Brussels Advocacy Consultant - “Supporting Arab Women at the Table” (SAWT)

Overall Purpose

The Arab Reform Initiative (ARI) is seeking a Brussels Advocacy Consultant to organize and facilitate advocacy and outreach activities between women activists and peacebuilders from Libya, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and Palestine and key stakeholders in Brussels.

This will include a) leading the organization of yearly study tours and visits of emerging women activists and leaders from the target countries to the European Union (EU) and EU-adjacent institutions in Brussels; b) facilitating virtual exchanges at different moments and c) organizing advocacy actions in Brussels – all in close coordination with the SAWT project Middle East and North Africa (MENA) consortium partners. The consultant will also help ARI build its network of contacts in Brussels to amplify the voices of MENA researchers and activists.

The key objective of this consultancy is to provide women from the target countries with privileged access points to policy-making and diplomacy in the EU, thus, promoting mutual exchange and understanding for advocacy purposes on specific thematic topics that will be determined in the course of the project. The sought outputs will include joint statements made in support of women from MENA in politics, peacemaking and other advocacy asks as relevant - including op-eds and press conferences.

By securing new forums for MENA women activists and peace builders, the project aims to build relationships of trust and facilitate their access to EU institutions. It will also increase their visibility and credibility, as well as build key allies and expand their network.

About the SAWT Project

The SAWT project is funded by the European Commission (EC) with the Arab Reform Initiative (ARI) as the lead partner and implemented through a consortium of partners consisting of the Center for Inclusive Business and Leadership for Women (CIBLW) in Lebanon with a regional scope, Together We Build It in Libya, the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies in Yemen, Citizenship League for Syria, the Culture and Free Thought Association in Palestine, and the Iraqi Al-Amal Association in Iraq.

It aims at quantitatively and qualitatively increasing women’s meaningful inclusion in peace processes in the MENA region. It will improve their ability to influence outcomes and establish post-conflict gender-egalitarian frameworks. It will focus on the emergence of a new generation of women activists with enhanced capacity, skills and confidence. It will create new venues and mechanisms for cross-regional, intergenerational, cross-sectorial exchange and coalition-building for shared learning and collective action planning. It will also generate key forum for South-to-North exchanges that provide unique opportunities for knowledge production and sharing, advocacy and policy influencing.

Scope of Work

The Brussels Advocacy Consultant will be working closely with the ARI and consortium partners’ project teams to achieve the following deliverables that will be fine-tuned at the start of the mission:

  1. Mapping, networking, and outreaching to key stakeholders in Brussels:

He/she will be responsible for mapping, building and maintaining a network of key stakeholders from the EU and EU-adjacent institutions to maximise the policy impact and relevance of study tours/visits and advocacy actions in Brussels.

This will include mobilizing key offices and staff within the EU, as well as other organizations within the Brussels sphere with a Women Peace and Security (WPS) agenda i.e. more specifically ones that have a remit of fostering women’s political participation, human rights, women entrepreneurship, peacebuilding and development in MENA.

Moreover, he/she will be identifying and developing relationships with journalists and EU parliamentarians who can act as key allies and raise MENA women’s issues to their respective audiences.

  1. Developing and implementing specific advocacy actions in Brussels:

He/she will be facilitating study missions and advocacy actions in Brussels to support the project’s evidence-based advocacy asks from target countries on WPS and promote key policy recommendations emanating from national dialogue processes and other activities.

The Euro-Med exchange scope of this project has been conceived as a yearly activity that repeats each year of the Action, as such it will be carried out three times over the course of 36 months.

ARI and consortium partners will be involving an estimated twenty women (ten women in total from the five target countries, meaning two per country, along with ten EU/EU-adjacent women officials). The profiles of those from the EU/EU-adjacent side will include women in decision-making roles involved in areas aligned with those of the MENA participants, but not necessarily with particular expertise on MENA i.e. emerging women leaders in the fields of activism, business, and/or politics. Specific outputs include the following:

  • Moderated exchanges: The twenty women taking part in the yearly Euro-Med exchanges will partake in a series of three moderated virtual discussions/webinars, which will be organized thematically and target the specific interests and sectors of expertise of the women participants themselves.
  • Study missions to Brussels: The moderated exchanges will culminate in a brainstorming session in Brussels that will allow participants to meet face-to-face and build trust. This will address in particular how women in the EU can support their counterparts in the MENA region and act as advocates on their behalf, while defining concrete actions. In addition, during the trip to Brussels, the ten women participants from the MENA region will conduct a study mission to become familiarized with EU institutions, as well as other key potential allies, advocates and important platforms or access points in Brussels, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), journalists and others.
  • Advocacy trips to Brussels: In addition to the study mission of the Euro-Med exchanges participants, a team member from each country partner along with another representative of a women’s organization or group will have the opportunity to travel to Brussels for the purpose of EU-level advocacy action. Special care will be given to providing the opportunity for travel and Brussels-based advocacy to a different women’s organization each year in order to spread the opportunity and diversify the EU’s familiarity with women’s groups in each of the target countries.

Deliverables and Timeframe

The Brussels Advocacy Consultant is expected to deliver the following activities with a level of effort of up to 230 working days, within a timeframe from July 2021 to December 2023.

A detailed project work plan will be fine tuned by the ARI team in close coordination with the consultant upon her/his appointment:

Deliverables Timeframe Implementing Body
Mapping a network of key stakeholders from the EU and EU-adjacent institutions and other as relevant July 2021 (ongoing) Brussels Advocacy Consultant and ARI
Building and maintaining this network July 2021 (and throughout project implementation where relevant) Brussels Advocacy Consultant and ARI
Preparations for moderated exchanges August/September 2021 (recurrent activities throughout project implementation) Brussels Advocacy Consultant, ARI and consortium partners
Study missions to Brussels September/October 2021 (recurrent activities throughout project implementation) Brussels Advocacy Consultant, ARI and consortium partners
Setting advocacy meetings and events To be determined (recurrent activities throughout project implementation) Brussels Advocacy Consultant, ARI and consortium partners
Advocacy actions in Brussels To be determined   (recurrent activities throughout project implementation) Brussels Advocacy Consultant, ARI and consortium partners

Qualifications

The Brussels Advocacy Consultant shall be an advocate with extensive knowledge of and experience in the following: a) activism within MENA (more particularly the role of women in peacebuilding in the region); b) the EU at both institutional and policy-making levels; c) the Brussels stakeholder sphere for MENA (ideally for the WPS agenda) and d) advocacy track record within the EU – with Arabic language skills as a plus.

The consultant should be committed to women’s rights and to supporting key voices from the MENA region have better access to EU policymakers.

Supervision

The Brussels Advocacy Consultant will work under the supervision of the ARI Management team and in close consultation with the Project Director.

How to Apply

Interested candidates should send their CV (maximum two pages) and a cover letter describing qualifications and motivations for the positions to eu-jobs@arab-reform.net with the reference SAWT-BAC in the email subject.

 

The closing date is Thursday 17 June, 2021.