TOR Policy Engagement: Action for Policy Change (Niamey Convention) – ACT-NC-09-2019
I.0 About Act Change Transform (Act!)
Act! is a not-for-profit non-governmental organization, established in Kenya in September 2001 and registered under the provisions of Non-Governmental Organizations Coordination Act of 1990. Act!’s vision is that of “empowered citizens and communities living a productive life in dignity” while its mission is to “support, partner with and develop local organizations to be effective agents of lasting positive change”. Act’s holistic approach to development is delivered through capacity development and grants management. Act! is implementing various development programs in three key areas: Peace Building & Conflict Transformation; Democracy, Governance & Human Rights; and Environment & Natural Resources Management. To realize its vision, ensure legitimacy, implementation and scale local ownership and sustainability, Act! Partners with other local organizations in the delivery of its interventions and enjoys great partnerships and collaborations across sectors.
Through the Peace Building and Conflict Transformation (PBCT) program, Act! Is implementing the Improving policies for conflict prevention: Civil society engagement to transform borderlands in Africa program whose overall objective is*; to increase the participation and contribution of civil society organizations (CSOs) to ensure continental and regional policies on cross-border cooperation in Africa are responsive to the human security priorities of borderland communities**.* This is a three-year EU funded program that commenced in 2017 and will end in 2020.
The cross Border Collaboration program (CBC) has four key result areas namely;
Strengthened awareness and skills of strategically selected CSOs to participate in regional and continental decision-making processes on cross-border cooperation.
Civil Society Organizations(CSOs) have access to networks and spaces for exchange amongst themselves and with relevant policy actors.
Increased visibility for issues of borderland human security, cross-border cooperation and the Niamey convention.
Policy actors have been presented with a compelling body of evidence on cross-border cooperation and human security priorities and been engaged in policy dialogue on e.g. the Niamey Convention
So far we have identified a number of successes and lessons under the output 1 and 2, (*Strengthened awareness and skill and CSOs having access to networks and spaces**)*, and Act! is committed to increase the visibility for borderland issues and present the same with a compelling evidence to the policy actors in Kenya.
While African civil society in general is disconnected from continental decision-making circles, CSOs based in borderlands face this challenge in a much more acute fashion due to their geographical and symbolic distance from the centres of decision-making. Their location in the peripheries of their national territories, representing the most marginalized segments of societies in most African Countries mean they are often overlooked, even by donors and INGO-led initiatives that aspire to enhance the capacity and participation of civil society organizations. As a result, in many of Africa’s borderlands one can find Civil Society Organization (CSOs) with the greatest expertise in cross-border cooperation but with the least capacity, space and resources needed to influence the policies that would affect them or could help their causes the most, such as the African Union’s 2014 Convention for Cross Border Collaboration (Niamey Convention).
With increased democratization and advances in information and communication technologies, there is potential for progressive partnerships between Civil Society Organization(CSOs) and policymakers. A key policy component involves a range of actors, institutions and processes. Some actors are important across the policy process, while others only play a key role at certain points. To influence policy, it is vital to understand the institutions and actors involved in policy processes both on a formal and informal level. Doing so helps to recognize the incentives and pressures on those involved, as well as and the type of evidence and communication approach needed to maximize the chances of policy influence.
Greater networking would help with policy influence, developing effective links and trust-based
relationships with policymakers, the media and other stakeholders while identifying key personalities who can help, and generate new linkages and partnerships with likeminded individuals and organizations. This is necessary to engage fully with policy processes.
This is just but some of notable parameters that the consultant is expected to work on amongst other areas as described below.
2.0 The Task & Desired Outcomes
It is against the above background that Act! is seeking the services of a suitably qualified and experienced consultant(s) with good political, social space networks to facilitate the engagement of borderland civil society organization with the policymakers toward the signing and ratification of The African Union Convention on Cross Border Cooperation (Niamey Convention).
2.1 Objectives of the Policy Engagement Consultancy
The main objective of the consultancy is to bridge the borderlands Civil Society Organization with the policy actors so as to have spaces for engagement and seeking their support toward the signing and ratification of the African Union Convention on Cross Border Cooperation (Niamey Convention).
2.2 Specific Objectives of Policy Engagement Consultancy:
Support, through drafting, our efforts towards ratification of the Niamey Convention (Treaty Ratification Processes).
§ Coordinate and facilitate external relations and visibility with policy actors namely the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Senate, National Assembly and County Governments.
§ Coordinate policy engagement discussions/breakfast meeting with the members of the parliament, Senators, Women representatives, Governors and the borderland communities.
§ Managing the relationship with the policy actors acting as the main point of contact between Policy makers and Act!.
§ Generate specific and practical programming and policy engagement strategies and recommendations for addressing the call for action by the borderland communities (ratification of Niamey Convention in Kenya).
3.0 Proposed Approach & Methodology
The primary methodology will involve desk reviews of CBC policies like the Niamey Convention, the progress made and the implications. Whereas Act! expects the consultant (s) to suggest other methods and approaches, it has made suggestions on the proposed detailed approach as follows:
a) Policy engagement review & analysis: Review and analysis of our policy engagement strategy and policy brief; including what has worked (successes), what has not worked (including challenges and lessons learned). Some of the policy materials for review shall include The African Union Convention on Cross Border Cooperation (Niamey Convention) as well as the Treaty Ratification Processes in Kenya.
b) Coordinate policy engagement discussions: The consultant will act as a liaison person through which the borderland communities with engage with policy actors to share their borderlands human security concerns
c) Follow Up – Sign up for Call for Action: The policy actors will sign up a card as an expression for their support toward the signing of the policy.
4.0 Reporting and Supervision
The consultant(s) will work closely with the Act’s Program Manager (CBC Project) and will be under the direct supervision of the Program Officer (CBC Project). There will be collaborative engagements with the Director of Programs and the Chief Executive Officer
The key deliverables for the consultant (s) will be assessed against the provisions of this TORs. In synopsis, the following are the key deliverables and expected outputs:
a) A report (not more than 30 pages excluding annexes) covering our (Act!) policy engagement processes; including practical recommendations for ratification of Niamey Convention
b) A policy brief on the role of borderland civil society organizations (CSOs) in influencing national, regional and continental decision making processes that affect border landers
c) A Draft Niamey Convention Ratification Document/Treaty
6.0 Duration of the Assignment
This task will take a duration of 45 days spread out over a period of three months from November 2019 to February 2020.