available languages: english September 20, 2017

Call for multiple Communication Experts (in Sinhala/Tamil/English) for the synthetization of complex legal and constitutional documents into plain language for a lay audience (home-based/Sri Lanka)

Title of Position: Communication Experts in Sinhala/Tamil/English
Duty Station: Home-based; Colombo, Sri Lanka
Contract Period: Short-term assignment in September and October 2017

Background
Democracy Reporting International (DRI) is a non-partisan, independent, not-for-profit organization registered in Berlin. DRI promotes the political participation of citizens, the accountability of state bodies and the development of democratic institutions world-wide.

Through careful assessments based on detailed field research, DRI provides the public with specialist policy advice on improvements that can be made to enhance democratic governance. DRI advocates for such changes with domestic actors, the media and relevant international bodies and co-operates with national organizations, wherever possible.

With support from the German Federal Foreign Office, DRI is currently implementing the project “Accompanying Sri Lanka’s Democratic Transition”. The project aims to strengthen democratic consolidation in Sri Lanka by generating broad stakeholder participation around human rights compliance and constitutional reform and informing the process with comparative expertise.

Constitutional reform is a major component of the coalition government’s agenda.
Led by the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly, Sri Lanka is currently in a constitutional review process and the Committee’s report is to be released shortly, outlining the main elements that will underpin the new constitution. The report is of great public interest and will be the subject of discussion and debate among the general public as well as stakeholders such as professional bodies, including the Bar Association, academics, and civil society.

DRI intends to support this public process with comparative expertise from other recent constitutional building processes. This includes information on how constitutional processes have supported peace and nation building and with fact-based information on the Committee’s report and (a forthcoming) Draft Constitution. DRI therefore requires the services of experts in communication and plain language drafting in Sinhala, Tamil and English. The objective is to clearly and effectively communicate the draft reports to the public in the Sinhala, Tamil and English languages and reach a wide audience in Sri Lanka. It is most important that the reports are communicated to the public in plain and accessible language(s).

It is expected that this initiative will support public understanding and awareness of constitution building processes and will support the implementation of DRI’s constitutional activities in Sri Lanka.

Duties and Responsibilities
Under the overall supervision of DRI’s Sri Lanka Country Representative, the Communication Experts will perform tasks and deliverables, which include the following:
• Acquaint themselves with the Draft Report of the Constitutional Assembly’s Steering Committee and any relevant material provided by DRI and summarize the contents in plain language in Sinhalese/ Tamil/English. The target audience will not be lawyers and other professionals but concerned and engaged citizens who may not have formal, tertiary education;
• Liaise, if required by the Country Representative, with other communication experts to ensure that the plain language texts can be uploaded on other media and communication platforms to maximize public outreach;
• Amend, if required, the draft documents, based on peer review feedback.

Qualifications and Experience
• University degree (or equivalent) in law, political science, communications, international relations or a related discipline;
• Excellent analytical and written communication skills in Sinhala/Tamil/English;
• Demonstrated experience in providing support to organisations in communications around political processes, in particular in the production of plain language communication outputs.

Duty Station
• The assignment will require home-based desk work. No travel allowance is provided.

Days and Duration
• The expert is expected to work 10 days total throughout October 2017.

Deadline for applications: 28 September 2017

For interested applicants, please send your application including 1) cover letter, 2) CV, and 3) a writing sample to asia@democracy-reporting.org. The sample shall include a summary of the contents of any chapter from the current constitution of Sri Lanka in the language that you offer your expertise in.

Please use the subject heading “Communication Experts – Sri Lanka constitution building process” and specify the language (i.e. “Sinhala/ Tamil/English”) and send all supporting documents in the following format: SURNAME_FIRSTNAME – CE – SL CBP Sinhala/Tamil/English.

Early applications are encouraged. Recruitment may close before the deadline if an applicant is found. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.