Consultant for evaluation of the land rights work of the Northern Uganda Human Rights Partnership

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 evaluation of the land rights work of the Northern Uganda Human Rights Partnership (NUHRP), Acholi subregion, Northern Uganda.

Application deadline: January 7, 2019

Terms of Reference

Introduction

Since 2009 the Human Rights Capacity-Building Programme (HURICAP, formerly Special Programme on Africa) of the Dutch Section of Amnesty International (AI-NL) works with a group of local NGOs in Northern Uganda under the umbrella of the Northern Uganda Human Rights Partnership (NUHRP), whose overall aim is to contribute to a human rights culture and a life of dignity for people in northern Uganda. The NGOs include GWED-G, JPC-Gulu, Kitgum NGO Forum, Pader NGO Forum, WORUDET, FOKAPAWA, HURIFO and Gulu NGO Forum. HURICAP/SPA has provided technical advice, capacity-building and financial support to the NUHRP, and is now phasing out its support.

Since 2013, HURICAP has supported the NUHRP in raising its advocacy profile, as a platform that could act as a “common civic voice”, speaking out on human rights issues in the subregion. It was decided to focus on one of the most compelling problems, land conflicts, causing a lot of human rights abuses and violations. HURICAP organized a number of trainings and exchange visits, and supported the development of a first advocacy strategy, covering 2014-2016. As of 2016, HURICAP entered into a new phase, under Strategic Partnership funding from the Dutch government. A project proposal, focusing on influencing traditional leaders to take up their roles as land rights protectors, was supported in 2016 (together with institutional funding to the NUHRP), and follow-up proposals were supported in 2017 and 2018 (focusing more on campaigning against land grabbing by State-related actors). In the period Oct 2016 to June 2017, a new land rights advocacy strategy was developed (covering 2017-2020). As HURICAP is winding down its support in 2018, we decided to commission an end-of-project evaluation.

For an overview of the land rights projects’ objectives and desired outcomes, see Annex 1.

General objective of the assignment

To perform an end-of-project evaluation of the NUHRP’s Land Rights interventions, over the period 2016-2018 (taking into account the investments started in 2013), focusing on the influencing of traditional leaders, government actors, and other stakeholders, to effect changes on the ground, e.g. in terms of number and severity of conflicts and related human rights abuses, as well as on the protection of women (esp. widows, single women) and peripheral communities affected by land grabbing. The total investment cost on land rights activities over the three-year period was €82,229.

The evaluation is meant to (1) provide accountability for three years of investments from the NUHRP partners, AI/HURICAP and the Dutch government, and (2) help NUHRP and its members to adjust their approaches when continuing the project or implementing similar projects.

Research questions

Relevance

  • To what extent did the project address problems, needs and priorities of the target communities, esp. groups vulnerable for losing access to and control over land, such as widows, divorced, separated and single women, orphaned children, marginalised groups and remote communities?
  • To what extent did the project use a human rights focus?
  • Did the project target the most relevant advocacy actors, with sufficient leverage to change the situation?
  • Is the project relevant in relation to interventions or policies of other CSOs, community structures or government programmes? Was it sufficiently coordinated with other NGO interventions, such as with the Trócaire-JASLF Land Rights Project which had an office in Gulu?
  • To what extent did the project build on the strengths and opportunities of the NUHRP?

Effectiveness

  • To what extent has the project achieved the planned outcomes and objectives (see Annex 1 and project documents)?
  • What were the major factors influencing the achievement or non-achievement of the outcomes and objectives?
  • Per advocacy target actor, how did the project interventions influence their behaviour?
  • To what extent did the changed behaviour lead to changes on the ground, in terms of less (severe) conflicts and human rights abuses, limiting land grabbing and more protection of vulnerable groups, like women (esp. widows and single women) and peripheral communities?
  • Did the NUHRP use the most promising opportunities to campaign for the rights of vulnerable groups and communities, within and outside Acholiland (from village to national and even international levels)?

Sustainability

  • Are the above-mentioned changes long-lasting, and likely to persist or continue after HURICAP withdraws? Why/why not?
  • Do local institutions (esp. traditional leaders) and/or community groups support the project, and are they strong enough to continue mediation and awareness-raising on land rights, while protecting vulnerable groups?
  • Do local partners have the capacity to maintain the project’s benefits?
  • What could be the most relevant future opportunities for effectively protecting land rights in the Acholi subregion? Which actors would the partners need to target, with which interventions, in the near future?

Methodology

The evaluation should mainly use qualitative methods of information and opinion gathering, such as in-depth interviews with advocacy targets and other stakeholders, but not rule out quantitative methods, for example tallying or compiling data on the number of conflicts or persons affected by land rights abuses in different categories. The evaluation could select some sample chiefdoms and clan lands of chiefs targeted by the project and possibly some others not targeted (as a kind of control group), and perform in-depth interviews there. In addition, the evaluators will have to look into the project’s impact on the Apaa (Amuru) and Palabek (Lamwo) land grabbing hotspot issues.

The candidate evaluators are requested to specify which methodology they would choose for qualitative research into behaviour and impact changes. Mid-2018 HURICAP did a quick outcome harvesting exercise, and formulated two major changes that took place partly as a result of the project interventions. The outcome harvesting documents could be a starting point for further interrogating these outcomes, finding or distinguishing other outcomes, and checking whether a separate outcome on effective protection of vulnerable women’s and children’s land rights can also be substantiated by concrete evidence. The evaluation should give enough evidence-based information to substantiate all the outcomes HURICAP and the NUHRP formulated, or come up with alternative ones, substantiated as well.

A feedback/verification workshop could form part of the evaluation.

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.

Deliverables

The evaluators will have to deliver a final evaluation report of 15-50 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.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of customary land rights in rural Africa, preferably in Acholiland of Northern Uganda.
  • Extensive experience with the work of CBOs and NGOs in Africa, preferably in Uganda.
  • A demonstrated understanding of advocacy and campaigning strategies.
  • 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, CVs and/or company profiles, sample(s) of previous relevant work (esp. evaluation reports), along with a proposal outlining the methodology to be used, the timescale needed to deliver this project, and a budget including all costs (transport, accommodation, workshop costs, stipends of enumerators, etc.) and professional fees. The maximum budget available is €10,000.

Please send your applications with supporting documents by January 7, 2019, to: Jolanda Groen, AI/HURICAP Project Controller, at j.groen@amnesty.nl

For more information on the contents of the work, contact Wim de Regt, AI/HURICAP Senior Officer, at w.deregt@amnesty.nl or +31-20-7733670