Researcher for the Sharia Court Arbitration System (Rule of Law UN Women/ UNDP programme)
UN Women, grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security. Placing women’s rights at the centre of all its efforts, UN Women leads and coordinates United Nations system efforts to ensure that commitments on gender equality and gender mainstreaming translate into action throughout the world. It provides strong and coherent leadership in support of Member States’ priorities and efforts, building effective partnerships with civil society and other relevant actors.
UN Women plays an innovative and catalytic role in the State of Palestine since its inception in 1997 (as UNIFEM). UN Women Palestine focuses its activities on one overarching goal, namely to support the implementation at the national level of existing international commitments to advance gender equality in line with the national priorities. In line with the Palestinian Government’s commitment to fight Violence Against Women (VAW) as set in the National Strategy to Combat VAW, and in full partnership with the Supreme Judge Department/ Sharia Courts, UN Women is currently implementing the inception phase of the UNDP/UN Women Joint Programme (JP)- SAWASYA II “Strengthening the Rule of Law in the oPt: Justice and Security for the Palestinian People". Under this Programme, UN Women is working in close cooperation and coordination with the Supreme Judge Department on building the capacities of Sharia Courts in providing gender responsive services and adjudication to women’s cases. To this end, in order to plan and design responsive programmes, UN Women in cooperation with the Supreme Judge Department is planning to conduct a research on the arbitration system within the Sharia Judiciary, with the aim of providing gender analysis and perspectives to decision makers at both institutions on arbitration’s impact on women’s rights and cases, and informing future related programming and interventions.
Objective of the assignment:
UN Women is seeking to hire an experienced consultant to prepare a research on the arbitration system within the Sharia Judiciary and its’ impact on women’s rights and rights, as per the following description of the scope of the research.
Scope of the Research:
The research will analyse the effects of the arbitration system within the Sharia Judiciary on women’s rights, particularly in relation to the decisions taken by judges in discord and conflict cases. It will provide a gender analysis and perspectives to the implications of the existing arbitration’s system within the Sharia judiciary on women’s rights. It will also provide insights, guidelines and recommendations to enhance the gender responsiveness of the arbitration’s system to women’s needs and rights, and to align it to the broader frameworks and efforts exerted by the Sharia Judiciary and other actors, to promote women’s access to justice and women’s realization of their human rights. The analysis, findings and recommendations should be based on criteria and principles encapsulated within CEDAW and other related international human rights conventions. Acknowledging the importance of voices and experiences of women beneficiaries of arbitration services, reflection on women’s opinion and views forms an inseparable part of the scope of the research.
The research should utilize tools and methods that are appropriate to provide analysis and inputs regarding the following main aspects:
- The legal and normative framework that regulate the arbitration system within the Sharia judiciary;
- The human and institutional capacities within the Sharia Judiciary in relation to arbitration services; the human capacities should capture aspects related to the qualifications, including the knowledge and skills aspects in addition to expertise of personnel providing these services; while the institutional capacities should provide related information regarding the institution’s by-laws, code of ethics, procedures, monitoring and accountability measures and systems;
- Level of sensitivity and empathy of arbitrators to women’s human rights, VAW and gender equality;
- Level of satisfaction of women beneficiaries of services with the quality of arbitration services, including the decisions taken by arbitrators to their cases;
- Level of privacy and confidentiality of women’s cases, in addition to level of security and safety of women while being in the arbitration process, and
- Level of awareness of arbitrators of women’s human rights, VAW and international related principles and practices.
Duties and Responsibilities
Under the overall guidance of UN Women’s Special Representative and the direct supervision of UN Women Rule of Law programme manager, and in close partnership and coordination with UN Women Justice Analyst, the national consultant will undertake the following tasks, duties and responsibilities:
- Prepare a research plan and a research methodology, including research key questions, a description for the methods and tools that will be used to collect and analyze the data; research sample; criteria and principles against which findings and recommendations will be measured and identified, and submit them to UN Women for review and approval;
- Meet jointly with UN Women and the Supreme Judge Department on regular basis, to discuss the research plan, progress, challenges and agree on benchmarks;
- Coordinate with the Supreme Judge Department to set a time frame for interviews, visits and meetings;
- Meet and interview arbitrators, women beneficiaries of services, Sharia judges, prosecutors and other parties as relevant;
- Collect and analyze the data, and ensure a participatory approach during the development of findings;
- Produce a draft research report and submit to UN Women for review, including an annex of questions used in the interviews and meetings, templates filled by arbitrators, women, Sharia judges, prosecutors and other respondents in addition to minutes of key meetings; and
- Amend the draft report based on comments provided by UN Women and Supreme Judge Department, and submit the final report to UN Women for approval.
Note: all documents have to be submitted in English
- A research work plan and methodology, including key questions, research sample, methods and tools, in addition to principles and criteria against which findings and recommendations will be measured and identified;
- A draft research report; and
- A final report including annexes.
The assignment is expected to start on December, 2017, with a total of approximate 25-30 working days.
Core values / Guiding principles:
- Demonstrating consistency in upholding and promoting the values of UN Women in actions and decisions, in line with the UN Code of Conduct.
- Demonstrate professional competence and expert knowledge of the pertinent substantive areas of work.
Cultural Sensitivity / Valuing diversity:
- Demonstrating an appreciation of the multicultural nature of the organization and the diversity of its staff. Demonstrating an international outlook, appreciating differences in values
- Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues;
- Creative Problem Solving;
- Effective Communication;
- Inclusive Collaboration;
- Stakeholder Engagement; and
- Leading by Example.
Please visit this link for more information on UN Women’s Core Values and Competencies: http://www.unwomen.org/-/media/headquarters/attachments/sections/about%20us/employment/un-women-employment-values-and-competencies-definitions-en.pdf
- Sound knowledge of international human rights conventions, including CEDAW and its’ General Recommendations;
- Sound knowledge of gender issues, including VAW, GBV, women’s access to justice and gender responsive judiciary;
- Sound Knowledge of the Sharia Judiciary system and codes in Palestine, including the applicable related laws and the arbitration system, policies and procedures;
- Strong and proven expertise in conducting researches and studies, particularly in the fields related to women’s access to justice, criminology, victimology or any other related field;
- Strong dialogue and communication skills;
- Experience in working with the Sharia Judiciary is preferable; and
- Establishes, builds and sustains effective relationships with clients, demonstrating understanding of client’s perspective; anticipates client needs and addresses them promptly.
Required Skills and Experience
- A Master’s degree in Gender Studies, Human Rights, Law, Social Science or any other related field;
- At least 5 years of professional experience in the field of women’s rights, women’s access to justice, human rights, rule of law, or any other related field. Previous experience with the Sharia judiciary is a great asset;
- A minimum of 3 years’ experience in research writing, baseline assessment studies, evaluation consultancies, particularly on justice related issues and/or women’s access to justice;
- A minimum of 1 previous related assignment on gender justice, and/or women’s access to justice within the Sharia Judiciary, or any other related field;
- Experience with the UN system or/ and International Organizations would be considered an asset.
Fluency (both oral and written) in English and Arabic.
This SSA modality is governed by UN Women General Terms and Conditions. UN Women will only be able to respond to applicants who meet the minimum requirements.
Candidates should clearly indicate how they meet the above mentioned criteria in their applications.
The following documents should be submitted as part of the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please make sure you have provided all requested materials:
P11 Or CV including past experience in similar assignments; can be downloaded at http://www.unwomen.org/about-us/employment, a signed copy should be submitted
Candidates should have the ability to quickly submit degree certificates, medical certification (of good health) and expression of Interest (EoI) should they be short-listed in consideration of this consultancy.
Long listed candidates should provide a sample of a previous research or analysis study related to violence against women or gender based violence or access to justice in the formal justice sector
Evaluation of applicants:
Candidates will be evaluated using a cumulative analysis method taking into consideration the combination of the applicants’ qualifications mentioned above; and financial proposal. A contract will be awarded to the individual consultant whose offer receives the highest score out of below defined technical and financial criteria. Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 50 points in the technical evaluation will be considered for financial evaluation.
Technical Evaluation (70%) – max. 70 points:
- Relevant education, (max. 10 points);
- At least 5 years of professional experience in the field of women’s rights, women’s access to justice, human rights, rule of law, or any other related field. Previous experience with the Sharia judiciary is a great asset, (max.20 points);
- A minimum of 3 years’ experience in research writing, baseline assessment studies, evaluation consultancies, particularly on justice related issues and/or women’s access to justice, (max. 15 points);
- A minimum of 1 previous related assignment on gender justice, and/or women’s access to justice within the Sharia Judiciary, or any other related field (max.10 points); and
- Experience with the UN system or/ and International Organizations would be considered an asset, (max. 5 points).
- Sample of a previous research or analysis study related to violence against women or gender based violence or access to justice in the formal justice sector (max. 10 points);
Financial Evaluation (30%) – max. 30 points:
The maximum number of points assigned to the financial proposal is allocated to the lowest price proposal. All other price proposals receive points in inverse proportion. A suggested formula is as follows:
p = 30 (µ/z)
Using the following values:
- p = points for the financial proposal being evaluated
- µ = price of the lowest priced proposal
- z = price of the proposal being evaluated
- Only long-listed candidates will be contacted.