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Vacancy: SAIH seeks report writer

A person is drawing a globe on a blackboard with chalk.A person is drawing a globe on a blackboard with chalk.

In 2021, the Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund (SAIH) will have a campaign about the role of students in the strive for human rights and democracy. As part of this campaign, we will publish a report that explores the increasing criminalization of student activism as part of the shrinking space for civil society in general. Writing the report is a paid assignment that should be completed within 20 working days, and completed no later than January 29th 2021.


A report consisting of app. 25-30 pages in English. We search for both Norwegian and international report authors. The report will be published online and perhaps also printed.

Expected working period: 20 days, or 150 working hours. Starting date: as soon as possible.

The report will be used in SAIH’s advocacy work towards Norwegian politicians and international actors, in order to put the increasing criminalization of student activism on the agenda. The report should explore the current mechanism for protection of students rights organizations and individuals, and how student rights defenders can receive greater international protection and support.

The main target groups are students and academics in Norway. Other relevant target groups are policymakers and politicians, as the report will form the base for further advocacy work. Organizations working on student rights and academic freedom globally are also relevant stakeholders.


Students have historically been pioneers in the fights against injustice and for progressive change, and also the last to give up on the dream of a fair society. From the fight against Apartheid in South Africa to the protest against the Vietnam war, the fight for indigenous, women and LGBTIQ+-rights, students have always been in the forefront of important socio-political battles. The last years we have experienced that the space for democracy and freedom of speech has been shrinking drastically. In more and more countries we see a criminalization of student activism as part of a general oppression of political opposition. Unfortunately this is not getting international attention due to the focus on the corona epidemic.

Student leaders are subjected to state violence, surveillance and arbitrary arrests in Colombia, Zimbabwe, Belarus, Turkey, Hong Kong and many other countries around the world. The sanctions against student leaders are part of a tendency of anti-democratic rule and a backlash against human rights in general, and this report will shed light on the breaches against student leaders specifically and academic freedom and human rights in general.


The report will provide an insight into the historical role of students in the pursuit of human rights and democracy. The report will explore the shrinking space and how it also limits student organizations and student leaders, as well as how the corona pandemic is giving authoritarian leaders opportunities to further criminalize and surveil those that are seen as a menace to the different regimes. It is important to gain insight into the global scope of the situation and place the breaches against student rights and academic freedom in the wider landscape of a shrinking space of civil society. The report should also provide a brief analysis of how students and academics are fighting for their rights to freedom of speech and assembly, and what tactics they are using in the era of shrinking space.

The report should be grounded in theory and include a wide range of sources. The report should also have case examples from some of SAIHs partner countries (SAIH works in Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Colombia, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Myanmar), but also other countries defined relevant by the report writer in collaboration with SAIH.

Lastly, the report should come with concrete policy recommendations, both to the Norwegian government, higher education institutions and international actors.

A more detailed description of the content and what type of recommendations the report should give, will be discussed with the report writer prior to the assignment.

Applicants should:

  • Have a research interest in human rights and academic freedom, and knowledge of both fields.
  • Have access to networks or resource personnel who can assist the writer to identify relevant case studies.
  • Be on schedule and used to work with deadlines.
  • Be skilled in consistent use of references.
  • Be experienced in analyzing and contextualizing data.
  • Have strong writing and oral communication skills in English.

Applicants who will be favoured have:

  • Experience working with civil society and human rights.
  • Report writing experience.
  • Relevant experience as a volunteer or a professional in organizations similar to SAIH.
  • Proficiency in Spanish, as many of SAIHs relevant partner organizations are Spanish-speaking.

The task can be solved by one writer/researcher with an overview of the field, a team of writers, a consultant functioning as an editor with external chapter writers or otherwise.

Report specification

SAIH will use the report for advocacy and information activities. It is therefore necessary that the language in the report is clear and easily accessible. Parts of the report will be reused by SAIH in brochures, web articles and other forms of information material. We therefore seek a creative and experienced report writer. However, the report author will not be tasked with designing the report.

The report should be delivered in an electronic version, in English. The report is expected to be approximately 25-30 full text pages long. SAIH will organize and cover the costs for design and printing the report on a separate budget.

The total cost of writing the report should not exceed 80.000 NOK (including VAT).

Submission of bid should contain:

  • Profile of the writer/researcher (motivational letter and CV) with traceable references and copies of/links to previous writings.Brief layout and a breakdown of how the writer/researcher understands and plans carry out the assignment.Budget.
  • A brief inception report is expected as part of the initial phase, for clarification between the writer/researcher and SAIH.

Application deadline is 30th of November 2020

Please send your application to politisk@saih.no with subject: application report author


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