Researcher for Niger Human Rights and Access to Justice Activity

Country: Niger
Organization: American Bar Association
Closing date: 30 May 2021

Statement of Work

Assessment of National Human Rights Institution

Grant Award No:72068520RFA00004

Program:

Niger Human Rights and Access to Justice Activity

Type:

NHRI Capacity Assessment

Purpose:

To review existing intake and investigative capacities of CNDH and identify areas for capacity building and technical assistance

Primary Methodology:

TBD

Period of Performance:

June-July 2021

The American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) is a non-profit organization that implements legal reform programs in roughly 50 countries around the world. ABA ROLI has nearly 500 professional staff working abroad, and in its Washington, D.C. office. ABA ROLI’s host country partners include judges, lawyers, bar associations, law schools, court administrators, legislatures, ministries of justice and a wide array of civil society organizations, including human rights groups.

ABA ROLI seeks a Researcher for its Niger Human Rights and Access to Justice Activity, to lead an assessment of the Niger national human rights institution (hereinafter referred to by the French acronym, CNDH) to inform design and development of program implementation.

Background:

ABA ROLI, in collaboration with Search for Common Ground (Search), is implementing the four-year Niger Human Rights and Access to Justice Activity, funded through Freedom House as part of the HRSM consortium with support from USAID (hereinafter referred to as the “Project”). The goal of the project is to reduce vulnerability to extremism by strengthening tools to address the root grievances that fuel extremism in areas of Niger prone to violent extremism. This goal is broken down into three objectives:

  1. Improve the capacity of customary conflict mediation and other local mechanisms in the target areas exposed to VE to address grievances and resolve disputes.

  2. Empower people in areas of influence of violent extremism to find their way and access the formal justice system to resolve their disputes or assert their rights.

  3. Increase the capacity of the Government of Niger and civil society organizations to address human rights violations committed by state and non-state actors.

Under Objective 3, the project aims to improve the ability of the CNDH to investigate complaints of VE-related human rights violations in the target regions and follow through with the appropriate power of redress (e.g. conciliation, referral, or reporting).

The CNDH plays a unique role both in gathering information relating to human rights abuses and in informing the government response and subsequent action. To improve the CNDH’s capacity to fulfill this role, ABA ROLI will focus on strengthening the CNDH’s mobile investigative capacities and the CNDH’s ability to generate reports from those investigations.

Specifically, ABA ROLI anticipates providing a series of training activities to increase CNDH capacity, building on CNDH strengths and addressing weaknesses. ABA ROLI also support CNDH investigation missions, which will improve CNDH ability to monitor human rights conditions and to investigate violations. Recognizing that the CNDH is also responsible for directly informing government action, response, and reform (whether legal, policy, or institutional) to advance human rights protection in the country. ABA ROLI will build on existing CNDH practices to support the development of bespoke reports on issues related to violent extremism and related human rights violations. The series will aggregate information derived from CNDH investigations and research, and will focus on critical human rights issues, particularly as they affect the situation of youth, women and girls.

Assessment Purpose and Scope:

This initial assessment of the CNDH aims to identify existing strengths and opportunities for capacity development. ABA ROLI will review existing intake and investigation capacities to identify needs (capacity/skills gaps) of CNDH personnel and to create buy-in for approaches and strategies to filling capacity gaps and improving processes. The study findings will inform the selection of and strategies for capacity building interventions under this objective. CNDH possesses an “A” rating from GANHRI in its compliance with the Paris principles. However, the 2017 accreditation commission issued certain recommendations which pertain to the composition and independence of the Commission to be fully effective in its investigative and protection capacities.

The study should:

  1. Identify the scope and breadth of CNDH protection services, including the jurisdiction, geographical reach, sectoral focus, and issues that CNDH engages with;

  2. Assess current capacities of the CNDH in the area of protection - including the process for intake and investigation, with a particular focus on VE related issues,

  3. Assess key cross cutting issues that may affect current capacities, such as composition, independence, and related issues identified in GANHRI recommendations; as well as public awareness of the CNDH; CNDH position in the national system, and access for citizens to the CNDH;

  4. Assess existing capacity development initiatives, including other international support to the CNDH;

  5. Identify specific training, capacity building, or technical assistance needs; and

  6. Develop a set of recommendations for fulfilling specific training and technical assistance needs.

Approach and Methodology:

The study should consider existing good practices in assessing CNDH capacity, including UNDP Global Principles for the Capacity Assessment of National Human Rights Institutions. Specific methodology for assessing CNDH will draw on resources that have been developed and tested, including in the context of West Africa such as:

  1. UNDP NHRI Assessment Tool.

  2. Litigation Capacities, Gaps and Opportunities for National Human Rights Institutions Baseline Study of the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI) (2019).

  3. Participatory assessment methodology building on ABA ROLI experience in assessing NHRI capacity in other countries and contexts.

Deliverables:

All deliverables must be written and presented in English. Data will be collected in French, and as such, tools used for the research should be developed in French or translated into French.

The following consists of main deliverable for this research:

  • A brief inception report and work plan prepared in consultation with ABA ROLI’s DCOP, D.C. Based Senior Technical Advisor, and MEL Advisor; the inception report at the minimum, must include the following: a detailed approach and methodology for the study that is verified to be feasible with the DCOP and field-based counterparts, data collection and analysis activities and schedule; initial draft of tools to be used for the study; description of sampling frame and key institutions or stakeholders that will form respondents for the study. The inception report should also present an outline of literature that forms the basis for the identified approach.

  • Relevant tools for data collection and collated data

  • Draft report that includes preliminary findings, conclusions and recommendations. ABA ROLI will review and submit comments and suggested revisions to be considered by the researcher prior to finalization.

  • A final report, completed in the format agreed upon with ABA ROLI.

  • A debrief presentation with the in-country counterparts and ABA ROLI.

What We Are Looking for:

The consultant should have experience conducting NHRI capacity assessments and be proficient in French. Prior experience working with or studying NHRIs in Africa would be an advantage.

He/she must have:

  • At least a master’s degree in public policy or administration, social or political science, or other related field with no less than seven years of relevant experience;

  • Previous experience assessing institutional capacity of human rights institutions;

  • Excellent French communication and writing skills and good ability to write and converse in English;

  • Previous experience in Francophone African countries;

  • Experience working on rule of law or access to justice programs will be an advantage.

Supervision of the consultant’s work:

The consultant will report directly to the D.C. based Senior Technical Advisor (STA) and will coordinate extensively with the DCOP, STA and MEL Advisor in the development of inception report, tools, and in finalizing the results of the study. The consultant must provide all deliverables defined in these terms of reference.

At the request of the STA the consultant may be required to deliver intermediate milestones (such as notes, outlines, drafts for review, etc.) in addition to deliverables that are listed.

Payment will be tied to successful completion of deliverables according to acceptable quality standards as determined by the STA.

Interested and qualified Consultants or Consultancy firms should submit their applications which should include the following:

  1. Cover Letter

  2. Detailed Curriculum Vitae (and capacity statement for institutions)

  3. Proposed budget & workplan for the assignment

Please quote “Niger Human Rights and Access to Justice Activity” on the subject line. Applications should be emailed to niger-recruitment@abaroli.org no later than May 30, 2021.

How to apply:

Please quote “Niger Human Rights and Access to Justice Activity” on the subject line. Applications should be emailed to niger-recruitment@abaroli.org no later than May 30, 2021.



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