Yei in Sudan
© Amnesty International

Consultant for an (impact ) evaluation of HURICAP partners in South Kordofan & Blue Nile, Sudan

Amnesty International is a global movement that takes action against the violation of the human rights: freedom, equality and justice. Amnesty conducts research, generates action and supports human rights defenders worldwide. In the Netherlands, the organization has over 250.000 members and donors. The Amsterdam office employs 120 paid staff and 60 volunteers. Amnesty strives for a diverse composition of its workforce.

Amnesty International Netherlands is looking for a Consultant to undertake an (impact) evaluation of HURICAP partners in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, Sudan.

Application deadline: Thursday 27 December 2018

Terms of Reference

Background

The Human Rights Capacity-Building Programme, HURICAP, of Amnesty International Netherlands, develops and implements human rights projects in various countries in Africa and the Middle East. These projects are carried out in close collaboration with local partners and regional Amnesty offices and aim to strengthen the capacity and skills of civil society actors to more effectively monitor, investigate, document and report on human rights violations.

Since our foundation in 1994, we have developed a track record in strengthening the capacity of national and local human rights organizations and activists, through developing our own handbooks and training materials and offering tailor-made training programmes and support to the partners that we work with.

In 2011, tensions grew between the Government of Sudan (GoS) and the Sudan’s Peoples Liberation Movement/Army- North (SPLM/A-N) in the border states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile in Sudan. A contested state election in South Kordofan (that put a former warlord indicted by the ICC in power) and unfulfilled promises of autonomy as part of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), triggered renewed fighting between the SPLA-N and the Government of Sudan Armed Forces. The dynamics of this ongoing conflict have by and large been the same over the past six years. The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) have targeted both states with widespread aerial bombings (including the use of cluster munition) of rebel-held civilian areas by Antonov bombers, Sukhoi and MiG jet fighters.1 Monitoring the systematic bombardments have repeatedly shown a pattern of air raids during planting and harvesting cycles, which greatly affected agricultural production and caused emergency levels of food insecurity. Furthermore, Amnesty International research revealed that civilian infrastructure including schools, hospitals and markets were targeted without a clear legitimate military objective, which are war crimes. Nearly half of the population of both states have been displaced and chronic malnutrition exceeds emergency levels. Several rounds of peace talks have failed, and humanitarian access to the affected areas remains denied by Khartoum. A fragile cessation of hostilities continues to date.

Partnership I

Between 2012 – 2016, HURICAP collaborated the International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) in supporting two groups of local human rights monitors operating in SPLA-N territory in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. These two groups were established by the South Kordofan and the Blue Nile Coordination Unit (CU) based in Juba, to initially provide the international community with humanitarian updates from the affected areas. Primary focus has been on strengthening monitors’ skills in collecting reliable information on indiscriminate aerial attacks carried out by the GoS. Monitoring the bombardments included keeping track of locations (GPS), numbers of casualties (dead and injured and type of injuries), patterns in bombings, damage to farms, livestock and infrastructure. Collected data was systematically shared with IRRI and AI and used for further research, international advocacy and lobbying stakeholders, and compiled in bi-monthly updates on air strikes by the SAF (IRRI).

Following series of training on monitoring, documenting these aerial attacks (and occasional ground offensives), both teams were further trained in community mobilisation techniques and strategy development upon their own request. The human rights teams (generally operating in pairs), travelled to various remote communities raising awareness on how to stay safer during aerial attacks. This included instructions to prepare and use fox holes (instead of running), or to down size the scale of their farms (smaller patches are less identifiable as farms from the air). Parents were instructed to not use debris for any purpose and to keep their children away from and ordnance (many bombs did not explode). Monitoring teams also started working more effectively on local non-conflict related issues such as girl child education, domestic violence and intercommunal conflicts with traditional leaders and communities in general.

Partnership II

Between 2015-2016, AI/HURICAP entered into a partnership with a Sudanese non-governmental organization (NGO)2, based in Kampala, which supervises monitoring teams in government-controlled areas. Working with them gave HURICAP the opportunity to get a more balanced picture of the human rights situation in both SPLA-N as well as government-controlled areas. The human rights monitors in South Kordofan and Blue Nile were strengthened in their monitoring and documenting skills through training and coaching. The organization also received on-the-job coaching in report writing, while hands-on (digital) security training was provided by Protection International.

To measure the impact of the work of these former partners and the capacity-building support offered by AINL/HURICAP, at organizational level as well as at community level, Amnesty International is looking for a consultant to evaluate these two programmes.

Partnership I – Overall aim:

Strengthen monitoring teams’ skills and knowledge to effectively and reliably monitor and investigate human rights violations by both the SAF and the SPLA-N in SPLA-N controlled areas, with the emphasis on monitoring aerial bombardments by the SAF.

Objectives:

  • To provide IRRI, AI and the CU (and therewith the international community) with up to date information on aerial bombardments by the SAF, including patterns, geo locations, type of bombs, aircrafts, casualties and the humanitarian situation in general.
  • To become a self-sustaining local organization which successfully engages remote communities in addressing domestic violence, intercommunal conflict and the need for girl-child education.
  • Partnership II – Overall aim:
  • Strengthen monitoring teams’ skills and knowledge to effectively and reliably monitor and investigate the human rights violations and abuse committed by the different security agencies3 in government-controlled areas in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

Objectives:

  • To be able to effectively and securely collect reliable information on human rights violations and abuse by the different security agencies in government-controlled areas in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
  • To enhance the quality of report-writing and advocacy capacity in lobbying other activists, regional and international partners and international key players.
  • To strengthen monitors’ knowledge on specific safety and security risks and how to counter those.

Strategic Partnership “Dialogue and Dissent”

Activities undertaken with both partners have partly been financed with ASN Bank funding and partly through MSF II (2011- 2015) and the Strategic Partnership “Dialogue and Dissent” (2016-2020).

Under the Strategic Partnership “Dialogue and Dissent”, Strategic Objective 1 was prioritized. Strategic Objective 1 is formulated as follows:

Civic change agents and their communities act as peacekeeping and human rights actors and contribute to the social cohesion by facilitating dialogue and negotiation processes between antagonistic groups.

This concerns horizontal activities between and among (antagonistic) communities (building bridges) in the field of:

  • Leadership development and capacity reinforcement;
  • The development of an inclusive agenda in the field of human rights and human security, including violence against minorities, women and other vulnerable groups;
  • The facilitation, channeling and/or (joint) organization of dialogue and negotiation processes;
  • The monitoring of execution of agreements reached.

The Theory of Change (ToC) is as follows:

Justification of contribution by the strategic target to the mission of Freedom from Fear: promoting human security and human rights

If… …Civic change agents contribute to the social cohesion by facilitating dialogue and negotiation processes between antagonistic groups

Then: … this will contribute to a reduction in violence and human rights violations

Because… … structured dialogue between antagonistic communities will increase their mutual understanding and willingness to peacefully solve mutual conflicts … broad recognition of mutual interests or mutually experienced disadvantages of constant violence and ‘divide and rule’ politics contribute to support for peaceful strategies … communities who are less divided and who act collectively can exercise effective pressure on the government to improve its performance in the field of human security and human rights

Although there were some differences between the two programmes, the focus on doing effective human rights investigations and collecting reliable evidence fits into this strategic target in the longer term. The monitoring teams were able to collect information in areas that were nearly inaccessible to anyone from outside. Both IRRI and Amnesty International were able to use the information (directly or indirectly) for lobbying international actors in a bid to put more pressure on the GoS to stop the bombings and allow humanitarian access.4 Besides lobby activities on the basis of the information generated by monitoring teams in both programmes, monitors were also of assistance to the few allowed entry into the areas such as a UN investigative team5 .

Additional activities focused on engaging communities to address intercommunity or intercommunal tensions (often a result of the ongoing conflict) hence to reduce conflict. Dialogue sessions also aimed to address locally relevant issues that were never addressed before in the remote rural areas of SKBN, such as domestic violence, underage marriage and access to schools for girls. In particular traditional leaders were targeted within the dialogue sessions.

In addition, training sessions focused on safety and security (such as safely dealing with shells and debris including unexploded ordnance) and ‘air-raid survival skills’, as many communities were not yet aware on the need of using fox holes during bombings for example.

ASN Bank

Funding from the ASN Bank was part of the donor’s ‘Against the Arms Industry’- programme. For the ASN Bank, HURICAP’s strategy of human rights monitoring and enabling community dialogue in conflict areas fitted perfectly within their strategic focus on arms.

For both programmes, a baseline was carried out and is available upon request by the consultant.

General objective of the assignment

Scope: The evaluation will mainly concentrate on the impacts/change brought about by both projects in the period 2012-2016.

Research questions

Relevance:

  • To what extent did the programmmes build upon existing strengths and opportunities?
  • Were programmes relevant in relation to other interventions or policies from other organizations in and on SKBN?
  • How relevant were the trainings Amnesty International provided within both programmes In relation to the programmes objectives? (This includes training on monitoring, human rights, community mobilization and safety and security – through Protection International).

Impact:

  • To what extent have both programmes achieved the planned aims and objectives?
  • What were the major factors influencing the achievement or non-achievement of the aims and objectives?
  • What strategies have been most/least effective and what could have been done to improve the effectiveness of the programme?
  • To what extent has the monitoring work of both organizations contributed to a more effective lobby campaign by IRRI and Amnesty International on the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile in Sudan?
  • To what extent has programme 1 tangibly contributed to social change at community levels (e.g. in the field of increasing girl-child education)?
  • What changes have been achieved on the following dimensions (a.o. in comparison to non-targeted communities and baseline data):

a) changes in activism and mobilization;

b) changes in local laws and policies and/or societal norms;

c) changes in practices and accountability of duty bearers;

d) changes in people’s lives.

Effectiveness:

  • To what extent have IRRI, Amnesty International and possibly others, been able to make effective use of the information provided by both programmes, and what were the results?
  • To what extent was the working relationship between HURICAP and IRRI effective in both programmes?
  • Sustainability:
  • To what extent has HURICAPs training and support contributed to the organizations’ sustainability?
  • To what extent have the groups from Programme I been able to become a self-sustaining local organization?
  • To what extent are both organizations still monitoring, documenting and reporting on human rights violations in South Kordofan and Blue Nile?

Methodology

The evaluation should mainly use qualitative methods of information and opinion gathering, such as in-depth interviews with key stakeholders, which includes individual monitors, team leaders, NGO/CBO management, the SKBN Coordination Unit, IRRI and Amnesty International, and others. Travelling to the areas is not advisable, hence interviews with stakeholders should preferably be carried out in Kampala, Uganda, where one of the two partner organizations is based. Key stakeholders could be flown into Kampala from Juba, South Sudan.

Consultants are requested to specify which methodology they would choose for qualitative research.

Time planning and reporting

The evaluation should be undertaken in the first months of 2019. We envisage desk study and preparation to take place in January, the actual field work to take place in February/March, and report writing in April, but this is a tentative idea. Sufficient time should be spent with the programmes’ leader for further information, names, dates and background material.

Deliverables

The evaluators will have to deliver a final evaluation report of 15-40 pages, including at least an executive summary, information on the methodology used, the findings, conclusions and recommendations, and relevant appendices. The report will remain the property of Amnesty International Netherlands.

Required qualifications of candidate evaluators

  • Proven experience in evaluation and action research.
  • Extensive experience with the work of CBOs and NGOs in Africa, preferably in Sudan.
  • A demonstrated understanding of processes of social change, preferably in a rural context.
  • Preferably some knowledge and experience of human rights concepts and standards.
  • Strong analytical skills.
  • Excellent report writing skills.
  • Cooperative spirit, ability to work with a variety of partner organisations and project staff.

How to apply

We request candidate evaluators (individuals or teams) to submit a motivation letter, CV and/or company profiles, sample(s) of previous relevant work (esp. evaluation reports) along with a proposal outlining the methodology to be used, a timeline needed to deliver this evaluation, and a budget including all costs (transport, accommodation, stipends of enumerators, etc.) and professional fees. The budget should not exceed €30.000.

Please send your applications with supporting documents before Thursday 27 December 2018 to: Jolanda Groen, AI/HURICAP Project Controller, at j.groen@amnesty.nl and Ellen Vermeulen, AI/HURICAP Senior Programme Officer, at e.vermeulen@amnesty.nl.