Type of Engagement: The joint EU- UN Spotlight Initiative Nigeria, is seeking nominations of qualified CIVIL SOCIETY representatives/persons to sit on the Civil Society National Reference Group for the Spotlight Initiative in Nigeria.

Procurement Process :Other
Deadline :09-Sep-19
Posted on :02-Sep-19
Development Area :OTHER
Reference Number :58893
Link to Atlas Project :
Non-UNDP Project
Documents :
Terms of Reference


The Spotlight Initiative is a global partnership between the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls in support of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. It was launched in September 2017 by the UN Secretary-General and the EU High Representative and Vice President (HRVP). The 500 million Euro Initiative provides a model for partnerships with donors, civil society, and the UN to deliver on the SDGs in a comprehensive manner leveraging comparative expertise. SDG 5 and the achievement of gender equality are placed at the centre of efforts (alongside Goal 16) with the aim to provide an enabling environment for the implementation of all goals. Within the Spotlight Initiative, the UN and the EU will work together to make large-scale investments in priority countries.

One of these priority countries is Nigeria where the Spotlight Initiative will focus on eliminating violence against women and girls (EVAWG) and harmful practices (HP). Through a comprehensive approach, the Spotlight Initiative in Nigeria will aim to support a Nigeria where all women and girls, particularly the most vulnerable, live a life free from violence and harmful practices. The vision will be realized by addressing the linkages between sexual and gender-based violence (GBV) and harmful practices with related aspects of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) as a cross-cutting theme.

Focus will be on prevention efforts, particularly addressing the root causes of gender-based violence and harmful practices (child marriage and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)) against women and girls; ensuring access to justice without discrimination and in conditions of freedom and security of women and girls and ensuring access to inclusive, timely, and quality services for victims and survivors. The Initiative will fully integrate the principle of ‘leaving no one behind’. The geographic scope will be vertical, supporting interventions at federal, state and community levels and horizontally across 5+1 focus states (Lagos, Sokoto, FCT, Ebonyi, Adamawa and Cross River), one per geo-political zone, based on a mixed set of criteria (including prevalence, political will, enabling environment, capacities and potential to facilitate further expansion and upscaling). The most vulnerable women and girls will be targeted.

Civil society engagement and participation

Success of the Spotlight Initiative relies on strong coordination between stakeholders and actors at all levels, through active engagement, dialogue and knowledge sharing. The role of civil society actors and, in particular, women’s rights organizations (including those promoting sexual and reproductive rights), and other gender equality advocates will be essential to ensure those facing multiple forms of discrimination are not left behind.

Civil society is also a repository of information that acts as a mirror to reflect the priorities, dynamics, challenges, and levers of changes in a country. It can therefore play a crucial role in supporting the implementation of interventions and facilitating collaboration and negotiations with other stakeholders.

Within the Spotlight Initiative in Nigeria, civil society will play a key role at several levels: in addition to being a key implement partners, the Governing Body (Steering Committee) of the Spotlight Initiative will also include 25% representatives from civil society. The Governing Body will also establish a civil society reference group (a small high-level group composed of – in a rotation set-up – eminent women’s rights and feminist activists who have global standing on the issue) in line with global guidance.

To ensure that this civil society reference group is established through an open and competitive process, the EU-UN joint Spotlight Initiative hereby calls for nomination for members for the group.

II. Objective & Role of the Civil Society National Reference Group

The main objective of the Civil Society National Reference Group is to:

  • To provide strategic advice to the development of the Spotlight National Programme during the inception and implementation and support the realization of the objectives of the Spotlight Initiative in Nigeria as advocates and partners

The main tasks of the Civil Society National Reference Group are to:

Inception Phase

  • Provide advice on current EVAWG and HP-related issues at national-level as well as on the strategic direction of the Spotlight Initiative and relevant policy issues
  • Support the set-up of state level programme, state visibility action and engagement plan
  • Propose a budget to the UN for activities of the Civil Society Reference Group (including funding to support the coordination and convening of all stakeholders, participation in meetings/consultations/outreach as well as for the preparation of an annual monitoring report)
  • Prepare a general plan for consultations and advocacy, outlining timelines and deliverables
  • Agree on a modality for selection of the 2 or more representatives of CSOs to sit on the National Steering Committee
  • Organize a meeting with the Technical Committee to agree on modalities for regular consultations.

Implementation phase

  • Provide advice on current EVAWG and HP-related issues at national-level as well as on the strategic direction of the Spotlight Initiative and relevant structural, policy /legal and security issues
  • Serve as partners in the advocacy, communication, and visibility activities, including dissemination of the Spotlight Initiative messages to the public, especially women, youth, marginalized groups, intersecting marginalized groups and the media
  • Provide advice on on-going interventions, possibilities for scaling-up and addressing challenges
  • Serve as an interactive space and open forum for dialogue/learning between the Spotlight Initiative and women’s rights’ organizations working on EVAW, SRHR and HP
  • Provide other relevant information, analysis and lessons learned that could feed into the future programming and advocacy efforts of the Spotlight Initiative
  • Support the monitoring efforts of the multi-stakeholder Spotlight Initiative Steering Committee as well as the Technical Committee and advise on the implementation of the Programme, as well as provide feedback to the multi-stakeholder Committee, when relevant.

Concrete expected outputs from the work of the Civil Society Reference Group include:

  • Concrete recommendations to the National Steering Committee (results of the virtual and face-to-face meetings)
  • Finalized and approved TORs for the Civil Society Reference Group
  • Annual work plan and budget for activities of the Civil Society Reference Group
  • A general plan for consultations and advocacy, outlining timelines and deliverables
  • Reports with updates and recommendations for the regular meetings
  • Reports and/or documents providing advice to the National Steering Committee
  • Recommendations for the Spotlight Initiative programme

III. Composition of the Civil Society Reference Group in Nigeria

The Civil Society Reference Group is a strategic and substantive network of eminently qualified persons with diverse experience, expertise and perspectives in the priority areas of the Spotlight Initiative. It will be composed as follows:

  • The group will consist of maximum of 15 individuals, selected through an open and rigorous selection process. From these 15 individuals, at least 7 individuals will be from CSOs who has previously participated in providing CSO advisory support to the development of the National Programme in 2018.
  • The constitution of the Civil Society Reference Group is to be mindful of geographic balance with the region and adherence to the leave no one behind principle, so that all women and girls, including those facing intersecting forms of discrimination, are represented and are also included.
  • It is recommended that at least 50% of the Civil Society Reference Group members represent the autonomous women’s rights movement. Civil Society Reference Group should also include regional representatives of youth as well as SRHR activists, leaders of indigenous groups, migrant women leaders, advocates and leaders of marginalized groups, disabilities´ rights groups, labour/trade unions and others (such as groups that work to transform gender norms and eliminate VAWG).
  • All members included in the Civil Society Reference Group should have strong expertise in the area of addressing violence against women and girls.
  • National and local CSOs will be prioritized in the membership in alignment to the principle of national ownership in leaving no one behind.

IV. Duration of the mandate

Members of the Civil Society Reference Group will serve on a personal capacity. The initial appointment will be for a period of one year and can extend to a maximum of two years. Membership will be rotational.

V. Periodicity of the meetings

The Civil Society Reference Group Meetings will take place twice a year, either virtually or face to face during programme implementation.

VI. Criteria of Selection

A maximum of 15 members for the Civil Society National Reference Group will be selected. In order to preserve a balance among members, candidates meeting the following criteria will be given special consideration (each member must meet a minimum of 4 criteria):

  1. Representing the following population groups: youth representatives (30 years of age or under), indigenous people, migrants, people living with disabilities, rural women, women living with HIV, with an active participation in the women’s and/or feminist movement at national or global level
  2. Have an attitude and disposition for active participation in groups and have adequate time to participate and follow up on activities, promote initiatives and respond to consultations
  3. Thematic expertise in gender-based violence and/or harmful practices (child marriage and FGM) against women and girls; SRHR services
  4. Experience in policy, legislation and/or human rights treaties will be an asset, particularly at the regional/international level
  5. Academic and research experience, especially in the priority theme
  6. Active and proven participation within the women’s and feminist movement
  7. Strong connection with women’s or feminist networks and organizations at national or regional levels, focusing on Ending Violence against Women and Girls.

In order to ensure neutrality and in compliance with the ethical standards of the United Nations, members must not be part of directive boards of political parties, hold or being elected for public offices. In case of being elected after the selection as member of the CS-NRG, they must submit a written letter of resignation or their mandate shall be terminated before designation.

VII. Selection Committee

The selection process will be conducted by a Selection Committee composed of 3 CSO selection committee members; one UN representative and one EU representative (on behalf of the Spotlight Initiative Nigeria) who will assess the candidacies. The Selection Committee will make decisions by consensus.

VIII. Application and Nomination Process

All interested persons must submit the following documentation:

  • A Curriculum vitae (CV) of no more than 5 pages, including your professional training and work experience, comprising the women’ s/feminist movement.

A Motivation letter (duly signed) expressing the reasons for the application and the contributions you would bring to the Civil Society Reference Group

Scope of Work:

Please review the TOR attached for the detailed Scope of Works.

Application Procedure:

All applications must be sent to the following e-mail address cso.ng@undp.org and before the specified deadline: September 9, 2019 at 5:00pm (Nigeria time). Applications should be submitted in English. Applications that do not following these specifications will be disqualified.

Please note that members of the civil society reference group will serve in a personal capacity and that participation in the Group is not remunerated.