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Research Consultant

from Danish Refugee Council
Closing date: 19 Apr 2019

For the development of a report into the effects of international assistance to detention of migrants in Libya

1. Background and context

Libya is both a destination country for migrants seeking opportunities and a transit country for migrants crossing the Mediterranean to Europe. IOM estimates that the number of migrants in Libya is between 700,000 and one million. Libyan law does not make a distinction between people in need of international protection, victims of trafficking, and others. As a result, migrant populations in Libya face widespread discrimination and marginalisation and are often denied access to healthcare or other services and endure harsh shelter conditions.

Currently the norm is for the international community, the Libyan Ministry of Interior, and the Department for Combatting Illegal Migration to direct international assistance for migrants to detention centres (DCs). As such international assistance provides resources and proffers legitimacy to individual centres and incentivises the detention system in Libya. Governance, access, and monitoring of the institution and assistance is very weak. While this context is relatively widely reported in international media and several human rights organisations have produced reports on abuses within centres, there are gaps in demonstrating how the Libyan detention system actually receives and uses funds, what are the wider effects of current assistance to detention centres, and what could be done differently to ensure international assistance is both principled and conflict-sensitive.

2. Purpose

DRC will produce four research studies that will inform conflict-sensitive humanitarian programming and policy for the international response in Libya. As one of the four studies, this project aims to generate evidence on which actors in Libya benefit, and how, from international assistance to Libya’s detention practices with regard to migrants. It will also analyse the structural implications of continuing international assistance in its current format. The study will conclude with actionable conflict-sensitive programme and policy recommendations concerning international engagement with DCs.

2.1 Research Questions: Which actors in Libya benefit most from international assistance to Libya’s detention practices with regard to migrants, and how? What are the structural implications of continuing international assistance in its current format? Conclude with conflict-sensitive programme and policy recommendations for humanitarian implementers and donors.

3. Key Responsibilities

3.1 Scope of the Consultancy

Key Tasks:

· Review DRC’s Research Agenda and confirm with the DRC Research Specialist understanding of the goals of this study, including how it fits within the Research Agenda

· In consultation with DRC define a geographic scope of the study. The area will be chosen partly on the consultant’s ability to obtain primary data.

· Find and interview primary and secondary informants

· Undertake desk research

· Produce a final report synthesising and analysing all obtained data

· Produce a condensed version of the report of maximum three pages showing key findings and recommendations

3.2 Methodology

The researcher will be required to speak or exchange messages with key informants (KIs) to prepare the research product. There is the possibility of collaborating with the Mixed Migration Monitoring Mechanism Initiative (4Mi) to gather primary data. The research will allow some time for identifying the appropriate informants. The KIs will largely be migrants and Libyans with some expert international informants.

· Migrants will have been detained in Libya or closely aware of the activities involved. They may be located inside Libya or in a third country.

· Libyans will comprise those aware of the political economy of DCs and possible drivers of conflict or crime associated with detention. They should be capable of describing the effects of international assistance to Libya’s migrant detention practices and possible conflict-sensitive programme adaptations.

· International informants will be capable of describing forms of assistance to migration detention systems, the impact of these on Libyan political economy, and actionable conflict-sensitive programme recommendations.

The consultant will also conduct desk research to support the primary evidence gathered.

3.3 Key Deliverables

i) A final report of approximately 20 pages, to include (all lengths notional):

· Executive summary (one page)

· Context (four pages)

· Findings and analysis (10 pages)

· Recommendations for conflict sensitive programmes and policy (five pages)

ii) A condensed version of the report of maximum three pages showing key findings and recommendations

4. DRC’s responsibilities

DRC will provide the consultant with access to all relevant project documentation and existing internal research material. Where relevant DRC will assist the consultant in arranging consultations with third parties.

5. Reporting Arrangements

The consultant will report to the DRC Research Specialist. The consultancy as a whole will be overseen by the DRC Head of Programmes.


To be completed by the end of July 2019. Applicants are required to submit a work plan including the number and structure of working days.



· Master’s degree in a field such as political science, conflict and security studies, or international development

· Minimum five years of experience leading or contributing to research, humanitarian context analysis, or conflict analysis

· Demonstrable experience of working on issues pertaining to detention, migration, or conflict issues within contemporary Libya

· Independent, creative, adaptive approach to research; able to form productive working relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders; strong verbal and written communication skills

· Fluent spoken and written English


· Existing network of contacts inside Libya and/or third countries able to assist in finding primary sources

· Strong understanding of both the theory and practice of conflict sensitivity

· Experience of creating actionable recommendations for implementing humanitarian agencies

· Arabic language skills

The consultant’s location is flexible, although being based in Tunis is an advantage.


Applicants are required to submit a budget to accompany their work plan.

Fees are payable upon completion of the two deliverables and receipt of an invoice from the consultant.

How to apply:


Interested applicants are invited to submit an expression of interest by sending an email to including the following document:

· Resume/CV with details of relevant qualifications and experience

· A cover letter of no more than one page

· Relevant writing sample

· A draft work plan and budget

· Contact details for two referees