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Roma and Egyptian communities are officially recognized as national minority groups in Albania since 2017. All over the country Roma and Egyptian communities are exposed to difficult living conditions and suffer from low educational levels and discrimination. The mean age of Roma is 26 years old, 29 years old for the Egyptians and 35,5 years old for the Albanians. Regarding Roma and Egyptian electoral rights and political participation they are underrepresented in elected office and less active than other groups due to a number of factors. They suffer from lack of information and low awareness about political and electoral processes. These communities are more frequently targeted by illegal practices such as vote-buying and family voting. At times, effective voter participation is restricted by social isolation and cultural fragmentation including poverty, illiteracy, lack of identity documents, and language difficulties. ODIHR Election Observation Mission reports on Albanian elections recommend that efforts to ensure the effective participation of Roma and Egyptian community in public and political life, especially in elections, should be increased. The OSCE/ODIHR 2017 report recommends that the CEC and other stakeholders could organize further comprehensive in-person voter education programs tailored to the needs of the Roma and Egyptian national minorities. Furthermore the OSCE/ODIHR report on the 2019 local elections indicate these group of voters are vulnerable to vote-buying practices and persistently have voter-registration problems.
In the 2013 Ministerial Council Decision 4/2013, the OSCE Participating States have committed to empower Roma and Sinti women, children and youth and enhance their participation in public life. To strengthen the electoral culture of Roma and Egyptian minority, and addressed topics including vote-buying, family voting and importance of women and youth’s participation in elections, the OSCE Presence in Albania has delivered voter education campaigns for Roma in the eve of 2015 and 2019 local elections and 2017 parliamentary elections.
The electoral reform concluded in 2020 has introduced numerous changes to the Electoral Code and other laws, also provided to the voters the possibility to cast a preferential vote also for the preferred candidate in addition to the political party. This novelty encompass new and a more complex way to cast the vote on the next parliamentary elections of 25 April. The information on the preferential vote, the information at the ballot paper will be added to the topics of the importance of the vote and the participation in election.
In order to follow-up on previous efforts and address the new challenges, the Presence is seeking to enroll a voter education campaign for Roma and Egyptian youth ahead of 2021 parliamentary elections. The campaign will target Roma and Egyptian youth in three locations with high concentration of Roma and Egyptian population: Tirana, Durres, and Fier. Through the campaign the Presence seeks to enhance Roma youth awareness on the electoral process, provide inform on the amended legal framework, raise awareness among Roma and Egyptian youth on the importance of vote, registration process, voter rights, and the illegal election practices of the vote-buying and family voting etc. The awareness campaign seeks to provide the target group confidence to participate in the process, tools to go through the voting procedure and an encouragement to be more active in the political life of Albania. The activity aims to ensure that Roma youth play an active role in electoral processes as voters, candidates, or persons engaged in administrative activities.
The activities will take place in full compliance with the Covid-19 restriction in force imposed by the Albanian Government as well as by the OSCE protocol.
Objective of the assignment
Roma and Egyptian youth understanding of their electoral rights is improved and are better equipped to actively participate in the 2021 parliamentary elections.
Tasks and Responsibilities
Under the guidance of the overall supervision of the National Electoral Reform Officer, the Roma/Egyptian Election Expert will be responsible for delivering two online and four in person voter education sessions of a duration of three hours each with participants from three locations with large Roma and Egyptian population in Tirana, Durres and Fier for circa 70 Roma and Egyptian participants. The expert shall provide information on the electoral process focusing on the importance to participate in elections, the malpractice of vote-buying and family voting and prepare the material to be delivered in the online sessions including the launching meeting. The expert briefing will include:
• The importance to exercise the right to vote and the principles of the vote; • The necessity documentation to participate in elections, methods to check the names in the Voter List and the Voting Center; • Information on the changes to the Electoral Code regarding preferential voting and other voting procedures; • Information on election related malpractices; • The low voter turnout among Roma and Egyptian youth steps to address the issues; • Recommendations on increasing the participation of the youth in elections and in the political life.
The expert will also facilitate and participate in the production of the one video message, one videocast and two podcasts for dissemination in social media, namely: • Contribute and being recorded on a video message raising awareness of the Roma and Egyptian community on election related issues; • Prepare one videocast as a simulation of the voting process during the E-Day; • Prepare two podcasts on the election-related issues in Albanian and Romani language, potential themes include: voting procedure, vote-buying, family voting, preferential vote, ID documents); • Liaise to disseminate the podcasts and videos in social media and other platforms with wide reach in Roma and Egyptian communities.
The expert through the support of junior coordinators and the volunteer’s network will organise the “Election Info days” as interactive online meeting with youth, performing simulation of the election process, using online training materials and info from the CEC OSCE and other materials. In addition, the expert will organize onsite information session with in Roma youth communities.
More specifically, the expert is expected to:
1) Participate in online calls (the first one within a week from the contracting for this assignment), organized by the Presence’s point of contact to discuss the assignment the online voter education sessions, the production of video messages, podcasts and onsite information sessions; 2) Draft a comprehensive material for the online session/s (minimum 5 pages, Times New Roman theme font, 12 font size, 1.15 line spacing, Albanian language) containing the information on the right to vote, the preferential vote system, the challenges of youth to participate in elections, election-related malpractices, and key recommendations to enhance participation of Roma and Egyptian youth in parliamentary elections 2021, etc; 3) Actively participate in the launching event/kick off meeting followed by the coordination of the online training of the junior coordinators and volunteer’s network; 4) Provide information and be part of the video message to raise the awareness of the Roma and Egyptian community; 5) Prepare one videocast as a simulation of the voting process during the E-Day 6) Prepare two podcasts in Albanian and Romani language and arrange dissemination the in social media and other platforms with wide reach in Roma and Egyptian communities; 7) Conduct, in collaboration with the junior coordinators at least one online, interactive voter education sessions of a duration of three hours with at least 20 participants from three locations (Tirana, Durres and Fier) in frame of the “Election Info Days” activity; 8) Conduct, in collaboration with the Electoral Mediators at least 4 in person, interactive voter education sessions of a duration of three hours in the three locations (Tirana, Durres and Fier) in compliance with Covid-19 restrictions. Coordinate through the junior coordinators the advice of the Roma and Egyptian citizens on the validity of their ID documents, the renewal procedures, the checking of the names in the voters lists and the voting center; 9) Distribute the promotional items to the Roma and Egyptian women in three locations, including the social media; 10) Report on the online and in-person voter education sessions within five working days from the completion of the sessions; 11) Continuously liaise with and if necessary seek advice from the Presence’s point of contact throughout the discharge of the consultancy activities; 12) Organise a wrap up meeting and share information with the Electoral Mediators, the CEC and OSCE on the challenges and the implementation of the awareness campaign; 13) Provide the final report on the voter education campaign reporting on the online sessions sharing the achievements, best practices and lessons learnt. Location and equipment
The Roma/Egyptian election expert will work mainly online. The expert will personally contribute for the informative video and realize the podcasts and videocasts on the elections. The promotion materials will be distributed to the community in compliance with the rules on Covid-19 pandemic. All travel costs in the field as necessary for the duties described above will be reimbursed.
Expected Outputs/Deliverables: 1) Under Task/Responsibilities No. 2 above provide the first draft of the briefing material by 25 March 2021; 2) Under Task/Responsibilities No. 4 above provide information and being recorded for the educational spot to raise the awareness of the Roma and Egyptian community on 30 March 2021; 3) Under Task/Responsibilities No. 5 above provide the first podcast by 30 March 2021 and the second podcast by 3 April 2021; 4) Under Task/Responsibilities No. 6 above provide the videocast by 3 April 2021; 5) Under Task/Responsibilities No. 8 and 9 above provide information on the online and in-person sessions not later than five working days after the session is held. 6) Under Task/Responsibilities No. 15 above provide the first report on the voter education campaign by 7 May 2021; 7) Under Task/Responsibilities No. 15 above provide the final report on the voter education campaign by 21 May 2021.
- Completed University degree in social sciences, law, political science or other related fields. Having completed training on election related issues will be an asset; - Minimum of five years of accumulative professional experience in a field related to the Presence’s mandate, working on Roma and Egyptian issues, voter education and social inclusion; - Proven experience as trainer working with youth; - Knowledge and awareness of the electoral and advocacy work, as well as of the election related situation of Roma and Egyptian communities in Albania; - Excellent oral and written communication and drafting skills in Albanian are essential; - Knowledge of Romani language; - Good knowledge of spoken and written English; - Based on the project proposal, this program is oriented towards Roma and Egyptian applicants. Women are strongly encouraged to apply.
The payment for this consultancy will be in line with OSCE applicable rates.
How to apply
All applications are due by 21 March 2021. If you wish to apply for this position, please use the OSCE's online application link found under https://jobs.osce.org/.
Should you have any question, kindly contact email@example.com
The OSCE retains the discretion to re-advertise the vacancy, to cancel the recruitment, to offer an appointment at a lower grade or to offer an appointment with a modified job description or for a different duration.
The OSCE is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious, ethnic and social backgrounds to apply to become a part of the organization.
Due to the current unpredictable situation, the start date may probably be revised according to the daily and rapidly evolving situation