- June 22, 2021
- Posted by: hrdcoalitionAdmin
- Category: Uncategorized
Civil society space in Uganda is rapidly shrinking. Domestic and international rights organizations report that the Government of Uganda has grown increasingly less tolerant of criticism over the past decade. Freedom of expression across the country is in significant jeopardy, retrogressive laws have been enacted and state institutions have adopted a more ruthless response to civic activists. NGOs that engage in monitoring the conduct of the state and advocate for human rights, women’s rights, in anti-corruption and accountability, land issues and democratic governance have experienced growing restrictions on the space available for them to carry out their activities. The Black Monday movement, for example – a civil society-led campaign in 2012 to protest the theft of public funds by public officials and politicians – was quickly closed down and senior figures arrested.
Independent civil society organizations are being openly threatened and placed under excessive scrutiny by senior government officials. For example, on 1 June, 2019 Uganda’s Minister for Internal Affairs called for increased regulation and supervision of NGOs in response to a civil society report detailing cases of land grabbing in Uganda. He accused the authors of the report – Uganda Land Alliance and Oxfam – of “peddling lies” and urged NGOs to share their reports with the government before releasing them to the public.
Introduction to consultancy assignment
A vibrant, legitimate, and well-informed civil society organizations (CSOs) sector is essential for a healthy democratic system and government. Through the freedom to associate, assemble, and express themselves, citizens can shape the political and social structures that guide their lives. Consequently, it is in the interest of CSO players particularly those who champion transparency, accountability, and civic participation to encourage open civic space where their grantees operate.
Initiatives that support CSOs in Uganda face increasing risks to their integrity and impact. The 21st century saw governments around the world introduce a range of measures restricting the ability of CSOs to operate freely. The trend has encompassed an array of repressive laws, regulations, and practices. These include the imposition of excessive bureaucratic procedures, limitations on foreign funding for CSOs, constraints on freedom of assembly and expression, surveillance, explicit restrictions on nongovernmental organizations’ engagement of certain issues, and barriers to where they can operate. Therefore, CSOs must update their knowledge and approaches to help overcome such challenges.
Reversing the shrinking civic space trend requires a multi-faceted and harmonized approach that prizes trust, efficiency, and local knowledge. There are robust and ongoing conversations on issues affecting civic space, but the wide range of conversations have diluted both the urgency and nuance in figuring out how to ensure civil society actors can and continue to do their work. And compared to what we do know about the shrinking civil space problem, little is known about how individual organizations experience shrinking civic space in different geographic and political contexts, or the practical solutions funders and grantees use to mitigate the effects of this damaging trend.
Due to such trends, the civic space cluster with support from Freedom House intends to implement a project aimed at ensuring that individuals and organisations defend and maintain a legal enabling environment conducive for civic and political activism and which ensures access to justice. The key objective of this consultancy is to carry out an analysis of the prevailing civic space contextual challenges in Uganda identifying challenges and opportunities for state and non-state actors, develop a civic space index report and an advocacy strategy.
This project is being implemented by the Civic Space Sub-group comprised of six organizations: National Coalition of Human Rights Defender’s (NCHRDs) as the lead organization, Defenders Protection Initiative (DPI), Human Rights Network for Journalists (HRNJ), Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF), Tranz Network Uganda (TNU), and Chapter 4 with support from Freedom House. Through this partnership, work shall be advanced in collaboration with key government institutions, organizations, and individuals who seek to promote and strive for the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Uganda
Specific activities the consultant will perform:
- Conduct an assessment: The consultant will conduct an assessment of key issues affecting civic space in eight (8) regions. The Consultant will work with the participants in order to identify and agree on key issues/themes that should be included in the assessment report.
- Conduct a validation workshop: The Consultant will design a one-day long validation workshop in light of study findings.
- Reporting: The consultant will provide details report of the Workshop. The report should contain details of the discussion, activities/mechanisms agreed by participants of each region, challenges, and recommendations.
- Final civic space index report and advocacy strategy following the
- recommendations from the assessment
Duration and Deliverables of the Consultancy
The key product will be a civic space index and advocacy strategy, which will be benchmarked on the six dimensions including: Freedom of Information and Expression, Rights of Assembly and Association, Citizen Participation, Non-Discrimination and Inclusion, and Human Rights / Rule of Law. The total duration of this consultancy is one month. Details are described in the table below:
|Conduct a rapid study of key issues affecting civic space in 8 regions||Civic space index report||14 days||The Consultant will work both physical & online with participant in advance to complete this activity. Partners will share contact information of the participants with the consultant as soon as the contract is signed.|
|Deliver/Conduct a Training Workshop||1 day validation workshop||1 day||The consultant will facilitate a validation meeting to share a first draft of the assessment report|
|Develop an advocacy strategy||Advocacy strategy||5 days||The consultant will based on the recommendations from the assessment develop a comprehensive advocacy strategy|
Qualification and Skills Required:
- The applicant should have Master degree from a recognized university in the field of development studies, management, social science or other relevant fields.
- Minimum of seven years’ relevant experience. Previous experience working with/on civil society, research on Freedom of Information and Expression, Rights of Assembly and Association, Citizen Participation, Non-Discrimination and Inclusion, and Human Rights / Rule of Law.
- Strong diplomatic skills a high level of cultural sensitivity and familiarity with an international and/or regional work environment.
- An ability to work in and through networks and alliances
- An ability to work with diverse actors
- Fluency in English (written and verbal)
The consultant cannot sub contract this assignment to any other person or organization. The consultant is required to deliver quality services as per the plan and in close coordination with relevant stakeholders. Please mention your proposed daily consultancy fee for this 20-day assignment in the cover letter, include a financial and technical proposal.
The consultant (s) should send the following information to [email protected] by 4:00 pm on the 9th, July 2021 with Reference; Consultancy NO. FH/2021. (Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted)
- A brief proposal of no more than 2 page indicating how they will approach the task as outlined and including 2 references – at least 1 of which needs to be an organisation that work has been done for in the last 12 months.
- At least 1 example of work completed in the last 12 months.
- A budget for the consultancy which outlines an overall cost and a daily cost.
- A brief profile/CV of the consultant(s) that will be responsible.
N.B. The winning proposal will be one that indicates an appropriate implementation model that is considerate of the current health situation in Uganda.