Consultancy for Information Counseling & Legal Assistance - Norwegian Refugee Council-Jordan
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is a non-governmental, humanitarian organization with 60 years of experience in helping to create a safer and more dignified life for refugees and internally displaced people. NRC advocates for the rights of displaced populations and offers assistance within the shelter, education, emergency food security, legal assistance, and water,sanitation and hygiene sectors.
The Norwegian Refugee Council has approximately 5000 committed and competent employees involved in projects across four continents. In addition, NRC runs one of the world’s largest standby rosters -NORCAP, with 650 professionals, ready to be deployed on 72 hours notice when a crisis occurs
The NRC Information, Counseling and Legal Assistance (ICLA) programme was established in Jordan in 2013 in order to provide casework and legal assistance to beneficiaries of the Integrated Urban Shelter programme. The objective of this project is to support the renovation of Jordanian housing units in local communities to provide adequate and secure shelter for Syrian refugees. At the same time the ICLA programme provides the refugee families with information and counselling in relation to their rights to registration, legal and civil documentation, housing, and access to essential services as part of a holistic casework/social work approach to beneficiary need.
In 2016 the ICLA programme expanded its beneficiary coverage to non-shelter beneficiaries. It also established new partnerships with local legal aid providers to provide a wider range of legal services, including court representation, and began providing ICLA services in the area of labour law.
The ICLA Jordan programme is one of over 20 ICLA programmes operated by NRC in different conflict and post-conflict contexts around the world. Whilst the context and nature of legal regimes differ enormously in different countries, ICLA has developed a consistent approach to the provision of casework and legal assistance services in line with NRC’s global humanitarian mandate and expertise in certain areas such as Housing, Land and Property (HLP) law and Legal Identity and Civil Documentation. This is best expressed in the ICLA Policy Handbook.
PURPOSE OF CONSULTANCY
The purpose of the consultancy is to draft an ICLA Jordan Caseworkers Manual to provide guidance to ICLA staff, and staff of other partner organisations, on best practices in the provision of a combined casework/legal approach to Syrian refugees within the Jordan context.
It is recognised that a strictly legal approach will often be unrealistic and inappropriate in resolving many of the daily challenges and protection issues faced by refugees. Formal legal systems can be slow, expensive, intimidating and inaccessible for refugees who often prefer to resolve their problems outside of formal legal systems for fear of drawing unwanted attention to their situation. Mediation and customary dispute resolution (CDR) is often a preferred means of resolving disputes. It can be faster, cheaper, more familiar to refugees and more likely to produce a negotiated compromise which serves as a ‘win-win’ for both parties.
There are other reasons why a holistic casework/social work approach is often more suitable for problem-solving for refugees. Problems faced by refugees, including family, communal or neighbourhood disputes, often require a non-adversarial, locally brokered approach. Whilst protection issues, such as child abuse or Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) cases may involve issues of criminal law, an integrated social work/protection-based approach is important in helping victims work through their trauma, making appropriate referrals and advising refugees of their non-legal options. It must be noted that such cases often require professional expertise beyond the role or capacity of the caseworker. Consequently, the role of the caseworkers in such cases will be limited. Finally, many obstacles faced by refugees are bureaucratic and administrative in nature and do not require a lawyer. Instead they require caseworkers who can help refugees with forms and complicated administrative processes, who can accompany refugees to government offices and who can follow-up on referrals. Such services must be provided with empathy and sensitivity for refugees who are often vulnerable, scared and traumatised by past experiences.
Staff within the ICLA Jordan programme come from a range of backgrounds and have a variety of qualifications including legal, social work, administrative, IT, technical and many others. The programme intends to build on these experiences and develop a team of professional caseworkers who are able to utilize a range of skills and approaches to helping refugees resolve problems. Whilst caseworkers cannot be expert in all areas, the aim of the Caseworkers Manual will be to set out the basic information and skills that caseworkers should possess, as well as offering practical tips, guidance and best practice.
The Caseworkers Manual is expected to be 30-40 pages and will cover the following topics:
- Key elements of an integrated casework/social work/legal approach to problem solving for refugees.
- Basic skills and qualifications necessary for caseworkers
- Ethics, confidentiality and principles of Do No Harm
- Basic standards of refugee and human rights protection under international law
- Techniques for interviewing and assessing refugees to identify problems and advise on available options
- Summarising and documenting legal cases
- Case follow-up and ensuring case deadlines are met
- A social work approach to dealing with refugee issues
- Mainstreaming a protection-based approach into casework
- Gender justice
- Dealing with vulnerable and traumatised beneficiaries
- Dealing with issues of child protection and SGBV
- Dealing with diverse and difficult clients (refugees, landlords, employers)
- Approaches to provision of group and individual information to refugees
- Presentation skills and ‘adult learning’
- Provision of counselling and legal assistance services to refugees
- Making appropriate referrals with follow-up as necessary
- Basic rights of refugees under Jordanian law, focusing in the areas of tenancy law, civil registration and documentation, labour law, family law and criminal law. Please note that this information will be very basic and will draw on the expertise of ICLA legal officers to whom such cases will be referred.
- Approaches to customary dispute resolution and mediation/negotiation of disputes
- Approaches to resolving local and communal tensions and developing positive community relations
- Effective means of dealing with local and national authorities
- Coordination with other agencies
- Advocating on behalf of refugees
- Caseworkers as data collectors
- Personal safety whilst working with refugees
Individual well-being and stress relief
The consultant will be invited to draw upon available resources including the ICLA Policy Manual, CDR Handbook and OSJ Paralegal Manual as well as ICLA Jordan Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in developing the manual. Other web based resources will also be of use. Whilst some knowledge of the local context is preferred, it is not a pre-requisite. The consultant will be able to tap into the existing knowledge accumulated within the ICLA programme on many of these issues since 2013.
The Manual is intended to be concise and easy to read. In addition to serving as a key resource for ICLA, it will be used for other agencies wishing to employ caseworkers.
SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
- Graduate/post-graduate study in law, social work or relevant area
- Experience in providing counselling/casework/legal assistance to refugees
- Experience in humanitarian programming.
- Excellent written and editing skills.
- Excellent analytical skills and ability to synthesise information
Fluency in written and spoken English
- Desk review of available literature and information on an integrated casework/legal work approach to working with refugees
- Drafting of Caseworkers Manual (approximately 30-40 pages)
Delivery of two-three full days training on casework/legal approaches to problem solving for refugees in Jordan
- ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Accommodation: Accommodation will be provided in the NRC guesthouse in Jordan. The Consultant will be responsible for their own accommodation for time spent out of Jordan.
Flights: Flights will be paid for by NRC Jordan
Transportation: Transportation within Jordan (and to and from the airport) associated with undertaking of the consultancy will be provided for by NRC Jordan or reimbursed upon presentation of receipts.
Time spent in Jordan: It is expected that the consultant will spend between 7-10 days in Jordan in order to view the programme in action and meet ICLA staff and staff of other agencies
Consultants should submit a covering letter setting out their relevant background, experience and motivation for the position, as well as a CV, their daily rate, expected number of days to complete the project, dates of availability and any other information or data they would require from NRC to undertake the consultancy.
- Organization: NRC - Norwegian Refugee Council
- Location: Amman
- Grade: P-3, International Professional
- Legal - Broad
- Refugee rights and well-being
- Emergency Aid
- Closing Date: 2016-07-21