Call for Tender: Consultant for Baseline Study & Mapping in Burkina Faso and Mali

Consultant or Consultancy to conduct a baseline study and mapping on “Supporting global, regional, and national efforts in engaging with local religious and traditional leaders in Burkina Faso and Mali”

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Position Title: Consultant/Consultancy
Duty Station: Burkina Faso/Sahel
Contract period: 2.11.-31.12.2020, estimated 30 working days between the given timeline



The Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers (the Network) was founded in 2013 as a concrete response to the growing awareness among peace mediation organization and the United Nations, that religious and traditional actors are vital, but underutilized, actors in peacemaking processes. Since its founding, the Network has grown into a community of peacemakers ranging from grassroots religious and traditional actors to international NGOs, think tanks, and academic institutions. The Network strengthens peacemaking through collaboratively supporting the positive role of religious and traditional actors in peacebuilding processes and through connecting them to national and international peace builders. Since its founding, the Network Secretariat has been hosted by Finn Church Aid (FCA), Finland’s largest development agency and provider of humanitarian aid while the steering body of the Network, the Steering Group, consist of variety of actors from UN Agencies to Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Religions for Peace and KAICIID Dialogue Center.

In recent years, the Sahel, the region south of the Sahara Desert that stretches from Senegal to Eritrea, has been experiencing an unprecedented level of violence and socio-economic deterioration. Although the conflict in the region is not new, the frequency and its deadly nature raise significant security concerns for Africa and Europe and beyond. Weak governance or the state’s complete absence in certain areas, high population growth rate, porous borders, and fragile or deteriorating security conditions have contributed to mass displacements and severe humanitarian conditions. Additionally, the Sahel has been increasingly impacted by climate change; severe droughts and heavy, out-of-season rainfalls have affected farmers and pastoralists. With around 70 percent of the West African population dependent on agriculture and livestock, intercommunal and ethnic tensions have been more frequent. Compounded with weak governance, violent extremist groups have exploited local grievances along ethnic and religious lines, establishing credibility among the local communities by providing safety, protection, and social services.

Despite the strong focus on military responses and considerable aid by regional communities and the international community to national militaries and the UN peacekeeping force, there are not many conclusive and general improvements. The heavily militaristic approach has also been criticized for atrocities and grave human rights violations committed by national and foreign troops. In recent months, demonstrations in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger demanded foreign forces’ departure and the resignation of the respective national government.   Although ECOWAS is the best-placed organization to develop coordination efforts, ensure border control and establish common goals, it often has been locked in a “security paradigm,” overlooking the eminent political and social dimension of the crisis.

The root causes of conflict and challenges facing the region are highly intertwined and require a local, paced, and multi-layered response with political solutions at their center, including efforts to (re)establish trust between populations and their governments.  There is an urgent need to re-establish social cohesion and trust between different ethnic and generational groups. This also implies dialogue and cooperation across all levels, including local authorities, and the meaningful participation of civil society.

Often Sahelian countries have relied on informal conflict prevention and resolution mechanisms at the local level to minimize clashes between farmers and pastoralists. Religious and traditional actors, including women and youth, often have considerable influence at the local level, especially in remote areas where the state has a minimal presence. In the past, these local actors have mediated conflicts between different nomadic groups; however, extremist groups in the region have partially supplanted religious and traditional actors. Extremist groups have exploited the persisting economic marginalization and unaddressed basic needs and moved in to fill the void left by the governments by providing safety, protection and social services. Secretary-General reports on West Africa have consistently highlighted these actors’ influential role in their communities in mediating conflicts, early warning and information sharing, and conflict prevention capacity. In particular, during his briefing to the Security Council, Special Envoy Mohamed Ibn Chambas called on Council Members to support and emulate the Network’s work at the local level in the Sahel.

This illustrates the need empowering religious and traditional actors through building their capacity, while also creating links between them and regional actors (ECOWAS and AU), UN-entities (especially MINUSMA, UNOWAS), “western” entities (France, Germany, the US, EU), as well as many INGOs have major stakes or engagement in the region. Pursuing such efforts would create room for dialogue and mutual cooperation among track 1 (G5, ECOWAS, AU) and track 1.5-2 (religious and traditional actors) to contribute towards social cohesion and trust between different ethnic and generational groups. Solutions to instability in the Sahel will not come from the outside: The primary duty-bearers are the region’s countries. External partners can provide support to government structures, regional and continental institutions, and relevant civil society organizations and local authorities. Therefore, supporting homegrown initiatives related to dialogue and involving actors such as the above mentioned is crucial.

With only a decade left to achieve the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the aim of the project –supporting mediation processes and dialogue between track 1 and 1.5-2—is an entry point to SDG 1 (eradicating poverty), 2 (zero hunger), 15 (protect and restore life on land), 16 (peace, justice, and strong institutions), 17 (partnerships). Moreover, this effort is linked to the UN Plan of Action (November 2019) that outlines as one of its priorities “Use traditional conflict resolution mechanisms to resolve conflicts between communities.” Therefore, a mapping/contextual analysis is required to identify efforts/gaps by ECOWAS/AU, UN-entities (MINUSMA and UNOWAS), and INGOs in engaging religious and traditional actors, including women and youth of faith, in the Sahel region (particularly Burkina Faso and Mali) for peacebuilding and conflict prevention. This would also require exploring who are the local actors and different ethnic and nomadic groups, and existing (if any) councils or local administrations working on peacebuilding that are being engaged.


To conduct a baseline study in below mentioned in Sahel (primarily Burkina Faso and Mali) on:

    • Identify efforts/gaps in the peacebuilding and stabilization approach by ECOWAS/AU, UN-entities (MINUSMA and UNOWAS), and INGOs in regards of engaging religious and traditional actors and faith-based organisations and networks, including women and youth of faith;
    • Identify the religious/traditional leaders, women and youth community leaders, local councils and networks with high potential of preventing conflicts and advancing peace and stability in the region
    • Identify the capacity-building needs of both the key track 1 and track 1.5-2 actors to advance inclusive and sustainable peace and provide recommendations for future programming


    • Burkina Faso (Bobo-Dioulasso, Banfora, and Gaoua)
    • Mali (Bamako, Mopti, and Tombouctou)
    • The geographical scope can be agreed on and other regions might be proposed by the consultant/consultancy


    • Development of baseline study key research questions and related tools (methodology, questionnaire and the alike) in consultation with project partners
    • Identify and conduct key informant interviews (KIIs) with regional and national actors working with local actors on peacebuilding and conflict prevention and transformation
    • Conducting a desk and field study, and organizing focus group discussions with the influential religious and traditional actors and leaders, their role and type of influence, and connectivity with national and international processes
    • Finalization of the final report, including efforts/gaps of engagement and recommendations for the engagement of the traditional actors and leaders and the support and capacity needs of both track 1 and track 1.5-2 actors and a mapping of key religious and traditional actors or platforms/networks in the region
    • Analysis of baseline study results and facilitation of a specialists’ workshop together with project partners to discuss the findings


    • Baseline study tools (questionnaire, guiding questions in case of focus groups)
    • Compiled baseline study data and list of interviewees, their position and contact details
    • Draft report for comments
    • Combined final report, including recommendations for engagement of religious and traditional actors in regional and national peacebuilding and conflict prevention efforts, capacity-building needs of the key peacebuilding actors in religious/traditional engagement and capacity-needs of religious/traditional actors to effectively engage with track 1 actors, proposal for concrete support actions


Minimum requirements

    • Must have a Master’s degree in peace and conflict studies, international relations, human rights, religion/theology, or similarly relevant field
    • Must have minimum of 10 years working experience in the field of peacebuilding, interfaith dialogue, and religious tolerance, with at least three years in the Sahelian context
    • Must have proficiency in French and English (oral and written)
    • Must have demonstrated experience of successfully carrying out at least two baseline studies/evaluations/research processes

In addition, the lead consultant should have:

    • Strong knowledge of the local context of the Sahel, especially Burkina Faso and Mali
    • Excellent understanding of intra- and inter-religious dynamics, and farmers and pastoralist issues in the region
    • Excellent understanding of the international peacekeeping, peacebuilding, and stabilization processes and infrastructure in the region and related dynamics
    • Experience in working with international actors (UN, AU, ECOWAS), national and local authorities, and committees
    • Well-established contacts with regional, national, and civil society/community actors in the region and ability to independently organize the KIIs and FGDs in the region
    • Demonstrated capacity to design and carry out research projects independently
    • Excellent analytical and professional writing skills
    • Working knowledge Arabic is an asset
    • Ability to travel to moderate and high-security risk areas and to organize one’s travels independently in the region

The Technical Proposal should include:

    • An up-to-date curriculum vitae of the consultant/consultants (max.2 pages per person);
    • A statement indicating how the qualifications and experience of the candidate respond to the requirements of the tasks and make the candidate suitable for this particular assignment (max. 1 page);
    • Three professional references;
    • Two work samples of previous mapping/research/evaluation on peacebuilding and development
    • A proposed work methodology and work plan for delivery of services (max. 5 pages).

The Financial Proposal should include (expressed in Euros):

    • Fee expressed as a fee per day in EUR;
    • Travel and transportation costs;
    • Insurance and taxes.

Evaluation criteria

The proposals received by the tender deadline will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

*MAX 50 points


    • The Consultant/Consultancy is responsible for payment of all social costs, other employment related costs and for all other liabilities of a statutory nature.
    • The Consultant/Consultancy will have to abide by FCA CoC, Child Safeguarding policy and any other relevant policies.
    • Copyright for the report will remain with FCA
    • FCA reserves the right to accept or reject any bid, and to annul the bidding process and reject all bids at any time prior to contract award, without thereby incurring any liability to Bidders.
    • FCA has zero tolerance concerning aid diversion and illegal actions and may screen consultants against international lists to ensure due diligence and compliance with Anti-money laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism requirements.

Application process:

If you meet the above qualifications and requirements and are interested in the Consultancy, please send your technical and financial proposal and your CV to the email address: by October 30th, 2020, 5.00 PM (EAT).

Please put “Consultant- Sahel (Burkina Faso/Mali)” as the subject heading.

Specifications on the requirements of the call for tender can be requested from Mr. Siam Tooran ( until October 23rd,2020, 4.00 PM EST.

Late, incomplete or partial bids will be rejected.