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CALL FOR APPLICATIONS

CAPACITY-BUILDING AND MENTORING FOR WOMEN MPs IN IRAQ

TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR AN EXPERT TO

Conduct a training and provide tools on monitoring of the implementation of the Second NAP 1325 for Iraq

Background

After the government’s adoption of the Second National Action Plan (NAP) 1325 for Iraq on Women, Peace and Security in late December 2020, the Iraqi Parliament – and in particular the women’s committee – is now expected to play a key role in monitoring and evaluating its implementation.

The Iraq Foundation (IF), an independent NGO working in Iraq since 2003, is supporting the women’s committee and women MPs in a project funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), which aims at making the policy and legislative process in Iraq more responsive to the needs and concerns of Iraqi citizens, and at improving gender equality in policies and enhancing women’s political leadership.[1] To provide that support for women MPs, IF provides training workshops on gender-sensitive legislation and political leadership skills. IF also supports the women’s committee to create and implement processes for monitoring Iraq’s international commitments that aim to promote women’s rights, including CEDAW and UNSCR 1325.

IF has been closely involved in monitoring the first and developing the second NAP 1325. In the context of the Sida project, we have already held a webinar-conference for women MPs on UNSCR 1325, and Second NAP for Iraq in September 2020. That virtual conference connected women MPs with specialized women civil society organizations, with UN Women and other UN organizations, and with the governmental Women Empowerment Department to discuss local, regional and international perspectives of implementation of UNSCR 1325. IF now plans to hold a training workshop with women MPs in February, 2021 in Erbil on monitoring and evaluating the Second NAP 1325 for Iraq. The one-day session on the Second NAP 1325 will be followed by a post-workshop Zoom-training (2 to 3 hours) in March, 2021.

The Iraq Foundation seeks to contract an Arabic-speaking Expert to develop a toolkit for parliamentarians to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the Second NAP 1325 in Iraq and conduct the related training (in-person and with one Zoom-session). As an outcome of the training and the tools provided, women MPs must have the knowledge and capability to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the Second NAP with focus on the work of the government, but also the work of civil society and other stakeholders.

Specific Terms of Reference

  1. Develop a toolkit for monitoring and evaluating the Second NAP (handbook/guide, complemented by forms for evaluation and reporting, other tools required for M&E), and submit them for prior review to IF.
  2. Create an agenda for the two-parts training on M&E of the NAP 1325 and submit for prior approval to IF.
  3. Hold the one-day training in Erbil in February 2021 (mid- or late February)
  4. Conduct the post-workshop Zoom-session in March 2021 (2 to 3 hours)

Scope of Work

  1. The training agenda should be designed to provide knowledge, methods and skills, include interactive elements, practical exercises and time for Q&A.
  2. The tools for monitoring the NAP, such as a handbook or guide complemented by forms for evaluation and reporting, and other tools required for M&E ,should allow participants to evaluate and report on the work of government, civil society and other stakeholders in implementing the NAP, with regards to WPS being a cross-cutting issue for different sectors of government and parliament.
  3. The post-workshop Zoom session would review the training held in Erbil, allow for Q&A and add more aspects and/or skills to the monitoring and evaluation program.

Specific Deliverables

  1. Agenda, learning material and toolkit (see above) for parliamentarians to monitor and evaluate the implementation of NAP 1325 in Iraq.
  2. One-day training in Erbil in February 2021.
  3. Post-workshop Zoom-session in March 2021 (2 to 3 hours).
  4. An evaluation report.


Required Skills and experience

  1. Proven track-record of projects related to gender equality and women’s rights in the MENA region. Please attach documentation of 2 projects.
  2. Previous experience in research and training on UNSCR 1325 and other international conventions on Women, Peace and Security.
  3. Proven knowledge and skills in Monitoring and Evaluation of international agreements or resolutions, preferably on women’s rights.
  4. Demonstrated knowledge and skills in providing training for policy-makers from the MENA region.
  5. Preferred: previous work with UN agencies or international NGOs.
  6. Fluency in Arabic.

Remuneration: $ 5,000 (Five thousands USD)

Any travel expenses associated with this ToR are included in the remuneration. Accommodation and per diem will be borne by IF.

Deadline for receiving applications: February 4, 2021.

Please respond to: dhefaf@iraqfoundation.org,  fakri.b@iraqfoundation.org, with a copy to iraq@iraqfoundation.org


[1] The activity is part of the project of the Iraq Foundation and its partner Global Partners Governance (GPG), “Improving Policy, Service Delivery, Gender Equality and Responsiveness to Iraqi Citizens” (2018-2021).

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Coinciding with the twentieth anniversary of Security Council Resolution 1325

On September 3, 2020, Iraq Foundation, in cooperation with UN Women, the Women Empowerment Department, Women MPs, with funding from the Swedish Development Agency, held a focused meeting on Security Council Resolution 1325 and the Second National Action Plan, in the presence of the First Lady, Dr. Sarbagh Salih, and a number of distinguished members of the House of Representatives and regional and international experts.

 

 

 

See the application below for more details!

Application for Training (Arabic)

The Iraq Foundation blesses the move of the Council of Ministers approving the draft law on protection from family violence.

Thanks to the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers – Women Empowerment Department

Chair and members of the Parliamentary Committee for Women, Family and Childhood

And everyone who worked and contributed for the purpose of ratifying this law.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the Middle East, Iraq Foundation has begun taking precautions to ensure that its staff in Washington D.C. and Iraq remain safe. Notably, as the pandemic was emerging, the Iraqi government announced restrictions on the mobility of people within Iraq and banned travel to and from the country. In response, Iraq Foundation has made updates to its Risk Management framework and has implemented a new risk reporting form specifically for COVID-19.

Our Risk Management framework, updated as of April 2020, rates the likelihood of a risk occurring and how serious the impact would be on a scale from 1-5. From there, we calculate a combined score by multiplying the two responses together, to give an overall risk rating which indicates the overall severity of the risk. The overall rating can range from 1 to 25. IF’s Country Manager Dhefaf Al Jarahi assessed the COVID-19 pandemic and concluded that the risk probability shall be rated a 5/5 and the risk impact shall be rated a 4/5 giving an overall risk rating of 20.

Ms. Jarahi noted that direct communication and engagement with IF partners and beneficiaries is still possible through digital platforms. Thus, operations on IF’s Improving Policy, Service Delivery, Gender Equality, and Responsiveness to Iraqi Citizens project will continue as planned.

The consequences posed by COVID-19 on IF’s current project, being completed in tandem with GPG and funded by SIDA, are as follows: IF staff will need to work remotely; all meetings and activities with partners, stakeholders, and beneficiaries will not take place in-person. Once the curfew in Iraq has been lifted, IF’s staff will begin using the office on a limited basis with social distancing precautions. 

To mitigate the impact of these consequences, IF has examined which activities and meetings are capable of being shifted to an online platform and which ones must be delayed until after the crisis. Attached here, you can view Ms. Jarahi’s full assessment.

By Zaid Fattah

Photo Credits: Anadolu Agency

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, a collapse in global oil prices, and the absence of a well-functioning government, Iraqi pensioners have had to deal with yet another crisis: pension cuts. 

Just three weeks ago, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi’s cabinet voted to cut salaries and pensions for public employees by 10 percent, sparking public outrage. At first, the Prime Minister clarified that the resolution would only impact higher-level governmental officials. However, this was not the case. When Nisrine Saleh arrived at the bank to withdraw her monthly pension, she noticed that her $920 allowance was nearly $100 short. For many Iraqis like Nisrine, their monthly pension has served as an economic haven in the wake of tumbling oil prices from the global pandemic. 

As the primary source of funding for nearly 90 percent of Iraq’s budget, Oil exports, and their recent drastic price shocks, have left the country in a vulnerable position. The government cut pensions — amongst a plethora of other financial reforms —  in an effort to reduce their monthly operating budget deficit of $5 billion. 

Soon enough, it became apparent that the impact on the budget deficit was nominal compared to the economic strain it imposed on individuals. Compared to last year’s monthly earning average of $6.5 billion, Iraq has only earned $2.9 billion in March, $1.4 billion in April, and $2.9 billion in May. Combined with the monthly $1 billion Iraq needs to pay oil companies, $3.5 billion for salaries, and $1 billion for pensions, it is clear that the cabinet’s decision would by no means save the Iraqi economy. 

Following protests and outcry, the Iraqi parliament voted to reverse the government’s order. It also refused to impose any new taxes that would provide revenue streams to the government. Furthermore, state-run banks have announced that pensioners could pick up the money that was deducted from their previous payment. A member of the Iraqi parliament’s finance commented on the incident saying that everything would be fine and that the government’s policy mistakes should be disregarded. But for the millions of Iraqis whose livelihood was put on the line, is it possible to let such mistakes fly by so frequently?

By Zaid Fattah

Photo Credits: Almada Paper

 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to prove its deadly unwavering control over the Middle East, the Islamic State has seen nothing but opportunity. Just a few days ago, members of the Islamic State killed four individuals, injuring many more, in Iraq’s Diyala province. Furthermore, last week, the Iraq military proclaimed the loss of two soldiers to a roadside bomb, allegedly planted by the Islamic State. Evidently, attacks like these have been commonplace in Iraq; unfortunately, they show no sign of slowing down.

While former Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s may have declared defeat over the terrorist organization in December 2017, reports of violence tell a completely different story. Since his address, the Islamic State has been responsible for numerous major attacks and hundreds of others which haven’t made news headlines. Although the current global pandemic has been a main driver in the recent rise in attacks, it is far from the sole cause. The Islamic State has utilized the security gap between the Kurdish Peshmerga and Iraq as a catalyst for carrying out attacks.  The current global pandemic has done nothing but exacerbate such carnage. But why?

The Islamic State’s sudden increase in domestic activity could be attributed to their explicit targeting of rural parts of Iraq. Since making its first appearance in Iraq in 2006, the Islamic State has constantly terrorized the Kirkuk, Diyala, and Saladin provincial regions. In targeting such rural areas, where Iraqi military forces are underrepresented, attacks — big and small — go unaddressed, leading to fewer losses for the Islamic State. Furthermore, the assassination of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani has only exacerbated tensions between the United States and the region, causing a withdrawal of aerial surveillance. This has ultimately left attacks unchecked and unpunished, and has subsequently led to the stark increase in such occurrences.

The global pandemic has also provided more opportunities for the radical organization to recruit members. Recent statements from ISIS have stressed the fact that COVID-19 came at the helm of global disobedience and have proposed that the only solution is piety to Islam. Rampant propaganda efforts to disperse recruitment content has led to the Islamic State being active on over a dozen social media platforms now according to Rita Katz, director of SITE Intelligence Group. Islamic State leader Abu Ibrahim al-Qurashi even admits to this view point stating in an online message, “What you are witnessing these days are only signs of big changes in the region that’ll offer greater opportunities than we had previously in the past decade.” This online recruitment message is translated by Hassan Hassan, the director of the Non-State Actors in Fragile Environments Program at the Center for Global Policy.

Furthermore, onslaughts of protestors have disrupted the Iraq government’s ability to deal with acts of terror. When people took to the streets of Baghdad on October 1st, 2019, they sought to convey their anger towards the seemingly perennial corruption and high unemployment that has plagued Iraq for decades. To contain the October Revolution, as it came to be known, the Iraqi government diverted its attention and resources. In doing so, the Islamic State was able to gain hegemony in the region, further disrupting the government’s ability to maintain control.

As the Iraqi government continues its fight against the coronavirus, it’s imperative that they do not look past the lurking presence of the Islamic State, a virus which has disrupted the government’s efforts and desires for stability for over a decade.

By Zaid Fattah

Photo Credits: The Financial Times

The Iraq Foundation (IF) wishes to contract with an External Evaluator to carry out an independent evaluation of its Women Against Violence and Extremism (WAVE) project, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. The one-year project is implemented in Ramadi, Anbar province; Tikrit, Salaheddin province; and Mosul and Hamdaniya, in Nenawa province, and targeted women, families, and local communities. For further information please see the attached Terms of Reference document.

Family event in Mosul

The Iraq Foundation (IF) is currently implementing a 12-month pilot project in 4 locations: the city of Mosul and Hamdaniya in Nenawa governorate; Hayy Al-Mal’ab in Ramadi, Anbar governorate; and Hayy Arba’een in the city of Tikrit, Salaheddin governorate, with the goal of equipping women to build family and community resilience against violence and extremism. The project is providing a core group (56) of returnee (and IDP) women who are survivors of violence with training to enable them to coach and guide a broader segment of women in their communities. Trained women “coaches” will reach out to and work with a broader group of women in the community to increase their understanding about VE and coach them to recognize extremist and violent behavior, build family resilience, and evolve strategies and tools to promote tolerance and moderation, and to resolve conflicts peacefully.

In the period December 1, 2018 -February 28, 2019, the Iraq Foundation and its partners implemented Objective 2 of the project. We completed the dialogue meetings (Objective 2, Activity 3), launched the family events (Objective 2, Activity 4), and held feedback meetings (Objective 2, Activity 5). Women Leaders (WL) who received training through the project held meetings with community women, of whom a large proportion are mothers, to raise awareness about VE, help women to identify signs of extremism or manifestations of violence, and coach them on building resilience by resolving family and community conflicts peacefully and through moderation and dialogue. WL encouraged community women to speak about their experiences and observations regarding violence and/or extremism, and how women can become mediators and agents in countering VE. Family events brought together mothers and children (both girls and boys) in community settings where competitive game

Family event in Hamdaniya

s and activities were played. WL and mothers observed the behavior of children during the competition to learn about children’s interactions and their ability to cooperate and compete peacefully. Local officials attended some of the family events. Following dialogue meetings and family events, WL held feedback sessions with mothers to assess the results of dialogues and community events and provide further coaching to mothers.

Notably, understanding about VE is expanding beyond the immediate beneficiaries targeted by the project. Community women who participated in the dialogue meetings, family events, and feedback sessions have been spreading their newly acquired knowledge and skills to other women, men, and children in their extended families and the community (please see Personal Narratives section below). WL have strengthened their status as coaches and mentors, and community women have encouraged others to benefit from their skills in mediation of conflicts or handling difficult situations with children. Teachers and other professionals who have participated in the project have been especially active in using their acquired knowledge and skills in their work environment, such as in classrooms, in medical clinics, and on the media. Local officials were supportive of the project, seeing it as a valuable contribution to CVE in their communities.