Consultant for Context Analysis of Courts in Somalia Expanding Access to Justice Program

Date: 15 December 21 – 31 May 2022


The Expanding Access to Justice Program (EAJ) is a five-year associate award (2018–2023), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) via the Freedom House-led Human Rights Support Mechanism (HRSM) and implemented in partnership between Pact and the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ROLI), that aims to improve access to justice and mechanisms to address grievances in Somalia and Somaliland. The three main project objectives are 1) Support and improve inclusive community engagement in justice solutions; 2) Strengthen justice services; and 3) Improve navigation of justice pathways by aggrieved parties.

Under Objective 2, strengthen justice services, the EAJ has defined three outcomes: a) Increased court function, efficiency, and overall competency; b) Increased uptake and resolution of cases involving women and minorities; and c) Increase in institutional development and service delivery initiatives generated outside of direct EAJ support. To achieve these outcomes, EAJ is supporting ‘model courts’. Model court support includes technical and procedural aspects. For example, support to the completion of bench books to help guide judges; training of judges in Shari’ah jurisprudence to promote jurisprudence that is culturally legitimate and promotes access to justice for women and minorities; preparation of job descriptions for court staff to improve the functionality and effectiveness of the court; the procurement of equipment and furniture to allow appropriate physical court space; and support to strategic communication for the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to foster appropriate communication of the role of the courts and its procedures vis-à-vis the justice users.

While responses to technical and procedural aspects of the court are important to improve the delivery of fair justice at courts, EAJ in-house research as well as other analysis has indicated that court functions are significantly underpinned by other political, social and contextual dynamics. At a macro level, therefore, this study shall inform EAJ’s approach to convening key stakeholders or constituencies as it seeks to advance institutional reform related to the courts.


This study will seek to understand the networks and interests as they determine the functioning and performance of particular courts as part of the Judiciary of Somalia and its interaction with other justice providers. The focus will be extended to closely related justice chain actors (e.g. the police and its enforcement of decisions, available legal aid and legal support organizations, etc..). The key objective is for results to feed into EAJ interventions and to inform future USAID justice programming.

Research Tools:

In order to answer the research questions, a desk review will be conducted of existing literature to understand the current state of knowledge in Somalia on PEA and justice sector reform. Further, in-depth interviews with justice actors and justice users will be the key instrument to understand challenges, best practices, and impacts of the courts and their socio-political environments.

Furthermore, if possible, a review of case files or interviews focusing on case histories will help to understand whether incentives and interests of different groups in the respective courts and their performance.

A brief mapping exercise of available justice institutions in the selected communities will help understand alternative options for justice. Held against political economy understanding of the region, identified through the interviews, can help understand possible modes of competition.

Research tools will be further refined together with the research questions in the inception report / research protocol.


Key outcomes will be:

Ø A final report presenting the research analysis and findings

Ø Recommendations on how EAJ could / should revise its own approach

Ø Recommendations on how EAJ could engage with the courts/Judiciary

TASKS and Key deliverables


Activities and Deliverables

15 December 21

  • Deployment of lead consultant and local researchers

30 December 21

  • Design of detailed questions and tools
  • Development of research protocol
  • Development of outline of report

2 January – 15 February 22

  • Pilot interviews
  • Main data collection / field work in Mogadishu

16 February 22 – 15 March 22

  • Analysis of data through consultant
  • Drafting of research report on Mogadishu, including recommendations for the EAJ

15 March 22

  • Draft research report finalized and submitted to EAJ Team
  • Main data collection / field work in Xudur

31 March 22

  • Comments provided by the EAJ Team on Mogadishu draft report

10 April 22

  • Revised Mogadishu research report submitted to EAJ Team

31 April 22 – 15 May 22

  • Analysis of data through consultant
  • Drafting of research report on Xudur, including recommendations for the EAJ

15 May 22 **

  • Draft research report on Xudur finalized and submitted to EAJ Team

31 May 22

  • Final Xudur research report submitted


The Consultant will work home-based and will be supervised by the EAJ Research Team Leader.


The consultancy is based on a contract of up to 55 working days, in the period from 15 December 2021 to 31 May 2022.

assurance of confidentiality

All deliberations relating to this consultancy, including all information collected from various meetings/documents shall be kept confidential and shall not be divulged to any third party either verbally or in writing or in any other form.


The Consultant should have the following educational qualifications, skills and experience:

  1. MA degree in social science, law, political science or related discipline;
  2. An excellent understanding of the Somali local political and institutional landscape particularly regarding justice and dispute resolutions systems;
  3. A proven track record of research and publications on related issues in Somalia
  4. Demonstrated access to key respondents in the justice sector;
  5. English writing skills and experience conducting qualitative interviews;

How to apply

Submission requirements

Please email with the following documents with their expression of interest for this consultancy:

  • Curriculum Vitae and an indication of the desired daily rate

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