Consultancy to Develop Plea Bargaining Guidelines for Prosecutors in Gender Based Violence and Violence Against Children Cases in Uganda

Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Kampala, UGANDA
Application Deadline :24-Sep-19 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :30 Working days
Expected Duration of Assignment :30 Working days

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


UN Women, grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security.


The Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) is established and mandated under Article 120 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions Act to institute and handle all criminal proceedings against any person or authority. In fulfilling its mandate under the constitution, the ODPP is guided by international, regional legal regimes to which Uganda is a signatory. To adequately prosecute cases of   Gender Based Violence (GBV)  and Violence Against Children (VAC) cases the ODPP has established a Department of Gender Children and Sexual Offences.

UN Women through financial support from the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative to Eliminate Violence Against Women and Girls  in partnership with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) is launching this call for applicants to develop Plea Bargaining Guidelines for Prosecutors  with detailed   charges and sentencing  bargaining ranges for  Gender Based Violence and Violence Against Children  cases.


Uganda has ratified international and regional instruments and conventions that provide for protection of women and children. These include: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; the Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW); the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) 1992; the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995); the Declaration on Elimination of Violence Against Women (DEVAW, 1993); the  57th Session of the Commission on the Status of  Women; Africa Agenda 2063; United Nations Security Council Resolution (UN SCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security; UN SCR 1820 on Sexual Violence in Situations of Armed Conflict; the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region Protocol (ICGLR, 2006); and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. Uganda also has put in place national laws and policies on GBV and VAC including: The Constitution (1995); Domestic Violence Act 2010 (DVA) and its regulations (2011); Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act 2010 and the Regulations (2011);Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act 2009; the amended Penal Code Act Cap 120, National Policy on the Elimination of GBV (2016) and its Action Plan; the 2006 Persons with Disabilities Act, the Children’s (Amended) Act 2016.


Gender Based Violence and Violence Against Children is highly prevalent and normalised. The prevalence of physical violence experienced by women in Uganda stands at 51%, far above the African average of 37.7%. This violence is perpetrated in both the public and private spheres. According to the 2016 Uganda Demographic Health Survey (UDHS 2016), 49% of women and 41% of men believe a man is justified in beating his wife in certain circumstances. The Uganda Violence Against Children Survey (2015) found that 35% of females and 17% of males between the ages of 18 to 24 have experienced sexual violence—with 59% of females and 68% of males reporting physical violence during childhood. These statistics are corroborated by the Annual Police Crime Report which shows that domestic violence, rape and defilement are consistently among the highest forms of crimes reported to the Police in Uganda at 20% in 2017 and 13% in 2018.  However, the conviction rates for GBV and VAC  cases remains too low to deter perpetrators from committing these crimes. For example, conviction rates for domestic violence was 28%, followed by defilement at 15% and rape was   2% in 2018 according to the Annual   Police Crime Report.



 In May 2014, the judiciary of the Government of Uganda introduced the plea-bargaining initiative to address the case backlog  of criminal cases and extensive pre-trial detention of accused persons.   At that time, over 38,000 inmates were occupying facilities with a capacity for 15,000, making Uganda’s prison system the most congested in East Africa states the World Prison Brief, Uganda Overview, Int’l Center for Prison Studies, country/uganda and Ephraim Kasozi, Ugandan Jails most crowded in East Africa, Daily Monitor (8 Aug 2013). Plea bargaining was introduced in 11 Circuits of the High Courts of Law across the country.  Since then, the Judiciary has held numerous plea-bargaining sessions, disposing of more than 6,000 cases saving the Judiciary an estimated 1.7 billion UGX.  


Although plea bargaining has been identified as an important tool to quickly dispose of criminal cases, UN Women and CEDOVIP in an assessment of plea bargaining in Cases of Violence Against Women and Girls in 2018,  revealed that the current sentencing and plea-bargaining framework undermines public confidence due to the appearance of corruption and the lack of transparency in the plea agreement; it overrides certain procedural safeguards designed to protect the rights of accused persons and prevent innocent people from being convicted, the Plea-Bargaining Guidelines do not adequately articulate and protect the rights of victims and sentences in plea bargaining bear limited, if any, relationship to established Judicial Sentencing Guidelines.


UN Women and  ODPP recognise  that these gaps in the plea-bargaining process undermine access to justice for women and girls and hence  the need to strengthen  prosecutors  capacity to handle cases  in a victim centred and human rights-based approach in line with national and international legal frameworks.  UN Women is therefore seeking services  of an Individual Consultant to develop Plea bargaining Guidelines for Prosecutors with detailed charges and sentencing  bargaining ranges for  Gender Based Violence and Violence Against Children  cases.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the Programme Specialist Ending Violence Against Women and Girls and working in close coordination with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Consultant will be responsible for:

  • Reviewing literature related to plea bargaining globally  and in particular  but not limited to United States, South Africa, Kenya, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Uganda to  understand the lessons learned  that are applicable to  the Ugandan context.
  • Review the Report on Plea Bargaining in Cases of Violence Against Women and Girls in Uganda by UN Women and Center for Domestic Violence Prevention
  • Review relevant international, regional and national instruments and laws respectively on GBV and VAC.
  • Review legislation on victim participation in the plea-bargaining process such as the Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crimes
  • Conduct consultations with representatives of the  relevant institutions at national and sub national level but not limited to: Prosecutors; JLOS Secretariat; Uganda Prisons Service; Judiciary;  Police, High Court Judges who have presided over plea bargained sessions  in Uganda, UN agencies and   CSOs.
  • Develop Prosecutor Guidelines for plea bargaining in accordance with national and international laws and policies that outline specific and detailed charges and sentence bargaining ranges and procedures. The guidelines should provide for:
    1. Communication with victims/survivors of violence
    2. Rights and protection for victims/ survivors
    3. Guidelines for charge negotiations
    4. Guidelines for sentence negotiations
    5. Procedures for documenting decisions and accountability
    6. Sensitivity to gender and power dynamics
    7. Guidelines for balancing victims’/survivors  interest, victims’ stated preferences, public interest and the goals of sentencing.
    8. The guidelines should include accountability measures, including prohibiting Prosecutors from deviating from the set guidelines without supervisor approval and ensure Prosecutors record the factual and legal basis for downward adjustments in charges or proposed sentences.

Deliverables/ Tasks

  • An inception report on the content and methodology for development of the Plea-bargaining Guidelines in line with national and international human rights standards, as well as a proposed mechanism for ensuring compliance and accountability by Prosecutors.
  • A report on the desk-based research and the consultations highlighting global and regional good practices regarding implementation of victim centred, gender sensitive  and human rights-based plea bargaining, particularly from developing country contexts and in line with the UN Essential  Services Packages and the Prosecutors Handbook for handling cases of GBV and VAC.
  • Draft comprehensive  victim centred, gender sensitive and human rights-based Prosecutor Plea Bargaining  Guidelines for cases of GBV and VAC.
  • A report on the validation of the draft plea-bargaining guidelines
  • Final comprehensive, victim centred,  gender sensitive and human rights-based Prosecutor Plea Bargaining  Guidelines for cases of GBV and VAC approved by the Senior Management of ODPP.



  • UN Women and partners will provide the consultant with background materials related to the assignment.
  • ODPP will provide the consultant with the space and access to the internal institutional documents as necessary, to undertake the assignment.

Performance evaluation:

  • The consultant’s performance will be evaluated against such criteria as: timeliness, responsibility, initiative, communication, accuracy, quality of the products delivered and alignment to agreed principles and standards. The evaluation will be carried out and cleared by the appointed task force including representation from  ODPP.


Core Values and Guiding Principles:

  • Integrity
  • Demonstrating consistency in upholding and promoting the values of the UN systemin actions and decisions, in line with the UN Code of Conduct;
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and a high degree of professionalism when dealing with survivors and sensitive information.
  • Cultural Sensitivity/Valuing diversity
  • Demonstrating an appreciation of the multicultural nature of the organization and the diversity of its staff, and of those of Government of Uganda entities;
  • Demonstrating an international outlook, appreciating differences in values and learning from cultural diversity.


Corporate Competencies

  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN's values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of the UN, particularly relating to gender equality and the empowerment of women;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, sexual orientation, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly and without favouritism.


Functional Competencies

  • Strong analytical, reporting and writing abilities skills;
  • Demonstrated accuracy and attention to detail;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate and work well with diverse and multicultural supervisors and staff members;
  • Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure.
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude.
  • Focuses on impact and result for the partners and responds positively to feedback.

Required Skills and Experience

Required Skills and Experience

Academic qualifications:

  • Master’s (or equivalent) or higher Degree in Criminal Justice, Law, Human Rights, Gender, International Relations or related field
  • Possession of a PHD  in Criminal Justice, Law, Human Rights, Gender, International Relations or related field  is an added advantage



  • Minimum of 8 years of relevant professional experience in developing legal or policy documents and in operationalised research on justice systems.
  • Experience in developing mechanisms for monitoring compliance and ensuring accountability to set standards;
  • Experience in law enforcement or prosecution service would be an asset;
  • Experience working in social norm change, survivor centred case management of violence against women and VAC cases would be a distinct advantage;
  • Working experience in/on the justice system of a developing country, specifically in sub-Saharan/East Africa would be an asset;
  • Experience working with the Ugandan justice system would be an asset;
  • Experience in conducting consultations with diverse stakeholders to elicit actionable information would be an asset;
  • Ability to easily communicate with stakeholders from all social economic backgrounds.



  • Fluent level of written and spoken English;


Application Procedure

The team of consultants should submit one technical proposal containing the following (to be uploaded as one file):

  • Online application form with brief description of why the Offeror considers themselves the most suitable for the assignment; and
  • Personal UN P11 Forms for key personnel, indicating all experience from similar projects and specifying the relevant assignment period (from/to), as well as the email and telephone contacts of at least three (3) professional references; the link to UN Women P11 template is:
  • The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum amount, and payment terms around the specific and measurable deliverables of the TOR. Payments are based upon output, i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR, and deliverables accepted and certified by UN Women.
  • The financial proposal must be all-inclusive and take into account various expenses that will be incurred during the contract, including: the daily professional fee; cost of travel from the home base to the duty station and vice versa, where required; living allowances at the duty station; communications, utilities and consumables; life, health and any other insurance; risks and inconveniences related to work under hardship and hazardous conditions (e.g., personal security needs, etc.), when applicable; and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services under the contract.
  • In general, UN Women will not accept travel costs exceeding those of an economy class ticket. Should an International Consultant wish to travel on a higher class he/she should do so using their own resources.
  • If the Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution, and he/she expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UN Women under a Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UN Women.
  • The Financial Proposal is to be submitted along with the P11 form and writing sample/link.
  • Please provide a short (1000 words) writing sample, or link to a similar project that you have completed. Applications without sample/link will not be considered.

Note: The above documents need to be submitted and uploaded to the online application system as one document.


 Evaluation of Applicants

Candidates will be selected based on cumulative analysis of:

• Technical Qualification (100 points) weight [70%]

• Financial/Price Proposal (100 points) weight [30%]

A two-stage procedure will be utilised in evaluating the proposals, with evaluation of the technical proposal being completed prior to any price proposal being compared. Only the price proposal of the candidates who passed the minimum technical score of 70% of the obtainable score of 100 points in the technical qualification evaluation will be evaluated.

  1. Technical Qualification evaluation criteria:

The total number of points allocated for the technical qualification component is 100. The technical qualification of the offer or/individual is evaluated based on following:

Technical Evaluation Criteria/Obtainable Score

  • Qualification and background (20)
  • Previous experience in the development of institutional training manuals and conducting institutional trainings (30)
  • Understanding of gender and VAW/VAC (including online violence) and children in conflict with the law issues, especially in the justice law and order sector (30)
  • Experience and familiarity with the UN system, UN Women’s and UNICEF’s work (10)
  • Language proficiency (10)

2. Financial Proposal review criteria:

The financial proposal will be reviewed according to the following criteria:

  • The total number of points allocated for the price component is 100.
  • The maximum number of points will be allotted to the lowest price proposal that is opened/evaluated and compared among those technical qualified candidates who have attained a minimum of 70% score in the technical evaluation. All other price proposals will receive points in inverse proportion to the lowest price.



Note: UN Women is an equal opportunity Employer. Qualified women and men are encouraged to apply.  UN Women reserves the right to accept or reject any bid. The process will be governed by the rules and regulations of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)


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