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Increasing oversight over Georgia’s anti-torture commitments and the compliance with the international standards
Penal Reform International’s South Caucasus Office is seeking a Georgia-based evaluation consultant to conduct an external end of project evaluation of an Open Society Foundations-funded project entitled “Increasing oversight over Georgia’s anti-torture commitments and the compliance with the international standards” which has been implemented by PRI from 1 October 2016 to 30 September 2018. The evaluation aims to assess the impact of the project, the outcomes achieved and PRI’s contribution towards these as well as identify lessons learned and recommendations to inform future work.
About Penal Reform International
Penal Reform International (PRI) is an independent non-governmental organisation that develops and promotes effective and proportionate responses to criminal justice problems worldwide. PRI promotes the rights of detainees to fair and humane treatment and campaigns for the prevention of torture and the abolition of the death penalty. The organisation works to ensure just and appropriate responses to children and women who come into contact with the law, cooperating with inter-governmental organisations to bring about reforms that balance the rights of offenders and victims. Practical assistance to national policy-makers, criminal justice authorities and civil society to reform legislation, policy and practice is also provided.
PRI’s Head Office in London leads and coordinates cross-regional programmes, international policy and advocacy activities, and is responsible for organisational and financial management. There are also regional offices in the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the South Caucasus that implement practical programmes and provide technical assistance at a national and regional level.
PRI has been working in the South Caucasus region since 2001 and the office is based in Tbilisi, Georgia. Current PRI projects in the South Caucasus focus on improving public and civil society oversight of the penal and justice systems, especially torture prevention, adherence to international standards, supporting the rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders and former offenders. PRI is an independent organisation, with no religious, political or governmental affiliations.
About the project
In Georgia, torture and inhuman treatment used to present a systemic problem in prisons, as well as in police and security isolation units during the years preceding the change of government in late 2012. This was affirmed through published survey of eight NGOs about the ‘practice of torture and inhuman treatment of prisoners in Georgia’, Penal Reform International was also involved in the research. Even though torture is no longer a systemic or wide-scale problem according to the Ombudsman, and the UN Special Rapporteur noted "visible and quantifiable effects of the implementation of reforms made" pursuant to his visit in March 2015, many challenges remain, including lack of institutional mechanisms of oversight and independent and effective investigation of torture crimes, as well as random course of reforms in penitentiary system. Existing mechanisms of investigating torture and bringing perpetrators to justice are rather ineffective in Georgia. The present government acknowledges the need to establish an independent and effective investigation mechanism, however no further details on the possible model have been agreed so far. The Special Rapporteur on Torture in his last report on his mission to Georgia called the Georgian authorities to consolidate reforms "developing relevant mechanisms in guaranteeing justice in cases of torture and ill-treatment, improving conditions of detention and preventing all forms of retrogression". Some of the shortcomings noted by the SRT included: the excessive use of electronic surveillance and pursuant lack of privacy for pre-trial and high-risk prisoners which in some cases constituted cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and even torture; highly restrictive regime in some prisons, inadequate living conditions in high security prisons, excessive use of solitary confinement; arbitrary application of disciplinary sanctions.
With this project, PRI aims to contribute to improvements of prison conditions and treatment of prisoners, by increasing oversight over Georgia’s anti-torture commitments and the compliance with the international standards. Specifically, PRI will promote the implementation of the recently revised UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (‘The Nelson Mandela Rules’), particularly with regard to torture prevention and improvements of the prison conditions.
Besides, PRI proposes to monitor the fulfilment by Georgian authorities of anti-torture commitments at international and national level, as highlighted in the official reports of International Organizations and action plans (Human Rights Action Plan, Anti-torture and Criminal Justice Action Plans, CPT reports, reports of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, and etc.).
Overall goal: To Increase oversight and promote adherence to the International standards and best practice examples in the penitentiary system of Georgia for effective prevention of torture and all forms of ill- treatment.
1. To promote implementation of the international standards in the penitentiary system of Georgia for the prevention of torture/ ill-treatment and inhumane conditions;
2. To improve capacities of staff of the penitentiary system to fulfil their national and international obligations pertinent to preventing torture and ensuring humane treatment and conditions for prisoners.
3. To increase awareness of risks and contexts conducive to torture and encourage respective responses;
4. To provide oversight over the implementation of national policies for torture prevention
1. Improved prison conditions and strengthened protection against torture and ill-treatment in the Georgia’s prisons;
2. Greater awareness of and adherence with the Revised Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules) in prison practices
Purpose of the evaluation
1. To assess the impact of the project
2. To identify and assess intended and unintended outcomes, both positive and negative and PRI’s contribution towards these
3. To capture learning and identify recommendations to inform PRI’s future project designs in supporting governments to improve their torture prevention mechanisms and compliance with international standards.
In order to achieve this, the evaluator should respond to the following specific questions:
Accountability: have planned objectives and outcomes been reached? What has been the impact on the main project stakeholders? Will the impact be sustained? What has been PRI’s contribution to the achievement of outcomes? Is the project relevant to the current justice reform landscape in Georgia?
Learning: Were the activities appropriate and effective for reaching the objectives? What was the quality of PRI’s implementation? What should PRI change for future project designs and implementation?
The evaluator is expected to develop their own evaluation methodology, however it should include:
- A desk review of relevant project and other relevant documentation (will be provided by PRI)
- Key informant interviews in country with relevant PRI project staff, donors and stakeholders including those involved directly and indirectly in the project (key line ministries, CSOs, prison management, implementing partners, beneficiaries) for each of the key activities undertaken as part of the project.
- 5-page inception report in English outlining the evaluator’s approach, proposed methodology and initial desk review due before the field work takes place.
- 20-page evaluation report, plus executive summary, in English setting out the findings against the key evaluation questions, lessons learned and recommendations to PRI and OSF for future programming design and implementation.
The evaluation is expected to take place in October 2018 with the final report due by 31 October.
The evaluator will report to the Regional Director of PRI’s South Caucasus Office. Support and quality assurance will also be provided by PRI’s Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Officer based in London.
- Experience of evaluating justice and/or penal reform programmes
- At least five years’ experience as an M&E practitioner conducting evaluations
- Ability to assess the quality of theories of change, results frameworks/log frames and evidence.
- Knowledge of the international criminal justice reform landscape particularly international standards
- A track record of providing advice and supporting learning in a relevant institutional context.
- Fluency in written and spoken Georgian and English
*Preference will be given to evaluators based in Georgia*
How to apply
• CV of evaluator(s)
• 1-2 page proposal outlining how you would tackle the assignment as well as a budget breakdown and proposed work schedule
• Names and contact details of two references
• Example of evaluation report or similar conducted in the recent past
Please send completed applications to Ms Tsira Chanturia, Regional Director of Penal Reform International’s South Caucasus Office tchanturia[at]penalreform[dot]org by 24 August 2018.
Organisation Penal Reform International
Country United Kingdom