Feasibility study to establish a shelter for GBV survivors

  • Level: Consultant
  • Contract Type: Consultancy
  • Closing date: 13 Aug 2022 05:53 AM (America/New_York)
  • Duty station: Tripoli, Benghazi. Libya


Job title:

Feasibility study to establish a shelter for GBV survivors

Duty Station:

Tripoli, Benghazi. Libya

Duration of initial contract:

30 days


International Consultant (Team Leader)

Hiring Manager:

EUTF Project Manager

    1. Context

Libya continues to struggle to cope with the effects of ongoing armed conflict, economic and governance crises, and the direct and indirect impact of COVID-19 that has resulted in the deterioration of public services and people’s livelihoods (HRP, 2021) and displacement (HNO, 2021). According to the Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO, 2022 - KEY FINDINGS), it is estimated that 804K people are identified to be in need of humanitarian assistance including migrants (28,8%), IDPs (16,4%) and returnees (14,3%). This is the result of a deterioration or partial collapse of living standards and basic services, an increased reliance on the use of negative coping strategies and widespread grave violations of human rights and significant impact on physical and mental wellbeing.

The crisis in Libya has a strong protection dimension, with violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, including conflict related sexual violence and grave violations against children, and civilian infrastructure. Serious human rights concerns have been persisting in Libya, as violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in the course of the conflict continued to be committed with impunity (HNO, 2022).

Weak institutional structures and concrete action to ensure accountability for conflict-related and other human rights violations and abuses, undermines efforts to create a protective environment Libyans who live in conflict-affected areas sustained widespread destruction to their property, forcing many to live in sub-standard conditions increasing the threat of disease, as well as GBV and other protection risks (HNO, 2022).

    1. Gender-Based Violence risks and needs

Women and girls in Libya continue to face widespread and life-threatening risks of GBV.

Social-cultural norms and patterns that condone GBV and discrimination against girls and women are widespread in Libya. Namely, gender roles are influenced by patriarchy, conservative religious views, and Bedouin traditions: the Libyan society at large still considers a woman’s primary role to be in the house, be a mother and a wife and men are still held to be the “authority” and the ones who provide economic security and protection. When it comes to employment and work opportunities, women are less likely to be employed than men because of discrimination against women in the workplace. They face also movement restrictions, as they are four times more likely than men to have never left their homes alone. Displacement and economic problems increase risks of sexual exploitation and abuse and may exacerbate domestic violence. Essential GBV services - such as specialized case management, clinical management of rape, safe shelters, safety, security and legal assistance services – are extremely limited, and survivors face many barriers in accessing even those services that are in place. For example, some survivors do not seek help because they know they will have to go back to their houses after having denounced the violence due to the lack of safe shelter options. Movement restrictions, related to insecurity, pandemic control measures, lack of financial resources, and cultural norms according to which women can only leave house accompanied or with the permission of a male familiar, hamper women’s access to services. Knowledge of services is limited, and widespread stigma associated with experiencing GBV can result in survivors becoming outcasts in their families and communities. Survivors also face challenges in securing childcare while they are seeking assistance. Moreover, the socio-economic and psychological pressures on households caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are resulting in increased domestic violence, especially against women and girls. Finally, there are no emergency shelters options for women at risk of GBV.

In particular, it is estimated 153,000 people are most at risk of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Libya, of which 94% corresponds with severe needs, requiring sustained prevention and response services (HNO 2022). Most people facing GBV risks and in need of assistance are in Tripoli (21%) and are mainly migrants (42%), IDP (20%), members of the host community (17%), returnees (11%) and refugees (10%). Of the total, 59% are women and 30% are children. Most people facing GBV risks and in need of assistance are in Tripoli, representing 21% of all those in need (sources: HNO 2022).

Migrants and refugees are identified as most in need of GBV protection assistance, with the highest number in Tripoli and Benghazi for migrants and Tripoli and Aljfara for refugees. Migrant and refugee women and girls are particularly at increased risk of sexual exploitation and abuse, especially those whose status has not been recognized and those who are in detention centers. Moreover, because of discrimination, movement restrictions, curfews, closures of services and limitation in social contacts, migrants and refugee women and girls face serious difficulties in accessing GBV-related services and thus, receiving timely and quality care (HRP 2021). What makes refugees and migrants most vulnerable is due to its status which by the introduction of Law no. 19 in 2010 marks a shift toward criminalization of migration in Libya. The law stipulates that irregular migrants should be presented to the prosecutor, charged 1,000 dinars or detained for three months, after which they should be deported. In practice, there is no formal judicial process in place, and children are frequently subjected to arbitrary detention together with adults for an indefinite period. Furthermore, Libya is not a State Party to the 1951 convention relating to the Status of Refugees, nor to its 1967 protocol. With Libya’s domestic legislation focused on combatting “illegal migration” and its weak support of international asylum norms, every refugee and migrant who enters the country irregularly risks the violation of their right to protection.

Gender-based violence against women and girls are simultaneously widely prevalent and an exceptionally taboo topic in Libyan society. That is why there is a lack of data and information on GBV in the country. According to available literature, some of the most common forms of GBV in Libya are related to harassment, physical and sexual assault. Rape and gender-based violence have been widely used as a weapon in the context of the Libyan conflict by combatants on both sides and sexual violence, including sexual torture, against female and male refugees and migrants appears widespread in Libya. Besides, instability, conflict, and lack of rule of law in Libya continued to allow for human trafficking of migrants’ which persist committing extreme violence and other human rights violations, including physical, and verbal assault, torture, sexual abuse and exploitation, rape, abduction for ransom, extortion, arbitrary killings, inhumane detention, and the recruitment and use of children.  Child marriages are assumed to have increased while there is no systematic reporting such as no Demographic Health Surveys being conducted in Libya etc. They also serve as a financial coping mechanism, particularly within IDP and migrant communities, and are foreseen by families to ensure protection in times of instability.

    1.   GBV-related legal framework

Libya has national normative legislation related to women’s and girl’s/children’s rights, for instance, Libya’s Draft Constitution includes several sections on women’s rights and explicitly outlines the principle of equality between the genders. Also, Libyan labor legislation guarantees women certain rights in the workplace including freedom from discrimination, the right to maternity leave, and the right to employment. However, the normative framework is based on the Islamic Sharia which is considered the principal source of legislation (UNDP, 2018).

Libya is a party to several international instruments that provide for gender equality under the law and promote women’s rights. However, the country maintains reservations to some articles of the CEDAW as well as a general reservation that accession cannot conflict with personal status laws derived from Sharia (UNDP, 2018). The government of Libya has also ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and through Law No. 2 of 1991, the government of Libya has its obligations to implement the provisions set in the CRC. However, the enforcement of the CRC is questionable and meanwhile the government is working on the harmonization and a drafting of a comprehensive child rights law with clear provisions condemning violence against children. Further in May/June 2021, the government of Libya has submitted its combined 3rd and 4th state party report on the CRC and its implementation status. Despite the aforementioned laws in favor of women’s and girl’s rights and gender equality, the legal framework continues to be discriminatory and GBV forms are not fully recognized as a crime[2]. For instance: domestic violence (Libya doesn’t have a domestic violence legislation), marital rape, honor crimes.

  1. Rationale of the Action

The recommendations from the humanitarian community emphasized the need to set up an integrated emergency safe shelter. Emergency shelters are spaces that provide short or medium-term secure accommodation and emotional support for survivors, from a few days up to a few months.  

However, in light of the context, a feasibility study is needed in order to weigh that expressed need and scan existing opportunities to establish emergency shelters for women and girls following GBV guiding principles and global standards. It is within this background that UNFPA, under the framework of the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF) Programme, is seeking to carry out a feasibility study to establish a shelter for GBV survivors in Tripoli and Benghazi. This study will be conducted by a team of two external consultants, one international and one national. The international will act as team leader and is requested to take into consideration that the feasibility study of an integrated emergency safe shelter (Libyans and non-Libyans, women and children) should take into consideration that GBV survivors may be female, girls and boys migrants, refugees, IDP, returnees and/or members of the host community.[3]


The overall objective of this study is to assess the feasibility and opportunity of establishing emergency shelters for GBV survivors and women and girls at risk of GBV (Libyans and non- Libyans) in Tripoli and Benghazi area (depending on the context and the security situation).

The specific objective of this study is to:

          Map and review existing GBV services, their quality and accessibility by survivors of gender-based violence and map and review the availability and use of referral GBV pathways. The mapping should be disaggregated by status (Libyan – IDPs, returnees, and non-Libyans – refugees, migrants and asylum seekers and those that are stateless) as accessibility and utilization differs depending on the status. Further given the sensitivity of GBV services disaggregation should include age and gender as well. 

•             Review national legal frameworks and public policies that impact women’s and girls’/children rights, with a particular focus on GBV and all legal framework and polices that could impact the establishment of an emergency shelter and the services it offers. Further, based on the basic legal frameworks and public policies, review the role of the government and its possible role in such shelters.  

•            Assess what could be the risks associated with establishing an ‘integrated’ emergency shelter in Libya, and if those risks are different for IDPs and Migrant/refugee populations and host community; also the risks of having a mixed shelter of gender and age groups (women vs girls and girls and boys etc).

•              Identify possible barriers to the establishment of and access to an emergency shelter and what could be some strategies, including risk mitigation strategies, to overcome and mitigate those barriers

          If the preliminary results point to the feasibility of establishing an emergency shelter, develop detailed cost estimates of setting up an emergency shelter, inclusive of set up costs (infrastructure, equipment, set up of safe information management systems, minimum service provisions and referrals in the shelter, training for staff) and running costs (facility related, staffing, continue capacity building, transport and security etc) in line with the GBV guiding principles and global standards. This should also include a set of recommendations in terms of minimum standards development including risks assessment tool kits.

    1. Scope of the work :The main tasks of this assignment are:

1. Undertake a detailed feasibility study on the establishment of emergency shelters in Libya; identify potential risks for women and children (girls and boys) and staff associated with its setting and the access to it, barriers/challenges and possible mitigation measures.

2. Prepare a concept note, assuming the feasibility of the shelter, with analysis and description of the conditions under which such a shelter would be feasible and provide a framework and recommendations for next steps, including the establishment, training and future development of programs, activities and equipment and associated costs.

The study shall address, but not be limited to, the following topics:

  • Analysis of the legal and political background and its potential impact on the establishment of an emergency shelter in Libya and on the services provided. Particular attention should be devoted to the implications of the existing laws and policies for women and girls right particularly with regards to GBV and access/provision of GBV services;
  • Map existing shelter options and alternatives to detention for GBV survivors and women and girls at risk and similar services for women and girls who escape violence or at imminent risk of violence;
  • Review similar existing and past experiences of emergency shelters in Libya and highlight the critical success factors, risks and possible lessons learned to inform future planning of similar programmes;
  • Risk analysis and identification of potential barriers to the establishment of emergency shelters and access to them in Tripoli and Benghazi area (depending on the context and the security situation).
  • Stakeholder mapping and scanning of potential partners that have core experience in GBV service delivery and emergency shelters;
  • Mapping of potential donors;
    1. Methods and Approach

The study shall be conducted through a consultative process and with input from women (including possible survivors and victims), key partners and stakeholders working in the areas of gender-based violence in Libya, as well as a desk review of relevant documents, studies and discussion papers on the concept for the proposed/potential shelter for GBV survivor. The assignment will be conducted in Tripoli and Benghazi area (depending on the context and security situation) and will involve, among others, desk review of existing literature, conducting focus group discussions and Key informant interviews with the above-mentioned actors. The consultant must ensure that all interventions are always in line with the GBV principles:  do no harm, survivor centered, confidentiality approach.

The consultant is expected to present a draft and final reports.  It is expected that the incumbent(s) shall prepare an agenda, plan and conduct a one-day external stakeholder’s consultation and review meeting for the draft report. In the meeting, with prior written approval from UNFPA Programme Manager and/or Programme Coordinator, the study shall present the findings and recommendations in open discussions with all partners and stakeholders suggested by UNFPA. The conclusions of the meeting shall be incorporated, to the final report.

    1. Key Deliverables

The specific deliverables of the assignment include at minimum the following:

  • Inception report to be submitted within 5 days of signing contract detailing the consultant’s approach to the feasibility study, providing a detailed work-plan and detailed methodology (including the tools for the KI questionnaire or FGD to ensure safeguards are in place when conducting the KI or FGD)
  • and how the assignment will be undertaken;
  • Draft report showing the key findings on feasibility study for establishing an emergency safe shelter for GBV survivors and women and girls at risk;
  • Report from the consultation/review meeting, highlighting key discussions and recommendations from the meeting;
  • Final report of the feasibility study and concept note that conceptualize the setting up of the shelter after incorporating inputs agreed upon at the review meeting and recommendations;
  • All research records including interviews with Key informants and the summaries of Focus Group Discussions.
  1. Duration of the study The duration for the work specified under this Terms of Reference (TORs) shall be for 30 working days within two (2) months from the signing of the contract. No -Cost Extension could be provided depending on the Libyan context and with prior written approval by the contractor.
  2. Consultancy Team, Qualifications and Experience

The consultancy will be carried out by a team of two consultants. One national and one international. The International will be the team leader, and responsible for the overall coordination and implementation of the tasks and deliverables as outlined in this ToR. The qualifications for the International Consultant are defined below. All experts will need to demonstrate professionalism in all aspects of their work, possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills as well as good planning and organizational skills and be fluent in English. 

Requirements for the International Consultant

-           Advanced University degree in social sciences, political science, international development, gender studies public health or another related field.

-         Minimum 7 years of experience in Gender Based Violence and sexual violence emergency programming. Having worked on emergency shelter is an added advantage.

-               Minimum of 7 recent years of humanitarian and GBV work experience carried out in the field + demonstrated field experience in the specific technical area;

-               Experience of working across multiple humanitarian sectors and proven knowledge of humanitarian architecture and coordination mechanisms;

-               Minimum of 7 years of demonstrated experience and technical proficiency in designing, adapting, implementing and evaluating GBV prevention and response programs;

-               Excellent understanding of the survivor-centred approach and multi-sectorial GBV response;

-               Experience in the effective design and implementation of data collection and analysis including in cross-cultural environments and complex security environments;

-               Ability to work with a wide range of diverse stakeholders such as national and international NGOs, governments and local authorities, donors, international organizations;

-               Excellent communication skills and demonstrated ability to work as part of a team, with team members based in other countries/organizations;

-               Availability and willingness to travel to Libya

-               English is mandatory. Good oral and written communication skills in Arabic are highly desirable.

Working Language

The working language for this assignment will be English and Arabic, with the final products expected to be delivered in English

  1. Payment Modalities

The consultant will be paid as follows:

  • After validation of inception report: 20%
  • After validation of draft report: 40%
  • After National validation and submission of final report: 40%

6. Submission Requirement

Interested International Consultants should apply by presenting the following documents:

  • Letter of Application, briefly describing the motivation behind the application and outlining the consultant’s suitability for the assignment, comprehensive methodology on how the consultant will approach and complete the tasks, etc.;
  • CV of the consultant, indicating educational background and professional qualification, copies of degrees/diploma and letters of reference
  • Certificates of good completion proving that the consultant has carried out similar assignments.
  • Technical and financial offer is required. 
  • Kindly submit all the requirements to Ms. Manal Suliman on Suliman@unfpa.org  and Mr. Moamar Halab on halab@unfpa.org 

[1] A sharper lens on Vulnerability (North Africa). A statistical analysis of the determinants of vulnerability to protection incidents among refugees and migrants in Libya. MMC Research report, November 2020.

[2] UNDP et al. (2018). “Libya Gender Justice and the Law”. Online. Available at: https://arabstates.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/pub-pdf/Libya%20Countr…  

[3] Special attention would be given to cases related to sexual violence.

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