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Job title : Terms of Reference for Formative Research to Inform SNC (Securing Nigerian Communities) Programme Design, Implementation and Indicative Results Pathways
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Terms of Reference for Formative Research to inform SNC programme design, implementation and indicative results pathways
Since 2013, Equal Access International (EAI) in Nigeria has worked in Northern Nigeria, demonstrating its abilities to guide communities at greatest risk of communal conflicts and political violence toward sustainable solutions that engage the most vulnerable populations in a stakeholder-driven process of community development.
Recently in June 2020, EAI secured funding from the State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Right and Labor (DRL) to implement a comprehensive, 20-month, community-driven initiative known as Securing Nigerian Communities’ (SNC), with the goal of increasing Civilian Security in high-risk areas of Nigeria’s Northwest and Middle Belt regions.
reducing threats of violence in a population; and allowing for safe and peaceful coexistence grounded in the protection of human rights.
It is against a backdrop of underdevelopment, conflict, and weakened legitimacy of governance systems across Nigeria, particularly in the rural north, that SNC become very imperative at this same time.
Community systems of leadership are often seen as biased, corrupt, politicized, and inaccessible to women, young persons, persons with disabilities, and, in many cases, minority ethno-linguistic and religious groups.
The quality and availability of state infrastructure and services have noticeably declined in recent decades while state coercive control has increased.
Civilian harm has been perpetrated by all parties to Nigeria’s various conflicts : armed opposition groups (AOGs), the Nigerian security forces, and community self-defense groups that emerged because of the government’s inability to ensure civilian protection.
Increasing fracture of social cohesion along lines of gender, age, religious- and ethno-linguistic identities is used to mobilize political support, power, and opportunities.
In the Middle Belt and North West, growing tensions between farmers and herders are exacerbated by weak government presence, worsening inter-religious tensions, natural resource constraints, and perceptions that herders are encroaching upon indigene territory.
As atrocities continue and attitudes harden, there has been an emergence of negative stereotyping and endemic hate speech across the regions, creating continued mistrust and social fracture.
Inclusive, multi-stakeholder dialogues are essential at this stage to increase mutual understanding of interests and intent, create commitment to non-violent dispute resolution options, and define a more just and responsive civilian security (CivSec) system.
The lack of conflict mitigation mechanisms, generally, at the local level has allowed unresolved grievances to escalate to violence with criminal dimensions.
But, where concerted CivSec efforts have occurred, women, youth, and marginalized groups are consistently excluded, particularly from official peacebuilding committees and security councils.
Trust in government as an honest broker remains elusive, youth are manipulated and recruited into political and extremist violence, and traditional structures have been sidelined or directly attacked by groups bent on destroying the fabric of Nigerian society.
Sorely needed within this context is a comprehensive solution that emphasizes community resilience, inclusive dialogue, and representative governance.
Civilian Security is the focus of the SNC given that research demonstrates correlation between strong intergroup connections at a community level, particularly through civic association, and lower levels of violence.
SNC will generate constructive narratives and positive outlets that increase shared understanding and productive interactions among individuals from conflicting groups in a way that builds empathy and cross-group relationships.
The overall goal of the SNC initiative is to increase civilian security (CivSec) in high-risk areas of Nigeria’s NW and Middle Belt regions, reducing enabling environments for inter-communal violence and public unrest .
The specific objectives (SO) are :
EAI’s SNC project is rooted in the following theory of change to increase community resilience to crime and violence through increased social cohesion and trust in public institutions :
IF at-risk communities have the tools, information, and agency to build social cohesion and trust in public institutions, THEN conflict- and crime-related violence in assisted communities will be reduced, BECAUSE this enables the government, civil society, and security sector to work together efficiently and effectively to strengthen localized prevention and response efforts.
3. Scope of the research work
The research will build upon EAI’s learning and analysis to date in four ethnically diverse states (Kaduna, Kano, Plateau, and Benue) and across two regions (Northwest and Middle belt).
Importantly, it will incorporate recommendations from a desk review of past and present conflict analysis conducted by US and UK funded projects, followed by a comprehensive rapid analysis and mapping exercise.
Local resource persons and Partners of the SNC project. As the research builds on existing learning as it will focus on the following :
4. Target Areas
The project targets KANO 1 : LGAs : Nasarawa, Tudan Wada, Ungogo, Gezawa , KADUNA 2 : LGAs : Jema’a, Kajura, Chikun, Kaduna South , PLATEAU 3 : LGAs : Riyom, Barkin Ladi, Jos North and Jos South , BENUE 4 : LGAs : Agatu, Guma, Gwer West and Kwande areas identified with divided ethnic, religious, and social communities disposed to trust deficits, negative stereotyping of the other’, and hate speech.
5. Key guiding questions
The research will focus on the following key research questions based on which the research consultant will develop detailed quantitative and qualitative questions :
This will involve a comprehensive review of existing literature, reports / documents, alongside any relevant existing data, laws and policies related to civ-sec and / or EWER systems.
The following questions should guide the selection and analysis of this existing material
Conflict and Context Assessment
This will involve context analysis and asset mapping methodologies to create a shared understanding of existing structures and platforms that can be leveraged by SNC.
The assessment will also highlight grievances, community visions and resiliencies, key leaders, and mobilizing groups, as well as trends and trajectories.
Special attention will be paid to mapping structures already built with USG support. The following questions will also help to x-ray the conditions and peace architecture in these target areas.
Media Listenership Survey
Or in minimizing the damage caused by the rumors and manipulated information?
These are guiding questions only and the research consultants are expected to develop detailed questions for both quantitative as well as qualitative methods and to submit to the Project Research Team for approval.
6. Methodology (Considerations) :
Given the exploratory and learning orientation of the formative research seeks, a mixed hybrid design is proposed. The following participatory and explanatory sequential approaches to the hybrid design will be explored :
Furthermore, considering the work of other donor agencies and US Government funded projects, public sector actors in the state on inclusive civilian security approaches, a high level of attribution and contribution rigour is required to enable benchmarking of the indicative results areas of implementation structure.
We anticipate that the process of data collection and release of final report should be concluded in 28 days from date of contract award / mobilization.
The table below shows the timelines proposed for each activity within the implementation plan.
S / No
Activities / Deliverables
Debrief and Start up presentations with the EAI and Partners
Development of research tools (Key Informant and Focus Group Discussion guides)
Review of research tools (include comments and inputs from EAI and Partners)
Data Collection : Fieldwork and Transcription of interviews (including Pre-test)
Data Analysis and Draft Report Production
Validation workshop for findings
Final Report (including revisions from EAI and Partners)
8. Desired Profile
The research team will comprise of the Lead Consultant and Data Analyst and are expected to have the following expertise :
We are specifically open to candidates from any location around the SNC project target states. We will actively champion applications from teams led by women, people with disabilities, and applicants from the academia.
Given the uncertainties of COVID-19, the consultant(s) should prepare to conduct the majority (if not all) of their inquiry virtually and if physically, maintain the social distancing, shelter-in-place orders and other specific requirements of all of the local, state, and federal governments, as well as with public health recommendations from local health agencies and other government requirements or guidelines, WHO orders or EAI’s international and field travel and safety guidance during COVID-19.