Consultant Researcher – Impact of Non-state actors on civic space

***Note: This consultancy is dependent on final approval of funding from our donor***

ABOUT US:

At CIVICUS our focus is simple: to strengthen civil society and citizen action for a more just, inclusive and sustainable world.  We do this by defending civic freedoms and democratic values; strengthening the power of people to organise, mobilise and take action; and empowering a more accountable, effective and innovative civil society. 

We work for civil society, protecting and growing `civic space’, by which we mean: the freedoms of expression, association and assembly - the fundamental freedoms that enable organisations and individuals the right to speak out, organise and take action. We strive to promote excluded voices, especially from the Global South, and have a growing alliance of more than 4000 members in more than 175 countries.

We know that this is a time of big global challenges for civil society and the world, but we also know that our members and partners have big responses. Our role is to connect, amplify and scale these responses and, in doing so, strengthen the contribution of citizen action and civil society.

Drawing on over 25 years of experience, we are working to build on our strengths while also exploring new ways of working. CIVICUS’ Strategic Plan 2017-2022 sets the strategic direction for the secretariat and alliance. It articulates who we are, what we strive to achieve, how we work and how we define our success.

ABOUT THE STUDY

A growing body of monitoring and research confirms that civil society organisations (CSOs) are increasingly unable to exercise their right to the freedoms of association, peaceful assembly and expression. Data from the CIVICUS Monitor illustrates that this is clearly now a global phenomenon. Although they act peacefully and lawfully, CSOs on all continents, in democratic and authoritarian countries alike, have become the targets of restrictions.

This is a complex and non-linear phenomenon. As more restrictions are placed on civic activism, we also see civic activism continuing to take place all around the world. This contestation over civic space is being played out through complex political and societal processes, involving not just states and CSOs, but many other actors including private companies, political parties, government-aligned NGOs, extremist groups and others. To ensure that we can adequately capture these dynamic and interactive relationships, it is important that we broaden our research agenda in order to keep up with changing forms of restrictions and resistance.

This research studies the impact of actions by non-state actors (NSAs)on the political or civic space of CSOs through case studies in Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Palestine. Using a mixed methods approach, the study employs process tracing over a period of ten years to flesh out a typology of NSAs, their motivations, methods and tactics and impact upon the work and resources of CSOs. Aside from a presentation of detailed findings on these questions in a main research paper, the study will also help to bring a much stronger focus on the role of NSAs to future policies of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and CSOs engaged in supporting efforts to safeguard civic space.

DESCRIPTION OF THE CONSULTANCY

The purpose of this nine-month, full-time consultancy is to lead the implementation of a research study into the role of non-state actors on civic space. Working closely with the Civic Space Research Lead, other members of the CIVICUS team, and country-based partner CSOs in Zimbabwe, Palestine and Bangladesh, the Consultant will coordinate all aspects of the research study including planning, development of research instruments, provision of resources to partner organisations, data analysis, report writing and the organization of meetings to review and finalise the study findings.

Specific tasks and responsibilities

  • Organise and participate in a project kick-off meeting in December 2018 with all consortia members;
  • Develop a comprehensive research plan including research instruments, agreements with research partners and a clear timeline for implementation.
  • Coordinate and monitor the work of research partners at all stages during implementation, providing necessary guidance, support and feedback.
  • Prepare an interim report including initial findings and literature review.
  • Prepare a Zero draft of the final report for presentation to a validation workshop involving research partners, CIVICUS and other stakeholders.
  • Prepare a final report including all research outputs, country case studies, policy recommendations, typologies and other associated outputs for delivery to the study’s funder by end August 2018.
  • Other tasks associated with the successful coordination of the research study, as assigned.

REQUIREMENTS

  • PhD in international human rights law, development studies or social sciences, preferred.
  • Minimum of 7 years work experience in the civil society sector on human rights issues and demonstrated understanding of current dynamics of closing civic space.
  • Substantial previous experience of mixed methods research including both quantitative and qualitative approaches. A demonstrable understanding of process tracing and its implementation is an advantage.
  • In depth understanding of international law, standards and best practices related to the fundamental freedoms of association, peaceful assembly and expression; previous experience working on the role of non-state actors an advantage.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in written and spoken English – additional languages are an advantage.
  • A proven track record of communicating complex research outcomes in a simple, clear and succinct manner to a variety of audiences including policy makers.
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet clearly-defined deadlines. The consultant should be available to begin this assignment on 1st December 2018.

EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST

Interested consultants are invited to submit a CV and covering letter outlining their expression of interest in response to these terms of reference. The consultant should also indicate their preferred daily rate.

Submissions should be emailed to CIVICUS Monitor Coordinator Cathal Gilbert on before 17:00 Central African Time on Wednesday 31st October 2018.

Intern, Youth Assembly Coordination (ICSW 2019)

ABOUT US

At CIVICUS our focus is simple: to strengthen civil society and citizen action for a more just, inclusive and sustainable world. We do this by defending civic freedoms and democratic values; strengthening the power of people to organise, mobilise and take action; and empowering a more accountable, effective and innovative civil society.

We seek to defend civic freedoms and enable civil society participation in decision making. We strive to promote excluded voices, especially from the Global South, and have a growing alliance of more than 4000 members in more than 175 countries.

We know that this is a time of big global challenges for civil society and the world, but we also know that our members and partners have big responses. As an alliance, we work together to connect, amplify and scale responses and in doing so strengthen the contributions of citizen action and civil society.

Drawing on over 25 years of experience, we are working to build on our strengths while also exploring new ways of working. CIVICUS’ Strategic Plan 2017-2022 sets the strategic direction for the secretariat and alliance. It articulates who we are, what we strive to achieve, how we work and how we define our success.

Since 1995, CIVICUS has provided a unique convening space for civil society, governments, donors and business to engage constructively in finding common solutions to global crisis. Together with Civic Initiatives, CIVICUS will organise its next International Civil Society Week (ICSW) from 8-12 April 2019 in Belgrade, Serbia under the theme "the power of togetherness". The Youth Assembly is a dedicated space before International Civil Society Week for young people to collaborate, prepare their engagement and coordinate approaches to civil society discussions. CIVICUS also has a Youth Working Group, led by the Youth Action Team, and recently launched new projects for young people, the Goalkeepers Youth Action Accelerator and strengthening 21st century new activism.

ABOUT THE ROLE

CIVICUS is looking for a young, dynamic and organized intern to coordinate the 2019 Youth Assembly and to engage the CIVICUS youth community online and during the event.

Coordination of the 2019 CIVICUS Youth Assembly, includes:

Youth Programming

  • Identify programmatic partners for the Youth Assembly
  • Support the organisation and programme development of the Youth Assembly in coordination with the Youth Action Team and the Serbian Youth Council
  • Encourage youth-related events, speakers and representation within the ICSW programme
  • Develop new ways to support youth participation (online and onsite) throughout ICSW 2019

Event Logistics

  • Oversee and implement all the Youth Assembly logistics, in collaboration with ICSW 2019 team
  • Develop a process for selecting and accepting Youth Assembly participants
  • Arrange all supported Youth Assembly participants’ travels
  • Develop a virtual Youth Assembly welcome pack
  • Participate in ICSW 2019 planning meetings, and all coordination efforts

Communications

  • Organise the Youth Assembly’s promotion and communications
  • Support the ICSW 2019 and Communication teams with all communication needs related to the Youth Assembly, youth events and others, including translation
  • Engage with CIVICUS’ youth constituency through CIVICUS social media channels
  • Compile Youth Assembly contacts and ensure their import in CIVICUS’ database

The ideal candidate should have the following qualifications, knowledge, skills and experience.

Essential:

  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent in international development, politics, international relations, social sciences or communications;
  • Strong understanding of the role of civil society and citizen action;
  • Excellent proficiency in social media and online community building;
  • Some previous experience in building and managing relationships;
  • Some previous experience in communications, planning and/or event management;
  • Good organisational skills and attention to detail;
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills;
  • Fluency in English;
  • Fluency in Serbian particularly desirable;
  • Excellent Internet proficiency as well as proficiency in MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).

Desirable:

  • Master’s Degree or equivalent in international development, politics, international relations, social sciences or communications;
  • Proficiency in an additional language (French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, or Mandarin);
  • Volunteer role in youth communities or organisations.

Start date: 15 November 2018

Duration of internship:  The internship is expected to take place over a 6-month period starting from 15 November 2018 until 15 April 2018.

Stipend offered: Interns will be paid a monthly stipend of USD$1,200.

Location: The intern would ideally be located in Johannesburg, South Africa or Belgrade, Serbia but remote work can be negotiated.

Application process: Interested applicants should submit a detailed CV, a short cover letter outlining their aspirations, availability and suitability for the role and the contact details of two referees to before 26 October 2019.

Community Engagement Officer on Civil Society Resourcing

 ABOUT US:

At CIVICUS our focus is simple: to strengthen civil society and citizen action for a more just, inclusive and sustainable world.  We do this by defending civic freedoms and democratic values; strengthening the power of people to organise, mobilise and take action; and empowering a more accountable, effective and innovative civil society. 

We work for civil society, protecting and growing `civic space’, by which we mean: the freedoms of expression, association and assembly - the fundamental freedoms that enable organisations and individuals the right to speak out, organise and take action. We strive to promote excluded voices, especially from the Global South, and have a growing alliance of more than 4000 members in more than 175 countries.

We know that this is a time of big global challenges for civil society and the world, but we also know that our members and partners have big responses. Our role is to connect, amplify and scale these responses

and, in doing so, strengthen the contribution of citizen action and civil society.

Drawing on over 25 years of experience, we are working to build on our strengths while also exploring new ways of working. CIVICUS’ Strategic Plan 2017-2022 sets the strategic direction for the secretariat and alliance. It articulates who we are, what we strive to achieve, how we work and how we define our success.

How we make a difference:

Given the nature and extent of the challenges facing humanity we believe in being bold and creative by:

  • Building solidarity among civil society across borders and at scale
  • Supporting civil society to connect with others
  • Producing timely and world-class knowledge and analysis
  • Advocating for open spaces and systemic change
  • Amplifying voices of those usually not included
  • Promoting resourcing of a diverse and resilient civil society
  • Innovating and incubating bold initiatives
  • Promoting, modeling and disseminating civil society best practices

DESCRIPTION OF ROLE:

Do you want to contribute to a more diverse and resilient civil society? Are you a multi-tasker with excellent communication, social media engagement and event organisation skills? Do you like working in a complex, international environment? we’d love to have you as a colleague!

CIVICUS is looking for a good, creative communicator and organiser with a heart for development and social justice, who wants to support us in engaging, inspiring and influencing civil society and the broad funding community to push for more and better resources for citizen action and particularly civil society groups from the edges.

What are you going to do?

Select and curate content and stories to mainstream civil society resourcing issues in CIVICUS communications (30% of total workload)

  • Source inspiring and relevant thought-pieces/reports for our newsletter and our community of practice
  • Create periodic content (text, images, video) to build meaningful connections and engagement for each specific network. This for example includes interviews/videos with key informers, infographics/postcards on relevant data/stories, reaching out to members and others to author pieces for our blog, virtual community or other outlets, and curating a user-friendly, “living” directory of various progressive actors providing resources to civil society.

Engage different networks around civil society resourcing (20% of total workload)

  • Engage conversations on social media
  • Moderate a dedicated online community of practice
  • Support in creating mailers and messages to members on relevant themes

Event planning and coordination (40 % of total workload)

  • Support staff and designated experts in organising consultations, convenings and other events
  • Support overall logistical processes for participation in related events
  • Help organise calls/webinars/meetings and keep records

Administrative and other support (10 % of total workload)

You will help with administrative responsibilities within the civil society resourcing workstream, particularly the project “Strengthening 21st century citizen action”

  • Support the tracking of activities to assess progress and learn from current practices
  • Provide information for the periodic reporting as required and ensure coordination with internal and external partners
  • Support in carrying out network mapping activities and manage constituent information
  • Assist with the development of innovative tools and promotional material for effective knowledge sharing, campaigning, networking and resource mobilisation
  • Perform other duties as may be assigned by the direct report.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for someone with an affinity for engaging diverse crowds both online and offline and for curating inspiring contents for this purpose. A social and creative person, you are a good organizer and like to work independently as well as with people from different backgrounds and cultures working in dispersed, virtual teams from different time-zones. You do not shy away from a challenge, take responsibility and can quickly switch between activities, both online and offline. You are practical and result-oriented, you have great communication skills, you love to tackle big goals for a more just and sustainable world. You have a good command of English and of another official UN Language.

Qualifications, skills, and experience

  • Relevant degree/diploma
  • Three years’ minimum experience in civil society or related field, inclusive of volunteer work
  • Familiar with civil society, development and human rights issues; understanding the challenges faced by marginalised citizens and organisations - especially those in the Global South - particularly around resource mobilisation
  • In depth understanding of online engagement tactics - experience with social media engagement and moderation of communities of practice
  • Experience in conference / event organisation, preferably of international events
  • Ability to effectively support the development and implementation of plans and strategies in a collaborative environment
  • Ability to document findings and processes to enhance organisational learning
  • Computer literacy, including collaborative applications such as SharePoint, Google Docs etc

What we offer:

  • A stimulating work environment in an international, dynamic organization with diverse, informal and very dedicated team.
  • An opportunity to contribute to the growth and impact of this new important workstream (civil society resourcing) and the related community of practice
  • Get exposure to events and thought leadership related to global civil society
  • Get access to a wide network of inspiring activists, innovators and funders

Details

Location: Any CIVICUS Hub, Johannesburg, SA preferred or with regular travel to Johannesburg

Start date: As soon as possible

Salary: US$40 000.00 per annum

Duration: 12 months, renewable

To apply, please submit:

  • a motivational letter,
  • detailed CV with
  • contact details of three current referees

to by Tuesday the 23rd October 2018

Samples of content produced for online communities/social media as well as webpages of events organised pages will be appreciated.

Terms of Reference: Resilient Roots Data Collection

What is Resilient Roots?

The Resilient Roots initiative, coordinated by CIVICUS, in collaboration with Keystone Accountability and Accountable Now, is testing whether organisations who are more accountable and responsive to their roots - namely, their primary constituencies – are more resilient against external threats.

To do so, we are supporting a number of organisations to develop pilot projects which aim to boost accountability to their primary constituents . This will comprise of a diverse group of organisations, working at the national and sub-national level, who will receive financial and technical support for the design, implementation, and ongoing review of their pilot projects. In total, we will work around 15 organisations, across two cohorts. For a full summary of this initiative please read here.

What do we need consultants to do?

To support these efforts, we are looking for 8 consultants to help us collect and collate data in Nicaragua, Argentina, Peru, Costa Rica, Benin, Mauritania and Palestine. This will focus on surveying the primary constituents of the Resilient Roots pilot project organisations in these countries, to better understand how accountable they think these organisations are to them. More specifically the consultants will:

  • Undertake surveys in person and/or over the phone with various different constituents
  • Attend activities and events organised by pilot projects to collect survey responses, when relevant
  • Organise the translation of survey responses and a small number of other survey-related documents into English
  • Collate and organise data from surveys

What are we looking for in a consultant?

  • Proven fluency in working in English, along with native language
  • Experience with surveying and conducting interviews, in person or over the phone.
  • Understanding of constituent-based accountability issues is a plus
  • Ability to work for approximately ten days over the course of November 2018

 Specific locations:

  • Nicaragua: Jinotega, Matagalpa, Managua, Estelí and León
  • Argentina: CABA
  • Peru: Lima
  • Costa Rica: Gulf of Nicoya and Osa Peninsula
  • Benin: Comè, Sèmè – kpodji, Cotonou, Aplahoué, Djakotomey, Athiémé, Bopa et Possotomè
  • Mauritania: Nouakchott
  • Palestine: Hebron

Timeline and how to apply

While the exact timeline and schedule of activities will vary for each location, the majority of work will need to take place between within the month of November (specific dates to be arranged with each Resilient Roots pilot project organisation).

If you wish to apply, please send a one-page expression of interest to , outlining your experience and capacity to undertake this work, along with your daily fee in US dollars, by the 24th of October 2018.

Your expression of interest must also include:

  1. At least two examples (ideally hyperlinks) of work you have undertaken in English (ideally related to data collection or research)
  2. The contact details of two people able to provide you with a reference

Applications will be reviewed as soon as they are received, and we may confirm a consultant before the application deadline.

If you have any questions or require further information, please email the team at the same address.

Consultancy Opportunity: Exploring a possible pooled resources mechanism of funding intermediaries

Background

CIVICUS’ 2015 State of Civil Society Report examined the resourcing of civil society from both a financial and non-financial perspective. Since then, CIVICUS has convened several critical conversations with diverse groups of civil society leaders and grant-makers on resourcing civil society to promote social justice and social cohesion.

In early 2017, a group of civil society and donor representatives came together at a retreat in Rustlers Valley, South Africa, to discuss ideas for how to make it easier for small, Southern and spontaneous civil society formations to access the resources they need. The group recognised that the trends towards donors making fewer, larger grants and the increasingly onerous audit/risk requirements were making it difficult for small, Southern and spontaneous formations to access resources and support, except as sub-grantees of bigger, often Northern, recipients. Subsequent meetings recognised the need to drive resources to Southern activists and organisations to promote Southern leadership in an otherwise unbalanced ecosystem.

Participants in these convenings also recognised that there was a small cadre of organisations who were serving as ‘fundermediaries’ for donors, providing smaller, flexible grants to a more diverse set of grantees, and through more effective grant-making processes. It was felt that enhancing closer alignment and collaboration of these fundermediaries, particularly those in the global south and/or those sensitive to most vulnerable groups, might be useful to unlock potential for channeling more resources into supporting a diverse and resilient civil society. One possible option could be through the establishment of a distributed mechanism amongst them to:

  • Serve as a one-stop shop for donors to better channel resources to a wider and more diverse range of civil society groups;
  • Find creative, cost-effective ways to support civil society with flexible, scalable and integrated resources;
  • Enhance accessibility and reduce the transaction costs of civil society actors in the application, verification and reporting processes; and
  • Facilitate joint learning and experimentation, particularly around decision-making mechanisms and types of resources provided.

Since this idea has already received a certain degree of interest, it seems appropriate to further research and discuss it. CIVICUS is looking for an expert to assist in this exploration.  

1.         Objective

The purpose of this study is to identify best practices and explore the relevance, possible operating model and related sustainability implications of a distributed mechanism across funding intermediaries channeling resources to smaller and less formal groups of civil society in the global south, especially from most vulnerable and marginalized groups. The study should particularly assess if there is a need/appetite for this amongst funders and funding intermediaries and if so, what are the management and governance structures needed for such a mechanism to realise the stated objective of supporting a more inclusive, diverse and resilient civil society.

2.         Outputs

  • An Inception Note at the end of the desk research presenting issues to be addressed during the study, key stakeholders for the consultation phase as well as a detailed description of methodology and work plan;
  • A presentation to discuss the preliminary findings, conclusions and recommendations from the desk study;
  • Consultations report;
  • A final report presenting findings, conclusions and recommendations, not exceeding 20 pages (excl. annexes);
  • A short operational guidance note on possible way forward (if any);
  • A presentation of the final report and recommendations.

3.      Scope of Work

Through desk research and strategic consultations the study will explore the relevance, willingness/interest from key stakeholders and potential models for such a mechanism.

Interviews, focus groups as well as the presentation of a final report will also form part of the work. For the consultation process, key informants will be selected in collaboration with CIVICUS staff. Possible guiding questions of the study include the following:

  1. Would it make sense to enhance collaboration and integration of funding to civil society by establishing a joint distributed mechanism? If so: is there enough traction from the funding community and civil society on this idea? What are the areas where such a mechanism would most add value? Who are the key “fundermediaries” from the global south and/or representing specific groups to include in the mechanism to ensure impact?
  2. What are the most effective intermediaries to channel funds/support diverse civil society actors? Southern-based? Those operating at regional/national/local levels? INGOs? Others?
  3. "What kind of structures should be in place for a mechanism of this nature to be effective?  What characterizes management processes that add value? What kind of investment and affirmative measures can be adopted to ensure that funds and other support have impact among the most marginalised groups? What risks are acceptable in this regard?
  4. What is the added value of a pooled mechanism in supporting civil society in the global south? Would such a mechanism be able to enhance more direct access to meaningful resources by smaller and informal groups compared to the current situation? Should a dedicated “citizen action fund” integrate existing resources of fundermediaries and if so what shall it be used for? How can sources of financing for the mechanism be diversified? What would ensure sustainability of the mechanism?

The study will inform the possible creation of a distributed mechanism to support citizen action by indicating preferences and recommendations that emerge during the consultation process and identifying potential models to pursue. Furthermore, only in case of positive feedback on the possible establishment of  such mechanism, a practical guidance note will support the operationalization of the proposed mechanism including potential funding intermediaries to be involved in the process and identifying major gaps to be filled. The guidance note will be short and operational with clear practical recommendations.

It should be noted that adjustments to the scope of work can take place based on discussions following the inception note from the consultant.

4.         Organisation of Work

Following the broad outline provided in the scope of work a detailed methodology will be developed together with the selected consultant based on his/her technical proposal.

5.         Methodology

The study will ideally include the following phases:

  1. Desk analysis, reviewing relevant documents/literature and mapping relevant mechanisms/fundermediaries to be summarized in an inception report
  2. Consultations/interviews with a representative sample of key stakeholders from civil society and the funding community
  3. Drafting a final report with findings, conclusions and recommendations, including -if applicable-  a guidance note building on of these to suggest a possible way forward.

6.         Consultant

The consultant will be contracted with the following desirable qualifications and experience:

  • Relevant higher academic degree
  • Extensive knowledge of development policies and types of modalities for civil society support
  • Expertise on funding for development/social justice, and relevant professional experience with financial support for civil society, preferably in the Global South and for vulnerable groups
  • Experience from large research projects on development issues, including complex policy and/or strategy evaluations from funding mechanisms (bilateral donors, private foundations, funding intermediaries)
  • Experience from working with multi-donor funds and/or funding schemes for civil society
  • Experience with capacity development, advocacy work and partnership development in relation with small, less formal civil society groups

7.         Timeframe

The contract is expected to start in early November 2018. The following deadlines are established:

·       Inception note: December  2019

·       Outline presentation: January 2019

·       Consultation report: April 2019

·       Draft report: May 2019

·       Final report and guidance note: June 2019

8.   To apply

Interested candidates can apply by the 31st of October by submitting a CV and short technical proposal (max 3000 words) to

The proposal must elaborate on understanding of the assignment and propose accordingly a methodology, including an indicative estimation of (mostly) virtual and face-to-face consultations.  In addition, the proposal should include an estimation of working days and a budget indicating daily rates and any other cost deemed necessary.

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