Assessment of Justice Needs and Justice Sector Capacity

  • Short-term contract assignment
  • Posted on 6 May 2021

Job Description

Assessment of Justice Needs and Justice Sector Capacity


Niger Human Rights and Access to Justice Activity


Assessment of justice needs and justice sector capacity


To identify justice and legal needs in focal communities, and to identify modalities to support justice actors to deliver services to address these needs

Primary Methodology:

Justice and legal needs assessment

Period of Performance:

June 2021

The American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) is a non-profit organization that implements legal reform programs in roughly 50 countries around the world. ABA ROLI has nearly 500 professional staff working abroad, and in its Washington, D.C. office. ABA ROLI’s host country partners include judges, lawyers, bar associations, law schools, court administrators, legislatures, ministries of justice and a wide array of civil society organizations, including human rights groups.

ABA ROLI seeks a Researcher for its Niger Human Rights and Access to Justice Activity, to specifically lead an assessment of justice needs and justice sector capacity.


ABA ROLI, in collaboration with Search for Common Ground (Search), is implementing the four-year Niger Human Rights and Access to Justice Activity, funded through Freedom House as part of the HRSM consortium with support from USAID (hereinafter referred to as the “Project”). The goal of the project is to reduce vulnerability to extremism by strengthening tools to address the root grievances that fuel extremism in areas of Niger prone to violent extremism. This goal is broken down into three objectives:

  1. Improve the capacity of customary conflict mediation and other local mechanisms in the target areas exposed to VE to address grievances and resolve disputes.

  1. Empower people in areas of influence of violent extremism to find their way and access the formal justice system to resolve their disputes or assert their rights.

  1. Increase the capacity of the Government of Niger and civil society organizations to address human rights violations committed by state and non-state actors.

Under Objective 2, the project aims to work with populations in VE prone areas who have historically had low access to grievance and redress mechanisms. The project seeks to empower these populations to receive realistic guidance to increase access to the state justice institutions to resolve disputes. The envisioned program assistance will entail both top-down and bottom-up support to address challenges that impede the viability of state justice institutions, including addressing the lack of physical proximity of communities to justice institutions and their services, the lack of awareness of legal rights, and minimal access among citizens to services to assist them in navigating the justice system. Activities under this objective will explore innovative methods to support an increased presence of the justice system, without requiring a permanent physical presence for state justice institutions, and will seek to build on other programming that has produced positive results in similar contexts.

Research Purpose and Scope:

The Research Activity will assess: 1) the legal and justice needs of individuals and communities in VE prone areas, 2) the justice sector services available in target communities, and how such services relate to broader state justice institutions. The assessment will include consultations to obtain information from local stakeholders and justice sector actors that will support the development of the program. The assessment will consider existing dispute resolution mechanisms, the role of Traditional Chiefs (TCs) in dispute resolution (including the nature of the cases they are trusted to resolve and identification of case resolution limitations), and will evaluate how TCs can be connected with the state justice system.

The framework below describes the general area of inquiry for this study:

1. Politics of Justice Assistance - Are there social, cultural or other divides that have historically prevented state institution presence in these communities? How can state institutions navigate those dynamics?

2. Appropriate and Responsive - Are justice services appropriate and responsive to the needs of individuals, their situations, and conditions?

3. Empowerment: To what extend to justice services and efforts empower, enable people’s meaningful participation in the justice system and build people’s legal capabilities?

4. Equality and inclusion - Are legal and justice services inclusive and targeted at those most in need, responsive to specific access needs of particular groups likely to suffer from social and economic disadvantage?

5. Institution Mechanisms - What regulatory, procedural, technological and institutional capacities will enable justice institutions to address legal and justice needs?

6. Prevention, Proactivity, and Timeliness - To what extent are justice services and efforts preventative and proactive? How timely are legal and justice services?

7. Availability - What range of justice and legal services are needed by stakeholders? To what extent is quality justice available to individuals?

8. Access - What barriers to individuals face in pursuing their legal and justice needs?

9. Confidence - To what extent does the community seek the type of justice provided by state institutions? Are there discrete areas in which state institutions appeal to the community and how can we build on that acceptance/desire?”

The study will be conducted in select communities in the Tillaberi, Tahoua and Diffa regions and in Niamey. Considering the areas of study described in the framework above, the study will utilize legal and justice needs assessment and justice journeys mapping as assessment approaches, where feasible, employing data collection methods such as community focus group discussion with embedded surveys, administrative data collection, and surveys of justice sector actors.


All deliverables must be written and presented in English. Data will be collected in French, and as such, tools used for the research should be developed in French or translated into French and may require translation into local languages.

The main deliverables of this consultancy include:

  • A brief inception report and work plan prepared in consultation with ABA ROLI’s DCOP, D.C. Based Senior Technical Advisor, and MEL Advisor; the inception report at the minimum, must include the following: a detailed approach and methodology for the study that is verified by the DCOP and counterparts to be feasible; data collection and analysis activities and schedule; initial draft of tools to be used for the study; description of sampling frame and key institutions or stakeholders that will form respondents for the study. The inception report should also present an outline of literature that forms the basis for the identified approach.

  • Clear descriptions of all data collection tools, as well as all raw data collected by Consultant.

  • Databases with machine-readable information that include the quantitative data collected in the research, e.g., database of raw survey data from surveys conducted during the study.

  • Draft report that includes preliminary findings, conclusions and recommendations. ABA ROLI will review and submit comments and suggested revisions to be considered by the researcher prior to finalization.

  • A final report, completed in the format agreed upon with ABA ROLI.

The report will include an executive summary, a description of the research approach and methodology, including limitations and sampling approach, key findings, conclusions and recommendations, appendices that contain the data analysis collection and analysis tools used.

What We Are Looking for:

The consultant should be proficient in conducting mixed research and analysis, with relevant experience in conducting studies in the justice and human rights sector.

He/she must have:

  • At least a master’s degree in public policy or administration, social or political science, or other related field with no less than seven years of experience conducting research and evaluation;

  • Must have previous experience in conducting evaluations in conflict or unstable settings similar to Niger; must have previous experience in Francophone African countries; experience conducting research or evaluations in communities on justice and legal needs is a plus;

  • Must have excellent French communication and writing skills and good ability to write and converse in English;

  • Must demonstrate proficiency in the use of MS Office and other applications for online surveys and data analysis;

  • Must demonstrate abilities and experience in managing and mobilizing quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis; ability to mobilize data analysts/ enumerators in the field is a plus.

Supervision of the consultant’s work:

The consultant will report directly to the D.C. based Senior Technical Advisor (STA) and will coordinate extensively with the DCOP, STA and MEL Advisor in the development of inception report, tools, and in finalizing the results of the study. The consultant must provide all deliverables defined in these terms of reference.

At the request of the STA the consultant may be required to deliver intermediate milestones (such as notes, outlines, drafts for review, etc.) in addition to deliverables that are listed.

Payment will be tied to successful completion of deliverables according to acceptable quality standards as determined by the STA.

Interested and qualified Consultants or Consultancy firms should submit their applications which should include the following:

1. Cover Letter

2. Detailed Curriculum Vitae (and capacity statement for institutions)

3. Proposed budget & workplan for the assignment

Please quote “Niger Human Rights and Access to Justice Activity” on the subject line. Applications should be emailed to no later than May 25th, 2021 at 16:00 EST.

About the Organization

The Rule of Law Initiative is a public service project of the American Bar Association dedicated to promoting legal reform efforts in over 40 countries around the world. The Rule of Law Initiative believes that rule of law promotion is the most effective long-term antidote to the most pressing problems facing the world community today, including poverty, economic stagnation, and crippling levels of corruption. The Rule of Law Initiative concentrates its technical legal assistance efforts in the following substantive areas: 1) Anti-corruption & public integrity; 2) Criminal law & combating trafficking in persons; 3) Gender issues; 4) Human rights & conflict mitigation; 5) Judicial reform; 6) Legal education reform; and 7) Legal profession reform. The Rule of Law Initiative enlists talented individuals who possess the skills and commitment necessary to effectively promote the rule of law in our host countries. We regularly seek experienced attorneys, judges, and law professors interested in lending their expertise to our programs for both long- and short-term pro bono assignments overseas. For more information please visit our website at

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