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UNFPA National consultant for BiH Entity (Federation of BiH)


UN Country Team in BiH’s Joint Program on Conflict-related Sexual Violence (CRSV) is working on a three-pronged approach aimed at improving the position of CRSV survivors in the country:

  • Support for inclusive, aligned legislation conducive for the rights of CRSV survivors;
  • Capacity development for comprehensive, sustainable services that respond to survivors’ needs;
  • Contribution to alleviation of CRSV stigma, for both survivors and their families.

UNFPA is directly engaged in building capacities of public institutions for service provision to CRSV survivors. However, stigma is one of the biggest obstacles to improving the quality of life of survivors of Conflict-related Sexual Violence (CRSV). Focusing the attention on the stigma against survivors of conflict-related sexual violence must be a priority for those who provide assistance to survivors.

Therefore, there is no doubt that the victims of sexual violence in war are the victims of war, no matter how their sacrifice might be perceived as minor in comparison to those who have lost their body parts. And yet, in individual cases, the fact that they are the victims is being challenged, and these persons are not only faced with the conviction of the environment that the victims in some way have contributed to this situation, but this same belief is to some extent often accepted by the victims themselves, although such an inversion can be understood as a paradoxical attempt to protect one’s own identity and integrity. Victims are faced with stigmatizing attitudes and self-stigma (internalized stigmatization), and many persons with this experience themselves choose to keep it a secret until death, though –at least for some of them – there is a likelihood that their daily coping with the past is so painful that it makes them completely dysfunctional.

Sexual violence is a particularly sensitive topic and anybody who was not exposed to sexual violence in conflict is trying to make a distinction between themselves and the survivors, so they could find some kind of justification for what happened. People might even not be aware that they stigmatise and that is the reason why this Stigma Alleviation Program needs to define a long-term, strategic vision on how to systematically tackle the issue of stigmatization in BiH.

UNCT JP completed a complementary set of research that painted a clearer picture of the position of CRSV survivors in BiH today, including analysing views of survivors themselves, the general public, CSOs and service providers from public institutions. UNFPA is seeking to engage a qualified consultant who will review all the research findings and use it as starting point for defining consultative sessions with stakeholders and decision makers, before developing a comprehensive Stigma Alleviation Program.

This comprehensive Stigma Alleviation Program will be a self-contained, long-term initiative unto itself, while still being a part of the larger UN intervention in the area of Conflict-related Sexual Violence in BiH. As such, it will define all the goals, activities, actors, stakeholders, outputs, end results, timelines, risks, communication channels etc. needed to guide us in the period of January 2017 – April 2019. 

UNFPA seeks to establish a team of one international and two national consultants (one per entity) that will jointly work on developing the Stigma Alleviation Program.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the supervision and day to day coordination of International consultant, National consultant for BiH Entity (Federation of BiH) will be responsible for assisting the International consultant in developing a long-term, comprehensive Stigma Alleviation Program. This document will guide all future interventions of UNCT JP on Conflict-related Sexual Violence (currently implemented by UNDP, UNFPA, UN Women and IOM) in the area of stigma alleviation.

National consultant will be responsible for providing expert inputs for Stigma Alleviation Program in the areas of:

a) Professional understanding of stigma determinants, based dually on UNFPA research on stigmatization and on professional expertise in the area of psychosocial support to survivors of violence;

b) Proposing solutions for alleviation of stigma that take into account local context, sensibilities and most effective approaches for diverse stakeholder and target groups

Breakdown of tasks:

  1. Provide necessary inputs to the international consultant for a desk review report outlining the current types and levels of CRSV stigma in BiH. National consultant (FBiH) will focus on:

i. Assisting the international consultant in understanding local elements of stigma

ii. Assisting the international consultant in reviewing relevant documents relating to stigmatization and service provision to survivors and synthesising information to be used in the following phases of stigma alleviation programme development

       2. Assist the international consultant in conducting consultations with stakeholder groups. These consultations will provide all the necessary inputs for development of the Stigma Alleviation Program. With that in mind, national consultant will help define:

a. Proposed list of participants for each of the stakeholder group’s

b. Agenda for consultation sessions, including draft questions for semi-structured interviews and discussions with stakeholders:

i. International community (UNJP team, donors, etc.);

ii. Survivors’ groups, CSOs and academia, skilled professionals;

iii. Key government bodies at all levels;

iv. Media.

Due to the number of stakeholder groups, and the fact that they are scattered across the country, a total number of actual field visits and meetings will be larger than 6, but not greater than 15.  Consultations must be conducted within one week.

      3. Support the international consultant in developing the Stigma Alleviation Program

The International consultant will develop the program which will at the very minimum include the following chapters, while the national consultant (FBiH) will provide qualitative inputs:

  • Introduction/executive summary – max one page, with summarized long-term objectives, estimated outputs and a general breakdown of roles of implementing partners;
  • Stigma Alleviation Objectives;
  • Target groups;
  • Preparatory phase – all the necessary elements, resources and tools before actual implementation;
  • Activity Plan – 30 months overview, with aggregated, per quarter plan, with a more in-depth details on a per-week basis, including responsible parties and necessary inputs;
  • Detailed Description of Activities – all activities broken down to the minute details, guiding future implementation;
  • Detail description of stakeholders – breakdown per type (public, private, individual), including analysis of scope of influence, agenda, estimated resources dedicated to the issue;
  • List of supporters - mapping of current supporters, their impact, scope of influence and area of expertise;
  • Public broadcasting services, including social media channels, web-based news portals and a proposed network of Stigma Alleviation Champions.

National consultant will be providing substantive inputs from the field of expertise throughout this process, especially during the actual programming and development of proposed activities as they must:

  • Be realistic and possible for the local context
  • Contain necessary safeguards that will ensure the do-no-harm approach
  • That avoid controversy for the sake of publicity
  • Be rooted in tried out principles in combating stigmatization of marginalized populations in BiH

As a background information, and under the overall guidance and responsibility of the International consultant, the Program must contain the following:

Core Elements

Delineating and specifying precise stigma alleviation approaches, focusing on:

  • Gender and age of survivors (women, men, girls and boys);
  • Stigmatization of children born as result of sexual violence;
  • Internalised survivor stigma and the long-term impact on families, including ways  on how to tackle this;

Initiate community-wide dialogue and awareness raising:

  • Public awareness on CRSV Stigma, its forms, determinants and impacts on the   survivors, their families and immediate community, and the society as a whole. Besides the inevitable psychological aid provided to survivors, we should also focus on the families of the survivors, who are experience secondary traumatization, Stigma Alleviation Program will deliberately and explicitly focus on the general public, bringing it into the discussion and raising its awareness on CRSV stigma and its impacts. Additionally, some awareness raising initiatives on survivors of sexual violence in conflict already exist, but those are mostly oriented to female survivors. It is very important to also draw attention to the existence of men who have survived sexual violence in conflict, because it is even a bigger taboo for them to talk about it and to seek help.

Alignment and sensitization of services to tackle stigma:

  • Define minimum standards for stigma alleviation in service provision (health, justice, economic empowerment), including an advocacy plan for incorporating stigma alleviation elements into regular service provision within public institutions in BiH

Positioning of CRSV Stigma Alleviation on the decision makers/stakeholder agenda

  • Contribute to attitude and behaviour change amongst decision makers - to increase their understanding of status of survivors of CRSV in order to create more inclusive public policies and services

Core Thematic Areas of future intervention

  • Service provision (medical care, psycho-social care, justice etc) that prevents stigmatization;
  • National and community mechanisms that support survivors and work on alleviating stigma;
  • The role of community and faith-based organizations as thought leaders in alleviating stigmatization;
  • The role of the media and education in streamlining.

 In addition to this, following core principles must be respected when designing the Stigma Alleviation Program:

  • Do no harm approach:

When attempting to raise awareness among general population on sensitive issues the typical approach would be to bombard them with shocking, provoking footage/claims that startle observers and make them think. However, this is exactly what must be to avoided at all costs – abstain from sensationalism, focus on understanding and empathy. However, all and any programming that departs from a stereotypical portrayal of survivors as broken, dysfunctional individuals, living in seclusion and self-imposed exile must be avoided.

  • Complete buy-in of key stakeholder groups:

Utmost care and attention must be paid when consulting stakeholder groups on views, opinions and suggestions on Stigma Alleviation Programming. UNFPA will be verifying and validating with partners all the draft elements of the SAP as they are being submitted by the consultant.

  • Scalability and financial modularity:

Proposed solutions must be scalable and modular – they must be able to undergo expansion, reduction or re-combination based on availability of financial resources without losing coherence or ability to impact target groups, albeit on a different scale.

Work will be provided in electronic format, and should be delivered to UNFPA by December 31, 2016.

In terms of reporting and progress control, consultant’s work will be continuously evaluated after each closed phase, and approved prior to commencing the next one.

In terms of format, details will be agreed in conjunction with the International consultant at the first programme meeting.  

Mode of supervision – continuous and regular communication, updates and consultations between the consultant and UNFPA staff.

Consultant is expected to travel around BiH to conduct consultations with stakeholder groups


  • Builds strong relationships;
  • Focuses on impact and results and responds positively to feedback;
  • Approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude.


  • Demonstrates integrity and fairness by modelling UN values and ethical standards;
  • Demonstrates professional competence and is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results;
  • Displays cultural, gender, nationality, religion and age sensitivity and adaptability.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Advanced university degree in the field of psychology, social work, political sciences, international relations, or related fields.  

Work Experience:

  • Minimum of five years of professional experience in the field of psychosocial support to survivors of violence and other vulnerable groups; prevention of gender based violence, sexual and reproductive health and rights; advocacy and outreach on programming for vulnerable populations. Previous experience in dealing with issues of Conflict-related sexual violence and stigma reduction will be considered a strong asset.

Skills and knowledge areas:

  • The incumbent should display high level of knowledge on Gender Equality/Gender Based Violence/Conflict-related Sexual Violence issues in general and particularly in Europe;
  • Have proven track record in the field of psychosocial support service provision;
  • Possess in-depth understanding of types and impacts of stigmatisation onto various disadvantaged, under-privileged and marginalised groups in BiH;
  • Great organisational and logistical skills;
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills. Communicates clearly and effectively. Seeks to understand the ideas of others. Helps create an environment for open communication;
  • Ability to conceptualize information into written reports;
  • Delivers oral/written information in a timely, effective and easily understood manner; 
  • Initiative, sound judgment and demonstrated ability to work harmoniously with people of different ethnic backgrounds;
  • Fluency in English and BHS languages.

International consultant will lead the overall process while two national consultants (FBiH and RS) will be providing necessary inputs from their professional perspectives.

Suitable female and male candidates are invited to send a quote for the work as outlined in the Terms of Reference (please provide a lump sum). Payment for contractor will not exceed average UNFPA rates for national consultants. UNFPA reserves the right to offer to the selected candidate the rate in accordance with UNFPA consultant rates and UNFPA available budget.

Where the contractor fails to deliver the required quality of products, the rate payable will be reduced. UNFPA reserves the right to assess the quality of products. Contractor has obligation to finalise products/documents to the full UNFPA satisfaction;

The contract terms will include the following:

The contractor must observe UN Minimum Operational Security Standards (MOSS) as communicated by the United Nations for the location(s) visited;

Be willing to travel to and around Bosnia and Herzegovina;