Terms of Reference for “Citizen Engagement Service Provider”
TERMS OF REFERENCE
Project Title: Improved Livelihoods for Internally Displaced Persons in Azerbaijan
Assignment Title: Citizen Engagement Service Provider
Assignment objective: to design and implement an intensive citizen engagement initiative with a focus on the benefits of civic participation and building social cohesion in IDP-concentrated communities, including in a new living environment.
Agency: State Committee of Republic of Azerbaijan for Refugees and IDPs
Duration of assignment: May 15, 2023 – May 15, 2025.
Location: Baku and selected regions
State Committee of Republic of Azerbaijan for Refugees and IDPs will use a series of innovative approaches (possibly including engaging community groups, NGOs, capacity building tools, utilizing various social marketing techniques, etc.) to respond to the changing needs and aspirations of IDPs.
The proposed interventions will target the project participants, their households, other IDPs and other interested stakeholders to help to build social cohesion in IDP-concentrated communities that may be undergoing a significant socio-economic transition in the coming months and years.
The three-year project “Improved Livelihoods for Internally Displaced Persons in Azerbaijan” aims to improve government policy and program implementation on recovery and peacebuilding while also increasing the skills, access to support services and opportunities for income generation of vulnerable IDP households in Azerbaijan. The project is funded by the State and Peacebuilding Fund (SPF) of the World Bank and implemented by the State Committee of Republic of Azerbaijan for Refugees and IDPs at the national level.
This objective will be achieved through the following activities:
Component 1: Skills development: support IDPs who are interested in pursuing business/employment opportunities through a package of technical assistance which will consist of vocational training through apprenticeship schemes in the formal and informal sector, business development support and mentoring, and other life skills.
Component 2: Job placement and business development support: organize training, mentoring, business, and employment support services to support the IDPs for sustainability of the newly created businesses and jobs.
Component 3: Civic engagement, social cohesion, monitoring and operational support: capacity building training for project beneficiaries on access to government services, civic engagement, community participation, establishment of community groups, trust-building and related techniques to support an eventual peaceful and cohesive transition of IDPs to a new living environment.
II. SCOPE OF WORK, RESPONSIBILITIES AND DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED SERVICES
Within the component 3, the project is seeking the services of a local civil society organization (CSO) to design and implement an intensive citizen engagement initiative with a focus on the benefits of civic participation and building social cohesion in IDP-concentrated communities, including those in new living environment in Azerbaijan.
The specific activities of the subject assignment are as follows:
- Prepare and submit a detailed work plan and schedule to the State Committee for review and approval.
- Conduct a citizen engagement needs assessment of IDPs living in the 5 target areas (see the Annex 1) to identify available mechanisms for citizen engagement, current practices of citizen engagement, areas of interest for citizen engagement among IDPs (including resettled IDPs) and local officials/government. Special focus will be placed on vulnerable groups including, youth, elderly, women, and persons with disability. This needs assessment will include key informant interviews with local officials and IDP leaders (including a balance of males and females), focus groups and reviews of any documentation or digital CE systems to assess their effectiveness and potential.
- Based on the results of the needs assessment, prepare a Citizen Engagement Action Plan for IDPs to build capacity of project beneficiaries, local IDP community leaders and national NGOs to play an active role in national programs for recovery and peacebuilding in the formerly occupied areas, establishment of community groups, trust-building, to support an eventual peaceful and cohesive transition of IDPs to a new living environment. This is in keeping with the principle on “participation in public affairs” included in the Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s Framework on Durable Solutions for IDPs. The action plan should include inter alia the target audience(s), context, intended outcomes, appropriate and innovative messages(s) and mechanisms, and other content deemed relevant. Conduct a consultative session with the representatives of target audiences to finalize the action plan.
- Design and implement a digital platform/mechanism for IDPs, including beneficiaries, in target areas to give input into the project and feedback on activities that are implemented, and to provide IDPs with information regarding support available, to obtain feedback from IDPs on their priority needs, and to facilitate response from the State Committee and other authorities on identified needs. Deliver quarterly summary reports to the State Committee on the activities of the digital platform and the ideas which emerge during the lifetime of the project and integrate the platform into the website of the State Committee to assure the sustainability of the project.
- In collaboration with the M&E Specialist, support the development of beneficiary feedback on training; feedback of employers; monitoring and encouragement of beneficiary engagement in CE activities in their communities. This could be through digital means, as through the digital platform, as well as other non-digital means such as meetings and through community liaisons or the State Committee’s hotline
- Determine the training needs of IDPs with disabilities (such as understanding complicated information and interacting with other people, ICT skills, etc.) and modes of training (classroom or virtual training and workshops) in line with active civic engagement requirements. Design and convene a customized 2 CE training events for at least 50 IDPs with disabilities which supports their active participation in community activities and ensures their active participation and input into the project. This may entail partnering with one or more specialized CSOs supporting persons with disabilities.
- Development and delivery of a 2-day training course on civic engagement for all beneficiaries of components 1 and 2. With a target of 520 beneficiaries and a target of 26 participants per course, 20 events would be delivered in total.
- The development and delivery of a 2-day training course for local government officials in communities where IDPs live to enhance their capacity for citizen engagement, including the use of digital communication channels and digital methods for releasing critical public information and receiving feedback on government services. Minimum of 5 training events for 15 local government officials from each targeted area.
- Organize workshops/seminars with innovative and well-developed context, visually appealing and carefully designed materials and regional engagement activities that offer context-based, quality, hands-on trainings on citizen participation and social cohesion, and build capacity of targeted IDPs, active IDP community groups and national/regional CSOs. Minimum of 5 workshops/seminars should be organized in target areas with participation of 100 IDPs, representatives of CSOs and active IDP community group members. CSOs can be encouraged to implement various activities identified in the CE Action Plan for IDPs.
- Review the project Results Framework (see the attached Annex 2) and ensure that the evaluation of activities delivered under this contract allow for reporting on the relevant indicators and mtethodologies specified in the Results Framework. The deisgn of activities under this contract should also allow the results indicator targets to be achieved.
- Semi-annual reports to the State Committee of Republic of Azerbaijan for Refugees and IDPs on progress as well as a final summary report.
III. MONITORING AND EVALUATION:
The selected CSO will work under the supervision of the Director of PIU and in close cooperation the delegated representatives of the State Committee of Republic of Azerbaijan for Refugees and IDPs, and the World Bank.
IV. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA:
Taking into consideration the peculiarity of the social environment, selected CSO is expected to have extensive experience in working with vulnerable populations and demonstrated capacity to develop and execute successful and impactful capacity building projects. In addition, to meeting the key requirements of the project with regard to gender sensitivity, the CSO should have relevant staff members with an advanced experience working in this area.
General required qualifications and experience are:
- Have registration as a legal non-profit entity;
- Have proven experience of at least three years in planning and implementation of extensive civic engagement and capacity building programs;
- Specific experience with public institutions and community partnerships for promoting civic engagement and social cohesion will be considered an advantage;
- Have demonstrated capacity to develop and execute successful, impactful, and culturally sensitive capacity building programs and awareness campaigns on sensitive topics;
- Experience working with internally displaced persons (IDPs);
- Specific experience with innovative and context-specific national projects will be considered an asset;
In addition, the CSO should have sufficient human resource capacity to implement the aforementioned tasks within a given timeframe. Following key specialists to be involved throughout the period of the assignment and required qualifications are:
Other consultants may be proposed, as needed, and agreed with the Director of the PIU.
Annex 1. Target areas where the beneficiaries will be selected from
- Absheron Peninsula
- Mingechevir city
- Ganja city
The newly settled and to-be-settled areas
- Aghali village, Zangilan district
- Zabukh and Sus villages, Lachin district
- Shusha city
- Other areas to-be-settled under the Recovery Plan