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Consultancy; Youth and Women’s security and safety perceptions within the Tunisia Libya border – Danish Refugee Council Retour vers les opportunités

Danish Refugee Council

Lance   Appel à consultants


16 Mai 2021 Il y a 4 mois

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Détails de l'opportunité

Régions concernées par cette opportunité: Tunisie et 1 autre(s) régions
Domaines concernées par cette opportunité: Droit de l'asile

Research Title: Youth and Women’s security and safety perceptions within the Tunisia Libya border communities of Ben Guerdane and Dehiba (Tunisia), Nalut – Wazin and Zuwara (Libya)

Research Owner: Danish Refugee Council

Research Time Frame: 25 working days

Research Duty Station: Homebased and field research


Danish Refugee Council is requesting proposals from a select number of qualified, independent Tunisian/Libyan research firms/consultants to conduct a comprehensive research study on Women and Youth perceptions over security and safety within the Tunisia-Libya Border communities

Organizational Overview

 Danish Refugee Council (DRC) is an international non‐governmental organization, which promotes and supports durable solutions to the problems faced by refugees and internally displaced people all over the world and works to improve safety, strengthen community resilience, and build local capacities to reduce and prevent violence and conflict. DRC programming aims at addressing border management holistically, investing in analyzing the full system of dynamics that cause tension within and across communities and fuel insecurity and illicit trade throughout the border region. DRC seeks to address community security and resilience through violence prevention programming aimed at improving relationships between communities and security providers and mitigating the risks facing local women and youth.

DRC operated in Tunisia from 2011 to 2013 to provide direct humanitarian assistance to refugees fleeing the Libyan crisis in Shousha camp near Ben Guerdane. Since that time, the organization has been able to generate visibility and credibility among local communities and develop a sound understanding of the local context. DRC remained present in southeast Tunisia, enhancing community security and resilience in the border-towns of Ben Guerdane and Dehiba starting from 2014 and in March 2018, extended its current intervention to the Libyan border-towns of Zuwara, Nalut, and Wazin with a similar approach.

The ongoing programming seeks to address border management holistically, investing in analyzing the full system of dynamics that cause tension within and across communities and which fuels insecurity and illicit trade throughout the border region. DRC brings to bear extensive expertise in facilitating community-based and inclusive approaches, utilizing models of participatory action research, community dialogue, local conflict management structures, people-centered advocacy, and community safety and violence prevention planning that serve to engage local stakeholders in processes that nurture sustainable local solutions to complex security challenges. DRC underpins all of its programming with thorough conflict analysis conducted hand-in-hand with local communities, so that programming not only accounts for conflict dynamics during DRC’s intervention, but also empowers local communities to ensure the sustainability of implemented results.

DRC currently has teams of local staff based in cross-border cities in Tunisia and Libya.  Staff members are all recruited from regions where DRC works, in order to ensure critical analysis of the local context and strong community acceptance.

Research Context

Despite the democratic political progress witnessed by neighbor countries Tunisia and Libya in the aftermath of the Arab spring, serious challenges persist along their borderlands. Communities in towns such as Ben Guerdane and– Dehiba, Nalut – Wazin and Zuwara continue to suffer from a lack of development, high unemployment, and feelings of marginalization. These trends are further complicated by cross-border security concerns posed by the perception of poor involvement of communities in decision-making processes.

 Following the political changes in Tunisia and Libya, communities in border towns hoped for socio-economic reform opportunity and development. Nonetheless, limited tangible change has been perceived throughout the time, and local communities, particularly young people, have grown disillusioned, prompting many to attempt dangerous migration to Europe to seek employment. Simultaneously, the crisis in Libya has provided opportunities for cross-border trade, increasing both the informal trade of licit goods such as electronics, textiles, and food, as well as the smuggling of illicit goods such as contraband fuel, weapons, ammunition, drugs, and people. As a result, the grey and black markets along the Libyan border have become the primary source of income for these communities.

The voice of civil society organizations in regards to security concerns is generally weak and those of women and youth, and of movement representing them, even more. Women and youth remain largely invisible et unheard when it comes to decision making processes in regards to security and safety, despite women and youth being very close to the security challenges and perceptions of communities.

The argument of absence of women expertise in this domain is often used to justify the absence of women sitting at the tables where decisions are taken which leads to a under–representation of their specific needs.

Women and youth are the driving forces for development, nonetheless both groups remain marginalized as they always fall victim to repercussions caused by lack of social and political involvement in decision making.

Research Objectives

The overall purpose of this research study is to understand the perceptions and experiences of women and youth in relation to their security and safety concerns in the 5 borderland communities between Tunisia and Libya and explore the associated dynamics, risks and protective factors that exist in response to those concerns. The research will seek also to determine what role women and youth are playing and would see themselves playing in terms of security and safety within their community of belonging. Specifically, the research will seek to:

  • Identify which are the security and safety risks perceived by, and affecting, women and youth, define their causes and identify what correlations, if any, exist between key push and pull factors, risk indicators, and involvement in risk behaviors,
  • Identify and understand the key factors that support resilient behaviors among youth and women.
  • Identify and understand the role that women and youth are playing and could play in addressing those security and safety risks, mapping existing mechanism of response towards them and identify recommendations to improve women and youth involvement and participation.

Research Questions

DRC is interested in exploring the following research questions:


Key Definitions and Terminology

Youth:  the stage when people are considered to be biological adults, but have not taken or are not expected to take adult responsibilities by their communities. It is an important period of physical, mental, and social development, during which young people are actively forming their identities and determining acceptable roles for themselves within their communities and societies. Within the Tunisian and Libyan context and for the purposes of this research, youth are defined as people aged between 15 and 35 years-old, living in Ben Guerdane and Dehiba on the Tunisian side of the border and Zuwara, Nalut and Wazin on the Libyan side.

Gender: refers to the roles and responsibilities of men and women that are created in families, societies and cultures. The concept of gender also includes the expectations held about the characteristics, aptitudes and likely behaviors of both women and men (femininity and masculinity). Gender roles and expectations are learned. They can change over time and they vary within and between cultures. Systems of social differentiation such as political status, class, ethnicity, physical and mental disability, age and more, modify gender roles.

Gender Analysis: the collection and analysis of sex-disaggregated information. Men and women both perform different roles. This leads to women and men having different experience, knowledge, talents and needs. Gender analysis explores these differences so policies, programs and projects can identify and meet the different needs of men and women. Gender analysis also facilitates the strategic use of distinct knowledge and skills possessed by women and men.

Push Factors:  socio-political, economic and psychological cleavages or grievances that make youth vulnerable to involvement in various forms of violence and violent behavior.

Pull Factors: socio-political, economic and psychological incentives and motivating factors that attract youth to become involved in various forms of violence and violent behavior.

Resilience:  the ability to manage the process of transforming a negative peace into a positive peace; in the case of youth, the ability to engage in the process of democratic transition without resorting to violence or violent behaviors.

Resilience Factors:  socio-political, economic and psychological incentives and motivating factors that promote youth resilience.

Resilience Indicators:  observable qualities or characteristics that can help predict the likelihood of youth resilience.

Youth Violence:  the physical or psychological harm done to people (either intentionally or as a result of neglect) that involves young people as perpetrators, victims or both; or that is a potential threat to the youth.

Target Group and Justification

The research study will target youth and women in the 5 border communities of Ben Guerdane and Dehiba (Tunisia), Nalut – Wazin and Zuwara (Libya) DRC defines ‘youth’ as people between the ages of 15 and 35, in keeping with the African Youth Charter definition as well as respecting social definitions embedded in the local context. Specifically, DRC has selected the lower limit based on evidence that people in the target areas, as young as age 15, are involved in smuggling, which may or may not be a risk indicator. With respect to the upper limit, the Tunisian government continues to stigmatize young people up to age 35, as exemplified by its policy of restricting travel of young men and women under age 35, as a part of efforts to prevent young people from joining violent extremist groups.8It is worth adding that the issue of women involved in smuggling, armed criminality, or violent extremism remains highly taboo, DRC believes that it is important to analyze the trends surrounding not only male involvement, but also of women. Also, it is believed required to investigate on the role that women are playing and could see themselves playing in decision making processes in terms of community security.

The target for this research will include various sub-groups women of young people in high-risk contexts. As DRC has not indicated the specific qualities and indicators of risk and resilience, further definition of the sub-groups should be a key element of the methodology.

It is important to note that the term ‘at-risk’ is often used interchangeably with ‘marginalized;’ however, while local youth and women broadly express sentiments of political, religious, economic, and social disenfranchisement, not all of them are at risk of involvement in armed criminality, violent extremism, and dangerous migration.  Moreover, DRC recognizes that there is almost certainly not one set of indicators that applies to all youth in high-risk contexts.  Instead, the process of becoming involved in violence or becoming resilient is most likely highly subjective and follows many different trajectories and timelines.  Therefore, in defining sub-groups, criteria for being ‘at-risk’ should not be generalized or conflated with broader marginalization of youth and women.

Risks Associated with the Target Group

DRC recognizes that there are a number of risks associated with these particular target groups.  Notably, there may be serious protection concerns associated with identifying and engaging with at-risk youth due to stigmatization and the highly aggressive approach of security services who have especially profiled young people as potential security threats.

Women are generally excluded from public decisions in relation to security and safety due to general convictions that women do not have the skills and

In addition, the particular topics to be explored in this research study are highly sensitive within the local border communities, and are therefore likely to cause anger, concern, scepticism, or even trauma among respondents and participants.  Of note, following the attack on Ben Guerdane, discussions related to violent extremism continue to elicit emotional responses from the community, especially youth and women.  Therefore, the use of non-stigmatizing language will be important during this process.

Finally, as DRC is committed to the protection of children, defined as young people under the age of 18, DRC typically commits to obtain the informed consent of the parents or guardians of all children engaged in DRC activities.  However, for the purposes of this research study and the sensitive topics to be explored, there may be protection concerns associated with other household members knowing about the participation of their children in this study.  Therefore, it will be particularly important to consider the potential unintended consequences of seeking consent from parents or guardians.

In all of these cases, it will be essential to consider the principles of ‘do no harm,’ confidentiality, anonymity, and general protection of human subjects throughout the course of the research.  This will be considered a central part of the methodology for the study.

Expected Results

DRC expects that the research study will produce the following results:

  • In-depth analysis of the correlation between push and pull factors, risk indicators, and risk behaviors (violent extremism, armed criminality, and dangerous migration)
  • In-depth analysis of the relationship between resilience factors and resilience behaviors.
  • In-depth analysis of the relationship between risk behaviors and resilience behaviors.
  • A comparative analysis of the perceptions of youth and women as well as their experiences
  • A set of typologies of youth involved in violence and youth exemplifying resilience
  • A set of typologies exemplifying women resilience.
  • A set of identified strategies and tools used by youth and women to be resilient, and recommendations on how to reinforce those practices

As expressed in the above, DRC is interested in exploring complex relationships between different elements of the research.  This will necessarily require analysis that is based not only on concrete correlations, but on thoughtful and engaged approaches that seek to identify often ambiguous connections.

Scope of Work

Research firms/consultants will be expected to provide the following services:

  • Design and development of qualitative and quantitative research tools
  • Training of enumerators, supervisors, and other relevant staff to conduct fieldwork
  • Oversight of all fieldwork
  • Data transcription, coding, and analysis
  • Development of a report detailing research findings and analysis
  • Briefing of DRC staff on research findings and analysis

DRC is seeking a firm/consultants that will conduct these services with a collaborative approach and with a spirit of partnership, engaging DRC staff throughout the process in order to ensure clarity with respect to research objectives and modalities as well as to encourage mutual learning.


    • Research Plan, including detailed methodology using qualitative and quantitative methods, target sub-groups, sample sizes
    • Qualitative and Quantitative Tools, including, but not limited to in-depth interview guides, focus group discussion guides, focus group participant selection criteria/survey, questionnaire
    • Training of enumerators, supervisors, and other relevant staff to conduct fieldwork
    • Records of all data collection, including, but not limited to, audio recordings, transcriptions, completed questionnaires, coding
    • Draft and final reports of research, including sections on methodology, findings, and analysis, estimated at 30 pages plus annexes (see Section IX – Expected Results)
    • Briefing of DRC staff on research findings and analysis

While DRC will accept submissions in English.  All training as well as qualitative and quantitative research tools should be translated into Tunisian Arabic for the purposes of the fieldwork.

Note that all tools and templates, data, and draft and final reports will be the sole property of DRC, and the consultant will not have permission to circulate or use in any other context any of the above without explicit written permission from DRC.  Violations will be prosecuted under Danish law.

Logistics Support

The firm/consultants should be capable of managing all logistics needs associated with the research, including travel arrangements and related expenses. However, DRC may facilitate and provide support in terms of staffing and coordination depending on specific needs and budgets, to be finalized through consultation and detailed in the final research plan, to be submitted no later than 15th May 2021.  DRC will approve and provide payment for all research expenses in line with the accepted budget. Any costs that exceed the accepted budget, without the written agreement of the Project Manager will be deducted from the final payment.


The research firm/consultants will be expected to start working by 10th May 2021.  Deadlines for all above deliverables will be finalized based on consultation with DRC and detailed in the final research plan, to be submitted no later than 15th May 2021.  All deliverables should be submitted by 15th June 2021, unless otherwise agreed by DRC.

Proposals Requirements

To be considered under this Request for Proposals, all firms/consultants should submit proposals include the following:

Technical Proposal (5-10 pages total)

  1. Methodology: detailed description of proposed qualitative and quantitative research methods and sequencing; sub-groups within the target population (see Section VIII – Target Group and Justification); number of focus group discussions; samples sizes; etc.
  2. Quality Assurance: detailed description of control tools and techniques to ensure quality process, data, and analysis
  3. Risk Mitigation: detailed description of proposed strategies to ensure community acceptance and mitigate the possible risks associated with the research topics and protection concerns associated with the target group (see Section II – Risks Associated with the Target Group)
  4. Work Plan: outline of expected timeline of activities and proposed deadlines for deliverables
  5. References: description of at least two past projects of similar scope and topic, including a point of contact with telephone number and email address for each of the described projects

Cost Proposal

Budget:  detailed spreadsheet of expenses priced out per service, clearly indicating line items for human resources and logistics support that DRC may be able to cover

All questions concerning this Request for Proposals should be directed to the Project Manager Margherita Winter ([email protected]) by Wednesday, 30th April 2021 at 1200 Tunis time.  Relevant responses will be made available to all firms by email.  No inquiries will be accepted or responses given after that time.

DRC is not liable for any costs incurred by the responding firms prior to issuance of an executed agreement.

The proposed cost should cover all expenses. National travels and accommodation costs will be covered by the consultant

Payment will be made in a lump sum at the completion of services.

DRC will complete the selection process as follows:

Research Use

This research will not be a stand-alone product, but rather, DRC will use this research in order to effectively design future programming interventions in Ben Guerdane and– Dehiba, Nalut – Wazin and Zuwara aimed at understanding border and cross-border dynamics

Analysis produced by the research will be used as the evidence based for internal DRC activities, strategic planning, reporting requirements and project design. Elements of the analysis may be published for public purposes, including possible advocacy efforts, integrated into future grant proposals, and presented to donors, other organizations, internal staff, and community members.

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