External Evaluator for ENABLE – Enabling inclusion and access to justice for defendants with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities

  • Contract
  • Remote
  • TBD USD / Year
  • Salary: TBD

Validity Foundation

Background

Validity is an international non-governmental human rights organisation that uses legal strategies to promote, protect and defend the human rights of people with mental disabilities worldwide. We strive for a world of equality, where emotional, mental and learning differences are valued equally; where the inherent autonomy and dignity of each person is fully respected; and where human rights are realised for all people without discrimination.

“Enabling inclusion and access to justice for defendants with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities” (ENABLE) is an EU co-funded project focused on promoting access to justice and fairer criminal proceedings for defendants with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities in 8 EU countries – Bulgaria, Czechia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania, Portugal, and Spain.

People with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities, who are suspects or defendants in criminal proceedings, face multiple barriers to participation in the criminal justice process. These barriers are usually linked to the inaccessible physical environment, lack of information in accessible formats and appropriate communication technologies, but also to the absence of qualified legal aid and representation. While the national legislation – general and procedural – may not transpose efficiently the existing United Nations and European Union standards on equal access to justice services and procedural accommodation, the problem is further exacerbated by the lack of awareness, knowledge, and skills in this field of professionals working in the criminal justice system. As a result, cases involving persons with disabilities are often traumatic for them due to the impossibility of adequately exercising their defense rights, but also to power imbalances these limitations create.

Drawing from recommendations from persons with disabilities, the literature, and criminal justice professionals, the project has set the following objectives:

  • Improve knowledge on participation barriers, and how to overcome them, experienced by defendants with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities in the criminal justice system, and particularly by women with disabilities and those who are deprived of their liberty;
  • Improve capacity of criminal justice professionals (lawyers, police, prosecutors and/or judges) to ensure the provision of reasonable and procedural accommodations in the criminal justice system in accordance with EU and international human rights law
  • Strengthen cooperation and exchange between civil society and criminal justice professionals to optimise access to legal services for defendants with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities.

This will be achieved through the combined implementation of the following activities:

  • Research to understand experiences and participation barriers facing defendants with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities in the criminal justice system. This includes collecting recommendations from both defendants with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities, as well as criminal justice professionals;
  • Development of an adaptable and practice-oriented equal treatment bench book(s) for criminal justice professionals on how to ensure participation, inclusion, and fair treatment of defendants with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities; as well as,
  • Development of a cross-disciplinary protocol and proposals to improve access to legal services for defendants with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities by linking existing services. It will serve to develop a coordinated approach and a practical response protocol to enhance access to legal services (such as legal aid, access to a lawyer, restorative services);

The role

Validity is looking for an experienced consultant to evaluate the ENABLE project through its progression. The audience for the evaluation report is Validity senior management, Validity Board of Trustees, and the European Commission grant and policy officers within the relevant Directorate-General Justice and Consumers. The work will include:

  • Developing a monitoring and evaluation framework and tools together with clearly articulated methods of investigation, principles and approaches, using both qualitative and quantitative indicators to assess the project:
    • Measuring the project’s results against objectives;
    • Assessing the quality of the deliverables
    • Assessing the effectiveness of the processes for developing the deliverables and managing the project
    • Reviewing the extent to which people with disabilities have been active in the project, as contributors to the research and to the project planning and execution;
    • Assessing the reach of the project in terms of the target audiences at the international and national levels;
  • Based on the findings of the evaluation, make recommendations to the project management team to enhance the project implementation processes
  • Drawing out lessons from the project of broader relevance to: disability rights advocates, professionals in the criminal justice system, NGOs and others across the EU; EU grant-giving policies and grant management practices; and
  • Writing a 20-page evaluation report to be submitted to Validity’s Executive Director by the end of August 2024. The report will then be sent to the European Commission in accordance with ENABLE project’s Grant Agreement timeline.

The evaluator will not evaluate how the project links to Validity’s other areas of work, goals and objectives. The evaluation will be focused on the ENABLE project.

Timeline*:

20 March 2023: Deadline for applications

31 March 2023: Review applications

17 April 2023: Interview of shortlisted candidates

24 April 2023: Appoint evaluator

08 May 2023: Brief and contract evaluator

31 May 2023: Development of evaluation tools (methodology, data collection tools, list of interviewees etc.)

June 2023 – August 2024: Data collection

Beginning of May 2024: Present the draft outline of the evaluation report

Beginning of August 2024: Present the first draft of the evaluation report

End of August 2024: Present the final evaluation report

*In the case when amendments have been operated to the Grant Agreement with the European Commission that affects the timeline of the project, at the request of Validity’s management, the proposed timeline may be adjusted to the new project implementation timeline. Validity will inform the Evaluator/s about the new project implementation timeline as soon as those amendments have been approved by the European Commission.

Person Specification

Essential

  • Knowledge of disability rights/human rights;
  • Masters level education or equivalent;
  • Five or more years of professional work experience in law or social sciences;
  • Demonstrable experience evaluating European Commission co-funded projects;
  • Excellent written and spoken English.

Desired

  • Knowledge of the criminal justice system and victims’ rights, especially in Central and Eastern Europe;
  • Experience in evaluating projects implemented by small non-profit organisations;
  • Knowledge of EU law and/or policy structures and processes.

How to apply

Interested candidates should send to Validity, by 20 March 2023, the following documents:

  1. Curriculum Vitae/CV;
  2. Letter of interest (containing names, positions, email addresses, and telephone numbers of two referees. We will ask your permission before contacting the referees).
  3. Sample of a previous evaluation;
  4. Financial proposal – specifying a total lump sum amount for the task specified in the Terms of References, and a breakdown in daily rates.

Completed applications should be emailed to [email protected] before the closing date, with the subject line “Application for Evaluator: ENABLE”.

Interested candidates, before submitting their applications, can also email the “ENABLE” project manager for additional information about the assignment at [email protected]. Please send your queries by 18 March 2023, 18.00 CET.

More information about Validity and the “Enabling inclusion and access to justice for defendants with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities” project is available here.


Deadline: 20 Mar 2023