Remote-Based Civil Society Organization Capacity Building Specialist (Pro Bono)

  • Short-term contract assignment
  • Posted on 7 January 2021

Job Description

ABA ROLI seeks an individual on a pro bono basis who can remotely assess and improve the institutional capacity and subject-matter expertise of approximately 15 civil society organization (CSO) partner-grantees (“subgrantees”) working to promote access to justice for vulnerable communities in and throughout the Philippines (“Legal Specialist”). The Legal Specialist will be expected to liaise directly with subgrantee representatives and ABA ROLI-Manila based staff. The Legal Specialist will report to the Philippines-based Country Director, with substantial involvement by ABA ROLI Headquarters (HQ) program staff.

The intended duration of the assignment is a minimum of 12 months, with up to 18 months of engagement; a longer-term engagement may be feasible based on needs and available funding. This position will be remote-based with likely travel to the Philippines later in the legal specialist’s term, pursuant to country conditions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. This position is pro bono; ABA ROLI will cover travel-related costs (airfare, meals and incidentals, hotel expenses, and business-travel related expenses) during travel to/from the Philippines. The Legal Specialist will be required to submit signed monthly timesheets capturing their hourly contributions to ABA ROLI HQ staff.

The Legal Specialist will work within the framework of ABA ROLI’s USAID-funded program, Access to Justice and Support for the Rule of Law in the Philippines (ACCESS) program.

Legal Specialist Areas of Responsibility:

· Short-Term/Immediate (Months 1-2; Level of Effort: 5 to 10 hours per month)

o Work directly with Manila-based Subgrant Manager and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Officer to develop and conduct a comprehensive institutional capacity assessment for subgrantees, encompassing institutional capacity needs as well as subject matter expertise/capacity needs.

§ Illustrative institutional capacity areas:

· Financial management

· Institutional memory and record-keeping

· Human resources

· Media engagements

· How to develop and conduct media campaigns

· Working with state bodies

· Business development/ proposal writing (USG funds; EU funds)

· Public relations

· Public speaking

· Managing USG-funded programs correctly from programmatic and financial perspectives

· How to utilize volunteers

· How to combat burnout

· How to do an effective personal interest story

· How to do a Training of Trainers (ToT)

· Best practices in conducting a training

o Review initial results of needs assessment (the baseline) with M&E Officer.

o Identify additional areas for assessment and in-depth review.

o Prepare baseline report on the institutional capacity needs of subgrantees with recommendations for filling gaps and encouraging improvement.

· Long-Term (Months 2-12 or 18; Level of Effort: 5 to 10 hours per month or increased hours depending on program demand and legal specialist availability)

o Liaise directly with subgrantees and ABA ROLI Manila staff (including Country Director, Subgrant Manager, M&E Officer etc.) to develop an institutional capacity building training plan for subgrantees

o For those areas the Legal Specialist has expertise, develop and deliver targeted webinars on institutional capacity building and / or substantive areas identified in baseline needs assessment for subgrantees

o For those areas the Legal Specialist does not have expertise, identify and recruit additional pro bono experts and help them develop and conduct webinars/trainings for subgrantees pursuant to the findings of the needs assessment

o Serve as ongoing mentor and advisor to subgrantees, using needs assessment report and recommendations as the baseline for engagement.

o At the conclusion of all the trainings, conduct a follow-up assessment of the subgrantees’ institutional capacity to identify progress

o Prepare final evaluation report on the baseline assessment, trainings conducted, follow-up assessment & results, and recommendations.

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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