Women’s access to HLP rights in the context of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria

Country: Nigeria
Organization: Norwegian Refugee Council
Closing date: 19 Mar 2021

Position: Research Consultant

Duration of the consultancy: 10 weeks

Start date: 22 March 2021

End date: 31 May 2021

Main locations: Maiduguri-Jere, Yola, Biu, Mubi, Damasak, Monguno, Bama, Mabbar, Gowza and Pulka (Borno and Adamawa States) **

Programme Area: Research

Reports to: Head of Programmes

Technical Line: Information, Counselling and Legal Assistance (ICLA) Specialist, and Monitoring and Evaluation Manager

Duty station: Maiduguri

Travel: 70%

1. Purpose of the consultancy

The Nigeria Country Office of NRC is seeking an individual consultant to conduct a study on women’s access to HLP rights in the context of COVID-19 pandemic in Borno and Adamawa States of Northeast of Nigeria. The overall purpose of the study is to: assess status of displaced and conflict-affected women’s access to HLP rights and how such rights are affected by current policies and practices in the context of COVID-19; and design specific advocacy initiatives targeting women HLP rights. Specifically, the study will focus on: 1) women’s access to HLP rights in the context of COVID-19; 2) How HLP rights are affected by current policies and practices; and 3). Present practical recommendation on how to promote HLP rights based on research findings.

The study should identify services provided by dispute resolution mechanisms for different types of HLP disputes, and their capacity to address HLP needs of women in general and in the context of COVID-19, and whether these mechanisms are seen as legitimate and accessible to target communities. On the basis of those findings, the study should present clear recommendations on the way to prevent/address the issues identified.

2. Background and context

Following the conflict that broke out between the Government of Nigeria and Boko Haram militants in 2010, an estimated two million people were displaced into Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States. Access to housing, land and property (HLP) rights has since featured as one of the main challenges for IDPs and returnees, further aggravated by the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. This is especially the case when vulnerable households are evicted because they are unable to pay rent, when displaced persons experience difficulties in accessing land for settlement or livelihoods and when the displaced cannot return to their places of origin in safety and dignity. HLP issues, including lack of secure tenure, lost or destroyed HLP documentation and HLP disputes will continue to arise, particularly for women as the COVID-19 pandemic situation evolves. In addition to the generalized economic pressure, women face the additional burden of taking care of family members, including children and the elderly. Moreover, limited awareness and vigilance against HLP rights violations are compounded by illiteracy and restrictive religious and cultural practices that prevent women from accessing their rights through the different dispute resolution structures in their respective communities.

While much research has been devoted to understanding HLP challenges, the dispute resolution mechanisms therein, and how social norms shape relationships between men and women, significantly less has focused on the current status of women’s access to HLP rights, services provided by dispute resolution mechanisms for different types of HLP disputes, and the capacity of the dispute resolution mechanisms to address HLP needs of women in general and in the context of COVID-19 in northeast Nigeria in particular. Writing about the nature and scale of the crisis created by COVID-19, Ewing (2020)[1] argues that the burden of the crisis is not shared equally between women and men. In 2021, the Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center (WARDC) and Women for Women International conducted a study which reveals that the pandemic has exacerbated patriarchal norms that limit women’s and girls’ rights and mobility.[2] As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, Nigeria has recorded inflation in prices and the cost of living exemplified in the increase in the cost of market prices. This situation has the potential to impact displaced persons, especially those in northeast Nigeria. The report[3] recommends that any intervention should be guided by the gender implications of COVID-19 on different communities and contexts. According to a study by NRC (2019)[4], as the conflict and humanitarian interventions continue to change power dynamics, the spread of COVID-19 and related preventive measures are likely to pose additional barriers to the enjoyment of housing, land and property rights for women. Therefore, any “future interventions [need to] consider how to prevent backlash, generate buy-in, and find durable shifts towards a more inclusive property rights system for women and men.”

Therefore, NRC seeks to hire a consultant to assess current policies, practices and challenges concerning HLP rights for women in the context of COVID-19, in order to inform NRC and other humanitarian, donor and government’s efforts to improve interventions/advocacy on access to HLP rights for women.

3. Scope of the consultancy

The scope of the proposed consultancy includes the following tasks:

● Review relevant literature regarding HLP and dispute resolution structures in northeast Nigeria, with a particular focus on women’s access to critical documents or mechanisms for resolving disputes;

● Administer research tools with displacement-affected and host communities, and other key stakeholders to understand the current HLP situation/issues, barriers and opportunities to uphold women HLP rights;

● Produce a detailed report on the status of displaced and conflict-affected women’s access to HLP rights and how such issues are affected by COVID-19 in Borno and Adamawa States, northeast Nigeria;

● Present practical recommendation on how to promote HLP rights based on research findings and

● Prepare and deliver presentations on HLP issues identified.

4. Recommended Methodology and tasks

● The consultancy will propose an appropriate methodology based on the study deliverables. Ideally, the methodology will include the following core elements:

o A desk review of relevant reports, key project documents

o Develop and test proposed research tools

o Field data collection

o Data analysis and reporting

o Workshop with relevant staff in NRC Nigeria to present findings and identify possible programme interventions.

Tasks to be supported by NRC:

● provision of secondary information/reference documents as well as contacts of partners and resource persons; and

● data collection in the field.

5. Deliverables, phases and timeline

The deliverables expected in the undertaking of this rapid assessment include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Inception report detailing objectives and key research questions, methodology, data collection methods, sampling considerations, timeline and logistics, etc.;
  • Draft report and cleaned database;
  • A detailed final report with key findings, conclusion and recommendations. The final report should be in English and should not exceed 30 pages. It should include an executive summary, description of the methodology, findings and recommendations. Technical details of the main report should be confined to appendices, which should also include a list of key informants and the consultant’s work schedule. Background information should only be included when it is directly relevant to the report’s analysis and conclusions. Recommendations should also include details as to how they might be implemented; and

· A 2-4 briefing note, with practical recommendation on further programming and advocacy initiatives to promote HLP rights based on research findings..

  • Dissemination workshop with NRC staff and other key stakeholders on major findings and recommendations of the study findings.

It is anticipated that the research will be conducted over a total period of 2 months, to begin on the as soon as possible, with the submission of the final report and workshop report.



Desk review, development and pre-test of research tools and training on data collection. (Submission on inception report at the end of this phase)

3 weeks

Field data collection

4 weeks

Analysis and production of a draft report

2 weeks

Submission of final report

2 weeks

Dissemination phase

2 days

6. Consultancy team composition

The Research Lead should have the following qualifications:

  • An advanced degree in Law, Political Science or related social sciences, or a combination of a Bachelor degree in any of the specified fields of study plus extensive professional research experience, with focus on HLP, access to justice and collaborative dispute resolution mechanisms.

  • Sound knowledge of HLP including women’s rights in conflict or post-conflict communities, including forced displacement, humanitarian assistance and development.

  • Experience with quantitative and qualitative data collection in field settings.

  • Experience carrying out analysis of complex analysis of qualitative and quantitative data.

  • Previous experience in northeast Nigeria or similar context is preferred.

  • Knowledge of participatory survey approaches, gender responsive tools, and CAPI survey tools.

This consultancy is open to both national and international consultants. There is a preference for a combination, where international expertise is combined with national/local knowledge. NRC and local partners on the ground can be engaged for data-collection and logistical support.

7. Assessment Area, Duty station Safety and security

It is understood that a physical presence of the consultancy in the project area will result in the highest quality deliverable. Hence, while recognizing the access limitation and current COVID-19 circumstances, the consultancy is expected to be ready and available to travel (when feasible). The NRC Office in Maiduguri will be able to provide logistic support for movement within Nigeria, including the booking of UNHAS/commercial flights, and accommodation, the cost associated within country travel only will be covered by NRC, however the consultancy has to be able to get local access autonomously.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions the most probable scenario will be the consultant working home based with a close coordination with the ICLA team for the data collection phase.

Safety and security: It should be evident that the rapid socio-economic impact assessment should be conflict sensitive. As conducting an assessment during the COVID 19 crisis may put the consultants, NRC-staff, partner organizations and local communities at risk, safety and security concerns need to be included in all stages of the assessment.

8. Institutional and Organizational Arrangements

Duties of the consultant:

· Reports should be submitted in Microsoft Word format in electronic format, in UK English. All text should be unformatted. Graphs or other graphical devices should be editable (i.e. not pictures). All references must be cited according to convention, and detailed in a bibliography, using the Harvard system as set out in the UNESCO Style Manual. All verbatim quotations must appear in quotation marks, and must not be of excessive length. All data collected under the consultancy must be submitted with the deliverables, in a widely recognised format such as Microsoft Excel in electronic form.

· Everything submitted to NRC must be the original work of the consultants. Any plagiarism in any form, or any other breach of intellectual property rights, will automatically disqualify the consultant from receiving any further payments under the contract by NRC, and NRC will seek to recover any payments already made.

· The consultant will follow Ethical Research Involving Children guidance on the ethical participation of children. In addition, all participants in any study or other interaction will be fully informed about the nature and purpose of the interaction and their requested involvement. Informed consent must be obtained for any photographs, audio or video recordings, etc., in accordance with NRC’s policy on consent.

· NRC retains the right to copyrights with regard to products, processes, and other materials which the Individual Consultant has developed for NRC under this contract and which bears a direct relation to or are produced or prepared or collected in consequence of, or during the course of, the performance of the Contract, and the Individual Consultant acknowledges and agrees that such products, documents and other materials constitute works made for hire for NRC. **

· Equipment to be used: the consultant will use her personal laptop and other equipment;**

· The Consultant is responsible for her own health & accident insurance, except in high risk environments, where insurance will be provided by NRC;

· The Consultant is responsible for her visa/permits for Nigeria with support from NRC.

· International travel and subsistence costs:

· International travels are covered by the specified amount in the budget. The Consultant is responsible for the booking through BCD Travel Operations Oslo. There is no travel allocation or per diem for international or national travels. This is an all-in-fee consultancy

· Local travel and transport

· Transport between the NRC offices within Nigeria is provided by NRC

· Accommodation within Nigeria will be covered by NRC. Where possible, NRC will host the consultant in existing guesthouses. If no room is available, the consultant will be booked into either humanitarian hubs, or in security cleared hotels.

· Additional responsibilities

· NRC provide invitation letter if required by authorities for travels discussed and agreed with Programme Manager.

· The Consultant must observe all NRC security policies and regulations while working with NRC and while in NRC premises or vehicles. The consultant agrees to observe NRC’s Code of Conduct while working with NRC.

[1] Now and the Future: Gender Equality, Peace and Security in a COVID-19 World

Nigeria (2021). A study by Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center (WARDC) and Women for Women International. **

[2] Peterman, Potts, O’Donnell, Thompson, Shah, Oertelt-Prigione, and van Gelder (2020). “Pandemics and Violence Against Women and Children.” CGD Working Paper 528. Washington, DC: Center for Global Development. Accessed 20 June 2020 from: https://www.cgdev.org/publication/pandemics-and-violence-against-women-and-children

[3] Now and the Future: Gender Equality, Peace and Security in a COVID-19 World

Nigeria (2021).

[4] The HLP Rights of Conflict Affected Women in Northeast Nigeria. 2019. Norwegian Refugee Council. Nigeria.

How to apply:

All interested applicants are requested to send an email requesting for the bid documents using the title of the consultancy as the subject of their email e.g “Women’s access to HLP rights in the context of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria” to [email protected] and [email protected] requesting for the bid documents