Research Consultancy on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) in Palestine

Context

The Arab Reform Initiative (ARI), as the lead partner of the Supporting Arab Women at the Table (SAWT) project, is seeking to commission the services of a Palestine-based researcher with a proven track record on knowledge production related to the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda in Palestine.

As part of a broader Middle East and North Africa (MENA) women’s political participation project, ARI aims to further explore how to advance the WPS agenda in Palestine in light of the multi-layered challenges and obstacles facing the fight for women’s rights in Palestine (occupation, Palestinian political division, geographical barriers and ineffective National Action Plans (NAP) on WPS).

ARI is particularly interested in exploring the following research questions:

  • As Palestine is in the middle of trying to implement its second NAP on WPS, what are the main gaps and challenges Palestinian feminist groups face?
  • Given the ongoing Israeli occupation, the stalled political process and the Palestinian political division, what mechanisms exist for feminist activists to advance their cause and agenda? In particular, what space for feminist demands in new forms of mobilization and demands by Palestinian groups?
  • What forms of intersectional alliances have developed between different movements in Palestine to advance an inclusive political process?
  • What are the particularities and differences of Palestinian women activist movements across generations and geography and what spaces exist to bridge these differences?

The geographic scope of this research on WPS will cover the West Bank and Gaza. It will also shed light on connection and networking opportunities for Palestinian women from the West Bank and Gaza to fortify what brings them together as Palestinian women across diverse political views and generations, the role they can collectively play towards national reconciliation and their struggle, meaningful women’s political participation, the challenges to effectively implement the WPS agenda in Palestine, as well as key recommendations for these purposes.

About ARI and the SAWT Project

ARI is a policy research center whose key mission is to articulate a home-grown agenda for democratic change and social justice in Arab countries. We operate on the principles of impartiality, gender equality, and diversity and maintain a strict line of independence from any external agendas. We conduct policy analysis and innovative field research, combine scholarly work and advocacy, and produce practical intellectual tools to strengthen practices of active citizenship and influence political transformation processes. We also empower research from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region by providing an international platform for dissemination. ARI engages academic researchers, think tanks, social movements, civil society actors, decision-makers, media, and the public on issues of democratization, social justice and full citizenship. ARI works in partnership with regional and international institutions to promote sustained South-South and South-to-North exchanges and dialogues related to reform initiatives across the region. ARI has offices in Paris, Beirut and Tunis.

Within ARI’s women’s political participation program, the SAWT project 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.

It is funded by the European Union (EU) with ARI as the lead partner and implemented through country partners consisting of the Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship at the American University of Beirut (AUB) in Lebanon, Together We Build It in Libya, the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies in Yemen, the Culture and Free Thought Association in Palestine, and the Iraqi Al-Amal Association in Iraq.

Research Consultancy Objectives

Background / Research Framework

Existing platforms tackling peace and security have increased since the Beijing declaration in 1995 and the landmark United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on the role of women in peacebuilding, representing a turning point for the global agenda on gender equality. Yet, the public space for Palestinian women to voice their opinions and achieve accountable and responsive forms of state feminism remains limited despite the efforts to build and maintain strong partnerships with governmental institutions, civil society, women’s groups, United Nations (UN) agencies, the EU and the media across the country. Such platforms are partially addressing women’s experiences of insecurity and violence in a context where the ongoing occupation and protracted conflict continue to sideline their rights.

Moreover, Palestinian women’s participation in peace negotiations is greatly obstructed despite international frameworks that reiterate commitments about meaningful political participation and the country’s adoption of a second NAP for 2020- 2024. The latter echoes the first one in “protecting women and girls from the impacts of occupation and conflict, holding the Israeli occupation accountable, and enhancing the participation of Palestinian women in local and international decision-making processes” and it has yet to deliver outcomes. Our mandate within the SAWT project is to contribute to knowledge production and evidence-based advocacy at the local and international levels to amplify the voices of the new generation of women’s activists and provide them with the skills and platforms required for their meaningful participation.

Consultancy Overview

This consultancy aims at undertaking research and analysis on an angle of WPS in Palestine, as highlighted above, with a focus on Gaza and the West Bank. The researcher is required to submit a full proposal justifying their choice of thematic (and what research questions they want to tackle in particular) and detailing the methodology that will be used for that purpose alongside the required timeline and budget.

Consultancy Timeframe and Budget

This mission is expected to start as soon as possible (but no later than 5 September) for a two-month period based on the proposal with a budget not exceeding 8,000 EUR. It will be closely designed and delivered with the ARI SAWT project team.

The submitting entity is expected to provide a first draft report by the end of October 2022.

Applications / Profile of Applicants

The profile of the applicant(s) must meet the following requirements – all are Essential:

  • A minimum of 5 years of experience conducting research on WPS in Palestine.
  • A proven track record in gender transformative research and familiarity with feminist theories, feminist research and intersectional feminism and issues related to women’s political participation in Palestine.
  • High command of English and Arabic (spoken and written)
  • Proven experience in peacebuilding projects in Palestine working with local communities and through diversified networks

Proposal Evaluation

The proposal evaluation will observe the following marking grid:

Criteria Mark out of
Qualifications 20
CVs of the consultant(s) meeting the requirements above 5
Experience and references of the Consultants 10
Methodology 30
Strategy of implementation of the objectives of the mission 15
Overall methodology and tools proposed 15
Quality of the proposal 50
Clarity and relevance of the proposal 50
TOTAL 100

The submitting entity should share their research proposal by 22  August 2022 to eu-jobs@arab-reform.net with the email subject Palestine Research comprising of:

  • Updated CVs of the consultant(s)
  • Short overview of how the applicant meets the qualifications, experience, and skills requirements (no more than one page)
  • Samples of previous research reports
  • Description of research thematic and proposed methodology alongside a timeline
  • Detailed budget – including fees and related research costs