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Organisational Background:

DefendDefenders (The East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project) was established in 2005 and registered as a foreign Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in Uganda, working in 11 countries within the East and Horn of Africa sub- region. DefendDefenders strives to strengthen the work of Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) in the sub-region by reducing their vulnerability to the risk of persecution and by enhancing their capacity to effectively defend human rights and continue engaging in their work. DefendDefenders is the secretariat of the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (EHAHRD-Net) whose membership is made up of thousands of organizations and individuals working in the sub regional countries of Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Somalia/Somaliland.

In addition, DefendDefenders is the secretariat of the Pan African Human Rights Defenders Network (AfricanDefenders). The members of AfricanDefenders are five African sub-regional networks dedicated to the promotion and protection of HRDs across the continent and include; North Africa Human Rights Defenders Network, the West African Human Rights Defenders Network (Lomé, Togo), the Southern Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (Johannesburg, South Africa), the Central Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (Douala, Cameroon), and EHAHRD-Net (hosted by DefendDefenders in Kampala, Uganda). AfricanDefenders leads the continental Ubuntu Hub Cities initiative, a city-based program for the relocation of HRDs facing risks and persecution, as a last resort. The initiative aims at ensuring the physical and mental well-being of HRDs during their relocation period, while enabling them to continue their work: Safe but not Silent.

DefendDefenders is a member of the Ford Foundation Weaving Resilience Network whose goals are to strengthen collaboration and networking amongst human rights organisations in the global South.

Purpose of the Emergency Response Mechanism

Human Rights Defenders in Africa often operate in environments that do not respect fundamental rights and the rule of law as enshrined in national constitutions and international treaties. Instead, laws are enacted that repress, for example, media or ICT, hindering HRDs’ work. Legitimate civilian dissent through peaceful demonstrations and free expression of HRDs and media are restricted. It is on this premise that DefendDefenders set up a rapid response mechanism to address the needs of at-risk human rights defenders to enable them to overcome the risks that they are facing. Similar mechanisms were set up at national levels by the Defenders Coalition Kenya, National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders Uganda, and the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders’ Coalition. The four organisations have been working closely together to support at risk human rights defenders through their emergency response protection programmes.

Under the Ford Foundation Weaving Resilience project, there are ongoing engagements to ensure closer collaboration and streamlined processes amongst the four organisations which are working closely under the Human Rights Defenders Hub.

Overall Objective

Advise on streamlining the emergency response programs of the four partner organisations in order to improve collaboration and develop a manual/guide.

Specific Tasks

In close collaboration with the DefendDefenders, the consultant will undertake the following activities:

  1. Prepare a detailed proposal articulating the understanding of TORs, proposed methodology and work plan for undertaking the consultancy.

  2. Prepare an analysis report which should include;

    • –  A review of the risks/threats/vulnerability assessment approaches for their differences and similarities

    • –  Are there differences in understanding threats among the different partners/or what kinds of threat exists do they encounter and how have they been handled?

    • –  What types of security incidents partners report and what are the differences in response approaches

    • –  How effective have they been the approaches in preventing threat and attacks?

    • –  Recommend a generic approach that could be used across the hub but being sensitive of the differences

      The methodology for developing such report should involve review of procedures and other relevant reference documents, meetings and interviews with the partner organisations, human rights defenders who have experienced the emergency response, and other key stakeholders. Moreover, this process also involves desk research.

  3. Develop a draft manual and hold a review meeting with partner organisations

  4. Finalize the manual and submit both soft and hard copy to DefendDefenders

  5. It is expected that the work will be undertaken and completed within 21 working days


The consultant will work closely with DefendDefenders Protection and Security Management Department. Formal supervising will be the Senior Manager- Protection and Security Management.

Skills and Competencies

  1. Degree in law, human rights, governance or other relevant field

  2. Minimum of 10 years’ working experience with focus on human rights law, research, advocacy or other related fields

  3. Excellent understanding of and experience in human rights and with human rights defenders

  4. Experience in planning and designing participatory meetings and trainings with engaging facilitation methods and activities

  5. Excellent process planning, organizing and facilitation skills including in relation to development of manuals

  6. Extensive experience in research, developing manuals, qualitative data analysis, and report writing

  7. Excellent writing and presentation skills and excellent command of the English language

Other Key Information:
Timeline: It is expected that the work will start shortly after the signing of the contract.

Location: Travel within the countries of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania should be expected.

Interested individuals or firms should submit a cover letter, comprehensive curriculum vitae including three contactable references and technical and financial proposal to: [email protected]

Deadline for this application is 25th January 2023

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.


Equal employment opportunities and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles at DefendDefenders where employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, or any other protected characteristic as established under international human rights principles.