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Proiecte implementate pe parcursul anului 2018

International consultant/Team of consultants to develop the methodology and perform a data analysis for an upcoming public survey on the relationship between religion and the state in Moldova

Soros Foundation-Moldova (SFM) is a nongovernmental, nonprofit, apolitical organization that aims to promote open society values in Moldova. SFM Justice Program promotes legal reforms based on respect for human rights, legal responsibility, social inclusion and good governance.

Background
Freedom of thought, conscience and religion is one of the inherent freedoms proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights (Article 9) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Article 18). Consequently, there is an obligation on national governments to ensure the compliance of the national legal framework with the international regulations, and to guarantee the free exercise of this right to all citizens. Religious denominations while being subjects for protection are also endowed with basic obligations which are triggered by the need to ensure pluralism and a democratic environment in which all groups are represented and universal human rights are observed.

In September 2011, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, conducted an official mission to Moldova. In his report, the Special Rapporteur has addressed issues of concern to its mandate on the overall situation of freedom of religion or belief in the country, including the privileged status of the Moldovan Orthodox Church; manifestations of intolerance; freedom of religion or belief in school education and conscientious objection to military service.

As acknowledged in the US Department of State International Religious Freedom Report for 2011, in the Republic of Moldova “there were some reports of societal abuses and discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice.”  These cases of discrimination could be found in almost all relevant areas: registration of denominations, construction of religious buildings, interferences into religious activities, access to schools and other educational institutions, discrimination in education, health care and employment, coverage in media and in public discourses, etc. Furthermore, there are no effective legal mechanisms for protection of fundamental religious rights and freedoms, which perpetuate the impunity for the violations of these rights and freedoms. A low number of violators are brought to justice, and even when brought, many of them are sanctioned inadequately. The Ombudsman office lacks capacity to protect the fundamental religious rights and freedoms, and there are no other public authorities with strong stance and position with regard to protection of these rights and freedoms.

The 2012 study on the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion developed by the Information Center for Human Rights (CIDO) in partnership with the Nondiscrimination Coalition (NDC) and the National Youth Council of Moldova (CNTM) reconfirms the findings made by the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief and in the US Department of State International Religious Freedom Report for 2011.

In the aforementioned conditions, the Justice Program of the Soros Foundation-Moldova is currently implementing the project: “Addressing alleged conflicts between selected rights”. In 2015 the program initiated a process to assess the implementation of recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief. A national report on religious freedom in Moldova is currently being finalized. The report is based on data collected by the monitors within a 2014 monitoring campaign on freedom of religion and on the results of interviews with representatives of religious cults present in the country. One of the project’s activities for 2016 foresees the organization of a public survey on the perception of Moldovan population regarding the misuse of religious freedom to limit other rights.

In February 2016, a meeting of national and international experts in the field of freedom of religion took place in order to discuss the appropriate approaches to implement the programs planned activities in this field. The conclusions of this meeting pointed out to the fact that an in depth research for elaborating the methodology to be used for developing the public survey exercise is needed before initiating the public survey. This methodology will also represent a reliable instrument to be used when presenting the results of the survey and developing recommendations for the authorities or for developing other measures to tackle the tension between abusive invoking of religious freedom and the enjoyment of other rights in the field of freedom of religion.

OBJECTIVE:
The main objective of the assignment is to develop the methodology to be used by the sociological company when developing and performing the public opinion survey on the perception of Moldovan population in relation to the misuse of religious freedom to limit other rights.

TASKS:
1. To assess the needs and propose an instrument for the data collection process to be performed by the sociological company:

  • Desk review of similar exercises of surveys on perceptions and attitudes regarding the dynamic of the relation between religion and state;
  • Prepare a methodological document to be used by the sociological company in preparing the instruments for the survey;

2. Provide support to the sociologic company during the process of collecting the data for the public opinion survey on the perception of Moldovan population in relation to the misuse of religious freedom to limit other rights:

  • Guide the process of data collection;
  • Provide details on specific language to be used, explaining the relevant terminology.

3. Conduct the analysis of the data collected placing it in the sociological context and the typology of the relationship between the Church and the State authorities.
4. Make a presentation of the results of the public opinion survey on the perception of Moldovan population in relation to the misuse of religious freedom to limit other rights.

DESIRED OUTPUTS/EXPECTED DELIVERABLES:

  1. Report on good practices regarding surveys on the dynamics of the relation between religion and the state in English;
  2. Methodology for the public opinion survey on the perception of Moldovan population in relation to the misuse of religious freedom to limit other rights developed;
  3. Guidance, help desk to the sociological company provided;
  4. Analysis of the data collected placing it in the sociological context and the typology of the relationship between the Church and the State authorities
  5. Presentation of the results of the public opinion survey on the perception of Moldovan population in relation to the misuse of religious freedom to limit other rights delivered.

TIMEFRAME: The consultancy should start in April 2016 and end in December 2016 for a maximum of 25 working days, including at least one mission to Moldova.

ARRANGEMENTS: The international consultant/team of consultants will have the role of the team leader and will report directly to the director of the Justice Program of the Soros Foundation-Moldova.

QUALIFICATION/EXPERIENCE REQUIRED:

  • University Degree in Social Sciences or International Human Rights Law (LL.B. equivalent). Advanced graduate studies in Religious studies/Theology or other related fields will be a strong asset;
  • Minimum of 5 years of progressive experience in sociology, anthropology of religions or human rights research with a focus on freedom of thought, conscience and religion;
  • Consistent experience in elaborating sociologic instruments to measure public perceptions;
  • Strong analytical and communication skills;
  • Knowledge of country and/or regional context (Central and Eastern Europe, former Soviet Union) and current human rights challenges is essential;
  • Knowledge of Romanian will represent a strong asset.

PERFORMANCE INDICATORS:

The performance of work will be evaluated based on following indicators:

  • Consultancy provided with required quality;
  • Compliance with the established timelines;
  • Demonstration of good cooperation with SFM and counterparts.

FINANCIAL TERMS: The consultant shall make proposals on the expected daily fee (net amount) in USD for a maximum of 25 working days. In case of a group of consultants please provide the daily fee and the expected number of working days for each of the consultants.

All business related expenses (economy air travel, local transportation, accommodation, translation) will be covered by the SFM.

RECRUITMENT PROCESS: All prospective consultants should send a cover letter, a CV/resume and proposals on the expected daily fee by 29 April 2016, 5 pm EET, to the following e-mail: foundation@soros.md, mentioning in the title of the message “Application for the position of International Consultant/Team of consultants for the SFM Justice Program”.

For more details regarding the evaluation process, please see the document attached below.

For any details and questions regarding the content of ToR and assignment, please contact the Project coordinator at the e-mail: ncamburian@soros.md or Justice Program Director at vmunteanu@soros.md or (373 22) 270031.