Terms of Reference - Study Gender impacts of the Israeli Occupation in Palestine

1. Background/Introduction

Alianza por la Solidaridad (ALIANZA) is an international non-governmental organization (INGO) combining more than 30 years of experience in development cooperation and humanitarian assistance, communication and advocacy campaigns and with presence in more than 14 countries in Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. ALIANZA has been present in the oPt since 1993 actively working within a gender-focus strategy: political advocacy to guarantee women´s rights under local, national and international legislative frameworks, campaigns and media activities to ensure that public opinion and active citizenship are working in favour of women´s rights, strengthening the capacity of public and private institutions in gender mainstreaming and gender knowledge, knowledge generation and management to provide innovative and reliable information and open spaces for advocacy, debate and learning through empowered women leadership. Culture and Free Though Association (CFTA) is a pioneering Palestinian non-profit organization  based  in  Gaza  since  1992,  which always  seeks  to  concentrate  on  and further the values of civil society, playing an innovative and catalytic role in empowering women, advocating women's human rights and gender equality in the Palestinian sustainable development process in the last 21 years through capacity development, information and research, and advocacy and outreach programs. Established 44 years ago, ActionAid (AA) is an independent global federation without religious or political affiliations, present in 48 countries, with an international secretariat in South Africa. ActionAid Palestine has been working in oPt since 2005, with its headquarters in Hebron and offices in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Gaza City.   ActionAid is experienced in implementing a range of interventions aimed at safeguarding women’s protection, strengthening  their  leadership  and  promoting  gender  equality.  Specific  initiatives include: supporting women’s economic empowerment through the provision of vocational/skills training and small grants; women’s legal protection and prevention of GBV; training on women’s rights, gender equality and GBV; strengthening community- based protection mechanisms; and conducting research on gender-based violence and other women’s rights issues to inform programming, advocacy and campaigning.

Israel’s occupation and its enforcement of discriminatory policies has a tremendous and long-lasting negative impact on the whole Palestinian community a and has specific impacts on women´s lives and rights. The military occupation employs a series of measures intended to restrict the population’s movement and development, including the severe blockade in Gaza and recurrent outbreaks of hostilities, internal and external checkpoint   systems,   construction   of   the   “Apartheid”   Wall,   home   demolitions, settlement expansion, forcible transfer of communities, excessive use of military force, arbitrary  arrests,  revocation  of  residency  rights,  economic  strangulation,  denial  to
access to basic services, etc. In Palestine, women’s rights are negatively affected by the interlocking  forces  of  occupation-related  political,  social  and  economic  oppression. These forces are inseparable, and they work together to reinforce and exacerbate one another. Any discussion of the challenges facing women in Palestine must be set in the context of the on-going occupation of Palestine and the blockade imposed in the Gaza Strip, as the policies and measures inflicted as a result of the occupation have negative gender differentiated impacts on the lives of Palestinian women and their families.

AA, ALIANZA and CFTA believe there is insufficient information to provide a deep understanding of the specific gendered impacts of the Israeli occupation in the oPt. We believe that it is imperative that the movement to end occupation goes hand in hand with the movement for women´s equality. In doing so, evidence-based materials that include directly women’s voices and experiences and that provide thorough gendered analysis  of the occupation are still needed, in  order to call for policy-changes that recognize and address gender specific impacts.

2. Purpose of this consultancy

The  three  organizations  have  come  together  to  jointly  commission  a study  on  the gender-specific impacts that the Israeli occupation has on women in the Palestinian territory. The purpose of this piece of research is to highlight the barriers, limitations, violations of rights and severe daily constraints women suffer. The objective of the research, through in-depth and rigorous study, is to provide a solid evidence base    to challenge  the  mainstream  narrative  and  the  misrepresentation  of  Palestinians.  It remains crucial to document, from a gender perspective, the injustices and oppressions suffered by women and their families, and to highlight the profound failure of international governments to live up to their obligations in relation to the Israeli occupation, that is, to protect the occupied population. The study is intended to be a powerful knowledge, campaigning and advocacy tool.

The research does not purport to be comprehensive or statistically representative but rather to offer an insight into the experience of women and to highlight common trends across  Gaza  and  the  West  Bank  including  East  Jerusalem.  It  does  not  attempt  to compare the experiences of men and women as it primarily a study of women´s experiences, aiming at showing the gender human dimension of the consequences of the prolonged occupation. It seeks to present women’s narrative, explore their experiences and form a whole and wider picture of their specific challenges based on and differentiated because of their gender.

The concrete scope of the research will focus on the following two interlinked components to be analyzed1:

1)   Safety and security risks and threats, including the violence perpetrated against women (GBV), the restrictions imposed on their freedom of movement, and the family    forced    displacement2,    as    direct    consequences    of    the    Israeli


1  Please note that the research focuses only on the occupation-related impacts on Palestinian women, without including analysis of the Palestinian social dynamics affecting women as this has been extensively researched.
2  Please note that this list is non-exhaustive and should include other impacts related with the lack of
safety and security. 
occupation/blockade-related  policies  and  measures,  as  perpetrated  by  the
Israeli military, settlers and systematic discrimination

2)   Extent  and  consequences  of  the  occupation-related  imposed  discriminatory socio-economic policies to women accessing basic services (health, education, water, etc.) and deterrents to earning a living and accessing market/professional/economic life opportunities/participation.

The research should:

    Provide a thorough analysis of the impacts of the occupation on women and young women in Palestine.
    Compile women´s testimonies and life stories.
    Provide  an  in-depth,  gendered  analysis  of  the  findings  of  the  research  and together with women’s testimonies/stories present a powerful challenge to the mainstream narrative which consistently misrepresents or ignores the human suffering of Palestinian women living under occupation.

The end product should be innovative, more engaging/journalistic than academic in style, including creative formats to present the findings and information gathered3. The product should establish links with the international human rights and humanitarian frameworks in a way that national and international advocacy messages are aligned with them, including recommendations on the most effective, relevant and needed advocacy actions to be implemented.

3. Methodology

The  research  location  sample  size  will  cover  women,  both  rural  and  urban,  from different governorates of the Gaza Strip, Jordan Valley, Hebron (H2 and Area C) and East-Jerusalem. The sample size should include age-specific groups: young women (18-
25), women (25-50), from both educated and vulnerable backgrounds4. The research
should be conducted in line with accepted ethical norms of research with a clear section in the report outlining operationalization of these ethical concerns/standards.

As part of this research, the researcher/research team is expected to use qualitative techniques, which could include (please note that this is not an exhaustive list):

    FDGs with women and young women on their experiences
    Interviews  (collection  of  personal  testimonies)  and  with  women  and  young women affected by occupation-related violence
    Interviews with key community informants from the research areas
    Interviews with key feminist/women leader informants
    Interviews with key women´s rights national organizations
    Interviews  with  key  media  national  and  international  agencies  in  Palestine
(Maan News Agency, BCC Jerusalem, etc.)

The research should have the following phases:


3  Infographics, visual material/audio web links, etc. This list in non-exhaustive. We expect the research team to include potential options and alternatives in the methodology.
4 AA, ALIANZA and CFTA will support with the selection of the women and young women´s groups. 
    Phase   I:   Research   design,   tools   development,   sample   selection,   ethical considerations, and desk research/literature review focused on the impact of the occupation on women
     Phase II: Training (if necessary) and Pre-testing
     Phase III: Data collection (interviews, FGDs, meetings), entry and verification
    Phase IV: Data analysis providing details to ensure rigorous and dependable findings/results, reporting and presentation to commissioning agencies
     Phase V: Feedback loops, verification, changes
     Phase VI: Presentation of the research to wider audience

4. Time frame

The expected duration for this research should be 3 months from the signature of the agreement until the approval of the final research report by AA, ALIANZA and CFTA. The study must be fully finished by the end of April 2017.

5. Deliverables

    Work Plan and Methodology, adjusted with recommendations
    Progressive presentations to AA, ALIANZA and CFTA on the different phases of the research (see Point 3 of the ToR)5.
    1st Draft of the research (maximum 25 pages with annexes6 additional)
    Final Research Report Document*
    Executive Summary*
    Raw data files (transcription of the focus groups and interviews, questionnaires, etc.)

* Final Research Report and Executive Summary should be translated into Arabic, once the English version is fully approved.

6. Required skills and expertise

    Advanced       degree       in       research       oriented       political       and      social studies/gender/women's studies.
    Extensive knowledge of and experience in leading (designing and undertaking)
political and social research using qualitative methodologies.
    Proven  sound  experience  with  research  methodology  with  focus  on  gender issues in the Palestinian context.
    Advanced knowledge and skills on gender analysis in humanitarian settings.
    In depth-knowledge and experience on the Palestine specific-context.
    Excellent written and speaking skills in English and Arabic (at least part of the team).
    Able to produce a persuasively written, high-quality research report.
    Acquainted with the national legislation, international conventions and policy documents related to the Israeli occupation of Palestine and women’s rights.
    Availability to move within Gaza Strip (at least part of the team), West Bank and

5 Close communication between the research team and AA, CFTA and ALIANZA focal points for the purposes of the Study will be highly important to guide the process and assess direction.
6 Annexes would include, among others, the testimonies collected. 
7. Budget

Total   available   budget   for   the   research   is   19.000   Euro.   All   expenses   of   the researcher/research team must be covered by this amount.

8. Application process: submission of proposals

Interested researchers should submit: letter of interest, technical proposal, financial offer and CV of the researcher/members of the research team no later than 8 January
2017. The proposal should have detailed methodology including the following:

1.   Objectives and main content/scope plan of the research
2.   Tools that researcher/research team will use in English
3.   Plan of data/information collection and analysis
4.   Timeframe
5.   Detailed budget on a separate sheet, including the Tax required to be paid

If officially registered with the Palestinian Authority (PA) the consultant will need to provide a valid deduct from source letter. If not registered, tax will be deducted (5% of the total if national and 10% if international).

Interested applicants should submit their proposals to:  study@cfta-ps.org

Important to note:

-    We will contact only short list candidates. Applications after deadline will be excluded. Applications not conforming to the conditions will not be considered.

-     Interviews will be conducted during the period 15-18 January 2017.

-    As  a  requirement  and  after  the  signature  of  the  contract,  the  selected researcher or the research team must be able to provide an official invoice, payment receipt and deduct from source letter if relevant for payment of tax to the PA.