available languages: english October 17, 2016

Position title: National experts on social science research (short-term)
Contract Period: November – December 2016
Contract Days (indicative): 6-13 days per researcher
Start Date: 2 November 2016

Background. With funding from the German Foreign Office, Democracy Reporting International (DRI) and the Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) are implementing a project “Strengthening political pluralism in Georgia”. The aim of the project is to contribute to strengthening of political pluralism in Georgia by fostering an impartial facts-based debate on the problem of political polarisation.

Polarisation along the political party lines is a long-standing problem in Georgia. The high level of polarisation has been singled out as a serious problem by the European Union, Council of Europe and the OSCE. While Georgia’s progress in building democracy is widely recognised, the widespread polarisation of public and political life remains a critical obstacle to its consolidation, and carries a price for political stability and management capacity and efficiency of the state.

Georgian civil society organisations are struggling to respond effectively to this challenge. In a nine-month fact finding project, DRI and GYLA are aiming to jointly advance the knowledge on the causes and effects of the political polarisation in Georgia, by working together on areas such as:

• Fact finding and analysis on the subject of political polarisation through discussion, research, media monitoring and comparative international inputs.
• Enabling the public debate about political polarisation in Georgia, through publication briefing papers, media materials and other reports.
• Development of strategies and tools to be employed by the civil society to overcome extreme political polarisation.

Assignment objective and research tracks. The project is currently seeking qualified Georgian short-term experts to conduct research on the following tracks:

Expert I – Mapping existing studies: Conduct an assessment research that will map out and assess the existing studies by Georgian and international experts on the subject of political polarisation in Georgia. The study should also include a comprehensive yet brief review of relevant reports and statements by international organisations (such as the EU, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, USAID and others) and international media (6 working days).

Expert II – Mapping negative effects of political polarisation: Conduct research on the negative effects and costs of extreme political polarisation in Georgia. The set of criteria and indicators of extreme political polarisation will be developed jointly with GYLA and DRI. The study should contain case studies and concrete examples and manifestations of polarisation in Georgia’s public and political life (13 working days).

Expert III – Assessment of the legal and political system. Conduct an analysis and assessment of Georgia’s constitutional and legal system set up with a view to identify specific institutional arrangements and aspects of the political-legal system that are contributing to political polarisation (10 working days).

Assignment details and expert role. The selected experts will carry out the following tasks under the supervision of DRI and GYLA’s project team:

• Propose an analytical framework and brief methodology for each of the above studies to be validated by DRI and GYLA.
• Conduct research and present the first draft to DRI and GYLA for commenting and feedback. After DRI and GYLA input and comments, the experts will integrate proposed changes and deliver the final draft of the study.
• Be available for Skype and in-person meetings and consultations with DRI and GYLA and international experts engaged in the project.
• Be available for a presentation of their research results at the project concluding event in Tbilisi in mid-December 2016.

The exact level of the expert’s input, as well as the methodology and format for each study will be agreed with GYLA and DRI prior to the start of the assignment. All studies must be drafted and presented in English or Georgian.

Dates and duration of assignment: The assignment must start as soon as possible. Delivery date for all studies will be agreed with DRI and GYLA and should be no later than 1 December 2016.

Location: The experts will work from their home base.

Qualifications:

• A university degree or higher in political science, law, economics, human rights, political science or another social science discipline.
• At least 7 years of relevant work experience in academia, think tanks or civil society organisations, including demonstrated experience of researching and publishing on Georgia’s political landscape with a focus on political parties and the country’s media landscape.
• A very good knowledge and access to the national political parties, academia and/or civil society.
• A proven record of drafting high quality analytical publications in English and/or Georgian.
• Experience of working in politically sensitive environments.
• Highly fluent or native speaker level in Georgian, fluency in English highly desirable.

How to apply

Interested applicants should send the following documents to n.baghashvili@gyla.ge AND europe@democracy-reporting.org:

• An updated CV, including a list of relevant publications;
• A brief cover letter;
• A brief concept note outlining the proposed methodological approach.

Please include “Local experts on social science research – Georgia” in the subject line and indicate for which of the positions you are applying for (e.g. Expert II).

The closing date for applications is 30 October 2016. The roles may be filled before the deadline, so early applications are encouraged.

Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.

Vacancy notice in Georgian