About the National Institute for Reproductive Health

The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) builds power at the state and local level to change public policy, galvanize public support, and normalize women’s decisions about abortion and contraception. Using a partnership model, we provide state and local advocates with strategic guidance, hands-on support, and funding to create national change from the ground up. We are a force multiplier – we form strategic partnerships with a wide range of organizations to directly impact the reproductive health and lives of women across the country. Since 2008, NIRH has provided direct grants and hands-on support to more than 150 reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations in 39 states and 56 localities across the country.

At the national level, we go where others don’t, engaging in groundbreaking public opinion research, proactive policy initiatives, and innovative advocacy campaigns to shape a new national conversation about reproductive freedom. Our political arm, the NIRH Action Fund, works in parallel to change state and local electoral and policy landscapes.

We don’t just push back against restrictions on abortion and contraception; we fight for a society in which everyone has the freedom and ability to control their reproductive and sexual lives.

About the Local Reproductive Freedom Index

The Local Reproductive Freedom Index is a first-of-its-kind initiative, first released in Fall 2017, that evaluates the reproductive health, rights, and justice policies of 40 U.S. cities. It is a tool for local leaders to better understand how their city fares when it comes to this issue. It also encourages cities to lead by ensuring all residents have the full freedom and ability to control their reproductive and sexual lives at home, in the face of attacks from state and federal governments.

Position Summary

Reports to: Associate Director of Local Advocacy

The Local Index Research Contractor will work with NIRH staff to research and write the 3rd edition of the Local Reproductive Freedom Index, to be issued in Fall 2021. This will entail updating research on 37 different indicators for the 50 cities included in the report. It may include research on whether to update existing policy indicators or to add new indicators. The research process requires attention to detail, patience, creativity, and extensive outreach to local government officials and advocates. The Research Contractor will also contribute to developing the content of the new report.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Conduct original research on municipal policy and initiatives in cities across the country, including in but not limited to city council archives, municipal codes, and local media searches;
  • Identify national and local advocacy organizations as potential partners for research support;
  • Outreach via phone and email to local advocates and officials for interviews
  • Serve as a thought partner on content of final product;
  • Draft original content for the Local Index report, including research and writing briefs on policy issues to be explored in the report; and
  • Data entry into a newly developed database system

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree and at least 2 years of work experience in a relevant field such as legislative affairs, government relations, policy advocacy or political affairs at the state or local level; or a current student pursuing an advanced degree, such as a JD, MPA, MPP, or PhD
  • Professional experience in conducting original research (including interviews);
  • Past experience working on municipal policy, local campaigns, or in local government a plus;
  • Comfort with outreach via phone and email to a range of people;
  • Interest in municipal policy and social justice issues, preferably with experience in reproductive health, rights, and justice;
  • Ability to work with diverse organizations and understand a range of perspectives;
  • Comfort with and ability to use a racial equity analysis; and
  • A proven ability to analyze and understand complex issues and an attention to detail
  • A proven ability to write clearly and translate complex policy ideas for multiple audiences a plus.

How to apply

Application Deadline: December 16th, 2020
Please submit resume & cover letter to: [email protected]


This role is a contractor position that will require between 15 and 20 hours of work a week at the rate of $20-$25 an hour, based on experience.  The hours can be flexible, based on the needs of the candidate and the organization. The ideal candidate will be available through June 2021, with the potential for an extension to October 2021.