluation’s recommendations, and draw lessons for its future programmatic cycle. The objectives of this evaluation are to:

  • Assess the Program in terms of its relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability.
  • Measure how effectively and efficiently the Program’s outputs and outcomes have progressed in achieving its objectives.
  • Identify opportunities for the sustainability of the Program.
  • Develop lessons and recommendations that will inform the Program’s future directions.

Evaluation Questions

The evaluation should assess the Program in terms of its relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability. It will answer the following overarching questions:

  • To what extent has the Program achieved its objectives?
  • What approaches are most effective in attaining the Program’s objectives?
  •  To what extent the objectives, outputs, and outcomes of the Program respond to the needs of Human Rights Defenders and to varied local contexts?
  • How effective is the Program to respond to emerging issues?
  • How effective are the adopted criteria in selecting cases?
  • What improvements should the Program implement in its strategies or cases’ selection criteria to enhance its impact?

Evaluation Methodology

The evaluator is expected to propose the evaluation design and methodology. The technical proposal should include a detailed methodology to answer and elaborate on each evaluation question. However, it is recommended that the evaluation should use a participatory and mixed method approach- collecting and analyzing both qualitative and quantitative data using multiple sources- in order to draw valid and evidence-based findings and conclusions, and practical recommendations. Given the global COVID-19 pandemic, virtual data collection approaches should be considered. The evaluator will make use of data made available by the Center team and complement it with data collection methods. The Center team will work with the evaluator to determine the final evaluation methodology.


The evaluator will be responsible for ensuring the following deliverables are submitted to the Center in accordance with the agreed timeline:

  • Work plan: based on initial meetings with the Center, the evaluator will submit a workplan team, detailing the evaluation approaches, report’s outline, deliverables and timeline.
  • Inception report: Based on the desk review exercise and in-depth meetings with the Center team, the evaluator will submit a 15-page inception report. The report should elaborate on evaluation methodologies and questions, including how each evaluation question will be answered along with proposed methods, proposed sources of data, and data collection and analysis procedures. 
  • Draft evaluation report: The draft report will ensure that each evaluation question is answered with in-depth analysis of information and back up the arguments with credible quantitative and/or qualitative evidences.
  • Final evaluation report: The final report will incorporate feedback and comments received on the draft report. Other relevant documents should be also presented to the Center team.

Assignment Duration

This assignment is expected to begin on November 2020, and to be completed no later than February 2021.

Level of Effort

The expected level of work is approximately 55 working days. The evaluator is expected to:

  •  Prepare the workplan and evaluation design- 5 working days
  • Review of the Program’s documents- 5 working days
  •  Prepare the 15- page inception report- 5 working days
  • Conduct ~ 20 in-depth interviews- 10 working days
  • Analyze ~5 case documents and primary data- 15 working days
  • Prepare the draft evaluation report- 10 working days
  • Incorporate the Center’s comments- 2 working days
  •  Finalize the evaluation report- 3 working days

Management Arrangements

The selected evaluator will work closely with the Center team to design the evaluation, ensure the timely submission of deliverables, and produce the final report. The Center team will provide the evaluator with all necessary support to identify and access key stakeholders.

Required Experience and Skills

The candidate should have:

Academic Qualifications:

·        A masters’ degree or equivalent in human rights, international relations, social sciences, or other relevant fields.


  • 7-10 years of working experience in the field of human rights along with 7 years focused experience in conducting evaluations or assessment of advocacy programs.
  • Previous experience as a lead evaluator in participatory evaluations.
  • Strong analytical and writing skills. 
  • Proven track record of implementing a range of qualitative and quantitative data collection tools and methods in program evaluation

How to Apply

Please submit:

1. A detailed technical and financial proposal

  • Proposed evaluation methodologies
  • Proposed data collection methods
  • Schedule of activities
  • Budget that specifies the professional daily rate

2.      Resume

3.      Three letters of recommendation endorse the evaluator’s qualifications and skills to conduct similar assignments.

All documents should be included in one PDF file and submitted to Lian Najjar, Program Officer no later than October 1st 2020.

Proposal Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Technical Proposal, educational background and experience on similar assignments: 70 points
  • Financial Proposal: 30 points

Pro Bono Legal Consultancies

The American Bar Association Center for Human Rights seeks experienced pro bono legal consultants on a recurring basis. Pro bono consultants contribute to the work of the Center by

  • Observing trials that have garnered local, regional, or international attention and providing detailed analysis of those trials;
  • Drafting letters to U.N. Special Rapporteurs pertaining to attacks against human rights defenders and rule of law around the world; 
  • Assisting with the preparation of reports and conducting libel review.

Interested candidates should fill out the pro bono volunteer form and submit a recent resume/CV. Candidates with foreign language proficiency are encouraged to apply.

Fall, Spring & Summer Internships

The American Bar Association Center for Human Rights seeks experienced legal interns on a recurring basis. Interns will work closely with our regional staff attorneys, human rights groups and pro bono attorneys to provide legal assistance to human rights defenders who are the subject of harassment in retaliation for their advocacy efforts in the region. The Intern will gain invaluable insight into human rights litigation and advocacy.

Depending on the needs of our cases at any given time, interns should expect to do several of the following tasks: conduct legal research and draft pleadings, motions, and briefs, conduct supplemental fact-finding and assist at interviews; attend press conferences and briefings; draft editorials on key human rights issues; and, monitor ongoing human rights abuses internationally via human rights listserves and other news sources.

All interns must have a demonstrated commitment to public interest and knowledge of international law.

How to Apply

Applications must include the following:

  • cover letter
  • recent resume (please indicate language proficiencies) 
  • legal writing sample 
  • list of 3 references 

Please submit applications to and title the email [LAST NAME]: [Term] Intern Application.  Please copy Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.