Purpose: USAID’s LGBTI Inclusion Project solicits applications from international consultants with relevant expertise and experience in establishing intervention funds to support urgent needs of LGBTI people. The overarching goal of USAID’s LGBTI Inclusion Project is to improve the integration of LGBTI people in society and advance their human rights and freedoms in the Republic of Macedonia.
Project Implementer: Helsinki Committee for Human Rights’ LGBTI Support Centre
Project Partners: Coalition ‘Sexual and Health Rights of Marginalized Communities’ and LGBT United Tetovo
Service Location: Skopje, Republic of Macedonia
Type of Agreement: Agreement for Consultancy Services
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT
Helsinki Committee for Human Rights’ LGBTI Support Center (the Center) has received over 20 requests for assistance from vulnerable LGBTI community members over the past two years. The requests mostly relate to provision of urgent medical, legal and/or social support, which the requestors could not afford from their own funds. These requests clearly indicate the need for establishing a long-term sustainable Intervention Fund (IF) for LGBTI people, which will be used to address urgent needs of various types of assistance. For the beginning, the IF will cover the expenses for provision of legal and medical aid, including local travel costs, court fees, obtaining medical documentation and treatment, housing and other pressing needs. In part, the IF will also be used to support the work with LGBTI community groups throughout the country. The Center has also identified a need for limited financial support of activities initiated by informal community groups that are not eligible for most of the grant funds available to LGBTI organizations.
The systematic discrimination against LGBTI people in the Republic of Macedonia resulted with a very hostile environment for the LGBTI community. Over the past several years, the Center has been the target of six violent attacks and arson attempts; however government authorities have not identified the perpetrators and/or resolved any of these incidents to date. Pro-government media constantly present the LGBTI community in a sensationalistic manner using stereotypes, misinformation and hate speech. The major national media have supported homophobic statements of government representatives and public officials in several occasions. They are repeatedly using homophobic and transphobic rhetoric, twisting facts and falsely portraying LGBTI people and organizations engaged on protecting and promoting the LGBTI rights. Unfortunately, the combination of the homophobic and transphobic public standpoints of the government and the biased reporting in major national media proved to be an effective tool for encouraging violence, hate and intolerance towards LGBTI people. According to the statistics of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of the Republic of Macedonia, in 2013 the incident rate of sexual orientation and/or gender identity based hate crimes was second on the list of all reported cases. The lack of adequate response from state institutions and the absence of punishment for the perpetrators inspired the Center to focus its efforts on strengthening the LGBTI community on a national and local level. With the establishment of the IF, the Center will be able to financially support the LGBTI community to address issues they face in day-to-day life.
The overall objective of the LGBTI Inclusion Project is to improve the integration of LGBTI people in the society and to advance LGBTI rights in the Republic of Macedonia. The Project is designed to achieve the following specific results: 1) Develop institutional capacity by facilitating networks and the engagement of the LGBTI community members with each other (nationally and regionally), the broader CSO community, and local and national institutions 2) Increase awareness of LGBTI rights by assisting LGBTI CSOs to build alliances with human right organizations and media to combat hate speech and exclusionary narratives; and 3) Ensure a safe place for vulnerable members of the community.
DESCRIPTION OF CONSULTANCY TASKS
The Center intends to select a consultant with adequate professional experience and expertise in developing intervention funds. The consultant will help the project in establishing an IF to support immediate needs of LGBTI people, as well as help them solve some of their problems on short and mid-term. The selected consultant will closely cooperate with the Center and its project partners in performing the consultancy tasks. During the consultancy, the selected consultant will be based in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia. The consultant’s tasks include:
- Conducting analysis of the most frequent needs and problems of LGBTI people, organizations and informal groups in Macedonia;
- Developing a plan with concrete actions, steps and timeline for the development and implementation of the Intervention Fund, including the Fund’s objectives and expected results;
- Developing standard operating procedures for using the Intervention Fund and a Guidebook for Project staff and potential beneficiaries
- Expertise in creating intervention funds and procedures for making small sub-grants to LGBTI organizations and/or informal groups;
- Good knowledge of the relevant international human rights standards;
- Demonstrated analytical, research and reporting skills;
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills and ability to facilitate sessions;
- Excellent speaking and writing English skills;
The total remuneration including the consultancy fee, per diems, communication and travel costs taxes, etc. will be regulated with the consultancy agreement.
The Letter of Interest and applicant’s Curriculum Vitae in response to this call should be submitted via e-mail at
Following the review of the applications, the project will contact only the shortlisted applicants.