Grow Civic Pool of Experts
Civic Space is a Technical Assistance Project funded by the European Union (EU), operating under the overall objective of contributing to build, in the Turkish Cypriot community (TCc), a stronger civil society, which supports democratic changes and confidence building measures. The project started in December 2020 and will continue to work until December 2025.
As Civic Space, we aim to expand our Pool of Experts with experience in various fields and topics to provide specialized support to CSOs and activists supported by Grow Civic. This Terms of Reference document is prepared for experts who wish to contribute their expertise on a short-term contract basis to the beneficiaries of Grow Civic.
In this document, experts interested in applying to our Pool of Experts can find information regarding the following topics:
- Civic Space Project and Grow Civic Program,
- Scope of work expected from experts,
- Minimum qualifications required for experts,
- Evaluation process.
Experts who wish to apply must fill their CVs through an online application form.
You can access the English application form here.
In addition to the questions on the form, experts who are applying for Grow Civic Pool of Experts are also required to fill out and upload an additional template. The link to download this template is provided at the end of the online application form but you can also download the additional CV template from here.
The deadline for applications is 29 February 2024, at 18:00 (6:00 PM).
Following the evaluation, the experts approved by the European Union Programme Manager will be added to the Grow Civic Online Management System (MIS). Information on how to open MIS accounts for these approved experts, as well as details on how they can view or update their information, will be later shared with them.
Important note: Experts who have already been approved and added to the Pool of Experts during the previous period of Grow Civic ARE NOT required to reapply.
Grow Civic is avaiting your applications!
Terms of Reference
Civic Space works towards the following four results:
- The public and the Turkish Cypriot community in particular are better informed about CSOs’ actions and are more involved in CSOs’ actions and management.
- CSOs improve their capacities in general and adopt a rights-based approach to advocate for democratic changes, confidence building measures and a more enabling environment for civil society.
- Local bodies are better informed about CSOs’ roles and activities and are supported in promoting a fully enabling environment for civil society.
- Exchanges and joint actions between Greek and Turkish Cypriot CSOs are mainstreamed throughout the project’s activities.
Civic Space, in all its operations, seeks to mainstream cross-cutting issues, such as youth, gender, environment and climate change, sustainable development goals (SDGs), the rights-based approach and multi-communal dialogue and cooperation. Furthermore, Civic Space designs its activities with a view to engaging CSOs from areas outside of Nicosia and promoting inter and intra-sectorial networking.
The active citizenship mechanism, called the Grow Civic In-kind Support Program, has been implemented since 2016 with intermediate intervals. The Program has been providing flexible, transparent and accessible direct support to rights-based, public benefit work carried out by activists legally residing in Cyprus; registered or unregistered civil society platforms, networks, citizen’s initiatives, groups; registered associations, foundations and non-profit companies; trade unions, local cooperatives, professional organizations, and Greek Cypriot CSOs, citizen’s initiatives or activists through a partnership with a Turkish Cypriot CSO, citizen’s groups or activists.
The objectives of the Grow Civic Program are as follows:
- Creation of new rights-based initiatives/organizations or enhancing the rights-based capacities of existing initiatives/organizations.
- Creation of new thematic mono-communal or multi-communal thematic or cross-thematic coalitions or building the rights-based capacities of existing coalitions.
- Protection and promotion of democracy, fundamental human rights, EU values and principles.
- Increasing outreach, visibility and multiplier effects of rights-based initiatives/organizations and actions.
- Fostering multi-communal and/or multi-regional dialogue and collaboration.
- Strengthening organizational capacities for enhanced and sustainable rights-based action.
- Fostering and enhancing dialogue and collaboration with CSOs in EU Member States, EEA countries and/or the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) region.
The Program will receive requests between December 2023 and July 2025, with implementation closing date to be September 2025.
Civic Space is expected to ensure the recruitment of relevant non-key experts to provide expertise in the framework of the Grow Civic, on a demand basis. The experts’ professional profile and level of expertise, as per the ToR, should be diverse and linked to the specific needs of Grow Civic supported actions. Currently there are 74 approved experts in the Grow Civic pool. It is aimed that with this ToR and call for experts’ applications, at least an additional 20-30 experts to be added to the Grow Civic pool of experts.
These experts are expected to be mobilized based on the needs and requirements of each Grow Civic support and in collaboration with the request owners. Hence, the experts from the PoE are expected to have sufficient experience on capacity building and working with rights based CSOs and should have sufficient knowledge regarding the civil society environment in Cyprus, specifically in the northern part of Cyprus.
It is expected that approximately 40-45 Grow Civic actions will be supported till September 2025. The actions would be on a variety of thematic fields (e.g., environment, human rights, gender equality, LGBTI+ rights, culture, arts, peace and reconciliation, youth, children’s rights, animal rights, education, health, accessibility) implemented via different methods (e.g., trainings, communication, advocacy, events, publications, videos, study visits, data collection, coalition building).
Grow Civic Program provides support under 7 different support packages. 6 of these packages will be implemented in an open all-through process, meaning that they will receive new request submissions between the launch and closure of the Program. 5 of these all-through packages allow a maximum of 8 days of expert’s support for each Grow Civic support owner. One of the packages allow for 10 maximum days of expertise. One support package will be implemented by way of specific call for requests.
- Aim and Scope of the Assignment
The assignment aims to provide experts’ support to the Grow Civic supports when and once required by Civic Space. Under the supervision of the Civic Space team, the experts from the PoEs will be expected to provide expertise on one or more of the categories/activities below:
- Provision of consultancy / trainings on thematic topics (e.g., environment, human rights, gender equality, LGBTI+ rights, culture, arts, peace and reconciliation, youth, children’s rights, animal rights, education, health, vulnerable groups) and/or cross thematic fields.
- Provision of consultancy / trainings on capacity building topics (e.g., advocacy, fundraising, monitoring and evaluation, organizational management, working with volunteers, strategic planning).
- Development and provision of formal education curriculums, educational programs, trainings.
- Provision of communication consultancy (e.g., communication strategy, press release, social media or data management, data visualization, editing, proof-reading).
- Provision of legal consultancy (e.g., legal analysis, litigation).
- Facilitation and moderation in events and meetings.
- Mentoring and coaching.
- Provision of consultancy on research and analysis.
- Provision of consultancy on IT issues (e.g., MIS systems, database development and management, digital tools and technologies).
- Other topics or activities based on demand.
Task 1: Provision of support to Grow Civic supported actions
Grow Civic request owners will identify the required number of expert days and the relevant category or categories in their request form. When and once the action is found to be compliant and eligible for Grow Civic support, the support owner will be required to draft a term of reference indicating the number of days of required expertise, tasks, outputs and qualifications sought from the expert. This ToR will be reviewed by the Civic Space team in communication with the relevant Grow Civic beneficiary. The number of days as well as the timing for each task would be planned in the ToR and any changes to the plan should be shared with and approved by the Civic Space team.
Once this is agreed, the support owner filters through the Grow Civic Pool of Experts available in the MIS. The support owners will be encouraged to identify (if possible) more than one expert, contact them all and make their selection only after their correspondence. Once they decide with which expert they would like to work with, the Grow Civic support owner notifies Civic Space about their selection. A contract will be devised containing the number of days, expected deliverables/outputs, timeline and the scope of the assignment and be signed with the selected expert and Civic Space.
The selected expert from the PoE(s) would be responsible for providing the support and delivering the outputs within the timeline as laid down in their terms of reference and contract.
Task 2: Reporting
The experts from the PoE(s) selected for Grow Civic support are expected to draft a mission report including explanations and timing for the support they provided with relevant annexes including all visuals, communication items or other forms of outputs developed/produced during their assignment. This mission report will be drafted in English.
- Deliverables/ results:
Within the assignment, the experts from the PoE(s) should deliver:
- Assignment agenda, methodology and/or curriculum regarding the training, coaching, capacity building, counselling or other forms of support provided.
- Supporting documents indicating the support provided to the Grow Civic beneficiaries (e.g., research questionnaire, analysis report, communication strategy).
- Mission report including the tasks undertaken, outputs produced/developed and recommendations for improvement.
- Monthly timesheets.
Timesheets and mission reports should be provided in the English language. If, for some reason, this is not possible, approval from Civic Space should be sought.
The timesheets, mission reports and outputs are subject to the approval of the EU Programme Manager.
- Location of assignment
The location of the assignment is Cyprus; however, the tasks might be conducted home-based, if and when required by the scope of the assignment ONLY when/if agreed with the supported Grow Civic support owner(s) and the Civic Space team.
- Indicative timing and expert days for the assignment
The support provision indicatively will take place between 01 February 2024 and 15 September 2025. The timing and duration of each assignment of the experts within the PoEs would be decided on a case-by-case basis, according to the needs of the Grow Civic action, and as approved by the EU Programme Manager.
Up to 297 days are reserved for the PoEs. The experts work on weekdays; once and if the task required working during weekends and/or public holidays, Civic Space approval is required. Experts can work within the maximum number of days mentioned in their specific terms of reference and contract (see section 7 below).
To ensure the accountability and integrity of the service provision and to prevent any conflict of interest, within the framework of these terms of reference, the experts from the PoEs cannot provide their Grow Civic support services to a CSO they are directly affiliated with. Similarly, the experts from the PoEs cannot be the activist request owner herself/himself/themselves.
The experts from the PoE(s) must be independent and free from any conflict of interest and respect the confidentiality of all information and documentation shared with them.
- Qualifications and Specific Experience of the PoE(s):
The following qualifications are sought for the experts from the PoEs:
- University degree (at least bachelor’s degree) on a related field (e.g., political science, communication, social sciences, economy, administration, law); and in the absence of a degree, at least an additional professional experience of 3 years in the related field.
- Experience with or in civil society and/or with civil society capacity building related fields and topics (e.g., conducting trainings for CSOs, mentoring, coaching, or counselling in/with CSOs, project development and management for/of CSOs, planning or implementation of strategic plans, advocacy, or communication strategies).
- At least 6 years (for senior experts) or 2 years (for junior experts) of professional experience in the categories/fields mentioned above.
- Proven reporting skills.
- Good command of Turkish and/or English.
- Experience with Cypriot civil society will be an asset.
- Good command of the other language (Turkish or English) or Greek language will be an asset.
In addition to the experts of the PoEs, Civic Space may propose to the approval of the EU Programme Manager, experts outside of the PoEs, on duly justified cases. These additional experts should meet the above-mentioned requested qualifications and once approved, will become part of the PoEs.
- Selection and Supervision of the PoE(s)
To ensure transparency and accountability, Civic Space will create a compliance check panel, and the CVs of the applicant experts will be selected for different categories mentioned above based on the qualifications and specific expertise laid down in the present ToR. The compliance check grid to be used during selection is provided at the end of these ToR.
Those who are compliant with the categories and qualifications will be added to the PoEs. The list of the selected experts added to the PoEs as well as the incompliant candidates (with reasons for incompliance dully explained) will be submitted to the EU Programme Manager for approval.
Being added to the PoEs does not guarantee that all experts in the pool will be provided with assignments, as their recruitment would depend, as mentioned above, on the specific needs of each approved Grow Civic support.
When and if their expertise would be required, based on a ToR to be drafted by the Grow Civic beneficiary, experts carrying the required qualifications and expertise will be contacted by either the Grow Civic support owner directly, or by the Civic Space team and asked for their availability for the relevant mission. Once the support owner decides with which expert they would like to work with, Civic Space will issue contracts with the selected expert. The contract will contain the scope, timing, and number of days for the relevant assignment they would be working on.
Once a Grow Civic support has been approved and the expert has been selected from the PoEs, the Grow Civic support owner will be monitoring and supervising the expert’s assignment. The technical aspects, timing and output/deliverable production would be closely supervised by the relevant Grow Civic requester, supported by the Civic Space team (including non-key experts), while the overall supervision of the assignment would be monitored by the Key Expert 2.
The experts from the PoE(s) will send their mission report to Civic Space together with a timesheet, no later than 10 days following the end date of their assignment.
Compliance check grid to be used for selection of experts to be added to the PoEs
University degree (at least bachelor’s degree) on a related field (e.g., political science, communication, social sciences, economy, administration, law); and in the absence of a degree, at least an additional professional experience of 3 years in the related field.
Experience with or in civil society and/or civil society capacity building related fields and topics (e.g., conducting trainings for CSOs, mentoring, coaching, or counselling in/with CSOs, project development and management for/of CSOs, planning or implementation of strategic plans, advocacy, or communication strategies)
At least 6 years (for senior experts) or 2 years (for junior experts) of professional experience on the categories/fields mentioned above
Proven reporting skills
Good command of Turkish or English
Experience with Cypriot civil society (asset) – experts fulfilling this qualification will be prioritized
Good command of the other language (TR or ENG) or Greek language (asset) – experts fulfilling this qualification will be prioritized