Capacity Needs Assessment Of Women’s Rights Organizations In Policy And Strategy Development



Capacity Needs Assessment of Women’s Rights Organizations in Policy and Strategy Development and Design of the Capacity Building Plan

Reference Number : INT8077

Program Context Following Iraq’s military victory over ISIS in December 2017, efforts to rebuild a shattered country and to re-establish the rule of law has been underway. But general insecurity continues. The reconstruction efforts have been carried out amid sporadic attacks by ISIS, socio-economic instability and pre-existing vulnerabilities, especially in the Disputed Territories of Iraq, where ethnic, political and sectarian divides have long affected social cohesion. Despite these constraints, the humanitarian context in Iraq has gradually transitioned into a new phase allowing humanitarian actors to plan and implement recovery and development interventions addressing community reconciliation, resilient livelihoods, as well as participation in governance structures and decision-making. The situation of many women and girls requires particular attention. The crimes committed by ISIL have left deep psychological scars on many women and their families. Displaced women continue to suffer sexual and gender-based violence in both in-camp and out-of-camps settings even while the military offensive by ISIL is over. Despite some progress in the legislative protection of women’s equal rights, most of the women in Iraq are affected by long-term social, economic and political exclusion exacerbated by deeply entrenched patriarchal values held by a large proportion of the population.

Background The intervention entitled ‘Women and Girls Rebuilding New Iraq’ implemented by Oxfam in Iraq contributes to shaping policy, decision-making mechanisms and peacebuilding processes at multiple levels with the specific objective to ensure women and girls play a significant role in the new rehabilitation and development agenda. The initiative is working with women and girls in Kirkuk and Diyala governorates, both of which have endured a protracted conflict. The project seeks to engage 9,000 vulnerable women and girls in Iraq. Part of the project also takes place at the national level involving public policy and advocacy on women and girls’ rights. The project is implemented in cooperation with Women Rights Organizations (WROs) promoting transformative leadership in formal and informal governance structures.

Purpose This consultancy responds to Immediate Outcome: Increased skills of WROs to design and implement gender-transformative programming and advocacy to support women’s and girls’ voices; and Output: Technical support provided to decision and policymakers in gender-responsive policy formulation and making.

In line with these expected results, the project team is currently planning to provide capacity strengthening of selected WROs to increase their competencies in three aspects: 1) skills in gender-transformative policy development; 2) capabilities to design effective strategies how to hold public decision-makers accountable for existing policies and laws; and 3) WRO and networks skills to improve collective influencing and advocacy.

The consultancy is aiming to invest in the skills, knowledge, and competencies of WROs in Federal Iraq to enhance their abilities to promote women and girls rights at the global, regional, and national level, and ensure accountability of state and non-state actors to meet their obligations and recognize violations of women’s human rights. It will also enhance WROs engagement with the different communities while enabling women and girls to act as leaders of change to shift social norms and attitudes that perpetuate gender inequality. Furthermore, it will contribute to strengthening WROs capacities to engage with government, parliamentarians and policymakers to work toward ensuring the existing and future policies are gender-sensitive and integrating women and girls’ essential needs and interests.

The Overall Objective is: Support WROs capacity strengthening to contribute to the gender-transformative policies at the national level, through increasing their skills and knowledge in lobbying, advocacy, policy analysis, and evidence-based influencing.

This should be achieved through providing training, to the following topics (consultant is encouraged to add to the topic as needed):

1- Context and problems analysis can include:

Conduct comprehensive analysis on the identified issues, this should include social, political and legal analysis.

Effectively identify problems, gaps, and opportunities for advocacy and policy change.

2- Audience/targets analysis and identifying opportunities can include:

Mapping and analysis of targets and audiences

Conducting a power analysis linked to the mapping

Building coalitions and alliances

Networking and negotiation with decision-makers

3- Policy, Advocacy and influencing, can include:

Difference between awareness-raising and advocacy, and increased knowledge of advocacy toolbox.

Advocacy strategy development and implementation with clearly defined activities, approaches, and messages.

Persuading, Influencing & Negotiation.

Principles of evidence-based advocacy with a focus on SGBV and related issues.

Generation and dissemination of policy and advocacy tools such as position papers, policy briefs, petitions, testimonies, and media and social media products to facilitate advocacy and lobbying at different levels.

Community mobilization, outreach, and empowerment

4- Communication, media, and social media:

The different use of media, and social media for advocacy.

Tailoring messages and tools for media and social media.

Audience tracking and engagement.


· Training should be done based on face-to-face methods of learning, as well as utilising online tools to disseminate knowledge with cost-efficiency. Learning should be participatory and aim at empowerment of WROs and networks of WROs. The consultant is expected to tailor the training according to a comprehensive need’s assessment of the targeted members of WROs. The focus of the training should also be built around the issues identified in the project proposals and by WROs and Oxfam team. To ensure this the consultant is expected to adopt the following methodology:

· Comprehensive analysis and needs assessment of existing skills and competencies of WROs. This will then serve to design a tailored capacity building plan. This should also take into consideration the needs and areas identified by WROs. The following questions aim to guide the need assessment process:

o What is the level of WROs’ organizational strength in their abilities to contribute to national gender-transformative policies?

o Has any of the WROs participated in the national policy process, how were they involved?

o How well are WROs equipped with specific skills necessary to develop policies with a positive impact on women and girls in Iraq?

o What gaps and opportunities for WROs can be identified?

o Are knowledge and skills concentrated around key individuals or there are mechanisms to ensure organizational competencies? Are there any risks related to knowledge/skills concentration?

o What are the ways WROs are using to engage with policymakers in the country?

o How do WROs hold policymakers accountable for the existing policies and laws?

o How effective are their current approaches, what gaps and opportunities can be identified?

§ The development of the training outline, materials, and tools should be implemented on the needs assessment and according to strong understanding and analysis to the Iraqi context and where the gaps and opportunities for change exists.

§ The outcome of the training, in addition to the capacity building of WROs, should be strong policy and advocacy strategies and/or campaigns. To ensure this; the consultant will be working closely with the Oxfam team and the projects’ WROs partners to identify the needed outcome.

§ Following the training, the consultant is expected to provide several mentoring meetings with WROs to guide the development and implementation of the policy and advocacy strategies.

Deliverables The assignment seeks the following deliverables:

· Inception report outlining the methodological approach and detailed understanding of the assignment (max. 10 pages).

· Draft needs assessment tool, reviewed by Oxfam, and rolled out by the consultant.

· Analytical report with the summary of the results and the recommendations (max. 15 pages).

· Tailored capacity building plan responding to the needs of diverse WROs and the purpose of this assignment. Training will be delivered to the WROs.

· Monitoring tool measuring the effectiveness of the capacity building plan.

· Debriefing session with Oxfam and partners.

Supervision and Management The Programme Manager (Advancing Gender Justice and Women’s Rights Programme) in coordination with the Project Manager (Women and Girls Rebuilding New Iraq) will provide technical and practical supervision of the assignment, in coordination with the implementing partners.

Logistics and Constraints Considering the limitations of movements due to the COVID 19 pandemic, international consultants may not be able to travel to Iraq. Access to the targeted communities is also likely to be limited. Therefore, it is recommended to form a team including Iraq-based counterparts and adopt a flexible work approach.

Time Frame The consultancy is expected to be carried out from December 2021 to January 2021 for 30 working days. The timeline will be refined based on the work plan submitted by the consultant and it won’t be beyond February 2022.

Budget A full financial plan will be submitted by the consultants. The cost of the translation of the materials in Arabic will be assumed by Oxfam. **

Knowledge and Experience The following key technical requirements will be taken into consideration when assessing consultants’ technical competencies:

· University degree in gender studies, community development and communication studies, sociology, or other relevant fields.

· Experience in strategy development, policies reviews, appraising and capacity-building organizations and similar assignments in humanitarian and development interventions.

· Expertise in influencing behavioural change through social media platforms and moderating content to minimize any risks to users.

· Familiarity with the qualitative methodology used in social research.

· High proficiency in understanding gender transformative and rights-based approaches and how these are relevant in evaluating civil society interventions.

· Proven experience in conducting similar research to a diverse and similar audience

· Proved experience in capacity building and advocacy tools, training modules and strategies targeting of WROs.

· Knowledge in policy analysis, lobbying and influencing.

· Experience in the context of Iraq and mentioned areas will be an asset.

· Previous experience creating and conducting advocacy training

· Familiarity with constraints and challenges encountered by civil society actors working on gender-transformative interventions in a conflict-prone and fragile context.

· Familiarity with issues affecting women’s participation in decision-making in Iraq and the purpose of the 16 Days of Activism.

· Full English proficiency by the lead consultant.

· Spoken Arabic in the team skill mix.


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