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Independent Consultant

Req ID: 5547
Location: Iraq
# of Openings: 1
FT/PT: Full time
Employment Type: Temporary
Salary Schedule:
Job Notes:


Organizational Background

Heartland Alliance International (HAI) is the youngest and fastest growing part of Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, a family of organizations that has been leading anti-poverty and social justice work in Chicago for more than 125 years. HAI is comprised of nearly a dozen country offices implementing programs on a broad range of human rights issues globally, as well as the Chicago-based Marjorie Kovler Center for the Treatment of Survivors of Torture, which serves individuals from more than 50 countries. HAI has significant expertise in the fields of trauma-informed mental health care and access to justice for survivors of rights abuses. It is also an industry leader in access to high-quality and stigma-free health care. Across all of its programs, HAI promotes progressive, innovative approaches to human rights protections and gender equality.

With the generous support of Global Affairs Canada (GAC), Heartland Alliance International (HAI) is implementing an ambitious four-year project to strengthen women's leadership and secure their economic rights, thus contributing to good governance, peace, and stability in Iraq. Future Forward: The Iraqi Women’s Leadership Initiative project advances three mutually reinforcing Strategic Objectives (SO):

SO1: Iraqi women become increasingly visible and effective in political leadership positions.

SO2: Iraqi women have better tools and resources to realize their economic and political rights.

SO3: Public support for women’s economic and political rights increases in areas of project activity.

The Future Forward project is intended to empower women and girls in both private and public spheres. Project activities are designed to tackle barriers that women and girls face in securing their political, economic, and social rights in their homes, communities, and policymaking arena.

General country context

The legislative and policy framework for women’s human rights fail to meet Iraq’s obligations under international human rights law. Domestic efforts to adopt policies meant to protect women are incomplete; for example, the draft Family Protection Law remains stalled before the Council of Representatives and the draft shelter policy for the victims of domestic violence remain pending under review by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MoLSA). Consequently, Iraqi women victimized by domestic violence and other forms of gender-based violence (GBV) have inadequate access to the courts, poor or non-existent government services, and few legal remedies.  Iraqi women who seek protection are often housed in women’s prisons and detention centers. The Family Protection Units (FPU) of the Iraqi Police have been established to provide protection to women who are the victims of domestic violence. However, the FPUs lacks the financial and personnel resources to cover large areas of the country and are inaccessible to most victims of domestic violence. The Iraqi Criminal Code no. 111 of 1969 permits “honor” in mitigation of charges involving the murder of family members. Police rarely investigate such cases and alleged perpetrators are therefore rarely held accountable. In the northern areas of Iraq, female genital mutilation (FGM) is decreasing, but continues. FGM occurs in southern Iraq but its prevalence is unknown. Government legislative and regulatory response appears inadequate. There are credible reports on the trafficking of women and girls; the victims are forced into prostitution and when caught, they face lengthy prison sentences despite the Iraqi Trafficking Law no. 29 of 2012.

With respect to women’s economic rights, legislative and governmental policy gaps remain in the areas of inheritance, the rights of ethnic and religious minority women in ownership and control of assets, non-discriminatory access to credit and financial services, equal status and access to the courts for civil and criminal litigation, workplace discrimination and sexual harassment, and equal access to government employment.

Goal of the legislative assessment

As part of the Future Forward project, HAI seeks to build the capacity of women in Iraq to develop and implement broad reform of policies affecting women’s political, economic, and social rights. In consultation with relevant stakeholders, Future Forward is intended to:  

  • Increase female legislators’ technical skills, collaboration, and impact on policies and laws that generally expand women’s rights, economic status and equality;
  • Enhance the legislative, policy framework on SGBV and CARSV to meet Iraq’s commitment under international human rights law including the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict endorsed in September 2013. These frameworks should provide protection and assistance to women subjected to SGBV and CARSV, prevent such violence from taking place, and promote accountability of perpetrators.

In order to address these concerns, HAI seeks a consultant to conduct a comprehensive review of the existing laws, policies, and practices in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) related to women’s political, economic, and social rights.

The following are the specific objectives of the assessment:

  1. Conduct a desk review of existing assessments of Iraqi law, governmental policies and practices related to the full range of gender-based violence and family law;

  2. Conduct a desk review of existing assessments of Iraqi law, governmental policies and practices related to women’s economic rights;

  3. Conduct a desk review of existing assessments of women’s legislative participation and effectiveness, including impact of quotas on female representation in legislative bodies;

  4. Based on the desk reviews, assess the implementation of relevant existing laws, policies, and practices in the KRI and federal Iraq with regards to GBV protection and response;

  5. Based on the desk reviews, assess the implementation of relevant existing laws, policies, and practices in the KRI and federal Iraq with regards to promoting women economic rights;

  6. Based on the desk reviews, assess the implementation of relevant existing laws, policies, and practices in the KRI and federal Iraq with regards to anti-discrimination in government employment and services;

  7. Analyze existing and best practices in Iraq for legislative oversight of government agencies, with recommendations on how female legislators can increase their role and effectiveness in oversight of government agencies;

  8. Analyze existing and best practices in Iraq for CSO advocacy on improving implementation of laws intended to protect or advance women’s economic and social rights;

The assessment results will be used to develop Future Forward program strategies for addressing the gaps identified and to develop a leadership training program for female legislators and civic leaders at both national and provincial levels. Assessment results will also be provided to legislators and women’s movement leaders to inform their own strategic planning and prioritization regarding advocacy and new legislative initiatives.

The consultant will be based in Sulaymaniyah, Erbil, or Baghdad and must be able to travel across Iraq as needed. The consultant must pass the security clearance.


In the expression of interest, the consultant must propose a robust methodology that includes but is not limited to:

  1. Analytical literature review of existing relevant documents and research available in open source libraries, reports, and existing literature; the consultant is expected to propose an all-inclusive literature review and inclusive framework. This should clearly state the criteria for inclusion of literature in the review process. With the proposed framework HAI anticipates that the consultant will employ method such as, but not limited to, policy transfer, emulation and lessons drawing analysis in a bid for drawing gaps, and analyzing best practices and developing actionable recommendations;

  2. Sentiment analysis of texts and language in legal laws and frameworks to analyses the responsive nature of the IKR and federal Iraq government in promotion of women economic and political rights;

  3. Conduct focus group discussions and key informant interview with key partners and proposed line ministries and government departments respectively in order to identify best practices and make actionable recommendations;


  • Understanding and experience in applying robust policy review frameworks and tools to inform advocacy strategies.
  • The consultant should have a Masters/advanced degree in a relevant field, (e.g., Human Rights, International Development, Gender Studies, Criminal Law, etc.);

  • Demonstrated experience in leading legislative assessments or legal research projects in Iraq.

  • Minimum three years of experience in the relevant field;

  • Excellent ability to assess, interpret, analyze, and present qualitative and quantitative data;

  • Excellent writing skills; able to provide at least 1 published research or study.

  • Experience working with civil society organizations in conflict and post-conflict countries;

  • Excellent communication skills, including fluency in written and spoken English required, Arabic and/or Kurdish desirable;

  • Must be able to travel to within Iraqi Kurdistan and Federal Iraq(must have Iraqi Visa);

  • IKR/Iraq/Middle East regional experience is a plus

Assessment deliverables:

  1. Develop and share a detailed assessment methodology and action plan for the review process.

  2. Successfully conduct focus group discussions and key informant interviews in with project partners and key informants.

  3. Share raw data include notes, signed list of participants and recordings for focus group discussions and key informant interviews

  4. Facilitate two roundtable discussions with stakeholders (including the 1325 Network and 1325 Alliance)

  5. Final assessment report including recommendations for legislative advocacy.

  6. Debrief presentation with HAI and partner staff: The Contractor will present major accomplishments and findings from the assessment to HAI and partner staff through PowerPoint presentation after completion of field-based data collection. The debriefing will include a discussion of achievements and issues as well as any recommendations the Contractor has for possible modifications to project approaches, results, or activities. The Contractor will consider HAI project staff comments and revise the assessment report accordingly, as appropriate.

Timeframe: 15th of December,2018 -15th  of January ,2019 (3 months)

Payment’s Schedule:

  1. 1st installment: 30% upon submission and HAI approval of assessment Deliverable 1 (assessment methodology and work plan) and receipt of invoice from the Contractor.

  2. 2nd installment: 30% upon submission and HAI approval of assessment Deliverable 2 and 3 (focus group discussion and key informant interviews and subsequent raw assessment data), and assessment Deliverable 3 (debriefing presentation with HAI and partner staff) and receipt of invoice from the Contractor.

  3. 3rd installment: 40% upon submission and HAI approval of assessment Deliverable 5  (draft assessment report) and Assessment Deliverable 5 (final report) and receipt of invoice from the Contractor.

Submission Process

To be considered for this contract, please submit the following to (hairaq-jobs@heartlandalliance.org ) before the 1st of December,2018.

  1. A letter of interest, indicating how your skills and experience meet the qualifications listed above;

  2. A resume or CV (no more than four pages);

  3. A writing sample of related assignments (no more than three pages);

  4. A draft itemized budget, including consultation fees and all other evaluation-related expenses, including travel, with a maximum amount of $7,000 USD.

Incomplete submission packages and submission packages that do not adhere to the page limits stated above will not be considered. Present employees of HAI or HAI’s implementing partners need not apply.


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