2011-12 NRC Consultancy on the HLP rights of women IDPs in Iraq

NRC is looking to hire a consultant to conduct an assessment to identify challenges facing IDP women living in informal settlements in Bagdad in exercising their housing, land and property (HLP) rights.

The research will be conducted in country in Baghdad during February – March, 2012. The purpose of the consultancy is to formulate recommendations for policy and programmatic approaches for NRC and partner agencies to strengthen IDP women’s HLP rights in Iraq. The research will build on the ICLA assessment undertaken by NRC-Iraq in December 2011- January 2012, including its research and recommendations for durable solutions to internal displacement in IDP settlements in Baghdad. Combined, the two studies will a) contribute to NRC’s development of a global advocacy strategy on HLP rights, according to the three-year partnership agreement with UK DFID (NRC – DFID Conflict, Security and Justice and Humanitarian (CSH) PPA 2011-14); b) determine NRC’s decision to implement future ICLA and related programme activities.

Please contact Robert Beer at pm@iraq.nrc.no if you have  any questions.

ASSESSMENT OF HOUSING, LAND AND PROPERTY RIGHTS OF INTERNALLY DISPLACED WOMEN IN BAGHDAD

Terms of Reference – Consultancy

I.                    INTRODUCTION

As a result of extended periods of political instability and violence, Iraq has been afflicted by mass displacement with an estimated 3.4 million Iraqis forced to flee, including 2.4 million internally displaced. According to UNHCR figures, there are an estimated 215,030 IDPs living on public land in 125 informal settlements scattered across the urban districts and peripheral neighbourhoods of Baghdad city.

The large majority of IDP communities in Baghdad reside in informal settlements on land and in properties formerly registered in the name of the Iraqi State under the Ba’ath Party of Saddam Hussein. The Baathist regime seized private homes, land and businesses to collectively punish political opponents, whilst enriching their own movement and its followers.[1] After the fall of the regime, ownership of such land passed to the Government Real Estate Department in the Ministry of Finance. Other informal settlements in Baghdad are on land owned by the Ministry of Defence and a small minority on privately-owned land, as well.

If they have any knowledge at all of IDP settlement communities, authorities have tended to view them as the result of illegal acts, in which squatters are attempting to acquire land for personal gain at a time when the Iraqi State is weak and divided. Currently, the Iraqi government is planning for the relocation of many IDP communities as a solution in order to reclaim public lands in the capital, as part of the ‘Baghdad Initiative’.[2]

Forced evictions of IDPs communities from settlements nonetheless continue, despite no acceptable alternatives being in place. Compensation for loss of property and livelihood has so far been limited to a one off payment of a grant that is insufficient, if offered at all.

Conflict and forced displacement have led to the loss of land, homes and personal documentation for IDPs in informal settlements in Baghdad, which has impacted particularly on women. Iraq faces a severe housing crisis. Property is expensive and access to credit for housing very limited. These factors combine to force many IDPs and, in particular, female-headed households, to continue living in the settlements. Given the lack of basic infrastructure, poor sanitary and shelter conditions, this is a choice of last resort. One in eight IDP households is headed by a single female. In many settlements, the majority of women are illiterate and in some cases, confined to the domestic environment.

Legislative processes are often not suited to meet the contemporary needs of displaced populations in Iraq and especially those of women. The lack of documentation has been identified as one of the most common obstacles hindering IDP access and in particular, female-headed households’ access, to education, employment or other government services. Possession of civil documentation, including marriage certification, the National ID Card, and the Ration Card determine Iraqi’s their ability to get divorced, obtain alimony, and secure rights of tenure for property.

NRC’s Programme in Iraq

NRC established its programme in Iraq in 2010 to support UNHCR in the development and implementation of a service access and coordination mechanism in over 60 IDP settlements of Baghdad. NRC’s Community Mobilization and Service Coordination Project focuses on mobilising and building the capacities of IDP communities living in the informal settlements in Baghdad to better manage their own resources and to access basic services from local, provincial and national government bodies.

NRC is committed to including IDPs in decision-making processes concerning durable solutions be they relocation, return or integration.

II.                  PURPOSE

The aim of the research undertaken by the Consultant is to identify challenges facing IDP women living in informal settlements in Bagdad in exercising their housing, land and property (HLP) rights. On this basis, the consultant will make recommendations for policy and programmatic approaches for NRC and partner agencies to strengthen IDP women’s HLP rights, in order that activities to support durable solutions and prevent forced evictions are adapted to women’s specific capacities and vulnerabilities in this context.

The research will build on the ICLA assessment undertaken by NRC-Iraq in December 2011- January 2012, including its research and recommendations for durable solutions to internal displacement in IDP settlements in Baghdad. Combined, the two studies will a) contribute to NRC’s development of a global advocacy strategy on HLP rioghts, according to the three-year partnership agreement with UK DFID (NRC – DFID Conflict, Security and Justice and Humanitarian (CSH) PPA 2011-14); b) determine NRC’s decision to implement future ICLA and related programme activities.

III.                OBJECTIVES

  • Document NRC’s support for IDP women’s HLP rights in current CCCM programme activities
  • Identify specific challenges facing IDP women living in the settlements in Baghdad to exercising their housing, land and property (HLP) rights during displacement
  • Identify the needs and rights of IDP women living in the settlements in Baghdad facing forcible eviction and/or voluntary relocation/return, including appropriate GoI compensation schemes and rights under existing Iraqi law.
  • Assess the capacity of government and civil society to address these challenges to HLPR of displaced women within the framework of support for durable solutions; identify potential partners
  • Formulate recommendations to improve the current legal framework (related Iraqi civil code and post-2003 legislation) in Iraq to strengthen HLP rights of IDP women and women in general throughout Iraqi society.
  • Draft recommendations to address programmatic gaps in order for NRC and partner agencies to support IDP women’s security of tenure
  • Ensure linkages/complementarity with NRC HO and NRC-Iraq’s protection and advocacy initiatives and the aforementioned ICLA Assessment

IV.               EXPECTED RESULTS

Report to be comprised of the following:

  • Approx. 40 pages, excluding accounts of stakeholder meetings;
  • Tasks in above listed Objectives;
  • Documented account of stakeholder meetings with GoI, UN and partner agencies;
  • Assess if guidelines are needed to address women’s HLP rights leading in support of the provision of durable solutions and the prevention of forced evictions.

The Consultant is expected to present initial findings to stakeholders during final week of research in Baghdad. Ideally the guidelines would be adopted/endorsed by the Government of Iraq, UN agencies and further stakeholders, contributing to efforts to facilitate durable shelter solutions for Iraqi IDPs and returnees through the development of specialized guidelines and tools.

V.                 SCOPE OF WORK AND METHODOLOGY

The consultant shall use NRC existing tools and frameworks (to carry out the analysis of the conflict and displacement situations and to identify possible responses and implementation modalities. By using such tools it is expected that the consultant conduct the following:

  • Literature review and stakeholder consultation on key challenges for displaced and IDP women in terms of HLP rights and durable solutions (i.e. specific challenges and potential vulnerabilities) with reference to the ICLA Assessment
  • Consultation, in partnership with CCCM, with IDP women and girls to identify risks and proposed solutions to the HLP challenges associated with displacement; supplemented by broader community consultation and in particular with vulnerable groups
  • Documentation of challenges, capacities and potential vulnerability of women and girls in this context
  • Drafting of policy and programme recommendations

The HLP Rights Consultant reports to the Country Director in Iraq and the Head of Section in NRC HO. The Consultant will hold discussions on the content of the assessment with the Programme Manager in Iraq, the NRC ICLA Adviser and the Iraq Programme Coordinator in HO, Oslo.

Research should include:

a) A desk review of relevant documentation and the ICLA Handbook;

b) Meetings/emailing of different actors in the land sector:

i. International actors

ii. Iraqi actors including civil society, beneficiaries, etc.

iii. NRC

The Consultant will be supported by Iraqi national staff contracted by NRC, in order to:

  • Support and facilitate research (before, during and after the Consultant’s travel to Iraq);
  • Provide translation in meetings;
  • Translate documentation.

VI.                     ADMINISTRATIVE ISSUES

The Consultant’s Contract will contain the following specific items;

  • Honorarium level and working conditions to be agreed with the NRC-Iraq CO management;
  • Consultant will be working from and accommodated in NRC offices in Baghdad. The Consultant will attend meetings and go on field trips as needed and agreed;
  • Travel Insurance (with Europeiske co.) will be provided by NRC for the Consultant for the dates of travel and days spent in Iraq.

VII.                   TIME TABLE AND COMPOSITION (2012)

12th – 13th Feb.                                                        Preparatory reading

14th Feb.                                                                    Travel to Iraq

15th Feb. – 7th March                                             Assessment in-country

8th March                                                              Depart from Iraq

15th March                                                            Submission of Draft Report

22nd March                                                           Submission of Final report

At least 28 working days will be incorporated into the above dates.


[1] In Baghdad alone, approximately 20,000 legal claims had been filed by 2009 to the Ministry of Justice’s Commission for the Resolution of Real Property Disputes (CRRPD), set up by the Transitional National Authority in 2006.

[2] The Baghdad Initiative is a Government of Iraq-led effort to facilitate relocation of displaced individuals and families, through the establishment of a Higher Committee of key government ministries and relevant international stakeholders established in 2009. It is based upon a similar endeavour in Diyala that has been continuing since 2008.

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One response to “2011-12 NRC Consultancy on the HLP rights of women IDPs in Iraq

  1. Pingback: Consultancy on the HLP rights of internally displaced women in Iraq | TerraNullius

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