Description

  1. Nature of the consultancy: The consultant will undertake a thorough evaluation of current policies and strategies across seven targeted countries, focusing on areas such as institutional frameworks, regional alignment, cross-border cooperation, and integration of developmental and security objectives. Following the assessment, the consultant will draft a comprehensive report outlining findings and evidence-based recommendations tailored to address identified challenges and capitalize on opportunities for improvement. Additionally, the consultant will organize a workshop with government stakeholders to present the findings, facilitate discussions on policy recommendations, and collaboratively develop an action plan for implementation.

Through these objectives, the consultancy endeavors to contribute to the promotion of regional stability, security, and development by fostering effective and coordinated border governance mechanisms.

  1. Project Context and Scope:
  2. Context

While instability has been a recurring theme in the Sahel and West Africa, violent events have become more frequent and deadly in recent years and their underlying dynamics have grown increasingly complex, including an ever-growing nexus between terrorism and organized crime.

Violence continues to escalate not only in the Sahel but spills over to the Gulf of Guinea countries (Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Togo). Remarkably, in this context more than 40% of violent events and fatalities occur within 100 km of a land border, and 10% of deaths from political violence occur less than 10 km from a border.[1]

For terrorist armed groups and organized crime networks border areas are of high strategic relevance. They skillfully exploit inadequately controlled borders and lack of coordination between neighboring countries to elude state security forces. For transnational organized crime networks the control of cross-border trafficking routes is essential for their operations and, in turn, their profits.

For terrorist armed groups, proximity to borders facilitates hit-and-run tactics while the absence of state security forces in remote border areas allows them to forcefully subdue local communities and exploit the vulnerabilities of these communities. Also, organized crime can be a source of income for terrorist armed groups, which cooperate with organized crime networks when it is opportune for both sides.

The situation in peripheral border areas is further aggravated by the following factors, which all fuel radicalized narratives spread by violent extremist groups:

  • climate risks,
  • food insecurity,
  • high population growth,
  • limited state capacity,
  • lack of governance.

At the same time, over 90% of the migration movements in West and Central Africa remain intra-regional. Intra-regional cross-border trade, mostly small-scale in nature, constitutes 12% of West-Africa’s trade value, and is thus an important driver for cross-border movements in the region. Regional co-operation, trade, and free movement of people and goods therefore play out in a more precarious and unstable context, to which local governments must adapt.[2]

Against this backdrop, the need for unified action to promote stability in West African border areas has never been more urgent. At the same time, a twofold window of opportunity is emerging that offers momentum for realizing a more unified approach in this context: Firstly, West African states have recently demonstrated an unprecedented willingness for security cooperation across borders. This most notably reflected in the Accra Initiative and the G5 Sahel, but also in international formats such as the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) West Africa Working Group and the Anti-IS Coalition Africa Focus Group (AFFG). Note bene: After the coup in Niger in July 2023 and the regional political consequences, it remains to be seen what level of security cooperation between the Central Sahel states and the coastal states can be preserved or rekindled. Secondly, key donor states are in the process of adapting their policies and project portfolios to the new challenges in the region while simultaneously acknowledging the need for more coordination and harmonization of efforts. Hence, both the West African states and the donor states agree that more effective governance of shared border areas and strengthened capabilities in the field of integrated border management are a key element of a joint response to the growing violence and instability along the shared frontiers.

  1. The Mechanism

The IBSM is a response to the urgent need for more unified and focused action in the field of Integrated Border Management (IBM) and Border Security, Biometrics, and Battlefield Evidence (3B) capacity-building as well as more effective joint cross-border approaches in this context. In the last couple of years, this need was regularly emphasized by West African governments and regional organizations, international donors, and implementing agencies. By improving coordination and cooperation among relevant national, regional, and international stakeholders, the IBSM aims at specifically supporting West African states, donors, and implementing organizations in facilitating joint action and executing regional and national strategies and policy frameworks in support of stability in border areas. Thereby, the IBSM focuses on five interlinked and complementing objectives:

1) supporting the development and/or operationalization of legal and policy frameworks and enabling effective border governance,

2) improving border management infrastructure,

3) strengthening IBM/3B capacities and improving cross-border cooperation, including support for operational level cooperation structures such as the Accra Initiative and the G5 Sahel,

4) supporting capacity development in migration management and cross-border mobility,

5) ensuring community engagement in areas directly affected by IBM capacity-building projects.

  1. The assessment

The West African region, comprising seven countries including Mali, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger, and Burkina Faso, faces numerous challenges in border management, ranging from security threats to economic vulnerabilities. Effective border management policies and strategies are essential to address these challenges and promote regional integration, stability, and development.

Across the region, there exists a diverse landscape of national policies and strategies governing border management, reflecting varying levels of development, approval, and implementation. While some countries have made significant efforts in formulating comprehensive frameworks and institutional mechanisms for border governance, others are still in the process of shaping their approaches.

The complexities of border management extend beyond national boundaries, necessitating regional cooperation and coordination. However, achieving alignment and synergy among the different national objectives remains a challenge. There is a growing recognition of the need to foster cross-border collaboration, data sharing, and resource allocation to address common challenges effectively.

In recent years, certain countries have undertaken institutional reforms to enhance their capacity for border management. For instance, the establishment of the Agency for Border Management, Economic Zones, and Free Trade (ABEGiEF) in Benin exemplifies efforts to centralize and streamline border governance. Understanding the impact of such reforms on overall border management effectiveness is crucial for informing future policy directions.

Moreover, the centralized approach to border management under the purview of law enforcement agencies, notably the police, prevails in many countries. While this approach offers certain advantages in terms of security enforcement, its potential drawbacks in neglecting developmental aspects and inhibiting cross-sectoral collaboration warrant closer examination.

Given the multifaceted nature of border management challenges and the interconnectedness of regional dynamics, there is a compelling need for comprehensive analysis and strategic guidance. This consultancy seeks to assess the current state of affairs in border management policies and strategies across the seven West African countries, identify areas for improvement, and propose tailored recommendations to enhance effectiveness while fostering regional cooperation and integration.

  1. Organizational Department / Unit to which the Consultant is contributing: Immigration and Border Governance (IBG).

The Tasks to be Accomplished:

  1. Category A Consultants: Tangible and measurable outputs of the work assignment

The responsibilities of the consultant encompass three key stages: (i) assessment development, (ii) report drafting with recommendations, and (iii) workshop organization with government stakeholders to present policy recommendations and formulate an action plan.

  • Assessment Development: The consultant will be tasked with designing and implementing a comprehensive assessment framework to evaluate border management policies and strategies across the seven targeted West African countries. This includes conducting thorough desk research, designing data collection methodologies, and engaging with relevant stakeholders to gather insights and data necessary for the assessment process.
  • Report Drafting with Recommendations: Following the completion of the assessment phase, the consultant will synthesize the findings and analysis into a detailed report. This report will not only outline the current status of border management policies and strategies but also provide evidence-based recommendations for enhancing effectiveness, promoting regional cooperation, and addressing key challenges identified during the assessment. The consultant will ensure that the recommendations are actionable, contextually relevant, and aligned with the objectives of improving border governance in the region.
  • Workshop Organization with Governments and stakeholders: The consultant will organize a workshop with government stakeholders from the seven target countries to present the findings, discuss the policy recommendations outlined in the report, and collaboratively develop an action plan for implementation. The workshop will provide a platform for dialogue, knowledge sharing, and consensus-building among key decision-makers and stakeholders involved in border management. The consultant will facilitate discussions, foster mutual understanding, and guide participants in prioritizing and operationalizing the recommended actions to address identified gaps and challenges effectively.
  • Final Report and Roadmap Integration: The consultant will compile all findings, recommendations, and outcomes from the assessment, report drafting, and workshop stages into a comprehensive final report. This document will serve as a detailed record of the assessment process, including methodologies used, data collected, analysis conducted, and recommendations formulated. The final report will also include an executive summary highlighting key findings and priority recommendations for each targeted West African country. Additionally, the consultant will ensure that the final report is well-structured, easily accessible, and tailored to meet the needs of various stakeholders, including government officials, policymakers, and regional organizations involved in border management. Furthermore, the consultant will collaborate with relevant stakeholders to summarize the recommendations into key indicators, which will be included in a Roadmap. This Roadmap will encompass indicators from various programs and suggested interventions, such as infrastructure development, increased cooperation, security, and counter-terrorism efforts. By integrating the recommendations into the Roadmap, stakeholders can prioritize and track progress on implementing key actions to address identified gaps and challenges effectively.

The deliverables are detailed below and spread out over a period of 90 consecutive days between the 1 June 2024 and 31 August 2024.

Deliverables

Deadline

Initial meeting with IOM to define the details of the consultancy.

D+1

Desk review and assessment plan

D+15

Data collection – preliminary report

D+60

ToR of the Workshop / development of methodology

D+60

Validation of results with Government Stakeholders / workshop on policy recommendations

D+65

Final report (integrating feedback from stakeholders – key indicators)

D+85

Debrief meeting with IOM.

D+90

  1. Education, Experience and/or skills required

EDUCATION

  • Master’s degree in in Social Science, International Relations, Public Administration, Law, Migration Studies or a related field from an accredited academic institution with seven years of relevant professional experience.

EXPERIENCE

  • Experience in the field of migration and specific IBG experience, including operational and working with high level government authorities.
  • Extensive experience in liaising with governmental authorities, UN agencies and other national/international development partners and civil society.
  • Extensive work experience with Government authorities in the thematic area of immigration and border management.
  • Demonstrated expertise relevant to IBG programming as follows: national migration and border management strategies; border management policy and practice, border management and security; integrated border management.
  • Experience in related policy and legal areas of border and immigration governance
  • Strong experience in writing reports, summaries, analytical papers, among others.
  • Have a high level of computer literacy in Microsoft software (Word, Excel and PowerPoint)

SKILLS

  • Ability to work under pressure, stay on track and meet deadlines.
  • Analytical and problem solving skills
  • Demonstrated ability to produce accurate and understandable reports and memos in accordance with IOM requirements;
  • Able to work in a multicultural environment;
  • High level of autonomy at work, while being a strong team player;
  • Adaptability, patience, ingenuity, resilience and flexibility;
  • Proactive and solution-oriented
  1. Travel required

The duty station of the consultancy will be home based and may involve 2 to 3 missions in West Africa (Dakar, Abidjan and/or any other destination as relevant to the assignment).

  1. Competencies

Values

  • Inclusion and respect for diversity: respects and promotes individual and cultural differences; encourages diversity and inclusion wherever possible.
  • Integrity and transparency: maintains high ethical standards and acts in a manner consistent with organizational principles/rules and standards of conduct.
  • Professionalism: demonstrates ability to work in a composed, competent and committed manner and exercises careful judgment in meeting day-to-day challenges.

Core Competencies – behavioural indicators

  • Teamwork: develops and promotes effective collaboration within and across units to achieve shared goals and optimize results.
  • Delivering results: produces and delivers quality results in a service-oriented and timely manner; is action-oriented and committed to achieving agreed outcomes.
  • Managing and sharing knowledge: continuously seeks to learn, share knowledge and innovate.
  • Accountability: takes ownership for achieving the Organization’s priorities and assumes responsibility for own action and delegated work.
  • Communication: encourages and contributes to clear and open communication; explains complex matters in an informative, inspiring and motivational way.

How to apply

Interested candidates are invited to submit their applications via email to [email protected] indicating “ROWCA-HR-24-008-CFA” on the subject line, by 27 May 2024.

IOM only accepts applications with a cover letter not more than one page specifying the motivation for the application as well as a detailed resume/CV.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Location