VA JID 2002 – Consultancy on Needs Assessment and Gaps Analysis on COVID-19 and GBV in Thailand

12 August 2020

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We are pleased to announce the following vacancy:

_____________________________

 

VA JID 2002 – Consultancy on Needs Assessment and Gaps Analysis on COVID-19 and GBV in Thailand

 

CLOSING DATE:

12 August 2020 (5:00 pm Bangkok time)

CATEGORY:

Individual Consultant Contract

DUTY STATION:

Bangkok (Thailand country office)

DURATION:

August  –  December 2020 (maximum 75 working days)

ORGANIZATION UNIT:

UNFPA Country Office, Bangkok, Thailand

 

TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR INDIVIDUAL CONSULTANT

Needs Assessment and Gaps Analysis on COVID-19 and GBV in Thailand

Hiring Office:

UNFPA Thailand

 

Purpose of consultancy:

To conduct a needs assessment and gaps analysis on the system to prevent and respond to gender-based violence against adults during the COVID lockdown to analyze gaps and identify key areas for multi-agency collaboration adopting ‘a whole government approach’ in addressing GBV in adults. 

 

Background:

COVID-19 is spreading across the world at alarming speed since the first case reported in Wuhan on 31 December 2019.[1] On 11 March 2020, the WHO Director-General declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.[2] Since its outbreak, COVID-19 has infected over 14.5 million people across the world and created a range of primary and secondary effects on different individuals and communities.

 

The impact of COVID-19 has reversed the limited progress that has been made on gender equality and women’s rights. The pandemic is having devastating social and economic consequences for women and children[3] and has increased risks of gender-based violence.  The COVID-19 pandemic and other crises pose a serious threat to women’s engagement in economic activities and can increase intimate partner violence. Economic crises and limited movements (quarantine/ lockdown) can lead to domestic violence and other forms of violence against women and girls. There are possibilities of increased household tension and domestic violence due to forced coexistence, economic stress, and fears of contracting Coronavirus. Those who live with domestic violence have no escape and not accessible for supports. During the COVID-19 pandemic, where movement is restricted, people are confined, and protection systems weaken, there is a greater risk of gender-based violence (GBV).[4]

 

The social and economic costs of GBV are substantial, with broader costs associated with delivering services to the affected persons, as well as the costs related to the criminal justice response.[5]  The global cost of GBV (public, private and social) is expected to be rising as violence increases and continues in the aftermath of the pandemic. A predicted rise in the different forms and manifestations of GBV will not only exacerbate the economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis but will also slow down economic recovery across the world. The stark socio-economic inequalities will place the most vulnerable groups at an even higher risk of violence. In the aftermath of the crisis, GBV will continue to escalate, at the same time as unemployment, financial strains and insecurity increase. A loss of income for persons in abusive situations makes it even harder for them to escape. The financial impact of COVID-19 will also affect the capacity of local women’s organizations and organizations fighting GBV, to advocate for policy reforms on violence against women and girls and for service provision to survivors of violence over the long-term.

 

In parts of China, domestic violence tripled and 90% of the causes of violence reported to an anti-domestic violence organization in Hubei province are related to the COVID-19 epidemic.[6] The COVID-19 pandemic has also curtailed access to support services for survivors, particularly in the health, police and justice sector. The pandemic may result in a redistribution of unpaid domestic and care work within the household. This could become an increasing burden for women juggling between employment, domestic work and childcare as schools are closed.

 

GBV and violence on children remains a major threat to global public health and women’s health during emergencies. Intimate partner violence is the most common form of violence and can be heightened as a result from lockdown and preventive measures of COVID-19. The health impacts of violence, particularly intimate partner/domestic violence, are significant. GBV can result in injuries and serious physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health problems, including sexually transmitted infections, HIV, and unplanned pregnancies.[7]

 

On 5 April, 2020 the UN Secretary-General affirmed that “the COVID-19 pandemic is causing untold human suffering and economic devastation around the world.” He appealed for an end to violence everywhere and raised concern that many women and girls may not be safe in their own homes - where they should be safest. He then made a new appeal for peace at home - and in homes - around the world. Recognizing women’s rights and freedoms are essential to strong, resilient societies, he urge “all governments to make the prevention and redress of violence against women a key part of their national response plans for COVID-19” including:

  • strengthening data collection and quality of administrative data on intimate partner violence against women and violence on children
  • invest in strengthening response to intimate partner women and children in the current situation, and medium term and long term on ending violence against women and children
  • increasing investment in online services and civil society organizations
  • making sure judicial systems continue to prosecute abusers
  • setting up emergency warning systems in pharmacies and groceries
  • declaring shelters as essential services, and
  • creating safe ways for women to seek support, without alerting their abusers. 

 

Intimate Partner Violence Impact in Thailand during COVID-19

 

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, prevalence of intimate partner violence in Thailand was reported to be high.  A representative survey of intimate partner violence following the WHO Multi-country study on women’s health and domestic violence was carried out in Thailand in the year 2000.  It was found that 22 per cent of women disclosed experience of physical or sexual violence, or both by an intimate partner in the last 12 months, and 44% of women disclosed of physical or sexual violence, or both, by an intimate partner in a life time.[8]  A study conducted in 2018 using the same questionnaire but adopted somewhat different approaches found that 15% of women had experienced psychological, physical, and/or sexual violence in their life time which suggests that 1 in 6 of Thai women have faced intimate partner violence. Of the 15% of women who reported intimate partner violence within the past 12 months, psychological violence was the most common (60–68%), followed by sexual violence (62–63%) and physical violence (52–65%). In addition, the percentage of women who faced various forms of controlling behaviors varied from 4.6% to 29.3%.[9]

 

LGBT persons are also disproportionately affected by GBV. In a recent study, 47.5% of the LGBT respondents reported experiencing at least one form of discrimination within their families. This includes pressure to end relationships, verbal attacks, pressure to enter heterosexual relationships, and being subjected to economic control. The study also shows that there is a generally lower acceptance of LGBTI persons within the family.[10] As a result of social distancing measures, more LGBT persons have had to spend more time with their families, increasing the risk of facing GBV from family members.

 

According to data obtained through the One Stop Crisis Center by Ministry of Public of Health compiling data from all hospitals throughout the country, the annual numbers of reported cases of violence against children and women was around 20,000.  Yet, the data obtained from January to May 2020 suggested an overall decline of reported violence cases.  This may not reflect the real situation, however, and instead could be due to a number of factors that impact case reporting and response.  The public health sector reportedly saw about a 40% reduction in all services during the COVID-19 lockdown period to adhere to social distancing policy and limited capacity of the health facilities during that time.  This may have meant that fewer cases were being detected, referred and addressed than would normally be the case.  The extent to which an integrated inter-agency approach was possible during COVID-19 also varied by province.  Another limitation was that prior to the COVID-19 crisis, One Stop Crisis Centers reported case data annually, not monthly, so the trends in service provided for cases of violence during the COVID-19 period cannot yet be fully analyzed.  This concern has been addressed by the Ministry of Public Health suggesting all OSCC units to report violence cases twice a month during the COVID-19 response period.[11]

 

Similarly, a report from 1300 hotline by Ministry of Social Development and Human Security did not detect increases in cases of violence via the 1300 calls.  The number of callers to 1300 during COVID-19 lockdown period increased dramatically to about 20,000 calls per day.  Yet, the majority of people called because they became unemployed and were seeking support, while others needed clarification about social protection measures, particularly how to access the different types of  cash grants.  MSDHS claimed that the high volume of the calls had deterred attention of the violence cases who possibly could not access the line/service during that time, though in order to verify this further examination of the number of dropped calls and number of callers that were not able to get a line through to the service (received a busy signal). 

 

Data to demonstrate patterns of abuse and which can be used for evidence-planning is fragmented and uncoordinated data on GBV among responsible agencies.  The same case may be reported and documented through different channels -- in the 1300 or 1663 hotline, OSCC under Ministry of Public Health, and the Provincial Shelter for Children and Families under Ministry of Social Development and Human Security.  This can lead to double or even triple counting of cases through different service outlets. Intimate partner violence cases are almost undetected in the police reporting system.

 

Pathum Thani Hospital, a health setting with solid OSCC service on violence, reported a significant increase of violence cases during the COVID-19 lockdown period.  The increase was three folds in February (from 8 to 24) and two folds in March (from 16 to 34) when compared with the same reporting period last year.[12]  Moreover, they reported increasing violence cases of multi-dimensional vulnerabilities during the COVID-19 lockdown among adolescents who are pregnant with multiple births from different partners.  Many of them were methamphetamine users who refused screening for drug addiction, but their newborn babies had developed some drug-related symptoms.

 

Overall there are two main forms of data sources on violence against women: administrative and criminal statistics; and surveys. Administrative data on violence against women is sometimes collected by the agencies that provide relevant services, including in the areas of health, criminal and civil justice, public housing, social services, refuges, advocacy and other support. The extent of violent crime reported to the police or where criminal convictions are obtained are sometimes used as indicators of violent crime. Yet, there is a significant problem of under-reporting by women who are victims of violence, particularly from intimate partners or other family members. Such data are therefore unsuitable for the measurement of the scope, prevalence and incidence of violence against women.  Surveys are other source of GBV data in which a properly designed population-based surveys that collect information from representative samplers could provide reliable method for collecting information on the extent of violence against women in a general population.[13]  Despite of difficulties of collecting reliable information on GBV issues, in Thailand there were data collection on GBV issues collected by academia or by responsible agencies in which the results obtained need to be considered carefully concerning the limitation of how the data were collected.     

 

The survey on COVID-19 impact on family conducted by the Department of Women’s Affairs and Family Development (DWF), the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security shows the interlinkages between family tension and economic difficulties.[14] The survey assessed domestic violence while working from home and found that 96% of respondents did not use physical violence, 3.1% with mild physical violence and 0.9% with injuries.  The survey indicated a sign of family tension, as slightly more than half or 56.4% was able to control their emotions. Since economic strain can increase risks of domestic violence, data from  the survey that shows that only 23.4% did not experience financial difficulties, 61.4% faced financial difficulties but can still manage household financing and 14.7% had critical financial problems and cannot manage household financing is concerning.  In Thailand, women represent 44% of informal workers[15]. Unemployment during the COVID-19 lockdown, either by themselves or by their spouses/family members, could make them face higher risks of domestic violence during the pandemic.

 

Emergency situations such as the COVID-19 outbreak exacerbate migrant women’s risk of sexual and gender-based violence perpetrated by employers, partners, law enforcement officials or frontline service providers at all stages of migration.  Migrant women affected by violence could face more difficulties in accessing essential services, including critical and life-saving health, psychosocial care, police and justice or social services, which have been severely curtailed by COVID-19, due to barriers such as language or fear of arrest, harassment or deportation because of their migration status. Migrant women who still have jobs, might be at an increased risk of workplace violence, abuse and exploitation given their vulnerable situations. For example, women migrant workers particularly in construction and manufacturing sectors in destination countries tend to live in shared, crowded accommodation, often provided by employers, and at times of lockdown and quarantine, such accommodation setting may increase the risk of sexual and other harassment for women migrant workers[16].  According to ILO and UN Women, the proportion of employers who allow migrant domestic workers to have access their mobile phones in Thailand is 37%, making it hard to access service providers when they need help while the lockdown measures make it harder for migrant domestic workers to leave situations of violence, both at home and in the workplace.[17] Migrant women in their homes out of the workforce can also face increased risks of intimate partner violence in lockdowns and they may find themselves trapped with those who perpetrate violence against them.

 

While there is no official structure in place yet to coordinate a ‘whole of government’ approach to GBV for adults in Thailand, line ministries have provided prevention and support on violence issues.  For instance, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security has direct function to provide prevention and support to the individuals who faced the violence. The support given by Ministry of Social Development and Human Security includes the 1300 hotline service with some trained counsellors and referral to provincial outreach team as well as the Provincial Shelters for Children and Families located in every province.  Ministry of Public Health has established the One Stop Crisis Center (OSCC) providing support to all violence cases who turn up to the health facilities.  Yet, the OSCCs are not present in all hospitals, just government hospitals at provincial and district level. In terms of legal issues, Ministry of Justice provides juridical support to violence perpetrated to individuals working in coordination with the police. 

 

Scope of work:

 

(Description of services, activities, or outputs)

Scope of work

 

To conduct a needs assessment and gaps analysis on the system to prevent and respond to gender-based violence against adults during the COVID lockdown to analyze gaps and identify key areas for multi-agency collaboration adopting ‘a whole government approach’ in addressing GBV in adults.  Key issues to be addressed are in accordance with the UN Secretary General calls to the government’s attention as stated earlier on page 2. 

 

The results of the assessment will be used to guide a dialogue and to develop a long-term collaboration for the UN System engagement with the government and key stakeholders. The users of this assessment are expected to be a broad audience of the UN Working Group on GBV, government partners, civil society, and a broad range of GBV service providers and policy planners.  The assessment will come up with recommendations how the government partners, civil society organizations, and other key stakeholders could bring GBV to zero in the next ten years as stated in the National Commitment to the Nairobi Summit given in November, 2019.[18]

 

Definition of GBV: In 2015, the IASC adopted a definition of GBV in its Guidelines for the Integration of GBV Interventions in Humanitarian Action (p. 5) that is most commonly referenced by humanitarian workers:

 

Gender-based violence is an umbrella term for any harmful act that is perpetrated against a person's will, and that is based on socially ascribed (gender) differences between males and females. It includes acts that inflict physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering, threats of such acts, coercion, and other deprivations of liberty. These acts can occur in public or in private.[19]

 

According to the Domestic Violence Victims Protection Act (DV Act), B.E. 2550 (2007), Article 3 states that

 

‘Domestic Violence’ means any act committed with an intention to cause bodily, mentally or healthily harm of, or an act committed intentionally in a manner they may cause bodily, mentally or healthily harm of, a family member or any coercion or undue influence conducted with a view to make a family member to do something, refrain from doing something or accept any act illegally, but not including an act committed through negligence.

 

‘Family member’ means a spouse or ex-spouse, a person who cohabits or used to cohabit as husband and wife without marriage, registration, legitimate child, adopted child, member of family, including the persons who live mutually in the same household.

 

From the above definitions, GBV is defined more broadly by the IASC any harmful act perpetrated upon individuals based on socially ascribed (gender) differences between males and females, while the definition given in the DV Act 2005 gives a narrow definition addressing on domestic violence.  While the definition of GBV used in this assessment will follow the specific definition of GBV given in the DV Act while keeping in mind a broader definition of GBV given by the IASC, this consultancy will explore how key players on the GBV issues define GBV for their actions as different definitions and measurements of GBV are being used by different line ministries.  Hence, to introduce ‘a whole government approach’ on GBV, it is important to come up with collective definitions of GBV and suggest how to manage the differences.

 

The needs assessment and gaps analysis will cover the following issues on GBV against adults:

  • Assess and analyze government systems and capacity for documenting and analyzing GBV with a view to strengthening data systems to better understand the magnitude and contributing factors of GBV and for real time monitoring to be used for designing response and services including prevention across different line ministries and civil society organizations.  In order to strengthen GBV data systems for a whole government approach, it is important that this assessment will review and map out different definitions being used on addressing GBV issues taking the International Frameworks such as the Convention on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) or the ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on the Elimination of Violence against Women, and the operation definition of GBV used and measured by different line ministries and other key players in Thailand.
  • Map existing mechanisms in place[20] for GBV prevention and response at central and local levels and suggest gaps and challenges to ensure services are accessible to survivors and at-risk group, include quality assessment of existing services on GBV provided by different line ministries.  This review could lead to recommendations how to strengthen current case management protocols, procedures and tools for GBV response to better service persons who have faced GBV, including with quality counseling and psychosocial support, healthcare and treatment, juristic support and access to justice.  This attempt is to avoid creating separate issues-based protocols as this can overwhelm frontline workers and weigh down the policy and strategy level.
  • Identify areas for capacity development of government and relevant agencies staff to provide multidisciplinary support for GBV services for adults across agencies.

 

While there are several GBV issues to be addressed in Thailand’s context including early union or child marriage, forced abortion, and conflict related sexual violence, this assessment gives attention to domestic violence against adults or those above age 15 years old[21] especially intimate partner violence.  Note that while violence against children is also a concern including during the COVID-19 lockdown and aftermath, the development of the child protection system has undergone several recent assessments and is at a different stage of development than that of   the system to address GBV against adults, which continues to face challenges with fragmented coordination among parties of concern.  The current research therefore will focus on GBV against adults.

 

Methodology

 

The consultant will conduct a desk review and propose a research methodology which involves review and assessment of relevant documents, key informant interviews and/or focus group discussions with UN Officials, key government stakeholders, civil society representatives, and GBV service providers including but not limited to those providing hotline services, health care services, shelter homes for survivors, legal support, and other key stakeholders.  The review could include identification of good practices on prevention of and response to adult GBV cases during COVID-19 lockdown drawing on lessons learned from other countries.  The key stakeholders for the qualitative data collection will be jointly agreed with the UN Team and GBV focal points from Ministry of Social Development and Human Security and Ministry of Public Health keeping in mind that the assessment is aiming to support a whole government approach

 

 

Expected results

 

The final report, as a short-term response to the COVID-19 situation, will suggest steps toward strengthening existing institutional and policy frameworks, focusing particularly in three areas: 

  • Information System:  Feedback on the adequacy and coverage of existing data from various sources for understanding the situation in Thailand to inform the development and adjustment of policies and strategies.
  • Data:  A compilation of currently available data on documented cases of gender-based violence against adults. 
  • National Action Plan (NAP): Give guidance on development of the National Action Plan on Ending Gender-Based Violence and policy framework to bring in all sectors at central and local levels for effective coordination adopting a whole government approach to provide quality services, response and prevention. Policy and coordination framework could be addressed from the plan as action points.  The NAP should touch upon how it will be effectively implemented outlining roles of relevant agencies/service providers to ensure quality coordinated services and response applying multidisciplinary approach.

 

Duration and working schedule:

The assignment will be conducted over a four- month period from August – December 2020. The overall duration of work has been estimated to be carried out in 75 person-days.

 

Place where services are to be delivered:

Bangkok

 

Delivery dates and how work will be delivered (e.g. electronic, hard copy etc.):

Under the overall guidance and general supervision of UNFPA and UN Women, supported by members of the UN Working Group on GBV, the consultant will be accountable for producing the following deliverables:

 

Deliverables

Days

Desk review and completion of the inception report Methodology

10

Data collection

45

Presentation at a consultative meeting, coordinated by UNWG on GBV together with MSDHS and MOPH, to share preliminary results for validation of the findings

5

Final Report in Thai and English

15

 

Timeline

August - Consultant identified, contracted and inception report developed

September - October – Data collection and draft report for validation

November - Final report in English

Mid-December - Final report in Thai

 

Deadlines

  • Submission of the inception report by 10 September, 2020
  • Submission of the final report in English by 30 November, 2020
  • Submission of final report in Thai by 10 December

Monitoring and progress control, including reporting requirements, periodicity format and deadline:

Regular consultation throughout all stages of the implementation after submission of the inception report, especially during the data collection period to ensure good coverage and adequacy of information sources.

 

Supervisory arrangements:

Wassana Im-em, Head of Office, UNFPA Thailand

 

Expected travel:

-nil-

 

Required expertise, qualifications and competencies, including language requirements:

  • Master’s degree in Social Sciences, Public Administration, Gender Studies, Human Rights and Development, or any related social science discipline. Doctorate degree will be an asset.
  • Minimum 5 years of technical expertise in the field of gender-based violence development programming, implementation and evaluation.
  • Proven experience in conducting needs assessment and gaps analysis of gender-based policy development and programme implementation with national or international organizations.
  • Experience in implementing a range of qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques and methods in addressing needs assessment and gaps analysis.
  • Good knowledge of the gender-based violence management systems implemented across line ministries and civil society organizations in Thailand’s context.
  • Demonstrative ability to assess the application of key UN Programming Principles: human rights; gender equality and women’s empowerment; Result Based Management; capacity development.
  • Strong analytical and strategic thinking skills with ability to conceptualize, articulate, write and debate about relevant issues.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and teamwork skills.
  • Excellent written and spoken English and presentation skills.

 

Language

  • Fluency in spoken and written in Thai and English

Inputs / services to be provided by UNFPA or implementing partner (e.g support services, office space, equipment), if applicable:

Necessary documents related to the assignment.

 

 

How to apply:

 

Candidates should submit the following documents:

  1. A curriculum vita
  2. A completed United Nations Personal History (P 11) at least two references

All the above documents must be sent by e-mail to thailand.office@unfpa.org

 

The P11 is available on the UNFPA websites at: https://thailand.unfpa.org/en/vacancies/un-application-form-p-11-form

 

Please quote the Vacancy number JID 2002 Consultant - GBV 

The deadline for application is Wednesday, 12 August 2020 (5:00 pm Bangkok time).

 

This position is open for Thai nationals only. Only short-listed candidates will be notified.

 

UNFPA provides a work environment that reflects the values of gender equality, teamwork, respect for diversity, integrity and a healthy balance of work and life.  We are committed to maintaining our balances gender distribution and therefore encourage women to apply.

 

Notice: There is no application, processing or other fee at any stage of the application process.  UNFPA does not solicit or screen for information in respect of HIV or AIDS and does not discriminate on the basis of HIV/AIDS status.     

 

 

Date issued:        Friday, 7 August 2020

Date Closed:       Wednesday, 12 August 2020, at 5:00pm Bangkok time. 

 

[1] The First 100 Days of the COVID-19 Outbreak in Asia and the Pacific: A Gender Lens, UN Women, 2020.

[2] WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 11 March 2020, https://www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19---11-march-2020

[3] António Guterres UN Secretary-General's video message on Women and COVID, 9 April 2020, http://webtv.un.org/search/ant%C3%B3nio-guterres-un-secretary-general-on-women-and-covid-19/6148473419001/?term=&lan=english

[8] Snapshot of prevalence of gender-based violence studies in Asia and the Pacific. https://asiapacific.unfpa.org/en/resources/violence-against-women-regional-snapshot-2019-knowvawdata

[9] Prevalence of Intimate Partner Violence in Thailand; Chuemchit M, Chernkwanma S, Rugkua R, Daengthern L, Abdullakasim P, Wieringa SE.J Fam Violence. 2018;33(5):315-323). 

[11] Internal communication of Ministry of Public Health on the subject reported in May, 2020.

[12] GBV data recorded by Pathumthani hospital in May 2020.

[14] The survey on COVID-19 impact on family was conducted on 10-13 April 2020 with 2,069 respondents aged above 15 years. The full survey results are available in Thai at http://www.dwf.go.th/Content/View/10474/1.   Yet, the results of this way tend to be under reported.

[15]  The Informal Employment Survey, 2019, the National Statistical Office.

[16] ILO, UN Women, COVID-19 and Women Migrant Workers in ASEAN, 4 June 2020.

[17] Ibid.

[20] The mechanisms should cover both survivors reaching out / reporting to service providers and vice versa (service providers to identify survivors).

[21] The beginning age of 15 years old is suggested as Thailand continues to have high adolescent pregnancies in which some of them ended in forced abortion by their partners.  In fact, the OSCC database record data and statistics on unwanted pregnancy as part of its routine GBV data system.