Community-Centered Designer, City of Durham (closes 7/30/21)

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Closing: 7/30/21 11:59pm EST
Hiring Range: $63,180 – $80,554 annually

Job Description:

The Community-Centered Designer is devoted to elevating and integrating diverse community perspectives into the work of the Community Safety Department, using tools from human-centered design, process improvement and social science methodologies to measure and produce systemic changes in public policy, civic engagement, and service delivery as it pertains to public safety. The position will employ a broad range of design methods included in researching, prototyping, measuring effectiveness and sharing information that prioritizes the experiences, challenges and ideas of multiple stakeholder groups through diverse means of research engagements. You will lead the design of community-centered research plans, including creating workflows, identifying participants, conducting interviews and focus groups and observations; collecting, analyzing and presenting data; preparing and delivering research findings and reports, often involving the preparation of graphics and/or dashboards; organizing and facilitating community meetings; and coordinating with internal and external stakeholders to facilitate departmental operations.

Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Work with members from multiple stakeholder groups to bring in perspectives and ensure diverse voices and lived experiences are incorporated into the design process
    • Organize and facilitate meetings and co-design sessions; collaborate with City and County staff, residents and community organizations, first responder agencies, and other internal and external stakeholders to evaluate needs, stimulate idea generation, communicate information, and facilitate related project and departmental operations.
    • Identify participants, conduct interviews and focus groups and related observations, attend community events and listening sessions to better understand community perspectives; summarize and analyze related data; and ensure that accepted research methods, tools, and systems are employed to aid efficient data organization and analyses.
    • In collaboration with the Community Safety and Wellness Taskforce, develop strategies for ongoing resident feedback and evaluation of new alternative response models and other pilots of interest.
  • Visualize systems and processes to shed light on challenges, identify opportunities, and imagine alternatives through use of journey maps, diagrams, graphics, and other design methods and frameworks.
  • Prepare and deliver technical and general research findings in clear, digestible and compelling formats for multiple audiences; utilize media platforms to share and gather information, track the progress of deliverables, and encourage data-driven and collaborative decision-making.

The Community-Centered Designer will play a key role in:

  •  Prototyping/testing solutions as an extension of research and continuous learning; analyzing and synthesizing data and insights into an iterative process of initiative development.
  •  Balancing top-down (ex. executive leadership) and bottom-up (ex. community leadership) directives, co-creating with key partners, and shepherding those emergent solutions.
  •  Helping identify future initiatives and pilots of interest to community members and partners based on data and feedback.
  •  Shaping the culture of this new department and establishing ways of working that embed equity, justice, collaboration, ethical innovation, rigorous research and other community-centered and creative problem-solving practices.


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in design, public policy, social science research, public or business administration, or related field. Equivalent professional experience considered.
  • 5 years of related experience (related experience may include: human-centered design, professional analytical experience in community-based research and organizing, and/or applied behavioral economics research)
  • Strong communication design skills with a demonstrated ability to translate complex information effectively across mediums for various audiences.
  • A commitment to and interest in the mission of the department: to enhance public safety through community-centered approaches to prevention and intervention as alternatives to policing and the criminal legal system.
  • A commitment to equity, which could include having already attended racial equity trainings.
  • Advanced collaboration and interpersonal skills with the ability to build consensus and promote the exchange of information among team members and partners.
  • Demonstrate initiative and sound judgment when handling ambiguity; ability to work independently and prioritize tasks under minimal supervision.

Additional Preferred Skills

  • Experience with and commitment to equity-centered design ethics and trauma-informed practices, with a willingness to share these principles with the rest of the team.
  • Master’s degree in design, public policy, social science research, public or business administration, or related field.
  • Professional analytical experience in qualitative research and/or community-based research that includes community organizing and/or outreach.
  • Experience in human-centered design, behavioral economic research or other research methods applied in a non-lab setting, to include project management experience for research, design and evaluation studies.