Research Assistant for Participatory Creative Placemaking Initiative


Location: Kota Kita office in Solo
Application deadline: 19 September, 2022
Expected start date: 3 October 2022
Period of engagement: 15 months
Languages required: English and Indonesian

Kota Kita (KK) is a non-profit organization based in the Indonesian city of Surakarta (Solo) with expertise in urban planning and citizen participation in the design and development of cities. We bridge the dialogues between government and their constituencies by facilitating citizen participation and collaboration, influencing urban policies, encouraging open access to information, and providing civic education to empower urban citizens. KK’s projects focus on governance, inclusivity, and climate change resilience. We use a co-creation design process that cultivates the active participation of underprivileged and marginalized communities in improving their living spaces. We believe that by facilitating a stronger relationship between community and spaces, communities will gain a stronger sense of belonging to the space and strengthen their collective agency to bring about change.

About Repaint the City initiative
While Surakarta (Solo) has a strong history of inclusion over the decades (Global Disability Innovation Hub, 2022), improvements are necessary to enhance the participation of people with disabilities in a community dialogue in both formal and informal mechanisms. In particular, youth with disabilities often still face barriers to expressing a strong voice in the decision-making processes, notably due to limited
awareness for accommodations to ensure their full and effective political participation such as the use of sign languages.

In fostering a more socially-just space for more meaningful participation, there is a need to deepen the way citizens interact as a collective, build shared awareness and solidarity, and explore the tension between spatial and social to influence change within the acknowledged existing power that currently shapes the city. For Solo, murals, have been a tool for citizens to express their needs of urgent issues in the city, and there is great potential in using urban art to deepen the participation of citizens who will enjoy the spaces—in contrast to the conventional method of commissioning artists.

The project proposes a series of activities for youth with disabilities in Solo to collectively
build their position in the contested urban narrative through participatory approaches in creative placemaking. Our project aims to converge the voice of youth who are deaf and have hearing impairments, and connect those voices with visual arts as a means of expression, awareness-raising, and reclaiming of spaces. Through the pilot project in the City of Solo, Indonesia, we hope to celebrate and leverage the diverse, intersectional aspirations of the youth in the city, build solidarity, and mainstream discourses about urban inclusivity. The main objective is to use murals and art installations as a shared
learning process and not merely as an end product—a process to make the invisible more visible.

We are seeking an organized, creative, and communicative Research Assistant for the
Repaint the City program to work together in implementing a participatory creative
placemaking initiative, who will:
● Assist in developing and implementing new tools and methodology for a participatory creative placemaking initiative, with tasks such as compiling best practices, documenting findings, and facilitating workshops, among others.
● Support in coordinating and organizing internal and external activities related to the program, which includes coordinating with local collaborators, engaging vendors, and arranging logistics i.e., venue, consumption, sign language interpreters, among others
● Coordinate and compile stories, insights, and lessons learned from the program
● Compile and develop work-in-progress reports, final reports, and other types of publications necessary for the program
● Collaborate with other team members, including project members, donors, and potential external parties to ensure the smooth delivery of work
● Proactively and promptly respond to issues and challenges as necessary
● Reporting directly to the Communications & Advocacy Manager and the Project Manager

We are looking for someone with:
● Strong communication (text and oral) in English and Indonesian
● Working experience in social studies research and event organizing is preferred (2 years of working experience is preferred, can also include organizational experiences)
● Experience in placemaking and community outreach is a plus
● Have interest and knowledge in disability issues, social inclusion, social movements, and artivism
● Innovative and flexible and able to work in a complex environment with multiple stakeholders and partners with diverse backgrounds
● Have creativity, outgoing personality, willingness and eagerness to try
● Excellent writing and organizational skill
● Bachelor’s degree in Social Science or other relevant fields, including Architecture, Anthropology, Sociology, Political Science, and others

What we offer:
● Hands-on experience in the development of new tools and methodology for participatory creative placemaking
● Chance to interact with civil society organizations in Surakarta
● An inspiring and dynamic working environment with dedicated colleagues from diverse expertise and backgrounds
● Exposure and network with international counterparts from different fields

Application Deadline
To apply for this position please submit your CV, a one-page statement in English on what you consider an inclusive and democratic public space, why we should consider you to be a Research Assistant, and your expected salary.

Please send your application to by September 19, 2022, at the latest
and use the email subject: Applicant Name_Research Assistant


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