|Overview : |
The Gambia has had a successful transition from 22 years of authoritarian rule to an embryonic democratic dispensation. Under the previous regime, serious human rights violations were committed, and justice institutions were systematically manipulated to preserve the regime in power. Justice delivery has been slow and there has been a deficit in access to justice for the population, as well as very limited state support mechanisms or legal aid services available for victims, and defendants. To consolidate democratic governance in The Gambia, the Government in its 2018-2021 National Development Plan (NDP) identified governance as a key priority for reform to assure the durability of peace, transitional justice, and reconciliation. The new administration embarked on several reform initiatives including national reconciliation, constitutional review, and security sector reform.
In December 2017, The Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission was established by an Act of the National Assembly to investigate and establish an impartial historical record of human rights violations that occurred in The Gambia between July 1994 and January 2017 under former President Yahya Jammeh’s rule, grant interim reparations to victims of abuses, recommend persons for prosecution and amnesty, and promote national reconciliation. The TRRC concluded its work and submitted its Final Report to the President in November 2021. Public, particularly victims’, expectations remain high that the final recommendations of the TRRC address their needs and will be implemented by the Government in a timely and comprehensive manner, to achieve justice, including gender-justice, promote national reconciliation and sustainable peace in The Gambia.
Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) was a reoccurring theme of the public hearings of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC). Dozens of survivors, which included both men and women, publicly testified about SGBV they encountered, from forced nudity and abortion, to molestation, sexual assault, and rape. SGBV is one of the most traumatic and pervasive, yet common life threatening and protection issues that human beings suffer, which can often affect survivors in several ways, including depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Horrifically, some of the most disturbing incidents examined by the TRRC over its 892 days of public hearings include systematic, state sanctioned sexual exploitation, violence, and rape of young women, and sexualized torture of men.
The main goal of this Project is to, therefore, contribute to peacebuilding and social cohesion through reduce the short- and long-lasting effects of SGBV on the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of survivors, their families, and communities. The Project’s interventions center first and foremost on the promotion and protection of the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of SGBV survivors through the provision of services, community engagement, knowledge sharing and learning, as well as strengthening local and national institutional efforts and capacities to continuously address SGBV and promote mental health in The Gambia.
The Project is timely and has been designed to respond to what will be a critical feature of the post-TRRC context in which it would be implemented, namely, the integration of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Services (MHPSS) in the justice sector, as a means of ensuring that SGBV survivors can mitigate against the stress and other potentially negative effects of court hearings and other interactions with justice sector officials.
II. SCOPE OF THE WORK
The UNDP Country Office is seeking a consultant to provide technical assistance and quality assurance of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Services (MHPSS) during the implementation of the project.
Submit Technical and Financial proposals to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email subject: Mental Health Support Services