Consultant : gender, conflict and power analysis At Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa


SIHA is currently implementing a two-year project funded by Global Affairs Canada entitled Women Reclaiming Agency in Peacemaking which will be implemented in Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia. The project aims to support the creation of stable and inclusive decision-making and democratic processes in the region by ensuring that women are able to influence peace processes and conflict prevention, turning pledges and commitments into actions and by enhancing public support for women’s engagement and participation.

In seeking to advance women’s contributions to decision-making, the program builds on a key lesson learned, which is that women’s engagement in the peace and security sector needs to occur within a broader women’s rights agenda, addressing Women Peace and Security (WPS) issues concurrently with women’s rights generally. This project builds on a theory of change that proposes that it is not enough to bring women to the table in peace negotiations, they need to be set up to succeed through the strengthening of their capacity, broadening and diversifying their networks, and establishing and enhancing public support for their agendas. We believe that if women are enabled to acquire specialised political and advocacy skills, and women are better networked and coordinated to advocate at national and regional levels then WPS activists will engage more on WPS issues and participate in decision-making bodies. At the same time, if information about the value of women’s role in peace-building and conflict resolution is produced and shared widely, and women are better enabled to express themselves and tell their stories then there will be enhanced public support for women’s participation and the WPS agenda. These combined and inter-linked outcomes in turn will result in increased stability and inclusivity in decision-making and democratic processes in Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia

As a first step in setting the ground-work for the project, SIHA is seeking a consultant or consultancy firm to conduct a gender, conflict and power analysis of the four key countries as well as relevant regional and global influences and dynamics that impact conflict in the region. All four countries have ongoing conflicts of varying intensity and duration, each with its own unique drivers and circumstances, but also with similarities related to the regional geo-political context and interconnectedness of the political and cultural histories. The region is known for its high level of militarization, autocratic governance, tribal and ethnic tensions, and in some areas, fundamentalist religious beliefs and practices, as well as high levels of population displacement and movement within and across borders.

Gender relations between and even within each of the focus countries varies, but the region is notable for its relatively low levels of gender equality. Of the four countries, three are ranked in the bottom 20 of the WPS Index for 2019-2020 and the fourth, Ethiopia, was ranked 121 out of 167 countries, a ranking allocated prior to the outbreak of conflict in the Tigray region. The relation between high levels of gender inequality and negative impacts on women and girls in conflict is well documented, particularly in relation to sexual and gender-based violence in conflict. Understanding how these interactions are manifested in the region will be an important focus of the intended study.

C. OBJECTIVES OF THE CONSULTANCYStrategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa

The purpose of the proposed study, therefore, is to examine in more detail how the existing gender relations and power structures have impacted and are impacted by ongoing conflict in the region. In particular, the study should examine the impact on women and girls, the issues prioritized by women and girls, the current mechanisms and processes in place addressing the conflict or post-conflict situation and the participation of women in these processes as well as the effectiveness of these mechanisms in addressing the identified priorities of women. The study should also seek to understand women’s rights in general and the strengths and gaps of women and women’s organisations working on peace in the region in order to understand the current WPS landscape and to gain insight into the work being done. The results of the study will be used to identify potential partners and entry points for initiating change and increasing participation, and key issues and targets for this change. The study should examine the situation within each country, but emphasize regional dynamics and opportunities as well as interactions and engagements at the international level.

This analysis will build on previous analyses, carried out by SIHA and others in the region, including the recent analysis of women, peace and security in Somalia carried out by the UN Peacebuilding Fund and the Life and Peace Institute’s “Women, Conflict and Peace: Learning from Kismayo.” It will also involve consultation with other organisations such as Diakonia and Life and Peace Institute that provide support to women’s organisations, as well as the relevant Canadian embassies, to ensure communication and avoid duplication of effoStrategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africarts. It will also be informed by SIHA’s understanding that intersectional identities, such as poverty, ethnic and sexual identities all play a role in conflict dynamics and affect the ways in which women experience conflict. The analysis will explore power dynamics in each country.

This initial analysis will also seek to engage potential partners in each country (some of whom have been mentioned above) with a view to better understanding their capacity, the roles they can best play in the activities to be coordinated with/and by SIHA, and establish where they may need capacity support. This work will require identifying and reaching out to a core of grassroots women activists from conflict areas, human rights defenders, academics, lawyers, journalists and women parliamentarians and leaders who are in a position to influence peace processes, transitional justice, transitional governance and security sector reform. This set up phase will also incorporate training and onboarding of new staff.


The Consultant is expected to produce a gender, conflict and power analysis that combines primary research with an extensive desk review of available studies on gender and conflict in the region. The report should provide a gender analysis of the conflict, including historical context, drivers of the conflict, gender roles and relations that directly influence the conflict and which are impacted by the conflict, power structures and relations, actor analysis, and relevant frameworks and processes at national, regional and international levels.

The key questions the study should respond to are as follows:

  1. What are the past and prevailing gender norms that impact both men and women’s roles in conflict and conflict resolution? This can include prevailing gender roles, prescriptions of masculinity, etc.
  2. How are these roles changing or influenced by current and past national and regional contexts ?
  3. How are women, girls and other marginalized groups differently impacted by conflict? What are some of the key intersections that create different perceptions, experiences, and levels of participation in conflict and conflict resolution?
  4. Who are the key actors in women, peace, and security (women and women’s organisations?
  5. Who are the key actors in the conflict and in conflict resolution? If relevant, who specifically are the key actors in peacebuilding, transitional governance, or transitional justice and what is the current power distribution among these actors?
  6. What are some of the key processes, mechanisms, or platforms for conflict resolution and/or peacebuilding, transitional governance, or transitional justice at the local, national and regional levels?
  7. What proportion of the participants in both national and regional peace building forums are women and/or women led organizations?
  8. How are women or other marginalized groups participating in these spaces at the community, national and regional level?
  9. What is the extent of women’s engagement in these spaces?
  10. What are some of the key platforms and mechanisms at the international level and what does current participation in these platforms look like?
  11. To what extent is there enhanced public support for women’s engagement in peace and security. (are there articles/media pieces in key media that express support for women’s participation in peace and security initiatives in Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia, which ones are there and how do they support women’s participation in peace and security)?
  12. What are some of the key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for WPS actors in the region? What are key recommendations for their improved access and influence in WPS processes?


The study will combine desk research with primary research. The primary research should include key informant interviews with key actors in each country including WPS activists, political actors, legal actors, and others. Focus group discussions can be held with different groups of women, both activists and nonactivists, but ensuring representation from diverse backgrounds. The desk research should cover all key reports from UN agencies and international organisations functioning around the relevant themes and geographic region, SIHA reports and other grey literature.


The study should include clear research ethics protocols such as informed consent, confidentiality and other safeguards that will be presented in the inception report.


The report should provide a general overview at country level, with key findings presented at national, regional and international level. The report should not exceed 80 pages with a clear executive summary at the beginning.

i. Preface

ii. Acknowledgements

iii. Acronyms

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Background
  3. Methodology
  4. Findings and Analysis
  5. Each Country

i. Historical context

ii. Current contextual analysis

iii. Gender norms and gender roles

iv. Intersectionality, conflict and conflict resolution

v. Women, peace and security actors

vi. Key actor and power analysis

vii. Conflict resolution, human rights, and governance mechanisms at local and national level

viii. Public support for WPS

ix. SWOT analysis of WPS and key recommendations

  1. Regional

i. Regional dynamics of conflict

ii. Cross-cutting issues

iii. Key actors and power analysis

iv. Conflict resolution, human rights, and governance mechanisms at regional and international level

v. SWOT analysis of WPS and key recommendations

  1. Summary and Conclusion


It is estimated the study will take approximately 8 weeks to conclude with the following potential timeline:

  1. Meeting with SIHA, review of key documents and submission of inception report including proposed methodology and data collection plans and tools – 4 days
  2. Desk review and final revision of data collection tools – 10 days
  3. Conduct primary research (can be a combination of online interviews and FGDs combined with in-person data collection through in-country research assistants) – 12 days
  4. Review and coding of data – 4 days
  5. Analysis and write-up of draft report – 10 days
  6. Final revision and presentation – 3 days


Functional Competencies:

● Excellent knowledge and experience in gender, conflict and power analysis particularly in the Greater Horn of Africa region.

● Extensive experience leading in the research design and implementation of complex research projects

● Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate and work well in diverse and multi-cultural setting

● Excellent analytical skills and written communication skills in English language with ability to communicate complex subjects in a clear and comprehensive manner.

● Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure.


● Minimum of Master’s or advanced degree in one or similar of the following disciplines: Social Sciences, Statistics, Development Studies, Political sciences.**


● Minimum of 5 years research experience particularly in the region


● Fluency in English is required. Understanding one of the local languages will be an asset.


The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA) is a civil society coalition bringing together grassroots women’s rights organizations from Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Somaliland, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya and Uganda. Established in 1995, SIHA advocates for social change and gender equality-in the greater Horn of Africa and works specifically on challenging all forms of discrimination and violations against women’s rights, protecting women against sexual and gender-based violence, promoting women’s access to justice, supporting economic empowerment and activating women’s political participation.

More information about SIHA is available at

How to apply

To apply, please send an Expression of Interest with a brief technical and financial proposal (including only consultant costs)(max. 3 pages including the budget), a cover letter, a copy of your C.V. (complete with two references that can speak of your work or sample of similar work done if available). Send all documents to SIHA at the following e-mail address: and a copy to, by 25th January 2021.

In the e-mail subject line please write ‘APPLICATION: SIHA WRAP Consultant – Gender Analysis