Call for Researchers to Evaluate National Human Rights Institutions in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo

Civil Rights Defenders

Civil Rights Defenders is seeking to contract a total of three national researchers to assess and evaluate the effectiveness of national human rights institutions in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo.

About the programme

Our regional programme for strengthening human rights standards in the Western Balkans aims to improve the EU integration processes in the region and support its sustainability. The programme looks to augment the civic space and enable greater involvement of civil society in human rights related policy and decision-making processes which is one of the key preconditions for EU accession. Furthermore, it strives to ensure sustained and thorough monitoring of state institutions and alignment of legislation and implementation with the EU standards. In this way, the programme will improve the transparency and openness of the process as well as the quality of the policies, practices and institutional capacities of the relevant stakeholders.

One of the focus points of the programme is supporting the creation of an enabling environment for the independent national human rights institutions in the Western Balkans.  They operate in complex contexts when carrying out their activities. They have a paramount role in ensuring independent and impartial protection of human rights while at the same time they face many challenges when conducting their work. It has been assessed so far that to a varying degree, in different countries in the region, the national human rights institutions underperform and/or fail to fulfil their mandate due to different reasons and challenges when it comes to access to resources and ability to work in an enabling environment. It can also be argued that they do not receive sufficient support from state institutions, while their recommendations are neglected because in most cases they are not legally binding. In addition, their work and findings are being increasingly derogated and politically influenced.

About the role

The purpose of the assignment is to carry out research that will assess and evaluate the effectiveness, thus the application of the international standards of national human rights institutions in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo. The assessment will be based on a previously defined set of indicators which are tied to scores, derived from relevant international standards. Both quantitative and qualitative indicators will be applied in this research. Based on the findings they will draft policy briefs that will analyze the systemic challenges and shortcomings that hinder the work of national human rights institutions and develop recommendations for all relevant stakeholders.

The national researchers will be provided training on the methodology, as well as mentoring and input from the regional experts and Civil Rights Defenders during the course of the research.

Required competencies and qualifications

  • Shows strong analytical skills;
  • Demonstrates good oral and written communication skills;
  • Demonstrates excellent organisational skills and proven ability to deliver consultancy products within deadlines;
  • Ability to synthesize research and draw conclusions on the related subject;
  • Writes clearly and convincingly, and is able to adapt the style and content to different audiences;
  • Experience of working with supervisors and implementation of reviews.
  • Proficiency in filling out and analysing spreadsheet data.


A master’s degree in Law and or Political Sciences, or related discipline is required. A PhD is a strong asset.


  • At least 5 years of research experience particularly including policy analysis and research related to human rights and independent institutions, such as ombudspersons and independent bodies for anti-discrimination, data protection and right to information. It should also include experience in conducting research assessments based on indicators.
  • Excellent understanding of national and international legal/policy frameworks as well as institutions, mechanism and processes relevant for the work of National Human Rights Institutions


Excellent language proficiency in both written and oral English.

The deadline for applications is June 10, 2020. For more information or to apply, please have a read of the full ToR which can be accessed here

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