Background Study on Lower Shabelle Region / Somalia

The Expanding Access to Justice Program (EAJ) is a five-year associate award (2018–2023), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) via the Freedom House-led Human Rights Support Mechanism (HRSM) and implemented in partnership between Pact and the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ROLI), that aims to improve access to justice and mechanisms to address grievances in Somalia. The Program is centered around three key objectives: a) Support and improve inclusive community engagement in justice solutions; b) strengthen justice services; and c) improve navigation of justice services by aggrieved parties.

The Program has a strong focus on research activities and knowledge creation to ensure that program activities and objectives are embedded in rigorous contextual understanding. EAJ’s research services unit therefore conducts prime field research as well as desk studies on a variety of access to justice issues in Somalia, as well as on the gathering of baseline data. It further focuses on contextual analysis in the areas where it operates in order to inform ongoing interventions and those of its partners.

The Program has recently been conceptualized around stabilization initiatives in Somalia, with a particular focus on fostering access to justice in newly recovered areas. Since the beginning of the year, EAJ has been engaged in stabilization initiatives in the Lower Shabelle region with a focus on delivering access to justice in a volatile environment.

First engagements in Lower Shabelle have shown that more in-depth understanding of the conflict and population dynamics of the region, especially as they are embedded in historical population movements and grievances, is key to successful interventions.

The EAJ Programme is seeking the assistance of an expert consultant to conduct a review of recent historical population movements, inter and intra-clan grievances over access to resources, GBV crimes, and general political economy dynamics in the Lower Shabelle region.

Purpose and Tasks

In order to inform ongoing programming in Lowe Shabelle, a review of recent historical events needs to be conducted. This should include a) a review of historical population movements in the Lower Shabelle area, b) inter and intra-clan grievances over resources and their interplay with regional and national politics, c) recent historical dynamics and trends of GBV crimes committed in the Lower Shabelle region, d) general political economy dynamics around resources, and e) justice and governance dynamics. The review should include a socio-economic profile of selected locations.

Methodology

The review should mainly be based on a desk study and include available materials and documentation of the region. Most recent dynamics should be elaborated on through phone interviews with selected respondents that have in-depth familiarity and knowledge of the region.

Key Deliverables and Timelines

The review will be conducted by an expert consultant, under the guidance of the EAJ Research Team Lead. It is anticipate that the work will require 30 working days and be conducted between 1 June and 31 August 2020.

Experience of International Consultant

  • Masters Degree in Social Science, Political Science or related field

  • In-depth knowledge about Somalia’s socio-political landscape

  • At least 4 years of experience in working on rights issues in Somalia, including in the region of Lower Shabelle

  • Excellent English writing skills

  • Track record of high quality publications

Period of Consultancy

30 working days between 1 June and 31 August 2020.

Supervision

The consultant will report to the EAJ Research Team Leader

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