Terms of Reference (ToRs)
Background: The Africa Judicial Independence Fund (AJIF), hosted by Afrobarometer, aims to strengthen judicial independence across Africa through research, strategic engagement, and funding support to existing/ongoing interventions by civil society groups and other activists across the continent. To help situate AJIF for the most significant possible impact, the AJIF Secretariat seeks to commission a comprehensive research/landscape scan of the field to understand the current state of judicial independence on the continent and identify and map the primary interventions and actors working to promote judicial independence.
Objectives: The primary objectives of the research are to:
- Assess the state of judicial independence in Africa, with particular attention to the initial priority countries: Angola, DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
- Assess the state of regional and continental norms, standards, and legal frameworks to promote and protect judicial independence, including their implementation and effectiveness.
- Identify internal and external factors that influence judicial decision-making processes in the target countries and analyze their impact on judicial independence.
- Identify and describe the key actors – policymakers, civic groups, etc. – and existing/ongoing interventions that seek to advance judicial independence in these countries and across the continent.
- Analyze the achievements and effectiveness of the various actors and the impact of the interventions that they implement, with illustrative examples of success stories and not-so-successful ones.
- Identify the main challenges faced by these actors and the interventions they implement.
- Identify opportunities for civic action to protect the independence of the judiciary at the country, regional, and continental levels.
- Scope of Work: The consultant is expected to:
- Review and analyze existing literature, reports, and data on judicial independence in Africa, focusing on the target countries listed above.
- Conduct interviews and consultations with legal experts, judges and other judicial officers, scholars, and stakeholders in the legal community.
- Identify and analyze historical and contemporary factors (internal to the judiciary and external) that enhance and/or undermine judicial independence on the continent.
- Assess the role of technology and innovation in strengthening or challenging judicial independence.
- Develop a comparative analysis of judicial independence across the target countries.
- Make recommendations for interventions that AJIF should prioritize in its efforts to deepen judicial independence in the target countries and at the regional and continental levels.
- Propose a set of indicators for measuring and monitoring judicial independence.
We expect this landscape scan to be desk-based; no travel is expected unless absolutely necessary.
Deliverables: The consultant shall deliver the following:
- An inception report outlining the research methodology, proposed timeline, and data collection plan.
- A comprehensive research report highlighting key findings, challenges, and opportunities, including mapping ongoing interventions and key civil society actors and activists at country, regional, and continental levels with demonstrated positive impact or potential for positive impact on judicial independence.
- Recommendations for actionable interventions by AJIF.
- A presentation to the AJIF Project Management Team summarizing the research findings.
- Qualifications and Experience: The ideal consultant should possess:
- A postgraduate degree in law, political science, or a related field.
- Proven experience in researching legal and governance matters in Africa.
- Familiarity with some of the target countries’ judicial systems, legal frameworks, and governance structures.
- Strong analytical and research skills, demonstrated through previous relevant projects.
- Excellent communication and presentation abilities.
- Timeline: The consultant shall complete the research within five (5) weeks after the contract signature, with bi-weekly progress updates to the AJIF Project Management Team. The following is an indicative timeline:
|Publication of call for proposals
|10th January 2024
|Deadline for expressions of interest
|22nd January 2024
|Review, selection and notification
|25th January 2024
|Contract signature and commencement
|30th January 2024
|Inception report due
|9th February 2024
|Draft report due
|28th February 2024
|Review and feedback
|7th March 2024
|Final report due
|14th March 2024
|Virtual presentation of key findings to AJIF Advisory Board and admin team
|19th March 2024
Proposal Submission: The AJIF Project Management Team invites interested consultants to submit a proposal with the following information:
- A cover letter briefly introducing the consultant and their research experience.
- A recent curriculum vitae.
- Sample of similar research work, including links to published research, if any.
- A brief outline (not exceeding two pages) of the approach to be used for this research.
- A proposed budget, which should include all costs of the consultant’s time and effort. Travel is not required unless necessary, in which case the consultant and the AJIF team will discuss separately.
- Evaluation Criteria: We shall evaluate the proposals based on:
- Demonstrated experience and expertise in relevant research areas.
- The clarity and feasibility of the proposed approach.
- The relevance of past work to the current assignment.
AJIF reserves the right to negotiate the proposed budget and terms with the selected consultant.
Contact for Submission: all proposals should be submitted to the AJIF Fund Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org and Program Associate at email@example.com with subject line: AJIF Landscape Scan
Deadline for Submission: 22nd January 2024