Vacancy: Consultant to support GIRLS ON THE MOVE Study in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Friday 11 October 2019

Consultant to support

GIRLS ON THE MOVE Study in Bosnia and Herzegovina


LOCATION: Home-based with travel to the Una Sana Canton, Bosnia and Herzegovina


POST TYPE: Consultancy


This study will form part of a global series of action research initiatives on Girls on the Move, conducted across different regions, and which seeks to improve Save the Children’s ability to support girls in situations of migration and displacement to realize their rights to survival, protection and education in all contexts.

Girls in migration have always been especially vulnerable. Violence, insecurities, and discrimination drive many girls to migrate facing a great risk of violence and misuse during their journey. At the same time, more girls and young women migrate alone or in families in pursuit of realizing life aspirations than ever before. Understanding the factors that influence their experience and decision-making, both negative and positive, will enable Save the Children to implement more relevant, gender-sensitive interventions along known migration routes, as well as in countries of origin.

The Balkans route is one of the two most travelled migration routes to Europe – the other one being Western Mediterranean Route. The trails used in the Balkans are often changing, but involve a number of countries including Greece, North Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary as well as Bulgaria, Romania, Albania and Kosovo, among others, used by refugees and migrants from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and the countries of North Africa.

Since Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) became an important transit country on the Balkans route in 2018, over 40,000 migrants and refugees came to the country on their way to EU countries. The number of new arrivals of refugees and migrants to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) surged in 2019, inclusive of August, with 18,399 registered arrivals. The majority arrive overland in an irregular manner, many traveling with smuggles and exposed to high protection risks. The declared countries of origin of arrivals include Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, among others. Many of the new arrivals are children, including girls. The majority arrive via non-official border crossings, many traveling with smugglers and exposed to high protection risks. Of the estimated 7,500 refugee and migrant population in BiH, about 3,000 are accommodated in the Una-Sana Canton in in the north west of the country, close to the border with Croatia.

The data collected regularly since 2016 by Save the Children in Serbia indicates that the migration routes depend in part on the demographics of refugees and migrants and that for example, families with girls choose different routes than unaccompanied boys. For example, a proportionally lower number of girls, especially Afghan teenage girls on the move, reach Serbia when compared to the same age-group of girls from other countries. Looking at the available official data on arrivals to the Greek islands, it appears that girls make up 39% of all newly arrived refugee and migrant children from Afghanistan, which is almost double compared to only 20% of girls in the total number of Afghan children identified in Serbia.

The discrepancy in figures prompted questions about the proportion of girls, including teenage Afghan girls, among the arrivals to BiH, but also about destinies and experiences of girls on the move in general. Having in mind that migrations carry great risks for children, especially for girls, including the risk that some of the girls might become child brides, or be victims of trafficking, this research aims to look more closely into push and pull factors affecting girls’ movement along the route, their experience on the Balkans route, and potential indicators for gender-based violence, trafficking or abuse.



This study aims to provide new evidence about girls who have migrated to BiH, including the information on their experiences and practices during the migration journey, their needs, expectations, motivations, and plans for the future through an examination of available literature, interviews with girls and their families and with relevant stakeholders.

In particular the research will:

1.       Elucidate how gender and gender norms impact decision-making and motivations of girls and their families to migrate from places of origin (for the purpose of this study the emphasis will be on Afghan teenage girls, but a sample of other girls will be included), including on route choices;

2.       Collect indicative data on the percentage of Afghan teenage girls present in BiH, based on secondary data sources;

3.       Identify gender-specific protection risks that girls face during transit, and upon arrival in BiH, and which coping strategies girls and their families employ to navigate, mitigate and respond to these risks;

4.       Assess the availability of, and barriers to accessing, gender-sensitive services (protection, education, healthcare including sexual and reproductive healthcare, etc) for migrant girls in BiH;

5.       Identify protective factors which can be strengthened through programming in order to attain gender equality in programme outcomes and better protect and support migrant girls during the different stages of the journey.

The study will be based on in-depth semi-structured interviews with girls, and their parents, who have migrated from their home country, and are now accommodated in BiH. Interviews will be conducted by Save the Children field teams and cultural mediators. The study will focus on better understanding especially the situation for Afghan adolescent girls, but will include a comparative sample of other migrant or refugee seeking girls. The consultant will strive to include girls traveling alone, if possible, as well as those who travel with their family members. The consultant will review the available secondary data sources, relevant to the objective of the research, to draw on existing literature and produce a desk review to inform the field work, so as to not duplicate existing findings and ensure as targeted a scope as possible for content of interviews. Finally, several stakeholder interviews will be conducted in BiH to gain better insight into migration trends of girls, including Afghan teenage girls, over time, their needs in transit countries and to find information about the risks of child marriage and trafficking for this group of girls.


The consultant shall be in contact with Save the Children staff throughout the process, providing regular information on the process and asking for information and instructions when needed.

  • The consultant has the responsibility to provide inputs into the research design, and for the development of field work instruments, in cooperation with Save the Children
  • The consultant will prepare the desk review, analysing available secondary data.
  • The consultant will be responsible for the overall coordination of the field work in the Una Sana Canton including by providing weekly updates on interviews conducted, ensuring the representativeness of the sample selected for interviews, ensuring that the relevant procedures are respected including by having informed consent for all interviews, sending interviews for transcription, and other logistics
  • The consultant will analyse the transcribed data, and will develop a brief analytical research report (maximum 30 pages) based on all the collected data.
  • The consultant will share the draft report with Save the Children for comments and suggestions.
  • With support by Save the Children, the consultant will present the findings at a workshop with field staff and partner organizations, to draw on their direct experience and verify the findings.
  • The consultant will include the feedback from Save the Children and the workshop into the final version of the document.
  • The consultant will respect the agreed timeline for the assignment.
  • The consultant will ensure the ethical participation of children, in line with the Save the Children's Safeguarding Policy.
  • Findings will be presented in one summary report. Any “raw” data records collected during fieldwork (interviews, documents, datasheets etc.) which served as a basis for the final report will be passed on to the Save the Children as a part of the documentation process. Report and accompanying documents will remain property of the Save the Children with acknowledgement of the consultancy authorship. Summary report delivered by the Consultant will need to be approved by Save the Children in order to be considered final. Participation in revision of research instruments jointly with Save the Children;


§  Comments on research design, and field work instruments

§  Work plan

§  Field work schedule and updates

§  Literature review

§  Data analysis

§  Analytical report 


The Consultant will be engaged for two months in the period from 1 October 2019 until 31 December 2019. The Consultant will prepare and implement the work plan in consultation with and with the support of relevant Save the Children staff.



·         University degree in social sciences, law, humanities or similar (masters or doctorate in the relevant field is an advantage);

·         Previous experience in working in humanitarian context and/or familiarity with basic standards of working in the humanitarian sector;

·         Previous experience with research, data collection, and documentation;

·         Knowledge of child protection principles;

·         Knowledge of gender equality principles, and experience in promoting gender equality programming.

·         Cultural sensitivity, highly developed interpersonal and communication skills;

·         Excellent analytical and writing skills in English;

·         Commitment to Save the Children values, aims, and principles.


·         Experience working with refugees and migrants, especially children;

·         Experience with response operations in Greece;

·         Previous links with NGOs, international or national stakeholders with access to potential sites in Greece.


Interested candidates need to send their applications by Friday, October 18, 2019, at 12h. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

The application should include a CV (maximum 3 pages) emphasizing relevant experience, motivation letter (maximum 1 page); short proposed methodology and the budget (maximum 2 pages)


The decision, subject to the available budget, will be based on the relevant education, previous experience, cost efficiency and potential access to relevant sites.

 Applicants are encouraged to take cognition of methodologies for gender-sensitive programming and research in Save the Children’s Gender Equality Toolkit:


Save the Children is committed to conducting its programs and operations in a manner that is safe for the children it serves and helping protect the children with whom Save the Children is in contact. All Save the Children representatives are explicitly prohibited from engaging in any activity that may result in any kind of child abuse. It is Save the Children’s policy to create and proactively maintain an environment that aims to prevent and deter any actions and omissions, whether deliberate or inadvertent, that place children at the risk of any kind of child abuse. All our representatives are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with this commitment and obligation. Any violations of this policy will be treated as a serious issue.

We need to keep children safe so our selection process reflects our commitment to the protection of children from abuse.


Save the Children has the ambition of implementing children on the move programming which promotes equal rights for girls and boys on the move, and that deliberately seeks ways in which we can more effectively achieve impact for girls.



Save the Children is the leading independent organization for children in the world. The vision of Save the Children is a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development, and participation. The mission of Save the Children is to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives. In Serbia, Save the Children and its partner organizations jointly work to improving the situation for children in child rights governance, right to education, rights to protection against violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect and rights of children in emergencies.

Save the Children in North West Balkans based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina conducts its activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro and supports the realization of regional initiatives in the area of southeast Europe.

The Balkans Migration and Displacement Hub (BMDH) is a Save the Children initiative that has been established in 2018 to continue providing the needed support for children on the move and to document good practices developed in Balkans countries during the emergency response. It is mandated to improve learning and knowledge sharing within Save the Children, monitor trends in migrations across the Balkans, promote emergency preparedness, ensure refugee and migrant children’s needs are prioritized, develop partnerships in countries along the Balkans route and liaise with other stakeholders working with children on the move to run and promote a robust advocacy for children.

Deadline for applications: Friday, 18 October 2019

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