Term of Reference for Expert

Term of Reference

Project: Furthering Gender Equality in Kosovo’s EU Accession Process
Implemented by: Kosovo Women’s Network
Supported by: Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation
Contact: Nicole Farnsworth, Program Manager and Lead Researcher, nicole@womensnetwork.org

1.    Introduction
The Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN) is a network of 113 organizations that supports, protects and promotes the rights and the interests of women and girls throughout Kosovo, regardless of their political beliefs, religion, age, level of education, sexual orientation, and ability. In fall 2014, KWN members adopted a new Strategic Plan for 2015-2018 based on lessons learned and a participatory process to identify needs. KWN’s strategy encompasses five programs: I) Building the Capacity of KWN; II) Women in Politics and Decision-making; III) Women’s Health; IV) Gender-based Violence; and V) Women’s Economic Empowerment. These are KWN’s main focus areas.

In relation to KWN’s strategic aim to involve women more in politics and decision-making processes and in the context of Kosovo’s European Union (EU) Accession process, KWN currently is undertaking actions towards “Furthering Gender Equality in Kosovo’s EU Accession Process”, supported by the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation. As part of this initiative, KWN seeks an expert to assess the alignment of Kosovo laws and policies with EU directives related to the EU gender acquis. The expert will be contracted to write a policy paper identifying specifically how the EU gender acquis still needs to be transposed and/or aligned with Kosovo law. KWN will use this policy paper to inform its advocacy strategy and follow-up advocacy related to furthering gender equality in relation to Kosovo’s EU Accession Process. KWN staff will support the expert, as needed, throughout the process.

2.    Background
The European Council adopted the Stabilization Association Agreement (SAA) proposal for Kosovo on 30 April 2015.  The EU Council, EU Parliament, and Parliament of Kosovo agreed to it, and it entered into force in April 2016. Negotiations to create the SAA, which took place since October 2013, had very minimal involvement of women. No known gender analysis was carried out to inform the drafting of the SAA. This is evidenced by the fact that gender equality and women’s rights hardly feature into its content. 

Based on the obligations that arose from the SAA, the Ministry of European Integration (MEI) developed the National Programme for Implementation of the Stabilization and Association Agreement (NPISAA). It has replaced all existing documents and strategies related to EU integration, and it will inform and guide the accession process until eventual membership. In November 2015, MEI requested KWN’s assistance in reviewing this document, as well as other policies and laws to be adopted in the future, related to Kosovo’s EU Accession, towards ensuring that a gender perspective has been mainstreamed within them. KWN provided valuable input mainstreaming gender in the NPISAA. However, this input was not taken into consideration by MEI when the NPISAA was finalized. KWN has carried out follow-up advocacy since then, seeking to mainstream a gender perspective within the NPISAA and other aspects of Kosovo’s EU Accession Process. KWN also has advocated to MEI and the EU Office that the NPISAA be aligned with other crucial government strategies like the National Development Strategy and the European Reform Agenda, among others, ensuring a gender perspective. It also should be aligned insofar as possible with the EU gender acquis and the new EU Gender Action Plan, for which the EU Office in Kosovo has developed a specific plan for Kosovo. Further, KWN has been involved in mainstreaming gender within IPA Sector Planning Documents and Action Documents, through another contract with the EU Office. These also should be aligned insofar as possible with the other aforementioned policy documents, from a gender perspective.

None of these processes has been adequately participatory in terms of involving diverse women in providing input to inform the drafting of policies and laws related to Kosovo’s EU Accession. KWN seeks to continue to encourage women’s organizations to take part in these processes. In order to guide advocacy related to the EU Accession process, KWN will create an advocacy strategy in 2017 together with its member organizations and other key stakeholders, which will inform their advocacy efforts in the short- and mid-term. At present, insufficient information exists on the extent to which Kosovo laws and policies are sufficiently aligned with the EU gender acquis. Such information will be crucial to inform next steps in advocacy for women’s rights organizations (in close collaboration with institutions like the Agency for Gender Equality and MEI).

Additionally, in 2017, KWN has been invited by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MLSW) to be part of the working group for amending the current Law on Labour. This law must be aligned with minimum requirements as set forward in EU Directives. Therefore the paper resulting from this contract will also inform this process.

KWN seeks to engage an expert with a background in law, EU Directives, and EU Accession to collaborate with KWN staff and member organizations in reviewing the extent to which Kosovo law is aligned with the EU gender acquis and drafting recommendations and proposals based on this review, which will inform KWN’s future advocacy efforts.

3.    Description of the Assignment
This assignment will involve assessing the alignment of Kosovo law with EU directives related to the EU gender acquis, including gaps in implementation. It will be conducted from 4 April to 31 May 2017, with the final version published after review and discussion at KWN’s strategic planning meeting. The assessment will examine in which areas Kosovo has yet to meet the standards set forth by the EU related to gender equality explicitly. The paper will conclude with concrete recommendations regarding steps needed to fulfil the EU gender acquis. In this way, the draft paper will serve to inform KWN’s future Advocacy Strategy. Further, the published policy paper can inform other key stakeholders regarding remaining steps needed for Kosovo to fulfil the EU gender acquis.

KWN staff will be available to provide technical support throughout the assignment, including in identifying relevant laws and policies, as well as in providing contextual information about issues and needs.

4.    Tasks
•    Assess the extent to which Kosovo law currently has incorporated EU Directives relevant to gender equality, including the EU gender acquis
•    Identify gaps
•    Draft recommended / proposed provisions or legislation for addressing gaps
•    More specifically, examine areas in which the Kosovo Law on Labour has yet to meet the standards set forth by the EU related to gender equality
•    More specifically, examine draft civil code and make recommendations for its enhancement in line with the EU gender acquis and the Kosovo context
•    Draft a policy paper including the analysis and concrete recommendations deriving from it
•    Correspond with KWN team members to discussed proposed recommendations
•    Revise the policy paper based on input and comments from KWN team members and partners

5.    Required Outputs/Deliverables
•    First, second, and third drafts of policy paper in English not to exceed 25 pages, excluding annexes
•    Final policy paper not to exceed 25 pages, excluding annexes

6.    Anticipated Timing
Call for bids opened                    13 March 2017
Bids due                        31 March 2017
Contract signed                        4 April 2017
Start-up meeting (in person or electronically)        4 April 2017
First draft due                        24 April 2017
KWN comments                    28 April 2017
Second draft due                    5 May 2017
KWN/partner comments                15 May 2017
Third draft due                        19 May 2017
KWN comments                    23 May 2017
Final draft due                        25 May 2017

7.    Level of Effort
This engagement is expected to require up to a maximum of 20 working days, approximately divided as follows:

Task                                                                        Days
Start-up meeting and review of documents    0.5
Reading, research, writing, and first draft       14.0
Revisions to first draft                                          3.0
Revisions to second draft                                   2.0
Revisions to third draft                                         0.5

8.    Language
Applicants must be fluent in English reading and writing. Albanian language skills will be an asset but are not essential. It should be noted that most all Kosovo laws and policies are available in English, Albanian, and Serbian languages.

9.    Required Skills and Qualifications
•    At least a BA degree in law or a closely related field
•    Extensive knowledge of EU Law/EU directives, particularly the EU gender acquis
•    At least two years of experience with the EU gender acquis, including approximating and transposing EU gender acquis into national legislation
•    Knowledge of Kosovo law and legislation encouraged, but not required
•    Knowledge of Kosovo context encouraged, but not required

10.    Submission of Bids
Qualified persons interested in this engagement are invited to send their:

1)    CV;
2)   Motivation/cover letter highlighting qualifications and capacities for successfully completing this contract. This should include at minimum the following information:

i.    Who is giving the offer: name, address and telephone no.
ii.    Which item or service is being offered
iii.    During which period of time the service is performed
iv.    Terms and guaranties, if any
v.     The price and terms of payment, inclusive of all foreseen costs, including bank details if payment is done to a bank account.
vi.    The quotation should also be signed.
3)    A short description of their proposed methodology for this engagement, no longer than one page in length; and

Bidders are kindly requested to bear in mind that the Kosovo Women’s Network is a local non-governmental, non-profit organization that seeks to keep in line with local prices and daily rates.

These documents should be submitted electronically in the English language to Nicole Farnsworth, nicole@womensnetwork.org no later than 19:00 on 31 March 2017.

11.    Evaluation of Bids
All bids will be evaluated by a commission of three persons. They will be evaluated in accordance with the aforementioned criteria as follows:

Required skills/qualifications 50%
Proposed methodology 30%
Lowest price 20%

Kosova Women's Network