Advancing Rights in Southern Africa (ARISA)
Theme: Electoral Rights and Civic Education
Location: Home Based
Contract Type: Consultant
Duration of Assignment: 30 Working Days
With support from USAID, the PROGRESS Consortium is currently implementing the Advancing Rights in Southern Africa (ARISA) Program to improve the recognition, awareness, and enforcement of human rights in the region, including protection of the region’s most vulnerable and marginalized groups. The Progress Consortium is made up of Freedom House, the American Bar Association (ABA), Internews and PACT.
The ARISA Program has recently added a new component to its programming which will focus on the anticipated local government/municipal elections in Angola. This component is addition to its current portfolio on:
- Women’s customary land rights;
- Indigenous Peoples’ rights;
- Media freedoms and digital rights and;
- The rights of human rights defenders as a cross-cutting theme.
To roll out its programme activities in Angola, the Programme through the ABA seeks the services of a bilingual (English and Portuguese) lawyer to undertake an analysis of the electoral legal framework in Angola ahead of the country’s holding of its first ever local government/municipal elections. This work will be part of the ARISA Programme’s objective of “strengthening the capacity and engagement of regional and local civil society actors to seek redress of rights violations”. In line with this objective the ARISA Programme through the ABA will seek to “Capacitate legal CSOs in the country to identify electoral rights violations and seek redress of such violations using the country’s electoral rights redress mechanisms”
The planned local government/municipal elections will be the first to be held in Angola since its independence in 1975. As a result, a series of new laws have been or are being developed to guide the process. This is in addition to existing legal and constitutional frameworks on the management of elections in the country. There is therefore need to analyse both the existing and new electoral and related laws in order to understand their import on human rights as the country prepares for and holds the local government/municipal elections. This will assist lawyers and other legal and civil society actors as they monitor the human rights situation and litigate to protect human rights in the context of the local government/municipal elections in the country. This will in turn help in improving the electoral environment in the country and contribute towards the holding of free, fair and credible local government/municipal elections. In the long term, the capacity development will also improve the capacity of local actors to continue to engage and advocate for free and fair elections as recognised under regional and international standards.
To facilitate the above work, the ARISA Programme and its local and regional partners need to understand the Angolan national electoral legal framework and its level of compliance with regional and international standards and best practices on elections and human rights. The proposed legal analysis will seek to fill any gaps in knowledge and provide appropriate recommendations and strategies for employing these best practices and human rights standards to the local government/municipal elections in Angola.
Objectives of the Assignment
The main objective of the assignment is to produce an analytical report on the Angolan electoral legal environment, with a focus on local government/municipal elections and its level of compliance with regional and international human rights standards and best practices on elections. The report will be deployed to guide ARISA’s work in capacitating local and regional lawyers and civil society partners in the context of the local government/municipal elections in Angola, focusing on:
- Monitoring of the electoral human rights environment;
- Identification of electoral rights violations;
- Litigating to seek redress for rights violations;
- Engaging with the Government of Angola to improve the electoral legal and human rights environment through law reform and implementation; and
- Engaging in SADC regional advocacy initiatives to ensure the holding of free, fair and credible local government elections in Angola, in line with international human rights standards and best practices.
Key Activities and Deliverables
The consultant will be expected to undertake the following activities and produce the following deliverables:
- Produce an inception report for the assignment;
- Undertake legal research and analysis to identify relevant electoral and related laws and their level of compliance with regional and international best practices on electoral rights;
- Interview stakeholders in Angola to obtain their views on the Angolan electoral laws’ level of compliance with Angola’s constitution, regional and international best practice on electoral rights and obtain their proposals for reform;
- Develop an analytical report on the Angolan electoral legal framework identifying gaps vis-a-viz regional and international best practices on electoral rights and provide proposals for reform;
- Using the analytical report, develop a policy brief; and
- Provide a framework for engaging with local and regional civil society and legal actors, including law societies/bar associations and the SADC Lawyers’ Association as well as the Angolan Government, SADC and regional governments to:
- Ensure rights protection and promotion in the context of the local government/municipal elections;
- Implement electoral law reforms;
- Seek redress for electoral rights violation; and
- Ensure the holding of free, fair and credible local government/municipal elections in Angola.
Qualifications and Experience
- Bachelor’s and/or Master’s Degree in Law or Human Rights;
- At least 5-10 years of professional experience at national, regional or international levels working on elections, electoral law and rights and general human rights initiatives;
- Candidates must demonstrate a strong understanding and knowledge of electoral law and policy in Angola or Southern Africa and the regional and international legal and human rights frameworks governing elections;
- Experience litigating, researching, teaching and publishing on electoral law and rights at national, regional and international levels;
- Good understanding of the Angolan electoral, human rights and political context;
- Experience working with civil society, the legal profession and electoral and government institutions on electoral laws and rights and related issues in Southern Africa; and
- Must be proficient in written and spoken English and Portuguese.
Interested and qualified lawyers must submit their applications clearly marked “Analysis of Angola’s Electoral Legal Framework” to email@example.com by the 24th of March 2021. The application must contain a budget, curriculum vitae and an application letter demonstrating the applicant’s qualifications and experience and how these fit within the scope of the proposed assignment.