Terms of Reference for Policy and Advocacy Consultant(s)

Terms of Reference for Policy and Advocacy Consultant(s)


Labris, one of the oldest lesbian human rights organizations in the region, is an organization that considers the right to different sexual orientation as one of the basic human rights. Labris works on protection, advancement and promotion of gender equality and diversity through: empowerment and social inclusion of LGBT community; creation, monitoring and advocating inclusive politics; advancement of institutional systems of support and networking on national and regional level. Since its foundation Labris has been implementing over 60 projects through its three program components – Community Development, Education and Advocacy Program.

Based on the 20-year experience in supporting the most vulnerable group and the assessment of current situation in regards to position of LGBT community in Republic of Serbia, Labris developed project The Network Change for Serbia’s LGBT Community.


Numerous research and reports continuously demonstrate that LGBT community is one of the most discriminated social groups in Serbia and state institutions have proven to be unable and not willing to ensure full human rights to LGBT person: A comprehensive survey of societal perceptions of homosexuality and attitudes towards LGBT population showed that the share of those who think homosexuality is an illness is extremely high (67%). 56 percent of the population believed homosexuality posed a threat to society and as many as one half of Serbia’s citizens would never reconcile with the fact that someone close to them is a homosexual. 17% of the parents would violently react to the fact that their child is a homosexual. Survey conducted by the Commissioner for Protection of Equality and CESID in November 2012, showed that 30% object to having LGBT neighbors, 32.5% do not want them as colleagues, 40.6% do not want them as a friend, 58.8% do not want them as teachers, and 79.5% do not want LGBT people in their family. Furthermore, the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights report shows that 80% of high school students support discrimination of LGBT people.

Although Serbia has ratified most of the international human rights documents and conventions, and has legal and institutional anti-discrimination framework largely in place, ”…in practice, those most exposed to discrimination are Roma, women, persons with disabilities and the LGBT population. They are frequently victims of intolerance, hate speech and even physical attacks. Public officials have been reluctant to publicly condemn such incidents.” (Commission Opinion on Serbia’s application for membership of the European Union {COM (2011) 668}). From the other hand, due to the extremely low level of trust in government institutions (Centre for public policy research) and lack of knowledge on the rights and existing mechanisms among LGBT population, unreported homophobic violence and discrimination remain at extremely high levels.

LGBT people in Serbia are targeted as victims of hate crime more often than other vulnerable groups such as Roma or people with disabilities. Such violence raised from the deep hatred of the perpetrator toward real and/or perceived sexual orientation and/or gender identity of the victim. Relevant institutions are usually not well sensitized and educated to deal with this issue. Even if the victims report such crimes or incidents, the fact that reason for attack was prejudice, often does not appear in the official statistical reports, because the motives of homophobia and transphobia are often not recognized or not recognized as relevant.


In order to develop sustainable and innovative initiative which will build on previous Labris’ s successes and create a critical mass of supporters and build new constituencies, this program will be implemented jointly by the network of the most prominent LGBT organizations and the organizations with the extensive experience and expertise in developing sustainable advocacy structures and multiplication of the project results.

The purpose of the action is to advance human rights of LGBT persons in Serbia by stimulating policy dialog and fostering implementation of the existing legislative framework and international standards in the scope of EU-Serbia accession negotiations over Chapter 23. Specific goals of the initiative are:

  • Developing an effective and sustainable network for LGBT inclusion on national and local level and advancing its capacities for long-term policy development and monitoring
  • Raising awareness, activating and mobilizing the LGBT community and new constituencies for sustainable public advocacy
  • Fostering implementation of anti-discrimination standards and policies through strategic policy development and advocacy in the scope of EU-Serbia accession negotiations over Chapter 23

The initiatives target groups will be: LGBT community, community-based and national CSOs, the most relevant institutions, including independent institutions in Serbia and internationally and media. Specific communication strategy will be developed in order to target new audiences and activate them in the project implementation.

Apart from networking and capacity development activities (to be implemented in the year one and two), the initiative will serve as an opportunity for development of the “independent observatory” of LGBT rights through its research, analyses and watchdog components (to be implemented in year one), policy road-maps and advocacy strategies for all future work (to be implemented in year two). In addition, existing gaps and challenges in the implementation of the anti-discrimination regulations will be identified and addressed accordingly throughout the implementation cycle.


Specific focus of the project The Network Change for Serbia’s LGBT Community is its set of awareness raising and public advocacy activities. Namely, communication and advocacy components of the project have to be based on the results from the comprehensive research and monitoring activities. Primer objective of the consultancy is to develop communication and advocacy framework in close cooperation with other engage experts, LABRIS staff and partner organizations and to support implementation of this group of activities.

Specifically, Policy and Advocacy Consultant will be responsible for developing communication strategy and overseeing its implementation jointly with LABRIS staff, developing advocacy framework and overseeing implementation of local advocacy campaign, setting up policy content to be monitored through ISTINOMER platform, organizing public hearing to present policy recommendations and developing report on all implemented advocacy activities within this project, aiming at sharing gained knowledge and good practices.

Capacity Development Experts(s) will be responsible for:

  • Continues communication with project staff;
  • Continues communication with other engaged consultants;
  • Community Strategy Development. Communication Strategy should will include: An overview of anticipated promotional material (including messaging and design motifs); public awareness activities to be conducted distinguished by those conducted by project staff, National LGBT inclusion Network, Local Networks and LGBT watchdog network; mainstream/online media outreach strategies and timeline;
  • Development of joint national advocacy approach towards national institutions and advocacy plan and overseeing the implementation;
  • Development of local advocacy plans and overseeing their implementation, including media coverage in local communities;
  • Organization of the Public Hearing. Public Hearings will be organized with CRTA and its Open Parliament network/program and will serve as an opportunity to include MPs and set up the policy framework and agree upon the roles of the Parliament in the joint effort of adequate implementation of the anti-discrimination measures.
  • Setting up thematic/watchdog structure with Istinomer and monitoring. Istinomer platform will be used for monitoring of the most important aspects of the implementation of the national antidiscrimination framework
  • Developing report on all implemented advocacy activities within this project, aiming at sharing gained knowledge and good practices

Required Qualifications and Experience of the Consultant:

  • A minimum of five years of progressive experience in developing communication strategies and public advocacy;
  • Proven experience in overseeing implementation of communication strategies and advocacy campaigns;
  • Team player able to work well with colleagues from diverse backgrounds
  • Prior experience with USAID or international donor funded projects
  • Extensive knowledge of the human rights and national social inclusion policies and practices
  • University degree in public administration, political science, community development, communications, or other relevant field
  • Strong communication skills (written and oral)

Application Procedure

Applicants are required to submit the following by CoB August 31, 2016:

  • An explanation of the Applicant(s) qualifications to perform the task (including CV, past performance information, at least 3 references)
  • Brief letter of Interest (1 page);
  • Description of plan and method to complete tasks described herein;
  • A detailed budget

Applicants can send their materials to: labris@labris.org.rs with the subject line: “Application [YOUR NAME]: Policy and Advocacy Consultant”