Consultancy: Conduct Needs Assessment on the situation of womxn human rights defenders with regards to access to support mechanisms and services, identifying the risk and protective factors to enhance their safety and security

26th Apr 2021

Consultancy: Conduct Needs Assessment on the situation of womxn human rights defenders with regards to access to support mechanisms and services, identifying the risk and protective factors to enhance their safety and security

TERMS OF REFERENCE

Conduct Needs Assessment on the situation of womxn human rights defenders with regards to access to support mechanisms and services, identifying the risk and protective factors to enhance their safety and security

Duration of Assignment: Until 7 July 2021

  1. Purpose and objectives of assignment

The Southern Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (SAHRDN) aims to conduct a needs assessment on the situation of womxn human rights defenders (WHRDs) in Botswana, DRC, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe with regards to access to support mechanisms and services, identifying the risk and protective factors to enhance their safety and security. The assessment will look at the level of availability and quality of relevant services provided by human rights defenders-oriented organisations and other relevant service providers in the field of human rights defenders’ protection. The assessment will have a special focus on womxn human rights defenders and community based human rights defenders working to protect and promote womxn against violence, prejudice, exclusion, and repudiation in order to address the numerous risks that they face in conducting their work, particularly during the Covid-19 crisis.

The assessment should identify possibilities for coordinating service provision at the national level and at the regional level (SAHRDN Mechanism) to avoid duplication and working in silos. The assessment should also define the best approach for strengthening and offering integrated preventive, protective and reintegration services and improving access to mechanisms, systems and services at the local level. It should also identify the institutions and actors which have a direct and indirect influence on the situation of womxn human right defenders at risk and which SAHRDN will leverage in order to swiftly coordinate rapid protection services.

The findings and recommendations of the assessment will aim to influence the development of (or re-activating) projects for increasing access to integrated response services to protect womxn human rights defenders at risk. This report will be shared with select international funding partners and mechanisms, clearly demonstrating the impact of integrated services related to womxn human rights defenders at high risk, which can include prevention, protection and reintegration components.

Furthermore, the International Consultant should also:

  • Assess consciousness of womxn human rights defenders to identify themselves as such.
  • Assess consciousness and public recognition of womxn human rights defenders as legitimate agents of social change and public good.
  • Assess the current professional and technical capacities of womxn human rights defenders-oriented institutions and civil society in Botswana, DRC, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe, in regards to performing its mandate in protection of womxn human rights defenders and defending the civic space.
  • Assess the availability of data of womxn human rights defenders at high risk, especially in light of the emerging pattern of violence and exclusion.
  • Coordinate the process of mapping existing womxn human rights defenders’ protection mechanisms or services through liaison with the relevant local womxn human rights defenders-oriented organizations in Botswana, DRC, Eswatini, Malawi Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
  • Identify what is the level of coordination between the central and local level mechanisms, and how can these be strengthened.
  • To assess to what extent the womxn human rights defenders and their immediate families are aware of services and protection measures provided at the local level and to what extent do they access them.
  • Assess the overall womxn human rights defenders’ participation aspect into the design and planning of local strategies and programmes.

Based on the findings and recommendations of the assessment, the International Consultant should coordinate the drafting and finalization of the Action Plan for SAHRDN with overall aim to improve the situation of womxn human rights defenders in Botswana, DRC, Eswatini, Malawi Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe, by demonstrating a model of sustainable integrated preventive and response services for womxn human rights defenders at risk. In order to ensure participation in the development of the Action plan this activity will require additional meetings, coordination and consulting with local mechanisms and civic groups.

The Action Plan should identify the rights and basic womxn human rights defenders’ protection needs and the services they require in order to be able to carry on with their work in their countries despite the risks and restrictions they continuously face.

It will also identify the primary and secondary sectors, actors and mechanisms that can be activated at an earlier stage to support womxn human rights defenders at high risk and that can respond in a way to ensure an integrated, coordinated, collaborative, and holistic approach to delivering services. The Action Plan should also include mechanisms and approaches required for implementing the services, such as assessment, programme development/strengthening, capacity building for local womxn human rights defenders centric institutions, advocacy and budgeting. The Action Plan should take into consideration the specificities of different needs that womxn human rights defenders at high risk have depending on their age, gender, risk profile and geographic location (e.g. rural vs. urban).

  • Methodology and approach to be used:

The methodology should be participatory and consultative by focusing on issues, both from a gender and equity perspective and utilizing feminist approaches. The assessment can be undertaken by conducting desk review and analysis, round tables, field visits, focus groups and key informant interviews, including with womxn human rights defenders at risk. It will focus on the quality of existing prevention, protection and reintegration services provided for womxn human rights defenders at risk.

A validation workshop will be conducted with key stakeholders from the country (civil society, grassroots organisations) to review and agree on the final results. The consultant will advise on the agenda of the workshop and will participate in the

workshop to present the capacity needs assessment results and the outline of the strategy. The consultant will also revise and finalise the strategy to incorporate the discussions and the agreements of the workshop.

  • Main duties and responsibilities
TaskDeliverables and Time Frame
Desk review and analysis including review of the relevant human rights defenders protection guidelines, policies, regulations, admin instructions, SAHRDN and  local Human Rights Defenders centric organisations strategies, action plans and other related available documents.Report from the desk review analysis. 1st week of May 2021
Conduct field visits, including focus group discussions and individual interviews with relevant stakeholders  Methodology and questionnaires for individual and institutional interviews. Meetings and interviews are conducted. From 2nd  week to the 3rd week of May 2021
Share the draft of the Action Plan, for review and comments by SAHRDN, partners and other relevant stakeholders, including local NGOs). Organise # of workshops with relevant actors for finalising the Action Plan.Action Plan drafted in 4th week of May 2021 Feedback provided and discussed in the 4th week of May 2021
Finalization of the Action Plans including the inputs/comments of the SAHRDN and other stakeholder, partners etc.Action Plan incorporating the inputs from the review process. Action Plan revised, finalised and submitted for endorsement by SAHRDN and key stakeholders in the 1st week of June 2021.
Final Assessment Report with main findings of the assessment and a concise Action Plan for Botswana, DRC, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe, with clear timelines of its implementation, clear actions and models of services for strengthening the human rights defenders protection system at local level and development of integrated preventive and response services.Final Assessment report provided on or before June 7, 2021.

Main tasks of the International Consultant related to the assignment:

  • Communicate regularly with the SAHRDN related to womxn human rights defenders at high risk in a timely manner.
  • Review documents provided by and other relevant stakeholders and follow suggestions and comments made by SAHRDN and other relevant stakeholders and based on those modify and update content of the documents.
  • Deliver documents and other deliverables on a timely manner as stated above in the action plan.
  • Maintain a neutral and professional approach during the review process and during the overall course of the assessment.
  • Ensure that lessons learned, problems and good practices are documented throughout the assessment and development of the action plan process and rapidly shared with the SAHRDN.
  • Based on the comprehensive assessment findings, provide a comprehensive report with clear recommendations and detailed lines of the actions to address the needed strengthening of the local human rights protection mechanisms and institutions
  • Share relevant documentation
  • Organize meetings
  • Review all submitted documents in a timely manner

Estimated duration of the contract

The contract of the assignment should be for minimum of one-month, preferable 1st May 8, 2021 to June 7, 2021.

  • Reporting Line

The International Consultant will report directly to the SAHRDN Programme Manager and Gender and Social Inclusion Advisor

  • Qualifications and Competencies

Education

Relevant Master’s degree in Law, Human Rights, Social Justice, Psychology or Social Policy, Public Administration, Politics, Gender Studies or other related technical field.

Skills and Experience:

  • At least 5-8 years’ international experience in conducting assessments in the area of womxn human rights defenders’ protection system approach.
  • Demonstrate expertise and experience on conducting similar assessments
  • Excellent analytical, oral and written communication skills in English.
  • Experience in monitoring, evaluation and reporting.
  • Proven experience in conducting assignments in complex institutional environments
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
  • Demonstrated experience in report writing.
  • Knowledge of Botswana, DRC, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe or the region and practical work experience in the country is a strong asset.
  • Payment Schedule

Payments will be scheduled against deliverables:

  • Draft Evaluation Report including first presentation – 50%.
  • Final Evaluation Report – 6 hard copies -1 PDF soft copy – Second presentation – 50%.

Financial proposals will be assessed on a fee per service basis based on SAHRDN rules and regulations.

  • Submission of Offers and Selections Criteria

Individual applicants are requested to send their submissions to recruit@southernafricadefenders.africa and copy to sawhrdn@southernafricadefenders.africa with the subject selecting the country for which the application is made, either “Botswana, DRC, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe WHRD Needs Assessment Consultant” by April 28 2021.

Applications must include:

  • A cover letter
  • A statement (5 pages maximum) detailing the understanding of the task, the                             proposed study methodology, a work plan and the proposed evaluation team (CVs annexed)
  • A detailed financial proposal in USD including consultancy fees and other                                     eligible costs (transport and accommodation for field visits, printing, etc.)
  • One sample of abstracts of previous relevant research/work.

The review of the submissions will take into account the following criteria:

  • Understanding of the ToRs (10%)
  • Suggested methodology (30%)
  • Experience of the suggested team (30%)                                                                                                           
  • Quality of submitted sample (10%)
  • Financial offer (20%)
  • Confidentiality 

All information presented, obtained and produced concerning the SAHRDN, the Partners and beneficiaries during the Needs Assessment process/Consultancy is to be treated as confidential. The selected consultant will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement upon signature of the contract.

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