Representation pathways for marginalised women survivors of conflict Consultant
Location: United Kingdom
Organization: Women for Women International
Women for Women International (WfWI) is looking for a UK-based, experienced, feminist consultant to deliver a desk-based scoping project into representation pathways for marginalised women survivors of conflict, with a particular focus on civil society in-country and good practice for INGOs to meaningfully amplify voices of beneficiaries. This will inform future engagement with internal and external stakeholders as part of a broader project exploring meaningful amplification of the voices of the women we serve.
Since 1993, Women for Women International has worked with more than 462,000 marginalised women survivors of conflict in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the DRC, Kosovo, Iraq, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Sudan. We were founded on the belief that stronger women build stronger nations. We work with marginalised women survivors of conflict. We work in communities where the type of support we offer is largely absent and we define ‘marginalisation’ based on crucial areas of vulnerability: affected by conflict (including surviving violence or being displaced); social exclusion (including limited / no educational opportunities or restrictive traditional practices); and living in extreme poverty (including no/unsafe occupations or responsible for dependents). In combination, these criteria help us to identify and reach the most marginalised women in the conflict-affected communities where we work.
Our work is dedicated to promoting women’s empowerment, which includes supporting women to develop skills and opportunities to influence the decisions that affect their lives. Through our policy and advocacy work, we aim to raise the voices of the women we work with so that relevant policy and practice is more sensitive to the needs of the women we serve, ultimately supporting a more enabling environment for women. We are committed to using our evidence base and amplifying voices to affect change to ensure that women can reach their full potential.
In our advocacy work we consistently call on governments and other decision-makers to listen to women’s voices and have worked with networks to advocate for the consultation of the women’s organisations and groups.
Through this project we intend to deepen our knowledge of the pathways through which marginalised women’s voices are represented at various levels (community, national, international) and good practice for INGOs in ‘amplifying’ the voices of the people they serve (no field work is expected). Women for Women International is also investing in supporting women’s capacities and opportunities to directly have their voices heard through our programmes and advocacy projects in country. This will not be part of the scope of works for this project.
Scope of work
This project is intended as a background piece to support a future WfWI project that will be led by WfWI UK. We therefore expect that this project will produce evidence-based recommendations for the focus areas for this project. We see this as a scoping exercise, not a significant research piece and we are not expecting definitive answers.
The countries where we work are conflict-affected with high levels of extreme poverty. Formal systems of representation are largely found wanting and the women we work with tend to rely on informal mechanisms that are very patriarchal. We also select communities to work in that are reached by few (if any) civil society organisations or similar service providers. Whilst this helps us to reach the most marginalised women in the countries we work, we recognised that there is usually a disconnect between the women we serve and other (formal and informal) systems of representation.
Through this project we hope to gain:
- A deeper understanding of how marginalised women’s voices are represented in conflict-affected (national) contexts, specifically via informal pathways;
- Recommendations for good practice for INGOs in representing marginalised groups (with whom they work).
These questions will help guide the project and ensure that the objectives are met.
- What are the pathways, informal and formal, through which marginalised women are represented? Which informal (civil society and other) pathways are most effective for the women we serve?
- How are these pathways affected by ‘conflict’?
- What challenges do national civil society organisations (in conflict-affected countries) face in representing marginalised voices? How can these be overcome?
- What are key principles or techniques for INGOs to exercise ‘good practice’ in representing marginalised groups (with whom they work)? What advocacy, marketing and communication tools are most effective?
We envision that these questions will be explored through a desk-based review of literature and other relevant sources, including examples from other INGOs. This approach could include key informant interviews if deemed necessary.
The consultant will be expected to present their findings in a report that makes clear recommendations regarding what questions or issues which WfWI should focus future discussions with internal and external stakeholders (i.e. for the project) and how we can improve current practice (i.e. in our advocacy, marketing and communications).
The appointed consultant will be responsible for ensuring the following are delivered before the end of the project:
- Report on pathways of effective representation: this should be no more than 15 pages and should include
- o Recommendations for questions or issues that WfWI can continue to explore as part of the ongoing project. These recommendations should be justified.
- o A summary of the sources used should be included as an appendix (not included in the page count).
- A half-day workshop with WfWI UK advocacy, media and communications team in London on exploring good practice for INGOs to meaningfully ‘amplify voices’. In this session, the appointed consultant would be expected to:
- o Present illustrative case studies from other international NGOs and emerging themes, principles or techniques.
- o Facilitate discussion/sessions for WfWI UK’s advocacy, media and communications team on the emerging good practice.
- Regular contact meetings with the Senior Manager for Policy and Advocacy (WfWI UK) to update on the project and ensure consultant’s investigations are on the right track.
The project should be completed by Friday 27 April 2018. All other times below are a suggested guideline, as are the estimate re: number of days required.
The available budget for this project is £4,500 GBP and all applications should include a detailed budget that covers all associated costs. This project is to be conducted remotely so no travel is expected and we envision the budget will predominantly cover the consultant’s time.
Experience and Skills:
- Excellent knowledge and understanding of women’s rights in developing countries.
- Excellent understanding of feminist approaches to women’s representation and political participation.
- Excellent understanding of informal forms of representation, particularly civil society organisations.
- Understanding of the forces that affect women’s representation in conflict-affected countries i.e. gender, power/politics, economics, etc.
- Understanding of the Leave No One Behind Agenda and associated challenges.
- Strong project management skills
- Ability to meet deadlines
- Excellent report writing including ability to synthesize large amounts of data
- Fluency in English
- Understanding of the countries where we work and theirgender, conflict and economic dynamics.
- Experience of working directly with marginalised groups in developing countries.
Background: About Women for Women International:
Since 1993, Women for Women International has worked with more than 462,000 marginalised women survivors of war in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kosovo, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), Nigeria, Rwanda and South Sudan. We were founded on the belief that stronger women build stronger nations.
Our core work is centred on a holistic, rights-based programme to address the needs of marginalised women in conflict-affected countries around the world. We have tested and evolved our approach to fit the needs of women who have been denied access to education and other opportunities, have been affected by conflict and who seek inclusion and recovery.
This core programme equips women with skills and resources to earn and save money, learn about their health and human rights, regain their confidence and actively participate in their communities.
We have been a pioneer in men’s engagement activities aimed at targeting male community leaders and male family members of our women participants in Afghanistan, the DRC, Nigeria, South Sudan, Rwanda and Kosovo. We work with a variety of male leaders (e.g. traditional, military, or religious) and male family members of women participants, providing them with training in women’s rights and gender equality. Almost 21,000 men have been reached since we began this work in 2002.
In 2017, we began training select women graduates in advocacy and leadership skills to support them to become agents of change in their communities. These Change Agents will take on leadership roles in their communities, organising collective action to achieve the changes they want to see. We have established community forums in Afghanistan and DRC, predominantly bringing together the work of the Change Agents and graduates of our men’s engagement programmes. We are also working in partnership with local NGOs for advocacy at community and national levels.
How to apply:
To apply for this project please submit:
- A covering letter outlining your suitability for the project
- Your CV
- A proposal outlining your approach (methodology, key sources citing specific texts) and work plan (2 pages max);
- Budget (reflecting the draft work plan and including all estimated costs).
Applications should be made by Tuesday 14 March 2018 (5pm GMT) to ukrecruitment[at]womenforwomen.org with the subject title ‘Representation and voice for marginalised women survivors of conflict.’ Due to the high volume of applications received, we regret that only those invited for an interview will be contacted.
Women for Women International are an equal opportunities employer and we positively welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their religious beliefs or political opinions, sex, marital or family statuses, races, sexual orientations, ages or whether they are disabled.