Information Officer - Iraq

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Information Officer - Iraq

Job Category: Program/Project

Heartland Alliance International (HAI)

Sulaimaniyah, Iraq


Heartland Alliance International’s (HAI) mission is to secure the rights and well-being of marginalized people and communities. HAI envisions a world in which survivors of human rights violations can seek justice and healing, and fully participate in their society.  In Iraq, HAI works with legal protection for torture survivors, victims of human trafficking and gender-based violence, supports ethnic and religious minority rights, develops trauma-informed mental health programs including torture treatment, and works in juvenile justice reform.

The Heartland Alliance International (HAI) Information Officer - Iraq will work with program teams to prepare donor reports, research publications, and assist on project proposals. The position is writing intensive and requires good adherence to deadlines, professional ethics with respect to confidentiality and sensitive information, and good critical thinking and analytic skills. The candidate does not need to have quantitative skills, but should be able to present quantitative information clearly in documents for a general or technical audience. S/he will also be responsible for liaising with the HQ office in Chicago, supporting project management, implementation, and other backstopping support to Iraq Project Managers. S/he will be based in Iraqi Kurdistan, with travel within Iraq, and potentially other areas in the MENA region, consistent with organizational security policies.


This is not an exhaustive list of duties. The need for flexibility is required as staff are expected to carry out any other related duties that are within their skills and capabilities whenever reasonably instructed.


Reporting and Program Development:

  • Serve as lead writer for donor reports, research reports and project assessments
  • Assist in proposal preparation, including technical research, content analysis and interpretation, technical writing, and editing;
  • Assist in preparing affidavits and reports related to asylum litigation;
  • Coordinate with HQ to collect and submit communications content for donor newsletter, HAI website and social media accounts.
  • Coordinate with project management to create promotional and informational content for HAI programming.
  • Represent HAl externally at meetings, conferences and workshops;

Information Management:

  • Monitor news sources, including local, regional and international, to identify news, reports, and research relevant to HAI human rights and humanitarian programming in Iraq and in the region;
  • Assure information flow within the organization through listservs, access to article and research databases, facilitate staff participation in “communities  of practice”, and assure that staff are able to access, upload and download relevant articles through Zotero;
  • Assist with training on confidentiality, journalism ethics and reporting to implementing partners and Iraqi journalists;
  • Assist the Country Director and Headquarters in developing an Iraq-specific media policy, appropriately liaising and cooperating with journalists in such a way that participant rights are protected, and staff safety is maintained;
  • Work with HAI IT staff in the field and in headquarters to develop, test and train staff on information security measures.  

Grant and Program Management and Donors’ Relations:

  • Visit  program sites to understand and communicate project impacts;
  • Coordinate reporting with the Monitoring and Evaluation team, and the internal auditor/ compliance officer
  • Provide ongoing support to Regional Director and Country directors to respond to donors’ requests;
  • Other duties, as assigned.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Education and/or Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree; Master’s degree preferred, in relevant discipline (journalism, social sciences, political science, international relations, etc.)
  • Prior experience in human rights, humanitarian relief, poverty alleviation and/or journalism with an international focus is preferred;


Language Skills:  Must have written and spoken fluency in English and excellent English writing skills; Arabic and Kurdish are a plus but are not required; however, must be able to effectively communicate with non-native English speakers, and with remote team members via a variety of technologies such as Skype.


Other Skills and Qualifications (required):

  • Experience in long-form journalism, technical writing, or writing for public and specialized audiences.
  • Past program development/proposal development experience, including proposal writing, coordination, design and review is favored, but not required if the candidate otherwise has very strong professional writing experience;
  • Knowledge of and interest in HAI thematic priorities – human rights, minority rights, health care, gender rights, refugee and migrant rights
  • Knowledge of or interest in grassroots community mobilization, capacity building and training;
  • Experience with USAID, CDC, UN, and/or US State Department funding is a plus, but not required if writing skills are outstanding;

Computer Skills: Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Outlook/Exchange; Windows operating systems; and other software routinely used by Heartland Alliance.

Competencies required for the job:

Communication skills:

  • Writes clearly and professionally; Edits work for spelling and grammar; Appropriately adjusts communication style for the audience
  • Demonstrates cross-cultural communication skills including, gestures and other non-verbal communication that tend to vary from culture to culture, to effectively work with staff and donors from the US, MENA region, and Third Country Nationals. Effectively communicates with remote supervisor and team;
  • Effectively communicate utilizing a variety of technologies such as phone or video phone (i.e. Skype); Effectively communicate with non-native English speakers; Represents the organization externally in conferences, events or donor meetings; Demonstrated competency in public speaking;

Planning and Organization:

  • Follows policies and procedures; Prioritizes and plans work activities; Able to plan for and meet competing deadlines; Completes administrative tasks correctly and on time;
  • Supports organization's goals and values;

Problem Solving:

  • Works well in group problem solving situations; approach problems with a sense that people want to help solve them; Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner;


  • Strong interpersonal skills; Approaches others in a tactful manner; Treats others with respect and consideration regardless of their status or position;
  • Reacts well under pressure; able to remain composed and professional in difficult circumstances;
  • Accepts responsibility for own actions; and Follows through on commitments, completes tasks on time or notifies appropriate person with an alternate plan.

Cultural Humility:

  • Respects the cultural environments in which the incumbent is working; Understands cultures evolve, and demonstrates a curiosity and openness to learning about those cultures; and Recognizes personal biases in favor of one’s own culture and welcomes opportunities to learn from other cultures. .

Initiative taking and independence:

  • Seeks increased responsibilities; Takes independent actions and calculated risks;
  • Looks for and takes advantage of opportunities; Asks for and offers help when needed;
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision.


  • Contributes effectively to team’s goals and objectives and building a positive team spirit, exhibits objectivity and openness to others' views; gives and welcomes feedback; supports everyone's efforts to succeed; and
  • Demonstrates leadership by building and maintaining trust with colleagues in order to meet deadlines and objectives without having positional authority;

Excellence and Quality:

  • Monitors own work to ensure quality, looks for ways to improve and promote quality; Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness.

Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Must be able and willing to live in Iraq (Sulaymaniah or Erbil) with regular travel around the Kurdistan Region and possible travel to other countries in the MENA region;
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit; use hands to handle or feel and reach with hands and arms.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; climb or balance and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl.
  • The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds.

Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Must be able to work full-time (8 hours a day, ending as late  as 7 pm to overlap with working hours in Chicago) as well as extended hours when needed (nights, weekends);
  • Must be able to travel independently to carry out field assessments, to identify potential partner organizations, to determine beneficiary needs and to develop program proposals and budgets for funding;

Application Instructions

Please send cover letter (1 page maximum) explaining your interest and how your experience meets the qualifications required and a CV, to Incomplete applications will not be considered. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. If you do not hear back from us within 4 weeks, please consider your application unsuccessful


Heartland Alliance makes all hiring and employment decisions, and operates all programs, services, and functions without regard to race, receipt of an order of protection, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity, marital or parental status, religion, ancestry, national origin, amnesty, physical or mental disability, protected veterans status, genetic information, sexual orientation, immigrant status, political affiliation or belief, use of FMLA, VESSA, military, and family military rights, ex-offender status (depending on the offense and position to be filled), unfavorable military discharge, membership in an organization whose primary purpose is the protection of civil rights or improvement of living conditions and human relations, height, weight, or HIV infection, in accord with the organization's AIDS Policy Statement of September 1987.