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Consultancy Vacancy – Research on International Funding Available for Human Rights NGOs and Human Rights Defenders


Terms of Reference for a research on international funding available for Human Rights NGOs and Human Rights Defenders


1) Rationale and context of the assignment

Human Rights Defenders  and organisations carry out their work in a difficult and challenging context worldwide. Their physical integrity, as well as their legal ability to work is being increasingly threatened. At the same time, funding to support sensitive human rights work (such as protection of human rights defenders in difficult contexts, documentation of human rights violations, advancing human rights policies etc.) available at the international level has been perceived as shrinking in the past few years. This lack of support is having an adverse affect on Human Rights Defenders and is resulting in the forced closure of local human rights organisations. Overall, such a situation puts the peaceful defense of human rights in danger. The launch of, the EU Human Rights Defenders mechanism operated by a Consortium of 12 international NGOs, has been seen as a very positive commitment by the European Union to allocate more funds to the needs of Human Rights Defenders at risk worldwide. carries out its work of supporting defenders and organisations, including through financial assistance, training and advocacy activities. However, members of the Consortium can only report about the increasingly scarce financial resources available at the global level from traditional donors for this specific group of beneficiaries. If part of the needs can be answered thanks to the resources of the EU mechanism and those of other organisations active in the field of Human Rights, there remains a large proportion of  requests for which Human Rights Defenders do not manage to find appropriate support. intends to mobilise international attention on this phenomenon and urge relevant stakeholders to develop concrete actions to tackle this worrying trend, thus ensuring availability of stable and sufficient resources for individuals and organisations defending human rights. To initiate such an action, needs a solid study of these trends based on a thorough analysis of all available information, that would be used as a basis for further advocacy.

2) Scope of the work:

Under the supervision of, the consultant will produce a thorough research on funding available for human rights defenders and organisations, taking into account all relevant donors, both public and private, at the regional, national and international levels. This research should illustrate and explain the recent trends (5 last years) of funding availability for Human Rights Defenders and NGOs in need of support for their activities or to answer security threats. To the possible extent, it should also provide a forecast of funding availability for the upcoming 3 to 5 years. This research should balance its findings with the trends in the demand from Human Rights Defenders and local NGOs. The research should have a suitable approach to be used as a basis for future advocacy work and as a funding manual for civil society organisations, among other purposes.

3) Responsibilities:

The consultant shall:

  • Conduct a comprehensive research on the subject and with strong legal and academic supporting resources;
  • Comprehensively map the current funding landscape available for Human Rights defenders and organisations, describing how to access the funds and considering all kinds of suitable donors and interlocutors;
  • Identify useful indicators for monitoring the funding environment, providing key data and information on, inter alia, evolutions, trends (including in funding needs), accessibility to funds and recent changes;
  • Analyse the international and national contexts, including media and reality in the field, and identify legal, political, economic and social trends directly affecting the subject of the research;
  • After the research, draw concrete and applicable conclusions and provide guidance on the practical use of the research to underpin and broaden the funding environment available to human rights defenders and organisations;
  • Brief the Consortium of about the results of the research, as well as share evolutions, findings and contacts generated in relation with the study.


4) Deliverables and timeline:

It is expected that the consultant will deliver the following outputs during the assignment:

A)    A comprehensive evaluation report (40-60 Pages excluding annexes) including:

  • Introduction
  • Methodology
  • A mapping of current resources available for Human Rights defenders and organisations and how to access them
  • Data analysis and indicators used to monitor the funding environment, highlighting trends identified in terms of availability and accessibility of funds
  • Conclusions and recommendations
  • Annexes


B) A briefing document including key findings and conclusions, as well as concrete recommendations

C) A presentation to be delivered summarizing methodology and findings

The timeline for the consultancy is tentatively as follows:

  • Start of the research – Ideally 29 May 2017
  • Submission of a finalised workplan for the consultancy period – 02 June 2017
  • Submission of a first full draft of report – 14 July 2017
  • Submission of final report and  Presentation – August 1, 2017 (to be adjusted if necessary)


5) Duty station:

The consultant will work home-based. Visits related to the research can be considered, as well as visits to the Secretariat of

6) Qualifications and experience required

  • Advanced University degree in Human Rights, International Relations, Law, Political Science or related field.
  • Demonstrated ability to research and analyse information to a high quality standard.
  • Five to seven years of work or academic experience in a professional capacity in Human Rights, International Relations, Law, Political Science or related field.
  • Deep understanding of non-governmental organisations, human rights organisations, call for proposals procedures, legal and practical aspects of funding frameworks and project management.
  • Experience liaising with different stakeholders, including individuals, corporations, governmental and international entities and civil society.
  • Strong ability to write and edit. Ability to express clearly and concisely ideas in written materials and presentations.
  • Advanced critical thinking, analysis, and synthesis skills required to draw conclusions from several sources of information and data.
  • Proven skills in interpersonal communication and networking.
  • Good understanding of the EU system, including European Commission, the EIDHR and EIDHR-funded projects, as well as world affairs, events and human rights issues.


7) Duration

2 months starting 29 May 2017, for a maximum of 40 working days.

8) How to apply:

Applicants are requested to send their submissions to Joan Audierne at, with the subject line "Research consultant" by 21 May 2017.

Applications must include:

  • Cover letter
  • CV
  • 1-2 examples of research work relevant to this TOR
  • a maximum 3-page document proposing a research approach and a plan of action, including a suggested time-frame and a methodology, as well as a budget detailing the daily rate and other eligible expenses for the research. Applications submitted without a budget will not be considered.