Consultancy: Facilitation for inequality convening
The interested consultants need to have a proven record in offline and online facilitation as well as experience in working on issues of inequality, development and/or human rights and need to understand the region. Fluency in Arabic is an asset.
Interested consultants need to present a technical proposal, methodology document with an action plan and budget
THIS WILL BE A VIRTUAL MEETING
Terms of REFERENCE
Towards an alternative narrative on inequalities in the Middle East and North Africa
The dominating narrative driving those policies resides in the argument that there is no alternative to austerity due to high ratios of public debt to GDP that do not allow for increased spending on social programs that could reduce inequality. Inequality and its drivers have been inciting important mobilizations and social movements in the region, notably in Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan, to name a few. These movements need to be leveraged by proposing alternative policies through concerted efforts.
The ongoing COVID-19 crisis is challenging this mainstream narratives and policies and pushing a lot of governments around the world to reassert the leading roles of states in securing welfare to their citizens. In these times of severe crisis, powerful elites try to take advantage to push for policies that favors them. Specifically, to dispel these dominant narratives in the region that claim that austerity and privatization policies (which also fuel inequality) is the only resort out of this economic and health crisis, there is a need to develop a common narrative for a human economy and build alliances at the national, regional and international levels to support this fight against inequality and support social movements in building and proposing alternatives. Oxfam has been very active, along with its partners, in tackling inequality by proposing alternatives to the dominant economic models and in shifting the narrative around economic growth, shrinking civic space and inequalities, for example with the analysis on the impact of COVID19 crisis and related policies adopted by governments in MENA
To this end, with the support of Ford Foundation, Oxfam will be convening CSO allies in the region as well as globally:
- To lay the foundation for a regional platform that provides a space for many of those other embedded coalitions fighting inequality to come together;
- To exchange and strategize around addressing and responding to the dominant narrative around the needed models of austerity-led growth;
- To start a conversation on proposed alternative policies to those promoted by the IFIs in the region; bringing in voices of feminist groups, labor rights and human rights groups and social movements
- To share experiences, seek complementarities and agree on a plan of action --possibly a common regional advocacy plan, especially considering government responses to the COVID 19 crisis that may increase further inequalities in the region, including engagement in key global moments in 2021.
The convening will lay the basis for the development of a regional inequality report that looks into the multi-sectoral dimensions of inequality and its effects in the region. The report will be produced building on the outcomes of the convening and in co creation with the participants and coalition members.
- THE WORK DONE SO FAR TOWARDS changing the narrative in the region
Oxfam in MENA has kickstarted its work on inequality in the region just over two years ago. Fighting inequality is at the heart of Oxfam in MENA’s ten year strategy. Till date, the region has produced two major reports:
- The gendered impact of IMF policies in MENA (see link)
- For a Decade of Hope not Austerity in MENA: towards a fair and inclusive recovery (see link)
In addition, along with our partners and allies, we advocate for fiscal justice through the work on tax policies in several countries in the region, along with gender justice and equality. On the global level, Oxfam has been advocating for an alternative economic model and contributing around shaping the narrative through its inequality report released yearly during the World Economic Forum meetings in Davos as well as its Even it Up campaign. To this end,
To further these efforts in the region, a steering committee has been set up comprising Oxfam staff members as well representatives from the MENA and global civil society to steer and lead this effort around the convening and the inequality report, particularly through setting the agenda, priorities, as well as shaping and validating the regional convening and the inequality report.
The convening is expected to take place in February of this year using a virtual format.
- Goals of the convening
The main goal of the virtual convening is to lay the foundation for a regional inequality coalition, and strategize around addressing and responding to the dominant narrative around inequality in the region. The convening will aim to set a plan of action to lead the CSO efforts around the regional engagement on the IMF/WB annual meetings in Morocco in October 2021. Furthermore, the meeting will validate the outline of the regional inequality report
In terms of expected outcomes, after the workshop we will:
- Build a shared vision and narrative among participating CSOs (bearing in mind that it has to account the different national realities)
- Build synergies between the different participating organisations
- Agree on a set of values and principles to working together
- Create a momentum for inequality advocacy in the region.
In terms of expected outputs, after the convening we do foresee to have two clear outputs: a plan of action and a document laying out the narrative for inequality and a inequality coalition in the region.
- Role and work plan of the consultants
The role of the consultants would involve:
- Helping the members of the steering committee to define the virtual convening’s programme and facilitation plan
- Narrow down the focus of the workshop
- Conduct thorough consultations with partners, allies and Oxfam staff on the shape and content of convening
- Developing a participatory methodology and delivering virtual facilitation of the meeting
- Processing and structuring conclusions of the convening into a 5/6-page draft concept note/ action plan and deliver a report on the meeting.
Time-line, stages and estimated days of work
Work would begin in November after the signature of the contract and the convening will take place beginning of February. The estimated number of working days is of 12 over a 7-week period.