Somalia: RFP From a Firm for the Development and Implementation of Interventions to Promote Women Participation as Candidates in the Electoral Process

Terms of Reference


In 2012, after the adoption of the Provisional Constitution and the election of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as President, the first internationally recognized Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) came into power following more than two decades of civil war and transitional governance arrangements. With the new President, a federal statebuilding process commenced[1] under the framework of the Peacebuilding and Statebuilding Goals (PSGs) of the New Deal/Compact. The FGS has since been engaged in a process of building a national government and negotiating regional states. It has established an aid architecture that includes close dialogues with donors.

Somalia also continues to be stricken by extreme poverty. It’s GDP per capita is 284 USD, which is the fourth lowest in the world.[2] It also shares the lowest rank with North Korea on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index[3]. While there is a lack of statistical data on the situation of women in Somalia, the available evidence shows that Somali women do not enjoy equal rights and treatment. Somalia has ranked prominently as one of ‘the worst countries to be a woman’[4] and one of the ‘worst countries to be a mother’[5]. The Social Institutions & Gender Index for 2014 places Somalia on the 6th lowest position in the world, with ‘very high’ discriminatory family codes, ‘very high’ levels of restricted physical integrity, and a ‘very high’ level of restricted resources and assets.[6] Insecurity, however, is still the predominant issue that prevents gender equality and women’s empowerment from being a feasible objective. Women continue to suffer disproportionally from clan-fights and extremist interventions.

Quite encouraging by regional standards is that the South West Administration has 22% of women in Parliament, at the national level 14% of the members of parliament are women, and in the FGS 8% of the Ministers are female. Elections for the National Parliament in Somalia are scheduled to be held in 2016. A 30 % quota for women has been agreed on by the National Consultative Forum, and a discussion of the implementation modalities is currently underway. However, most women are still excluded from public decision-making spaces, and there is no ‘agency’ driving an agenda of women’s issues.[7] Political power and authority are perceived as masculine spaces, and the women who are included in politics often act through their husbands or other male family members. Political power in Somalia is deeply rooted in access to resources, and based on kin-, political and business networks. Women’s economic empowerment should therefore play a fundamental role in their rise in politics and decision-making spheres. However, to date no analysis has explored the links between economic and political empowerment; what the drivers for the development of a ‘women’s agenda’ are; nor has rigorous political economy analysis been coupled with a gender analysis.

The international community has made significant commitments to support the peacebuilding and statebuilding process. In 2014, the UN agreed with the FGS on an Integrated Strategic Framework (ISF), which guides the strategic management of the UN’s political, development, human rights and security engagements in Somalia. In the ISF, the UN committed to provide support to a National Gender Policy, to legislative drafting to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment, to the participation and representation of women in political processes (including the state formation processes), to protection from gender based violence, and to increase access to services for women. The ISF has been extended until the end of 2017. It will continue to provide the main planning and coordination context for UN Women Somalia and other UN entities.

As part of its response to Somalia’s peace- and statebuilding goals, a Joint UN Programme on Women’s Political Leadership, Participation and Empowerment (JP WPE) is a collaborative initiative between the Federal Government represented by the Ministry of Women and Human Rights Development (MoWHRD) and the UN represented by the UNDP, UN Women, and UNSOM with funding fro DFID with the goal of ‘strengthening women’s leadership and participation in decision-making processes and structures in Somalia; making them more inclusive and gender responsive’. The JP WPE is a multi-year initiative aiming at promoting transformational change for gender equality and women’s political empowerment. It is a four year programme from 2016-2020 which will use the Multi-Partner Trust Fund Modality (MPTF) established under the Somali Development and Reconstruction Facility (SDRF). UN Women is folding available SIDA funds under the objectives of this programme and will provide support to

The four year period between 2016 and the 2020 electoral cycle will be a period of significant opportunities for the strengthening of women’s leadership and participation in decision-making at all levels. There are also significant challenges tied to these four years where Somalia and the international community will need to make headway in achieving sustainable peace and stability and in addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The JP WPE will support Somali women in their quest for greater representation, participation and relevance in Somali politics and leadership in the 2016 electoral process and beyond.

Advancing women’s political empowerment and leadership requires action on multiple fronts. Research shows that women’s increased political participation and leadership results from a confluence of factors, including removal of legal and logistical barriers; implementation of supportive frameworks; promotion of women’s leadership through political party reform; support to CSOs and a positive shift in societal gender norms.[8] Women’s effective participation in political role and leadership is fundamental to advance Somalia’s commitments to and inclusive, democratic and gender equitable Somalia and bring the country to international standards for the rights of women and girls.

As part of this programme, UN Women will support an initiative to ‘promote women’s participation in the 2016 election process’.

Objectives of the initiative

The overall objective of the initiative is to contract a firm to engage different stakeholders (traditional elders at sub-clan level, women groups and potential women candidates) in dialogue to

(i) Enhance the inclusion and representation of women in the 2016 elections,

(j) Lay the basis for longer term engagement by women in the election process at national and local level in the Federal Republic of Somalia.

This activity is aligned to the 2016 UN Women outcome 1.1 “Women are promoted as leaders in gender sensitive political institutions”, and output 1.2.2 on Electoral arrangements enhance women’s political participation and leadership

Scope of work

The scope of work will be to identify specific outcome, outputs, activities, timeline and budget for an intervention that will promote women participation as candidates and enhance dialogue with elders and the Electoral College.

Deliverables of the Assignment

1.0 Prepare an inception report within 2 weeks of signing the contract, consisting of a workplan with detailed timelines for undertaking the assignment, and a methodology for conducting the study;

2.0 Provide bi-weekly written updates on progress, challenges and proposed solutions

3.0 Final report at the end of the assignment

1.0 Payments milestones

Payment milestones are as follows:

a. First payment being 20% of the contract amount upon submission of an inception report;

b. Second payment of 30% upon completion of all consultations;

c. Third and final payment of 50% upon the delivery of the final approved report

2.0 Duration of Assignment

The duration of the assignment will be June 1st to September 30th 2016.

3.0 Qualifications and experience of the institution

The Institution selected for the task should have a minimum of 2 years’ experience in advocacy and facilitation of dialogue.

Additionally, the firm must have professionals with:

· Proven experience in the field of gender equality and women’s empowerment

· A minimum of under graduate degrees in the Social Sciences, Public Administration, International relations, Public Relations, communications, Women Studies or any other relevant field

Roles and responsibilities

· UN Women Somalia will provide approval on the workplan;

· The Firm will be responsible for the timely implementation of the asignment and seek advice from UN Women Somalia.

4.0 Reporting Relationships and Communications

The Team Leader shall report to the Programme Manager of UN Women Somalia.

Read Original Article