Research Consultancy: School - Related Gender Based Violence in Somalia

Mogadishu | Mogadishu

****Background and Justification****

Concern Worldwide has maintained an almost continuous presence in Somalia since 1986, despite political and social instability and insecurity, with emergency interventions and later developmental programmes both in Mogadishu and Lower Shabelle region. Concern has 17 years of experience supporting education in Somalia as part of a multi-sector programme which also includes Emergency Response, Nutrition, Health, Resilience, WASH, and Food, Income, and Markets (FIM). Concern is currently operational in five regions of Somalia, including Banadir (Mogadishu), Lower Shabelle, Bay, Gedo and Somaliland.

As part of its response to humanitarian crisis, in 1992 Concern initiated and maintained an education support programme in Mogadishu, and Lower Shabelle regions of Somalia. In its support the education programme provides educational opportunity to 8,325 extreme poor children in Mogadishu Slums (including formal and Accelerated Basic Education), and 6,850 children in the rural, conflict-affected areas of Lower Shabelle. The programme includes capacity building of teachers and Community Education Committees (CECs), provision of essential education materials, construction and maintenance of schools and community empowerment. Concern’s Education programme gives special emphasis to issues around equity and equality. However, despite all efforts over the years, the gender gap both in students and teaching staff remains. There are also persistent cultural practices and social issues surrounding around the inequalities in the schools such as School Related Gender Based Violence (SRGBV) among other things. The effects of these issues can be seen in the girls’ education particularly enrolment, attendance, performance and retention.

In this study, the programme is seeking to identify the extent, frequency and types of SRGBV that exists in the sector generally and particularly in Concern supported schools, along with practical recommendations to develop an effective plan to address these problems together with other stakeholders.

Gender based violence is a global phenomenon manifested in every aspect of life. It is a violation of human rights and manifestation of gender discrimination which poses serious threats and obstacles for the achievement of the Education for All and the Millennium Development Goals, especially the ones relating to gender equality. According to the results of a Global School-based Health Survey by WHO in a number of developing countries, including Somalia, between 20% and 65% of school-aged children reported having been verbally or physically bullied. There is a lack of evidence on the types of violence children experienced, and the gendered nature of this violence, although anecdotal reporting indicates that boys may be more vulnerable to harsh physical punishment (reinforcing gendered associations of masculinity and violence) and girls may experience more psychological bullying. Further information on gender-based violence affecting school-aged children, including FGM, sexual violence, denial of freedoms and oppression, is unavailable. School-related gender based violence is a serious obstacle to learning causing not only physical harm but also severe psychological and educational damage, reinforcing gendered stereotypes and gender inequality. Despite the limited research in this area, there is indicative evidence that gender based violence permeates the school environment in Somalia, as in other parts of the world, with severe physical, psychological and learning consequences for students.

Concern included indicators relating to School-Related Gender Based Violence in a 2011 assessment of three urban schools in Mogadishu supported by the programme. However, due to cultural barriers and ethical considerations, data collected was largely limited to indicators of corporal punishment and children’s perceptions of safety in their schools. The baseline assessment found that boys and girls were likely to experience physical assaults such as kicking, slapping or beating with sticks and frequently psychological violence. The majority of the physical violence reported was perpetrated on pupils within the school environment, indicating that corporal punishment is broadly practiced in schools. Most pupils reported that they were whipped in schools. While this information is useful, we need an updated analysis of the extent to which this violence is gender-related and what forms of SRGBV exist in these and other schools in Concern’s programme areas, as well as an in-depth analysis of the power dynamics and root causes of SRGBV, taking a broader view than physical punishment. This would include gendered classroom practices, gendered learning expectations and systematic power dynamics that reinforce or challenge gender inequalities[1]. This proposed new study will provide further information on the types, extent and effects of SRGBV in certain parts of Somalia and will inform programme planning as well, potentially, as national policy.

****Goal of the Study****

The study should contribute to an overview of the types and prevalence of SRGBV in Somalia; its effects on students’ educational opportunities and achievements (particularly girls); the attitudes and practices of key stakeholders towards SRGBV; its root causes and perpetrators; and recommendations for Concern to address SRGBV within its education programme in partnership with the Ministry of Education.

****Specific Objectives of the study:****

  • To investigate and detail the current knowledge and understanding amongst students, teachers, parents and government officials of the nature, scale, causes and consequences of SRGBV and forms of SRGBV that exist in schools both primary and early secondary (Form 1) in target regions South-central Somalia.
  • To investigate the effect of SRGBV on all school age students, both boys and girls, and the impact on educational attainment.
  • To identify recommendations for addressing and preventing SRGBV both at school or through advocacy at local, district and national levels, as well as at policy level.
  • To present the findings and recommendations of the study to a national audience of relevant stakeholders, both national and international agencies and the Ministry of Education in Mogadishu.

****Methodology and Technical Approach****

The consultant will employ both quantitative and qualitative techniques in undertaking the survey. Participation is a crucial element for all of Concern’s work, hence the consultant should ensure the inclusion of communities’, childrens’ and CECs’ views and ideas in the survey.

In advance of the field visits to a minimum of eight (this can change) schools, the consultant will provide an information gathering framework and questionnaires for the different groups of respondents to be consulted during the study: these will be discussed with the team in detail in a workshop at the start of the study. Together with the team and in consultation with the Programmes Director, the consultant will review the questions, and make sure they are adequately translated in the local language and the team (or enumerators) are equipped to collect and record information. The Concern Education Programme Manager will be responsible for making relevant appointments and arrangements with various actors to ensure that meetings are scheduled and take place as per the information gathering framework. The consultant will train the data collection staff, including on all ethical considerations detailed below, make sure that data/ information gathered are collated, processed and analysed, with the team’s involvement, and necessary adjustments are made. Following the training, the consultant will ensure that all data collectors demonstrate an acceptable level of understanding of SRGBV, ethical considerations and correct procedures to ensure confidentiality of respondents and appropriate referral of children to support services where a child discloses information that indicates risk of abuse. The consultant will present the preliminary findings to Concern staff, assess/validate the findings and develop recommendations that will then be shared in the wider national level workshop.

****Ethical considerations****

Gender based violence is a sensitive topic and undertaking research/surveys on this issue poses some unique ethical challenges, including issues of safety, consent and confidentiality. Consultants will be required to review and commit to adhere to Concern’s Programme Participant Protection Policy (Annex 1) in advance of commencing the consultancy. Consultants should obtain informed consent from all participants and parents of children in advance of their participation in the study, and ensure confidentiality of all information gathered. Consultants should review the materials from the Sexual Violence Research Initiative and carefully consult and follow the guidelines found in the Ethical Research Involving Children compendium (UNICEF).

It is imperative that the consultant:

  • Guarantee the safety of respondents and the research team, and gain consent from children and parents before proceeding with survey questions.
  • Apply protocols to ensure anonymity and confidentiality of respondents.
  • Ensure any other study team members are briefed on ethical issues and follow the protocols.
  • Ensure compliance with any existing legal codes governing areas such as provisions to collect and report data, particularly permissions needed to interview or obtain information about children and youth. In the absence of such legal codes in Somalia, the UNICEF guidelines referred to above must be followed.
  • Store securely all collected information

Furthermore, during the study if any respondents are found to have suffered a traumatic event which the survey triggers memories or a reaction to, or if serious cases of abuse are uncovered, the consultant and all members of the survey team must report them immediately to Concern and provide (in conjunction with relevant Concern staff) referrals to local services and sources of support for the women or children that might ask for them.

****Outputs and Deliverables****

The consultant will be expected to produce the following outputs:

  • Inception report including the detailed methodology, locations to be surveyed and timeline that will be followed.
  • A presentation of preliminary findings and recommendations to Concern staff, at which feedback will be captured for inclusion in the final report.
  • A report detailing the process, findings and analyses, conclusions and recommendations of the study in separate sections as appropriate. The recommendation section should outline recommended actions at different levels: in-school, by Concern or other NGOs, and at regional/national level.
  • Present the findings and recommendations of the study at a workshop where the major stakeholders will participate (government, UN, NGO, School representatives).
  • Provide a soft copy of the final report and any annexes. The final report should incorporate feedback from the validation workshop held.


Candidates applying for this position should have the following key qualifications:

  • Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in education, social sciences, gender studies, social work or a related field.
  • Demonstrable experience in the field of School- Related Gender Based Violence, preferably in the Horn of Africa. A good publication record is also desirable**.**
  • Fluent in English and have excellent written and oral communication skills. Somali language skills would be a bonus.
  • Ability to work in and/or lead a team of surveyors in Mogadishu.

****Time Frame: The consultant must be available immediately.****The consultancy is for up to 25 re-chargeable days, to be completed ideally by 30th November 2015.

[1] “SRGBV includes explicit threats or acts of physical violence, bullying, verbal or sexual harassment, non-consensual touching, sexual coercion and assault, and rape. Other implicit acts of SRGBV stem from everyday school practices that reinforce stereotyping and gender inequality, and encourage violent or unsafe environments especially against those who do not conform to mainstream conceptions of masculinity or femininity. Corporal punishment and discipline are also often used in schools in gendered and discriminatory ways. Both male and female teachers and students can be victims and perpetrators of violence, although the extent and form can differ and vary.” From a Call to Action by the SRGBV Global Partners Group, 2015.

Those interested in the consultancy must include in their application a technical and financial proposal with the following components:


Understanding and interpretation of the ToR

Methodology to be used in undertaking the assignment

Work plan for the assignment


Consultant’s daily rate in Euros or USD

Other costs – travel, visa,

Organisational and personal capacity statement

Relevant experience related to the assignment

Contacts of organisations previously worked for

CV of key personnel

Any relevant publications

A sample of previous work

Full proposal documents should be sent to: by Wednesday 4th November.

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
  • Organization: Concern Worldwide
  • Location: Mogadishu | Mogadishu
  • Grade: Mid/Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Gender Mainstreaming
    • Gender Mainstreaming
    • Gender Mainstreaming
    • Gender Mainstreaming
    • Gender Mainstreaming
    • Gender Mainstreaming
    • Gender Mainstreaming
    • Gender Mainstreaming
    • Gender Mainstreaming
    • Gender Mainstreaming
    • Gender Mainstreaming
    • Gender Mainstreaming
    • Gender Mainstreaming
    • Gender Mainstreaming
  • Closing Date: 2015-11-04

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