International Freedom of Information Expert

Belgrade, Serbia
Apply by 13 August 2018
Senior-level , Short-term contract assignment
Posted on 19 July 2018

Job Description

This position is for an international expert. To apply, CVs should be submitted to gai-belgrade@checchiconsulting.com by the deadline stated above. Please put “GAI STTA - International Free Access Expert” in the subject line.

USAID Government Accountability Initiative

Freedom of Information Expert

Background and goal

The Government Accountability Initiative (GAI) is a four-year United States Agency for International Development-funded activity with overall objectives to strengthen the capacities and connections of key Serbian stakeholders resulting in increased government accountability at the national and local levels. GAI is structured around three components: Local Government Accountability, Independent Oversight Institutions, and Adjudication of Corruption Cases. GAI counterparts include the State Audit Institution (SAI), the Anti-Corruption Agency, local governments, specialized anti-corruption courts, and civil society organizations.

The Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection (CPI) is also a counterpart for GAI. Since free access to information is an essential tenet of transparency and accountability of public institutions, GAI will support the CPI efforts to raise awareness on the importance of public access to information. The focus of the support is on sustaining the attention of all institutions on freedom of access to public information, particularly by ministries that propose laws related to freedom of information. Public debate on the new Law on Access to Information of Public Importance, as envisioned by the Action Plan for Chapter 23 within the process of European integration, was held in April 2018. The on-going revision of AP Ch23 should provide a deadline for adoption of the new law.

The Right to Know Week (24-28 September 2018) is the opportunity for additional promotion of the right of free access to information. Accordingly, GAI’s most immediate support to the CPI will be provided during this week. Each year the CPI organizes an award ceremony for the most transparent public institution. GAI will support CPI with organizing a roundtable dialogue with selected Serbian officials. Topics to be covered include: execution of the Commissioners’ Decisions on Measures to Promote Transparency of Work, legal remedies against Commissioner’s Decisions, re-use of information.

Tasks

The expert is also expected to actively participate in targeted events such as meetings with relevant government and civil society stakeholders to discuss the importance of freedom and access to information, as needed, during the days of engagement.

The expert is also expected to:

  • Deliver a presentation of policy brief during the Right to Know Week (24-28 September 2018) on freedom of access to information with a particular focus on a comparative overview of the legal and operational frameworks regarding freedom of access to information in the SEE region. Perspectives may also be offered on (1) execution of the Commissioners’ Decisions on Measures to Promote Transparency of Work (including the comparative overview), and (2) legal remedies against Commissioner’s Decisions in Serbian legal system.
  • Participate in a roundtable and related dialogues during the Right to Know Week on freedom of information legislative frameworks in the SEE region with selected Serbian officials, the media, academic community, international community in Serbia, and civil society organizations.

Period

The total level of effort for the task of an expert is up to 4 days of work, including:

  • 2 days of preparation and reporting
  • 3 days of participation at the events during the Right to Know Week (24-28 September 2018)
  • 2 days travel

The work is anticipated to be completed during September 2018.

Deliverable

  • A report not exceeding 5 pages, exclusive of attached policy brief as delivered, reflecting insights gained from activities and dialogues in which he/she participated with any recommendations for GAI follow-up action. The report should be submitted to GAI within one week of completion of engagement in Serbia.

Qualifications

This is a Senior level position with 10 years’ experience. In addition:

  • Education – At least Master’s degree in the field of law, human rights law, public administration, political sciences or another relevant field. PhD will be considered an asset.
  • Prior Work Experience – A minimum of 10 years of professional-level experience in the field of free access to information, protection of human rights and freedoms, public administration accountability and transparency.
  • Language Proficiency / Communication Skills – for International Expert: Must have excellent communication skills in English; for Local Expert: Must have excellent communication skills in Serbian
  • Job Knowledge – A thorough knowledge of institutions protecting the free access to information, expertise and knowledge of laws and practices of other countries in the SEE region
  • Skills and Abilities – Ability to use various computer software (e.g. PowerPoint, Word)

About the Organization

Checchi and Company Consulting, Inc. (Checchi) has worked in international development for over 40 years. The company has operated in more than 140 countries, including a number of fragile states and post-conflict zones, and has implemented nearly 300 long-term contracts. Checchi’s principal areas of specialization include rule of law, anticorruption and monitoring and evaluation (M&E). Since launching one of the first international rule of law practices in the late 1980s, Checchi has provided technical assistance and training in the core areas of improving access to justice; court systems administration; legislative and policy reform; judicial training and legal education; public legal awareness; and security sector reform. The company has implemented a number of long- and short-term activities focused exclusively on anticorruption. In addition, many of Checchi’s rule of law projects have included significant anticorruption components and activities. Checchi’s M&E work encompasses projects in more than 50 countries and spans the spectrum of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches to managing and evaluating performance.

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