Rights Experts of Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent (RE- CDWD)

Terms of Reference for

Rights Experts of Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent (RE- CDWD)

Context

Global Forum on Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent (GFoD) is the global advocacy mechanism of Communities Discriminated on Work and Descent (CDWD). More than 260 million people across the world are discriminated on the basis of work and descent and are more commonly known as Dalits, Roma-Sinti, Quilombola, Burakumin, Oru, amongst many other names. Discrimination on Work and Decent (DWD) is a global phenomenon which lacks public recognition and acknowledgement and affected communities are among the most marginalised and excluded people. ERGO Network is a member organization of the GFoD ensuring the voice of Romani people from Europe.

Position Overview

GFoD is looking for 12 RE-CDWD to support global advocacy processes at the national, regional and global level. Two of those candidates will be working in close cooperation with the ERGO Network and will be recruited on the basis of requirements and qualifications listed below ensuring the knowledge about the Romani communities and related legal and policy backgrounds in European countries.

The positions are approximately 15 % Full Time Equivalent (FTE) or up to 20 hours per month.

Duties and responsibilities

    • Contribute to the development and implementation of the GFoD’s advocacy strategy.
    • High level of autonomy and responsiveness to engage in advocacy processes at national, regional and global level. Advocacy opportunities will include contributions to events organised by the UN Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC) and events related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
    • Author statements, critical interventions and articles or contribute to specific ideas and concept notes on the concerns of CDWD, particularly Roma, Sinti and Travellers as per the requirement of HLPF and other bodies.
    • Communicate regularly with the GFoD Secretariat and the ERGO Network and undertake national, regional and take part in global consultation processes with CDWD.
    • Participate and organise in capacity building processes.
    • Dedicate at least 2 full working days per month to this role.

Requirements and qualifications

In order of preference, characteristics and qualifications are listed below. Please note that given our preference for candidates, it is not an imperative that the person is fluent in English.

    1. Anchored and rooted in Communities Discriminated by Work and Descent (CDWD): Persons from Romani origin are highly encouraged to apply to this position. Women, LGBTQI+, youth and other underrepresented and marginalized groups from CDWD are highly encouraged to apply.
    2. Experience: Are social leaders within their own community with considerable experience in advocacy actions and processes at national, regional and international level. It is highly desirable that candidates are established human rights defender in their country/region/community and are experts in one particular field area related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For example, (Access to water and sanitation – SDG 6, decent work – SDG 8, Inequalities – SDG10 etc).
    1. Commitment: Candidates who have shown ongoing commitment and leadership to the cause of CDWD and Roma, Sinti and Travellers in particular are encouraged to apply
    1. Academic qualifications: Academic qualifications such as University qualifications, publications of book, articles or other journalistic work will be considered in the application process.

Recruitment and timeline

Please submit your applications to info@ergonetwork.org until the 07.05.2021 midnight CET with a subject line “GFoD Rights Expert – application”. Please submit your CV together with a one page over letter referencing relevant experience mentioned under Requirements and Qualifications. Interviews will start in the mid of May. We prefer applications in English.

Successful candidates will be appointed for a 12-month period with an initial 3 moth trial period.

Due to the high volume expected applications only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Call for an external evaluator

Call for external evaluator

ERGO Network is contracting an independent expert to evaluate its 2018-2021 work programme Roma Included in Social Europe funded by DG Employment’s EaSI Programme.

 

ERGO Network (www.ergonetwork.org) brings together over 30 members from across Europe and supports organisations with a common perspective on Roma grassroots empowerment and equal citizenship to challenge stereotypes and combat stigmatization. We mobilize and connect organisations and individuals that share and express our values – active citizenship, shared responsibility, and passion – to strengthen and empower Roma civil society involvement in decision-making at local, national and European level and to address existing shortcomings of policies targeted at Roma.

For the second time, we are supported by DG Employment through a 4-year Partnership Framework Agreement that allows us to work closely with our members and to advocate for better policies for Roma through our work programme entitled “Roma Included in Social Europe”.

Role of the evaluator

We are searching for an external evaluator to assess the achievements and lessons learned of the Framework Partnership Agreement between ERGO Network and DG Employment (2018-2021) entitled “Roma Included in Social Europe”.

The evaluator is expected to assess the achievements of ERGO in implementing the FPA and reaching the objectives set and to give recommendations for future work.

Specifically, the evaluator is expected to:

  • Conduct evaluation interviews with ERGO members and national stakeholders involved in the FPA together with ERGO staff to evaluate achievements on national level in 5 countries.
  • Interview relevant EU policy-makers and civil society partners to assess the achievements on European level.
  • Conduct workshops with ERGO staff and members to jointly assess our achievements, lessons learnt and recommendations.
  • Draft a report describing outcomes and achievements, lessons learnt and recommendations for improvements, also taking into account the findings of internal evaluations done in the first three years of the FPA.

Profile:

  • Excellent knowledge of evaluation methodology and experience with programme evaluations
  • Expertise on Roma issues and policies on European Union and member state level
  • Experience working with civil society organisations in the fields of advocacy, capacity-building and network building
  • Excellent writing skills and ability to concisely summarise evaluation results for different audiences
  • Excellent research and analytical skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Additional language skills desirable

Conditions

The evaluation will be conducted throughout 2021, with the final report expected for December 2021.

Times for interviews and workshops with ERGO staff, members and stakeholders will be agreed with the selected consultant.

Contract and budget: The independent evaluator will be subcontracted to fulfil part of the work programme in the Framework Partnership Agreement between ERGO Network and DG Employment. The expert has no rights vis-à-vis the European Commission.

The expert shall be paid for the execution of the activities and services a fee of maximum 5,000 EUR, all taxes and VAT included.

Application procedure

Interested and qualified candidates should submit the following documents:

  • CV, highlighting past similar assignments
  • Proposed methodology, timeline and budgetary proposal, including envisaged number of working days

We will select the expert according to the principle “Value for money”. Please send your application to info@ergonetwork.org by April 15th 2021, 23:59 CET.

 A detailed project summary can be provided upon request.

For further questions, please contact Christine Sudbrock at c.sudbrock@ergonetwork.org

ERGO’s response to EC proposal for Joint Employment Report 2021

European Commission releases proposal for Joint Employment Report 2021 – What’s in it for Europe’s Roma?

On 18 November 2020, the European Commission published the draft Joint Employment Report, published this year separately from the Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy (ASGS), which was released in September (see ERGO Network’s reaction to it here).

This year’s disconnect between the ASGS and the draft Joint Employment Report means that the former was not underpinned by the latter, and that Europe’s priorities for a green, digital, sustainable and inclusive recovery were not guided by in the in-depth analysis of realities on the ground that the Report provides. The structure of the Joint Employment Report does not appear to have changed (as it was the case for the ASGS), as it continues to track Member State performance in the areas covered by the Employment Guidelines and by the Social Scoreboard of the European Pillar of Social Rights. The impact on the pandemic on the employment and social situation in Member States is equally included in detail throughout the Report, as well as the national measures aimed at mitigating it.

ERGO Network warmly welcomes the multiple explicit references to the European Roma in the draft Joint Employment Report, but laments that, once again, they are exclusively mentioned in relation to education (pages 61, 88, and 107). The Report highlights that “Roma inclusion in education is a challenge that could become more prominent as a result of the COVID-19 crisis”, that “Effective enforcement of legislative changes for Roma inclusion in mainstream education remains important”, and that The NEET rate of Roma is much higher than that of the general population.” Travellers are also named once in the document, in the same section.

The focus on improving Roma access to quality and inclusive mainstream education is very welcome, particularly as it also refers to obstacles such as severe poverty and housing exclusion. ERGO Network shares the concerns related to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen a large number of Roma children deprived of the possibility to access online education, which only contributes to widening the gap with the general population. The digital divide is equally mentioned, in what concerns lack of access to infrastructure (internet coverage, electricity), equipment (PC, tablets etc) and knowledge (digital skills).

While the importance of affirmative action is recognized as a useful approach for ensuring equal opportunities, the Report takes a strong stance against segregation, calling for active measures to prevent it, as well as additional financial and professional support. Measures include educational mediators, scholarships, after school activities, language courses, free public transport, access to early childhood education and care, setting up antisegregation working groups, combatting the placing of Roma children in special needs classes or schools. These are very positive steps, already recorded in a number of countries, very much in line with ERGO Network’s own position and recommendations on quality, inclusive, and desegregated education.

Despite the very positive content on combatting school segregation and improving Roma educational attainment and completion, all the above measures are one sided and refer exclusively to educational establishments, while no mention is made of wrap-around support for families, access to adequate income, support towards quality jobs, decent housing, other services. This is despite the Report’s own admission that “In all Member States, the poverty risk for children raised by a single parent or in families with more than 3 children or with a migrant or Roma background is two to three times higher than that of other children.”

Tackling structural problems like persistent poverty or rampant discrimination, does not seem to be a concern, nor is proposing an integrated approach to the multiple difficulties faced by Roma citizens in Europe. The EU Strategic Framework for Roma Equality, Inclusion, and Participation is not mentioned anywhere in the text, nor is its predecessor. The Report completely overlooks the fact that the Roma are overrepresented in unemployment and poverty rates and face significant obstacles in accessing adequate social protection and key services, such as affordable housing, or quality health- and long-term care, including childcare. The Report also contains no reference to the situation of ethnic minorities or combatting antigypsyism and racism.

Encouragingly, the Joint Employment Report contains a full paragraph supporting the participation and direct engagement of beneficiaries and their civil society organisations in the design and implementation of policies that concern them (page 122), which is also stipulated in Guideline 7 of the Employment Guidelines.

ERGO Network hopes that the new decade will bring closer alignment between the EU Roma Strategic Framework and the European Semester, in full synergy with delivery on the of the Sustainable Development Goals and the European Pillar of Social Rights, to ensure that Europe’s Roma are not left behind, particularly in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and recovery.

Meeting with Cabinet of Commissioner Nicolas Schmit

ERGO Network delegation meets Cabinet of European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit

On 5 November 2020, the European Roma Grassroots Organisations (ERGO) Network facilitated an online exchange meeting between its national members and Ms Anouk Faber and Mr Christoph Nerlich, members of the cabinet of European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit (DG EMPL).

The objectives of the meeting were:

  • How to create positive synergies between the new EU Roma Strategic Framework and the European Green Deal, Next Generation EU, and the Multi-Annual Financial Framework 2021-2027?
  • How to ensure that the upcoming Action Plan of the European Pillar of Social Rights delivers on Roma inclusion, equality, and participation?
  • How can ERGO Network support your work and feed Roma perspectives from the grassroots level, also in light of the adapted European Semester?

During the meeting, ERGO Network Director Jamen Gabriela Hrabanova and Senior Policy Adviser Amana Ferro presented our work on social policy across a number of files which fall under the competence of DG Employment, such as the European Semester, the European Pillar of Social Rights, the Sustainable Development Goals, the Youth Guarantee, Child Guarantee, the MFF, the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as social economy and minimum income. They stressed the need to better integrate the EU Roma Strategic Framework in mainstream initiatives like the European GreenDeal and the recovery packages, and reaffirmed ERGO Network’s readiness and commitment to support the European Commission, as well as national Governments, in its efforts to promote Roma equality, inclusion, and participation.

Our members Katalin Nagy (Butterfly Development, HU), Pedro Aguilera (Federation of Roma Associations in Catalonia, ES), and Adriatik Hasantari (Roma Active Albania, AL) spoke about how the upcoming Social Economy Action Plan and the reinforced Youth Guarantee can be very useful tools to contribute towards reducing the gap between Roma and majority populations, as well as about the importance of including the Western Balkans and Enlargement and Neighbourhood Countries in the learning and exchanges about Roma inclusion in Europe.

Cabinet members Ms Faber and Mr Nerlich confirmed Commissioner Nicolas Schmit’s commitment to Roma rights and inclusion and exchanged with ERGO Network members and staff about the best ways to engage with the above-mentioned policy frameworks in order to ensure a strong Roma dimension in Europe’s social and economic development strategies, as well as drew the attention to the key role of EU Funds (including InvestEU and ReactEu) to support these processes. However, they cautioned, a lot lies in adequate implementation, and civil society organisations have a key role to play in promoting the partnership principle in both funds and policy making, to ensure that the right priorities are being chosen and that the funds reach the most in need, including disadvantaged Roma communities.

ERGO Network hopes that this meeting marked the beginning of a fruitful cooperation with the Cabinet of Commissioner Schmit, and will continue to engage very closely with DG Employment on these issues.

Find the full meeting of the report here.

For more information, please contact Senior Policy Adviser Amana Ferro in the ERGO Network Brussels Secretariat.

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Employment – ERGO Network

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