Consultant – Baseline/Needs Assessment

Website Search for Common Ground (Search)

Search for Common Ground (Search) an international conflict transformation NGO that aims to transform the way individuals, groups, governments, and companies deal with conflict, away from adversarial approaches and towards collaborative solutions. We have over 37 years of experience in peace-building and are based in 53 local offices worldwide. We strive to build sustainable peace for generations to come by working with all sides of a conflict, providing the tools needed to work together, and finding constructive solutions. While conflict is inevitable, violence is not! Our mission is to transform the way the world deals with conflict, away from adversarial approaches, and toward cooperative solutions. Instead of tearing down an existing world, we focus on constructing a new one. We shift the everyday interactions between hostile groups of people, so they can work together to build up their community, choosing joint problem-solving over violent means. Our Jerusalem office, established in 2000, has over 10 staff members and implemented over a dozen P2P programs in Israel-Palestine, currently leading programs building the capacities of 30+ local CSOs, wide-reaching public health media programs currently reaching 250,000+ Palestinians, and intensive inter-religious engagement with 30 high-level Jewish and Muslim leaders. This project builds on our portfolio on leadership development and collaborative local platforms, where we change attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors through durable partnerships and community initiatives amplified by our global expertise in media programming. For more information, visit www.sfcg.org.
The Context
After decades of failed peace attempts and recent escalations in violence between both Israeli and Palestinian communities and security forces, women continue to be relegated to the sidelines of peace and security processes. Women on both sides have a long history of grassroots organizing, nonviolent resistance, and protests; however, their involvement in formal negotiations remains woefully lacking. For example, it is not surprising that the negotiated ceasefire between Israel and Gaza in May 2021 did not incorporate a gender perspective, as there was an absence of women during the negotiations. Although no formal peace negotiations have been held since 2014, recent high-level outreach between the Israeli coalition government and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have created important opportunities for informal dialogue and diplomacy, resulting in an urgent need to strengthen the capacity of diverse women across the conflict to effectively engage in peace and security and discuss the gender perspective.
Substantial challenges from a lack of support and awareness of women-led approaches to peace and security issues remain at the community level. Women’s leadership and engagement are essential to addressing gendered norms and militaristic perspectives that perpetuate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as building solutions that address the issues of all members of society. Greater awareness and promotion of women ́s approaches and perspectives on peace and security creates a conducive environment for them to be involved in decision-making processes essential to their future successes.
Catalyzing the joint engagement and leadership of Israeli and Palestinian women in conflict resolution processes has the potential to build conditions for women´s involvement in future peace and security negotiations, improve the community and public support for women-led approaches to peace and security, and offer an alternative voice to mainstream politics in Israel and the West Bank/Gaza, which are currently heightening tensions rather than constructively addressing conflict. Despite increasingly vocal anti-normalization pressures (which continue to reject any form of dialogue, collaboration, or partnership between Israeli and Palestinian civil society, communities, or leaders), demand is growing from key policy, academic, civil society, and private sector women leaders to create new opportunities for women-led Israeli-Palestinian engagement.
The Project
Women’s leadership and perspectives are essential to challenging and transforming gendered norms and militaristic perspectives that perpetuate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as building solutions that address the issues of all members of society. Yet, after decades of failed peace attempts in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, peace and security processes remain overwhelmingly managed by men, and promises of greater women’s leadership and inclusion remain to be unfulfilled. While there are substantial challenges from COVID and the anti-normalization movements, demand is growing from key policy, academic, civil society, and private sector women leaders to create new opportunities for women-led Israeli-Palestinian shared initiatives as an alternative to the status-quo.
Search for Common Ground (Search) in collaboration with a Palestinian and Israeli women organization designed this 26-month project to respond to the identified needs with an overall goal of building inclusive and diverse women’s participation and leadership on local and national peace and security in Israel and Palestine. The Women Lead Together Consortium (WLT), will engage women leaders at multiple levels, directly engaging with nationally-influential women, new emerging women leaders, Israeli and Palestinian government officials, civil society, and media. WLT will improve locally-led shared initiatives that strengthen public and policy support for women-led peace and security in diverse communities of Israeli and Palestine.
The project will engage stakeholders at multiple levels and support locally-owned platforms (i.e., Women-led Steering Committee or Joint Policy Working Groups) strengthening horizontal peacebuilding of Israeli and Palestinian women from diverse cross-border backgrounds working together on peace and security. They will advance vertical peacebuilding between public and policy members of their diverse societies, including both men and women, to build greater support for women-led approaches through a model of collaboration in community, policy, and media initiatives, demonstrating these effective approaches. Two intermediate outcomes support the overall goal of the project:
Intermediate Outcome 1: Strengthen the policy influence of Israeli and Palestinian women leaders and their approaches to peace and security issues – Key planned results are:
E.R 1.1: National women leaders have improved skills and networks to influence the policy agenda on WPS and participate in national peace and security processes
E.R 1.2: National women leaders have increased mutual understanding and belief in the value of collaborating on peace and security issues
E.R 1.3: Participating national policy leaders have increased commitment to and incorporation of WPS recommendations
Intermediate Outcome 2: Improve community and public support for women’s participation and inclusion on local peace and security challenges – Key planned results are:
E.R 2.1: Community women and men leaders are more equipped and empowered to lead peace and security issues
E.R 2.2: Target communities have greater collaboration on local women, peace, and security
E.R 2.3: Media listeners/viewers have increased support for women’s participation and inclusion on peace and security issues
The project’s overall Theory of Change is: If Israeli and Palestinian women leaders develop greater technical capacities while building sustainable platforms to better understand one another’s unique experiences while problem-solving their shared challenges, Then they will strengthen public support and policy adoption of women-led approaches to peace and security issues that cross dividing lines, Because they lead collaborative initiatives that demonstrate the value of women’s perspectives and solutions in their communities, policy networks, and public media.
Beneficiaries and stakeholders – Primary and Secondary Target Groups:
Objective 1: Policy and Advocacy Activities
Objective 2: Community & Media Activities
Nationally influential Women Leaders: 15-20 Israeli and Palestinian women from civil society, academic, health, private sector, activist, and media backgrounds who will play a critical role in Track II and III negotiations.
All Objective 1 activities
Action Circle Women Leaders: 90 Israeli and Palestinian women and men from local communities, civil society, academic, activist, and media backgrounds who will participate in future Track III negotiations. All
Objective 2 activities
New Emerging Women Leaders: 100 Israeli and Palestinian women from civil society, academic, activist, and media backgrounds whose capacities will be strengthened to engage policy leaders. Objective 1 policy and advocacy
Community Initiative Participants: 1500 Israelis and Palestinians from target communities participating in community initiatives Government Leaders: Mid-senior level Israeli and Palestinian government officials (unofficially as required) and nationally influential figures who participate in policy activities
Media Campaign Listeners/Viewers: estimated 1,500,000 Israel and Palestinian multimedia audience
Objectives of the Needs and Baseline Assessment
Search is seeking a consultant who can conduct a Needs and a Baseline study with the aim of providing Search and its partners with a clear understanding of WPS local issues across different geographies and target groups in Israel-Palestine in addition to informing the project’s overall planning and approaches by identifying target strategies, communities, messages, and thematic issues at both local and national levels.
While engaging with national and local community women leaders and stakeholders, the study will investigate and identify differences in the political, demographic, religious, ethnic and socio-economic makeup of target areas and priority issues. Ultimately, generated findings and teased recommendations will be directly used by the developed Steering Committee to set their agenda and design the scope of their WLT activities (i.e., across different geographies and target groups) in Israel-Palestine. In addition, the findings of the Needs and Baseline Assessment will be used as point of reference to measure the impact of the project and track its progress over time inconsistency with the project indicators as portrayed in the original logframe. In specific terms, the overall objectives of the study are:
Objectives and key questions:
Map the key policy institutions, existing networks and initiatives, and international and local organizations that are important contributors and obstacles to WPS in Israel-Palestine for national and local women leaders to engage
Who are the relevant stakeholders for project activities to engage policy and community actors on WPS? What are the existing forums for Israeli-Palestinian engagement on WPS topics nationally and locally? Where are there gaps and opportunities for increased engagement to support WPS in different sectors?
Provide benchmark information for measuring project outcomes based on the project log frame;
Including -inter alia- assessing the current capacities of the selected Women leaders in negotiations, leadership skills, gender-sensitive policy-making processes, advocacy, peace and security issues
Identify key WPS challenges shared by and unique to Israel-Palestine women leaders at the national policy and community levels, including those related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as in other key socioeconomic and political sectors.
What are the primary and secondary challenges affecting WPS in Israel-Palestine at the national policy and community levels? How specifically the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts impede Israeli and Palestinian women to effectively engage in WPS activities or processes?
Analyze existing gaps in WPS issues and sectors as well as the key needs and opportunities for strengthened national policy and community capacities to support improved engagement and impact within and between Israel-Palestine
What are current strengths and opportunities (both on policy and practical level) on WPS engagement within and between Israel-Palestine?
How can these be leveraged to strengthen current and future women’s engagement in WPS?
Produce recommendations for the national joint steering committee, policy working groups, and community action circles to design activities in both intermediate outcomes based on target topics, local actors, and networks to directly participate and indirectly engage that will most impact identified WPS issues and improve future efforts for the wider field of women-led peacebuilding.
What are the levels of interest and willingness to engage with women and men leaders in Israeli and Palestinian policy institutions and community spaces on WPS?
How, where, and with whom should policy and community platforms be designed to create long-term engagement between Israeli-Palestinian women leaders to achieve sustainable progress towards the project’s WPS goals?
The findings and recommendations of the study will substantially contribute to the currently limited research on the WPS and peacebuilding fields in Israel-Palestine. In addition, the study is expected to assess the relevance of and inform necessary adaptations to the project’s objectives and overall ToC.
The key questions and methodology of the study may need to be further elaborated by the experts in the inception report. The expert(s)/consultant(s) may suggest additional questions. The final version of the key questions will be agreed at the end of the inception phase.
3. Geographic Locations
The Needs and Baseline Assessment is expected to provide quantitative and qualitative information, gender-age disreggated data and analysis on a local and national levels. In specific terms, the targeted locations of project are: For Objective 1: WLT will target the participants from North, South and Central Israel, and across the West Bank, with policy activities focused on Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Ramallah.
For Objective 2: the awareness and media activities will be implemented based on recommendations from the WSC and needs assessment, targeting wider Israeli and Palestinian communities such as Jerusalem, Hebron, Nazareth, Jenin, Nablus, and Gaza. The final list of the target areas will be confirmed based on the results of the needs assessment.
4. Methodology and Data Collection Tools Approach
Search’s approach to the study is grounded in the guiding principles of our work: participatory, culturally sensitive, committed to building capacity, affirming and positive while honest and productively critical, and valuing knowledge and approaches from within the context. Search and the hired consultant(s) will agree upon a joint set of standards when negotiating the final contract of agreement. The below principles should be taken into account:
Inclusiveness—the methodology should include a wide range of viewpoints, specifically gender and age sensitivity when applicable. Mixed-method approaches—both qualitative and quantitative methods need to be present in the methodology. The rigor of evidence—gathered information needs to be reliable and transparent
Ethics—the methodology needs to consider ethics in order to ensure that the evaluation is fully objective.
5. Methodology & Scope of the study
The consultant(s) will utilize a multi-method approach of qualitative and quantitative methodologies to conduct the baseline study, including Key Informant Interviews (KIIs), Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), and a Survey. The Needs and Baseline Assessment will be conducted to triangulate data from multiple sources and stakeholders in order to infer reliable findings. The consultant will conduct KIIs with key stakeholders groups relevant to the project including mid and high-level government officials, inter-ministerial bodies, policymakers, think tanks, and civil society actors. In addition to surveys with the primary (e.g. women leaders) and secondary targeted groups of the project (e.g. Community members). The survey sample size should be adequate and representative of those who will be directly and indirectly engaged in project activities. Search staff will work with the consultant to ensure adequate selection of the Key Informants and FGD participants.
The consultant is requested to provide a detailed sampling framework in the inception report with clear criteria for respondent inclusion KIIs. Data collection, analysis and the results should represent Inclusiveness—the methodology should include a wide range of viewpoints, specifically sex, gender and age-sensitivity. In addition, these should ensure integration of ethical considerations, and rigorousness of findings.
In addition to adopting a mixed evidence-gathering approach, the consultant will also conduct a desk review, synthesizing information from existing literature on the project and/or related or similar projects in Israel-Palestine. Together, the KIIs, surveys, the FGDs, and the desk review will provide a holistic understanding of the project’s progress.
The methodology and data collection tools need to be validated by Search’s Senior Officer and the Project Manager.
The consultant(s) is also required to develop a detailed evaluation matrix with judgment criteria that captures the study’s objectives and key questions which will guide the study process into reliable judgments and outcomes.
It will draw on the following sources:
Desk study review: it is important to review project documents, logical framework, available monitoring data, and other relevant sources of data to complete the assessment. Key informant interviews with Key stakeholders groups relevant to the project including mid and high-level government officials, inter-ministerial bodies, policymakers, think tanks, and civil society actors: interviews will be conducted to gather in depth information on key questions.
Focus group discussions with community members and primary targeted groups of the project: to gather in depth information regarding the key questions described above. Survey with primary and secondary targeted groups outlined in above table: to collect both quantitative and qualitative information related to the study’s key questions.
Note: Due to COVID-19 situation and uncertainty about undertaking on-ground data collection, applicants are required to integrate a detailed multiple scenario strategy in their proposed methodologies and work plans that would ensure efficacy in the delivery of the assignment and allow for flexibility to switch between different modalities (i.e., to virtual data collection and vice-versa) whenever there is a need to do so.
Deliverables
Search expects the following deliverables from the external consultant(s) as they correspond to the timeline and budget:
An inception report detailing the methodology, data collection tools and timeline, in addition to an evaluation matrix (for each deliverable, separately); Any necessary training of data collectors or set-up of systems for data collection; Oversight of data coding and analysis; All original data submitted to Search; A draft Needs and Baseline Assessment Report in English for review by Search staff; A Final Needs and Baseline Assessment Report to be submitted after incorporating the comments of Search. The report should be written in English (40 pages max in length, excluding appendices) consistent with Search branding and standards for studies.
The report:
Uses the Search template unless otherwise agreed in the contract; Provides a clear connection between the conflict or context assessment and the intended results, articulate the project’s ToC, and include other relevant project specifics; Fully explains the objectives and research questions of the study, limitations and methods chosen for analysis; Findings respect Search’s standards, are structured around the main objectives of the study, and are presented in relation to the intended target groups. The findings should speak to the link between the project, its Theory of Change and its contribution to our strategy. It should explain adaptations that occurred during the project and their impact on results; Recommendations should have a clear audience and be specific, accessible, and actionable; Indicator table showing all indicators; Appendices should include detailed research instruments, list of interviewees, terms of references and evaluator(s) brief biography.
The reports should be submitted electronically in an MS – Word document. The consultant is responsible for the English editing of the final reports which should be well formatted.
All handwritten and electronic transcripts of interviews and KIIs, hard copies of survey questionnaires, photographs taken during the assessments, and any equipment received from Search for the purpose of the study should be submitted to Search. Furthermore, all information generated during the baseline study will be the sole property of Search and is subject to submission to Search along with the final report, prior to the end of the contract.
Logistical Support
Consultant(s) will be responsible for organizing their own communication and logistics for data collection (subscriptions to digital platforms of data collection, vehicles, fuel, and drivers), and this must be budgeted into the submitted financial proposal. Search can provide support in arranging logistics as agreed upon based on the consultant’s proposal. At least one Search staff member may be available to support data collection and logistics. Search and its partners can provide contact information for relevant stakeholders to be engaged with during the assignment. However, the contestants are also expected to leverage their own networks during the data collection.
6. Ethical Considerations
In line with the ethical codes and guidelines of research, the consultancy should take into consideration the Do No Harm, Conflict sensitivity, and inclusion principles throughout the processes of designing, implementing, and finalizing the proposed assignment. The consultant(s) are required to respect the following ethical principles:
Comprehensive and systematic inquiry: The consultant should make the most of the existing information and a full range of stakeholders available at the time of the review. The consultant should conduct systematic, data-based inquiries. He or she should communicate his or her methods and approaches accurately and in sufficient detail to allow others to understand, interpret, and critique his or her work. He or she should make clear the limitations of the review and its results. Competence: The consultant should possess the abilities and skills and experience appropriate to undertake the tasks proposed and should practice within the limits of his or her professional training and competence.
Honesty and integrity: The consultant should be transparent with the contractor/constituent about: any conflict of interest, any change made in the negotiated project plan, and the reasons why those changes were made, any risk that certain procedures or activities produce misleading review information.
Respect for people: Consultant should respect the security, dignity, and self-worth of the respondents, program participants. The consultant has the responsibility to be sensitive to and respect differences amongst participants in culture, religion, gender, disability, age, and ethnicity.
Do No Harm: Consultant should obtain informed consent of participants and understand the context and the participants’ cultural backgrounds as well as the dynamics between the different target groups to avoid exacerbating negative impact and/or placing unintentional harms/risks.
7. Data Quality
Assurance and Management All deliverables will be reviewed and approved by the country office and global Institutional Learning Team prior to the acceptance of the final product. The consultant(s) are also required to develop a clear and rigorous quality control plan during the inception phase of which will be implemented and deployed throughout all phases of the study process to ensure reliability and validity of findings. In Principal, all deliverables should meet the following quality control criteria:
Meet information needs
Appropriate design
Reliable data
Sound Analysis
Credible Findings
Valid and useful conclusions
Realistic Recommendations
Clarity
The consultant(s) are expected to ensure that the deliverables comply with the requirements of the Terms of Reference and meet adequate quality standards before sending it to Search. All limitations in the data sources and in the data analysis should be reported. Limitations on data reliability or related to the availability, quantity or quality of data which have implications for the findings, conclusions and recommendations should be articulated.
Search expects all reports to demonstrate high levels of professionalism. In addition to quality content, which will be ensured by our internal MEAL and ILT review as indicated above, Search also expects the consultant to include strong copy-editing and formatting efforts throughout the time of engagement.
8. Timeline
The Needs and Baseline Assessment timeline is expected to be kicked off on the Beginning of April 2022, and concluded End of May 2022 by submitting the final deliverables requested above.
9. Budget
A detailed budget should be provided, including daily rates for personnel, and costs related to data collection (per total number of people sampled, sites for collection, etc.), analysis, and production of deliverables. The scope of the assignment should be designed in line with the offered budget while respecting the methodological approach required above.
10. Requirements of Consultant:
The following skills and experience are expected by Search for the consultant for this project:
Proficiency in English and Arabic; More than five years of experience in project baselines and mapping, evaluation, including collecting data in interviews, surveys, and focus groups; Experience in Gender, Women in Security and Peacebuilding, Women empowerment, Evaluation, or other relevant fields; Experience working with international organizations; Experience conducting quantitative surveys and analysis; Experience doing similar work in MENA countries that including Israel-Palestine; Evaluation methods and data collection skills; and Excellent report development and writing skills.
11. Selection Criteria
Consultant proposals will be selected for:
The relevance of the proposed methodology to the goal, objectives, and research questions for the project.
Quality of proposed methods, conflict sensitivity approaches, and quality control measures.
Qualifications of the candidate(s).
The proposed budget in relation to the proposed methodology, deliverables, and team.
Timeline for proposed activities.
Curriculum vitae of proposed consultancy team; A technical proposal clearly outlining the proposed methodology, understanding of requirements, experience doing similar work, and timeline for the required deliverables. The technical proposal should not be more than ten pages (excluding annexes); A financial proposal (with detailed line items per deliverable) for the completion of the aforementioned deliverables (not more than two pages). Short cover letter (not more than one page).
As job descriptions cannot be exhaustive, the position holder may be required to undertake other duties that are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.
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Only applicants invited for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls, please. Please see our website www.sfcg.org for full details of our work. All Search Employees must adhere to the values: Collaboration- Audacity – Tenacity – Empathy – Results. In accordance with these values, Search enforces compliance with the Code of Conduct and related policies on Anti Workplace Harassment, Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Conflict of Interest, and Anti-fraud. Search is committed to safeguarding the interests, rights, and well-being of children, youth, and vulnerable adults with whom it is in contact and to conducting its programs and operations in a manner that is safe for children, youth, and vulnerable adults.  Search for Common Ground does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. View our code of conduct here and our privacy policy here.
Les descriptifs de pouvant ne pouvant être exhaustifs, le titulaire du poste pourra être amené à entreprendre d’autres tâches qui correspondent globalement aux responsabilités clés ci-dessus.
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Seuls les candidats invités à un entretien seront contactés. Pas d’appels téléphoniques s’il vous plaît. Veuillez consulter notre site Web www.sfcg.org pour tous les détails de notre mission.
Tous les employés de Search doivent adhérer aux valeurs de Search : Collaboration- Audace – Ténacité – Empathie – Résultats. Conformément à ces valeurs, Search fait respecter le code de conduite et les politiques connexes sur la lutte contre le harcèlement au travail, la protection contre l’exploitation et les abus, la protection des enfants, les conflits d’intérêts et la lutte contre la fraude. Search s’engage à préserver les intérêts, les droits et le bien-être des enfants, des jeunes et des adultes vulnérables avec lesquels elle est en contact et à mener ses programmes et ses opérations d’une manière qui soit sûre pour les enfants, les jeunes et les adultes vulnérables.
Search for Common Ground ne fait pas et ne doit pas faire de discrimination fondée sur la race, la couleur, la religion (croyance), le sexe, l’expression de genre, l’âge, l’origine nationale (ascendance), le handicap, l’état matrimonial, l’orientation sexuelle ou le statut militaire, dans aucune de ses activités ou opérations.
Consultez notre code de conduite ici et notre politique de confidentialité ici.

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