Project: Gender-sensitive Victim-centred Transitional Justice

Reporting line: WILPF MENA Manager 

Location: Remote  

Consultancy duration: 7 months (September until March 2021)  

Languages required: English and Arabic 

Type of Contract: Consultancy Contract

1. Background information

WILPF continues its ongoing engagement in Syria, with the concerted aim of supporting the Syrian feminist movement, addressing the root causes of violence from a feminist lens, and mobilising for nonviolent action towards peace and justice for all. The main outcomes that WILPF and partners are working towards are as follows:

Outcome I) Supporting civil society to contribute to feminist movement building,

Outcome II) Enhancing women’s meaningful participation in political life,

Outcome III) Advocating for gender sensitive approaches to accountability and justice.

WILPF believes that how the transition from violent conflict into the process towards peace is designed, managed and effected will determine whether that peace can be sustainable. This requires a process that is inclusive, participatory, and which seeks to understand and identify the nature of harm suffered by all different groups in the community, and secure appropriate and accessible mechanisms for redress and accountability. This process should be grounded in an understanding of what justice means to Syrians and how it can redress the transgressions on civil and economic rights that took place during the conflict.

The work done so far on transitional justice in Syria largely lacks context and gender-specific identification of harms that is the baseline for moving forward in an equitable and fair process. This has resulted in transitional justice strategies that failed to understand the gender dimension of wartime harms, as well as the violations of human rights of women and the disproportionate impact of conflict on them. Although many women-led organisations have been working on engaging women and communities on violations they face, with a mix of service provision, economic and political empowerment, data collection and advocacy, they have been excluded from spaces where these strategies are developed and, when involved, their presence has been mainly tokenistic.

Therefore, in a project that started in 2019 and ended in March 2020, WILPF and Dawlaty partnered with 6 women-centred organisations to work together on the identification of harm, increase gender-sensitive knowledge on violations and transitional justice, strengthening their capacity on transitional justice and work with them to amplify the voices of women in affected communities. During that project, two policy briefs were produced on: 1) Sexual violence by force of arms in Syria: Tools of silent warfare, political repression, and further disintegration and impoverishment of societies and women; and 2) Women’s human rights in Syria between the triad of discriminatory laws, patriarchal culture and exclusionary regime policies.

During this round of the project, WILPF and Dawlaty will continue their partnership with five of the organisations to produce a third policy brief, and to hold local and international advocacy on the identified key messages from the first two policy briefs.

2. Main Objectives

WILPF and Dawlaty are seeking a Lead Researcher to work closely with partners on a) determining the theme of the third policy brief, b) supporting partners in conducting research in their communities to provide the input that will form the third policy brief, c) reviewing partner’s knowledge in implementing qualitative research tools and guiding principles, and building on their knowledge and experience from the previous round of the project. Finally, the Lead Researcher will draft the policy brief in Arabic, share its findings with partner organisations for feedback and necessary adjustments.

The Lead Research will work closely with the Thematic Expert who will be holding training sessions with partners on gender-sensitive transitional and restorative justice as well as the issues related to the content of the third policy brief based on areas of interest and needs expressed by partners.

Specific Objectives:

  • Suggest, develop and present five thematic areas with key related problematics to be discussed during a working session with partner organisations to collectively agree on a thematic area;
  • Reframe the agreed-upon key thematic area based on the suggestions of partner organisations and those of the project team;
  • In close coordination with the partners, project team and the thematic expert, prepare
    • focus group discussions guiding questions for the theme;
    • hold a ‘refresher session’ for partner organisations on ‘How to facilitate FGDs using the FGD guiding questions’; including, but not limited to:
      • Guiding principles of confidentiality, anonymity, voluntary participation, informed consent,
      • Do No Harm -Active Listening, Do’s and Don’ts,
      • Reaching the ‘saturation point’ and probing techniques.
    • Attend the thematic workshop that will be led by the thematic expert
    • Maintain close coordination with partner organisations throughout the data collection phase, and provide mentorship and support where and as needed;
    • Based on the data and information collected from the field, develop a Matrix of Concepts (MoC) in coordination with the partner NGOs, the project team and the thematic experts
    • Draft, share and present the first drafts of the policy papers with partner NGOs, project team and the thematic experts;
    • Edit and review the policy brief based on comments/suggestions and share a final version of the policy paper;

3. Work schedule and action plan 

  • Identification of five themes to be proposed to partners; (mid-September until beginning of October)
  • Attend an online meeting with partners to present the five themes and select one for the policy brief (mid-October)
  • Prepare guiding questions for the focus group discussions on the theme (November)
  • Maintaining close contact with partners as they hold FGDs (December and January)
  • Draft and share first draft of policy paper (end of January)
  • Present the finding, make the edits and finalise paper (end of February)

The total number of working days is 14 days.

4. The Consultant is to demonstrate: 

  • Commitment to WILPF’s values, feminist, peace, and gender equality
  • A masters degree in relevant course
  • Established experience and examples of feminist research and analysis
  • At least 5 years of experience working on gender, women’s and human rights, Women Peace and Security, feminism and women organising the MENA region.
  • Strong contextual understanding of the Syrian context and Syrian women-led organisations
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Fluency in English and Arabic
  • Ability to work independently with minimum supervision

This is a remotely-based consultant position. Interested candidates should submit the following to jobs (a) with “Application for Lead Researcher” in the subject line. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

  • Updated CV outlining relevant skills and experience,
  • Cover letter (not exceeding two pages) outlining the added value you will bring to this consultancy,
  • A link or description of relevant research produced, and
  • Indication of daily rate.

The deadline for applications is 31 August 2020.

Download a PDF version of the Terms of Reference for the Lead Researcher role.