Consultant - Conflict-Sensitive Study - Bangui, CAR

Programs Bangui, Central African Republic


Description

Background:

The Central African Republic, a landlocked country of about 4 million people over an area of 623,000 km2, has suffered a long period of political-military instability and is among the poorest countries in the world, with a 2014 HDI ranking of 185 out of 187 countries.

The unprecedented politico-military crisis, which started in the Central African Republic (CAR) in December 2012, has devastated the country's socio-economic fabric. 

At a social level, violent conflicts have marked the lives of civilian populations, direct victims of armed groups - notably the Seleka and Anti-Balaka. This violence has triggered feelings of frustration, exclusion and revenge that have torn apart the Central African social fabric. Deeply political, even if the religious aspect has gradually become more pronounced, this conflict is focused on access to the country's resources and is based on structural factors such as lack of education, particularly of young people, the lack of economic and employment opportunities and a very weak concept of "local governance". 

Destruction and violence have not spared the capital and the provinces, particularly the prefectures of Ombella M'Phoko, Lobaye, Mambere-Kadei and Nana Mambere. The various forms of support provided by humanitarian partners to the Central African State for the care of persons affected by the crisis, the reconstruction of peace and the recovery and development of the livelihoods of returnee and displaced households have resulted in the gradual return of peace in these localities.

As part of the same peace building efforts in these localities, Mercy Corps has partnered with IOM and Triangle GH to develop a project proposal for the training and professional insertion of youths with funding from the French Agency for Development.  This project has three specific objectives: (i) the improvement of the quality vocational training on offer, (ii) the support of professional insertion initiatives aimed at creating economic opportunities for young people and (iii) the strengthening of coordination between the State, the private sector and training centres so that training offers are in line with the needs of the labour market.  

Aware of the fragility of the context, Mercy Corps and its associates deemed it necessary to conduct a conflict-sensitive analysis - also known as Do No Harm - in order to assess the feasibility of the strategies proposed by the project, the risks potentially associated with them, and the mitigation strategies to be adopted and thus make an informed decision on the various stages of implementation.

Overall Objective:

Conducting a context analysis for each of the project's intervention zones according to the Do No Harm/Conflict Sensitive approach, in order to identify possible measures for the prevention or mitigation of tensions/conflicts, as well as measures that can be put in place in order to consolidate peace and social cohesion in each of these zones;  

     

Specific Objectives:

1) Carry out a context analysis (North-East zone and West zone) according to the conflict sensitivity approach in each intervention zone. The analysis should contain: conflict factors and the key actors of these conflicts (connectors and dividers). The detailed methodology will have to be proposed by the consultant, in order to: 

- Analyse the local socio-economic and political contexts, considering the existing and potential factors of crisis and violence in the areas, their causes (immediate/cyclical, deep/structural, historical...), their consequences (forced, internal or refugee displacements...) as well as the possible trends and scenarios.

- Identify the main actors and groups - in the socio-economic and political contexts of the intervention areas.  In order to apprehend the needs and interests, and reciprocal perceptions of these groups, this analysis will :

o Identify the distribution of populations and community / socio-cultural groups, their location, including the most vulnerable or particularly marginalized social groups (ethnic groups, religious groups, forced displaced persons, women, youth ...) and the issues they face; institutions and authorities (traditional, religious ...), professional organizations, trade unions, associations ; 

o Identify the social structures and institutions perceived as unjust by the populations, those considered uncontested, and the reasons for this perception (causes, systems and institutions); 

o Analyse the interplay of actors between these different stakeholders/structures/institutions, at the different levels (local, regional, even national and beyond), identifying the actors with an interest in creating or prolonging conflict dynamics, and those who can on the contrary contribute to peace (cf. conflict / peace actors), and how each would benefit from cooperating in the framework of the present project (attitudes, values and interests of the actors; connectors and dividers).

2) Analyse the interactions between contexts and projects (components, planned activities) to identify possible measures for the prevention or mitigation of tensions/conflicts, as well as measures that can be put in place in order to consolidate peace and social cohesion.

- Interactions between projects and their respective contexts: (should include)

o Analysis of the stakeholders integrated in the projects vs. those excluded from the project, beneficiaries vs. non-beneficiaries; analysis of the perceptions of the populations of the services provided by the project(s), and of the actors and partners involved in the implementation of the project(s) (representatives of: local authorities, communes, communal councils, local enterprises, traditional and religious chiefdoms, etc.) - in terms of response to expectations and needs, accountability, equity, transparency, capacities, legitimacy ; 

o Analysis of the distributional effects of the project(s) (through the provision of financial, human and technical resources, ...), the dividing and unifying factors (choice of sites, targeting of beneficiaries, recruitments made, purchases made, ...), and other possible effects (market effects, substitution, legitimization, etc.), 

o Analysis of security measures (protection, possible escorts, etc.) and the risks weighing on the project, particularly in terms of security.

- Recommendations :

The recommendations resulting from the analysis may include, among others: 

o Proposal of alternatives for the possible negative effects identified;

o Proposal of measures to be deployed for the identified opportunities to strengthen social cohesion, and measures to strengthen the consideration of targeted vulnerable individuals or community groups (e.g. forced displaced persons, youth at risk of recruitment into illegal activities, etc.) ;

o Proposals for adaptation measures in progress according to the evolution of the project (areas, activities, operational partners mobilized, budgetary flexibility, etc.), updating of contingency plans, communication plan, monitoring and information networks, information triangulation channels, consultation/feedback of groups a priori non-target groups to the project.

Methodology : 

The proposed methodology will incorporate:

- A Mapping of the main actors and groups involved in the conflict at the level of the intervention zones according to their roles and their geographical and political positioning, etc.

- Surveys of the different actors according to appropriate methods taking into account the sensitivity of the issues and the information to be collected. 

- Focus groups for young people: this will involve organising structured discussions with groups of young girls and groups of young boys (numbers to be determined). The objective of the focus groups is to measure the perception of young people on the strategies proposed by the project and to collect suggestions for mitigation measures;

- Key Informant Interviews: These are semi-structured interviews to be conducted with young people, government officials, business leaders, managers of vocational training centres, training centre departments or line ministries and NGOs;

The analytical framework of the DO No Harm approach will be used as a reference. However, the consultant has the possibility of making proposals for the integration of other elements based on his field experiences. 





Timeframe / Schedule:  

The proposed duration is a maximum of 25 days.

The 25 days include travel to the project area as well as the activities of document preparation and analysis, preparation of field surveys, interviews and information collection, report writing and the restitution/validation meeting of the study report. Although the consultant could make modifications, an estimated schedule is as follows: 

Schedule: Activity: Persons responsible:

2 days: Review background and conduct literature review: Consultant

2 days: Design and test qualitative and quantitative tools, develop survey protocols, and design survey databases: Consultant in collaboration with the technical committee

2 days: Training of investigators on survey protocols, data collection and database tools: Consultant

10 days: Data collection and data entry: Consultant

3 days: Data Analysis: Consultant

1 day: Restitution of first results: Consultant

2 days: Draft study report: Consultant

2 days: Draft review and comments: Consortium team

1 days: Final report: Consultant



Consultant Deliverables:

- The mapping of the actors in the conflicts in the localities of Bangui and its outskirts, Bouar, Berberati, Carnot and Mbaïki.

- The study protocol;

- The full report of the study

Report format: 

The baseline report should be structured according to the following guidelines:

- Cover page, list of acronyms

- Table of contents that identifies page numbers for the main content areas of the report.

- The Executive Summary (2 to 3 pages) should be a clear and concise stand-alone document that gives readers the essential content of the study report in 2 or 3 pages, previewing the main points to allow readers to build a mental framework for organizing and understanding the detailed information contained in the report. In addition, the executive summary helps readers identify the main findings and recommendations of the report.

- Methodology: sampling method including the strengths and weaknesses of the method used, inclusion of stakeholders and staff, approximate timeline of activities, description of any statistical analysis undertaken, including rationale and software package used. Discussion of any random sampling used should include details on how random respondents were identified and invited to participate. This section should also discuss the constraints and limitations of the data collection process and rigour.

- Results: Consider how best to organise this based on the evaluation and research questions. In some cases it is useful to organise the report in relation to the study objectives, but in other cases it makes more sense to organise the report in relation to the evaluation questions.

- Appendices: French-language data collection instruments; list of stakeholder groups with number and type of interactions; Statement of Work, interview protocols developed and used, all data sets can be provided in electronic format, any photos required, participant profiles or other special documents needed.




Required Experience & Skills:

Qualification and experience of the consultant :

- An in-depth mastery of the legal and institutional framework and a good knowledge of the Central African socio-economic and political context;

- The consultant, identified, will have an academic background in the field and will be able to justify a university study in social and legal sciences;

- Previous experience in producing professional reports;

- Relevant professional experience, including proven experience in carrying out similar studies and fluency in French.



Application Form :

Applications must include:

- A letter of intent.

- A technical proposal explaining the understanding of the TOR, the proposed approach and methodology for conducting the baseline study including sampling, a detailed schedule of activities.

- A detailed budget in Excel format.

- Consultant's CV with references.

- Appendices: similar work if possible.