Deal of the day

Consultancy: Power Mapping, Strengthening Family and Community Networks – Kenya

Project Summary

Search for Common Ground (Search), in partnership with Ijara Women for Peace (IJW) and Tana River Peace Reconciliation and Development (TRPRD), has secured funding from The US Department of State-Bureau of Counterterrorism and Counter Violent Extremism (CT) for a 24-month program to strengthen the role of families and community influencers to prevent recruitment into VE groups in at-risk communities of Garissa and Tana River Counties. The project will equip families and peer influencers in communities with knowledge and skills to act as “front-line” actors in recognizing early warning signs of radicalization, and with support structures and networks to share their fears and concerns, overcome stigma and trauma, and devise solutions to stem VE recruitment in at-risk communities of Garissa and Tana River Counties.

The primary target group for this program will be boys and men in the social and family networks of individuals at-risk and disengaged VE militants.” However, as much as men and boys are primary targets for Al Shabaab recruitment, so are their female counterparts, recruited by both male and female Al Shabaab recruiters. In addition, based on the information available to us, female relatives (mothers, wives, sisters) also play an important role in pushing male individuals into the social roles and expectations that can ultimately lead them to accept joining a VE group. Traditionally, in the Kenyan-Somali conflict negotiation set-up, women are not actively involved but have a considerable amount of power to pull strings and influence their husband’s decisions.

We recognize that lack of real, effective communication between older and younger generations represents a lost opportunity for preventing VE recruitment, and so in all of the project’s activities Search will take into consideration how intergenerational dynamics come into play. The project’s trainings for key influencers and at-risk youth will incorporate modules on effective communication and inclusiveness, thus equipping them to improve their outreach to individuals from other stakeholder groups and across generations. In addition, the selected family and community-led initiatives will have to be specifically designed to encourage intergenerational collaboration.

The project is found on the premise that families and friends of individuals at risk of radicalization are understandably reticent to draw attention to themselves or seek help. Families and friends play a crucial role in shaping attitudes and beliefs during adolescence, and thus have the power to either incite or “dampen a propensity toward violence”. A social network analysis conducted by Search in Northeast (Mandera) and Coastal Kenya found that youth at risk of radicalization overwhelmingly turn first to peers their age (friends, siblings, young members of the extended family) for advice and inspiration, followed by other family members. However, our analysis also showed that friends and families are usually ill-equipped to offer constructive, tangible solutions that can address the grievances that facilitate terrorist recruitment, making the offers of VE recruiters seem all the more appealing. Research also points to a correlation between dysfunctional families (“absent parents” able to offer positive authority models) and increased vulnerability to recruitment, a void that VE recruiters exploit by posing as mentors and father-figures. The role of women recruiters is also profound as they have the ability to recruit both men and women through kinship networks or their relationships with peers or students, and it is easier for them to create bonds, socialize, and promote sisterhood and belonging.

The theory of change (ToC) underpinning the rationale of this project is: if families and community influencers gain the skills to identify and respond to early signs of radicalization in at-risk youth and if they have the community support structures and spaces to collectively address youth grievances and transform VE narratives, then recruitment of at-risk youth in Garissa and Tana River counties will be reduced.

The goal of the project is to strengthen the role of families and community influencers to prevent recruitment into VE groups in at-risk communities in Kenya. It pursues three objectives, supported by six expected results:

O1. To increase the capacity of family members and community influencers to understand and address family and social processes and dynamics that drive recruitment in at-risk communities of Garissa and Tana River counties.

ER1.1. Family members, community influencers and local authorities have increased knowledge of recruitment techniques and radicalization processes linked to family and community expectations of youth and how to identify early warning signs of VE in youth and children.

ER1.2. At-risk youth learn alternative ways to fulfill social expectations non-violently and confidence to increase their resilience to recruitment.

O2. To strengthen family-based, community-led support structures for youth in at-risk communities of Garissa and Tana River counties.

ER2.1. Families in at-risk communities have safe spaces to identify, discuss and implement community-based solutions to address VE issues related to social dynamics and expectations of boys and men, in coordination with local state and non-state services and initiatives.

ER2.2. At-risk youth have access to diverse and relevant mechanisms that support healthy and non violent masculinities as a resilience to VE recruitment..

O3. To strengthen narratives that promote healthy, nonviolent social expectations of boys and men that will deter from VE recruitment in at-risk communities

ER3.1. Perceptions around the roles that male leaders and influencers in marginalized, at-risk youth can play in communities are positively transformed.

ER3.2. Family and community-based role models of support to community members (at-risk youth, families of VE militants, etc.) affected by VE are promoted and celebrated in communities.

Please click here for the full terms of reference


The following skills and experience are expected by Search for the selected evaluator for this project:

  • Proficiency in English and Swahili (written and spoken); Knowledge of Somali or any local dialect in Garissa and Tana River County will be an asset
  • More than 5 years of experience in project evaluation;
  • Experience in conflict analysis and expertise in doing research on P/CVE programming;
  • Experience working with international organizations;
  • Experience conducting qualitative and quantitative surveys and analysis;
  • Evaluation methods and data collection skills;
  • Contextual knowledge of and experience working in East Africa, experience in Kenya and specifically in Garissa and Tana River Counties is a comparative advantage.

In addition, the consultant is required to respect the following Ethical Principles:

  • Comprehensive and systematic inquiry: Consultant should make the most of the existing information and full range of stakeholders available at the time of the review. Consultant should conduct systematic, data-based inquiries. He or she should communicate his or her methods and approaches accurately and in sufficient detail to allow others to understand, interpret and critique his or her work. He or she should make clear the limitations of the review and its results.
  • Competence: Consultant should possess the abilities and skills and experience appropriate to undertake the tasks proposed and should practice within the limits of his or her professional training and competence.
  • Honesty and integrity: Consultant should be transparent with the contractor/constituent about: any conflict of interest, any change made in the negotiated project plan and the reasons why those changes were made, any risk that certain procedures or activities produce misleading review information.
  • Respect for people: Consultant respect the security, dignity and self-worth of respondents, program participants. Consultant has the responsibility to be sensitive to and respect differences amongst participants in culture, religion, gender, disability, age and ethnicity.

In addition, the consultant will respect Search’s evaluations standards, to be found in Search’s evaluation guidelines:

This position will close on January 7th, 2019. For any related questions, kindly write to: [email protected], with copy [email protected], [email protected]

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Deal of the day