Founded in 2009, the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) is the leading international think tank on business and human rights. IHRB’s mission is to shape policy, advance practice, and strengthen accountability in order to make respect for human rights part of everyday business. IHRB seeks to embed international business and human rights standards within responsible business practice in a wide range of countries and industry sectors, working with government, business and civil society.
About the Role
The Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) seeks a part-time Researcher over a three-month period from February to May 2023 to conduct the following activities in Lisbon, Portugal. This post will work closely with IHRB’s Programme Manager, Built Environment (Global) who will have oversight for the research process, and IHRB Nordic’s Programme Manager, Built Environment (Europe) who will have oversight for the visioning session, as well as with other project partners. We envisage that 30-45 days will be required for this work.
This research in Lisbon is part of a project comprising similar research cycles in four pairs of cities globally over two years, and will be conducted in parallel with research in Melbourne, Australia. This cycle follows the first one: conducted in Lagos, Nigeria and in Prague, Czechia.
The project “Building for Today and for the Future” is developing a collaborative agenda for a just transition of the built environment. It will identify pathways to reduce the climate footprint and strengthen resilience of buildings and infrastructure, while also reducing social inequity and respecting human rights. The project will also work to address and overcome the specific obstacles that stand in the way of those pathways.
The three interconnected outcomes and activities are:
- Strengthening the evidence base: Deep-dive action research in eight cities globally, linking up to their relevant national and regional contexts;
- Shifting mindsets: Visioning sessions that invite diverse local stakeholders to imagine what a just and sustainable built environment looks like;
- Changing policy and practice: Strategic communications and policy advocacy to influence government and industry practices.
The project will consider the full range of human rights but will have a particular focus on: meaningful participation; spatial justice; the right to housing; and workers’ rights. An intersectional lens will be applied throughout, considering the range of factors that affect people’s experience of the world including gender, race, class, sexual orientation, physical ability and immigration status.
What You're Gonna Do
1. Scope definition: Identify and define Lisbon’s priority built environment decarbonisation/resilience process(s) to be investigated (for example: improvements in energy efficiency and construction practices; reductions of emissions from materials / circular building practices; shifting to renewable energy sources for buildings; strengthened resilience of the built environment to the impacts of climate change)
b. Identify key elements of context and framing that are sensitive to local narratives and language, to aid the research and communication steps that follow
2. Research: Desk research; semi-structured interviews with 10-15 stakeholders (aiming for representation of civil society, workers and tenants; government; business; finance; and academia); and relevant site visits
3. Outreach: In parallel, introduce the Framework for Dignity in the Built Environment to the stakeholders (the 10-15 interviewees). This Framework is a dynamic, internationally-applicable yet locally adaptable tool for grounding built environment decision-making in international human rights standards and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and for harnessing the specific roles/responsibilities and leverage points between actors. Identify practical opportunities for applying the Framework in the local context at policy and/or project level.
4. City Summary Report: Produce a four-page summary of the research findings, analysis and recommendations, with an annex of relevant background materials, in close collaboration with IHRB’s Programme Manager, Built Environment (Global). Note: the research outputs will be ideally further elaborated into academic journal articles; while this is beyond the scope of this consultancy, the research should be conducted with the appropriate scientific rigor and with this opportunity in mind.
5. Contribute to a global map of innovative/alternative economic models: During desktop and fieldwork research, identify up to four examples of economic models/initiatives (in the city, country, and/or within the wider region) that seek to address power imbalances and are conducive to a just transition in the built environment: examples could include: equitable land-use measures or community-ownership models; community-led planning processes; measures to curb over-speculation; green/social bonds. A model for identifying these models will be shared with the Consultant.
6. Support a visioning workshop: Support the preparation for – and co-facilitate – a “visioning” workshop that brings together diverse stakeholders, including those who have been interviewed for the research, to identify pathways for a just transition in the city and to address barriers and opportunities. Participate in the agenda development, support event planning, join and present research findings at the workshop. A methodology for the visioning workshop will be shared with the Consultant.
7. Process review: Participate in an online de-brief session at the end of the consultancy to review the process and its outcomes, and to provide methodology recommendations for the next cities to be investigated in the project.
- Strong knowledge of the local urban context (social, political, economic, and built environment), including the landscape of relevant civil society, business and government stakeholders in Lisbon
- Demonstrated commitment to human and workers’ rights.
- Experience conducting similar research and analysis.
- Ability to communicate with stakeholders from multiple backgrounds/sectors.
- Excellent, clear writing and editing skills in English, as well as strong Portuguese
- Based in Lisbon
- Facilitation experience with different stakeholders (Desirable)
- Experience presenting findings in map formats (Desirable)
What We Offer
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