TERMS of REFERENCE for FORMATIVE RESEARCH to inform SNC (Securing Nigerian Communities) programme design, implementation and indicative results pathwa
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*.** SNC is an integrated, norms change focused, multi-sectoral effort to increase ‘CivSec’– defined here as establishing, strengthening, and protecting democratic civic order; 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.
2. Project Goal and Objectives
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:
· To empower Youth and Women-Led Action in Peace and Security in targeted areas
· To strengthen Civilian Security Platforms within communities affected by crime and/or violence
· To disseminate Media Content reinforcing Inclusion, Dialogue, & Norms Change
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. The research work will cover fee 28 days (18 days – Lead Consultant; 10 days – Data Analyst) and will be supported by the Project Research Team comprised of EAI staff; Local resource persons and Partners of the SNC project. As the research builds on existing learning as it will focus on the following:
a) Contextual understanding of existing research, actors and programming
b) Develop an acute understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on security issues and dynamics and potential implementation barriers caused by the virus
c) Rapid analysis of key driving factors for peace and conflict, and the dynamics and the actors in each of the target areas –Kaduna, Kano, Plateau and Benue States.
d) Perception survey to understand women and youth’s experiences and perceptions including how they are adversely affected by conflict and the roles they are playing in the prevention and resolution of conflict locally.
e) Map formal and informal existing early warning and early response mechanisms with community buy-in and trust toward those mechanisms in the four target states.
f) Media survey that will profile the listenership, preferred mediums, and tastes, to inform media program context and production and broadcast plans and strategies.
g) Determine three priority LGAs in each target state (Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, and Benue) for the implementation of SNC
4. Target Areas
The project targets KANO**:** [**LGAs: Nasarawa, Tudan Wada, Ungogo, Gezawa**]**,** KADUNA**:** [**LGAs: Jema’a, Kajura, Chikun, Kaduna South**], PLATEAU**:** [**LGAs: Riyom, Barkin Ladi, Jos North and Jos South**], BENUE**:** [**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:
A. Desk Research
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
· What evidence and research related to civ-sec, EWER and conflict dynamics already exist?
· What does the evidence tell us in terms of the security and political context in the selected states and its impact on civ-sec relations?
· What interventions / mechanisms already exist in the sphere of civ-sec, women peace and security, and EWER in the target states?
· What impact are these interventions / mechanisms having and where are the gaps?
B. 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. *Whilst there are specific questions relating to women and youth, a gender lens will be applied to all questions to better understand how women specifically are impacted / involved.
· What is the current conflict situation covering both interethnic and interreligious and other social and security dynamics?
· What is the level of severity and prevalence of these conflicts?
· What are the drivers of these conflicts?
· What are the key factors of conflict and peace in the current transition period?
· What are the roles of actors (both entrepreneurs, spoilers and connectors)
· Are networks of stakeholders available for SNC to engage responsively, If so, Where?
· How is the relationship between citizens and public security service providers?
· How accessible are these public security service providers?
· Do citizens trust these security actors?
· How are women and youths influence on civilian security perceived?
· What structures exist to manage conflict effectively and non-violently?
· What is the level of inclusivity, coordination and accountability of these existing structures?
· How could the issues identified be addressed/strengthened?
· What are the known sources of information?
· Are these sources easily accessible, reliable and effective?
· How are rumors and manipulated information contributing to violence at the local and state levels?
· How are women and youths adversely being affected by the conflict dynamics?
· How are women and youths meaningfully contributing to peace and security issues locally?
· What are local assets and resources that can be leveraged in target LGAs?
· What are the visions of local women and youth for inclusive civilian security? What do they wish the situation would look like and what role would they ideally see for themselves?
C. Media Listenership Survey
· When are you most likely to listen to radio/watch TV?
· Where do you listen to the radio/watch TV??
· What types of media/social media do you prefer the most? Why?
· Do you have any barriers to listening to radio?
· What else to you listen to? From where?
· What is your preferred social media? Why?
· What do you watch or listen to on social media? Why?
· What kinds of stories or information would you be interested in listening to or reading?
· What are the key communication channels in target areas? What could be the best medium to spread positive messaging that reaches directly to the heart and mind of vulnerable populations?
· What is the role of media (TV, radio, social media, online platforms) in spreading such rumors and manipulated information? 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:
· Documentary/ desk review of previous research from other donor actors in the target states.
· Asset and Actor mapping to profile and identify major actors operating within the state on CivSec.
· Simple network & power analysis to assess linkage, relationships and knowledge flow on the CivSec and Conflict Management.
· Enquiries on the current status of the research questions above and data sources where available.
· Recommendations through stakeholder consultation meetings and workshops.
· In-depth interviews and Focus Group Discussions with actors, both public servants and private sector and respondents from civil society groups on civilian security.
· Applying conflict, equity, gender sensitivity and social inclusion lens to service delivery of the civilian security methodologies.
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.
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:
· Demonstrated experience conducting formative, summative and outcome research / evaluations of strategies, initiatives, systems, or other complex programmes or interventions using rigorous qualitative methods with quantitative data where relevant as well, experience working with US Donor funded projects is a plus
· Experience leading interactive and meaningful learning and reflection moments which enable decision-makers and implementers to make changes that improve the impact and efficacy of their work over time.
· Knowledge about evidence, tactics and approaches related to Civilian Security, Conflict Management and Peacebuilding, Gender and Youth programming, Media for Conflict Prevention will be a strong advantage.
· Ability to work on a tight timeline, in dynamic consultation with EAI and any partners, and resourcefully drawing on additional outside expertise as needed to complete the work.
· Excellent skills in communication, report-writing in English, data management, and delivering quality products on time; and
· Ability to interact with diverse groups of stakeholders (including representatives from communities, civil society, government, public security providers specifically the Police and NSCDC).
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.
 The activities of youth-led criminal groups such as the Yan dabba represent a major security dilemma, leading to violent confrontations with law enforcement agencies. Radicalization and the return of former fighters also continue to be destabilizing factors.
 Protracted conflict has deepened divisions along ethnic and religious lines, further weakening relations between the state’s Christian-dominated south and Muslim-dominated north. As recent as October 2018, scores of individuals were killed in clashes. In addition to intra- and inter-group conflicts, violent extremism and sectarian violence are an increasing concern.
 Tensions between herders and farmers are particularly high in Plateau, with the conflict now consumed by religious overtones. Youth from farmer communities, predominantly Christian, have executed Fulani herders, while many Christians communities have suffered midnight attacks, allegedly by Fulanis, predominantly Muslim. Within LGA’s, there are sporadic and volatile outbreaks of violence between the indigenous and settled tribes and the migrant Fulani herdsmen.
 Rising rural violence has led to hundreds of deaths. The recent Anti-Open Grazing Laws passed in Benue have forced migration of herders to migrate into neighboring states, which has further exacerbated competition over resources. Within LGA’s, a long-running land conflict has morphed into criminal violence between the indigenous tribes who are predominantly farmers and the migrant Fulani herdsmen.**
How to apply:
Proposal Submission Requirements
Interested candidates and teams should send a brief proposal with:
- 1 page cover letter describing their interest in the work (can be presented in an email) against timeline and deliverables identified above.
- 1-2 pages CV for each team member describing qualifications and experience (Lead Consultant & Data Analyst)
- Up to 2 pages of technical proposal describing methods/approaches envisioned for this work,
- Daily rates for Lead Consultant & Data Analyst.
- Evidence of work done on previous and similar tasks.
· Access to relevant project documents (e.g. internal documents and non-sensitive information on the likely contract, internal mappings, and relevant references)
- Guidance and technical support as required throughout the research.
- Introductory meetings with partners and EAI staff as needed
- Comments and feedback on, and approval of, all deliverables within agreed timeline
Proposal submissions should be sent to [email protected] no later than Friday, 25th Sept. 2020. You may direct questions on this ToR to [email protected] by Thursday 17th Sept. and expect responses by Friday 18th Sept. 2020. Anticipated start date: 28th Sept. 2020