Posts Tagged ‘Norwegian Human Rights Fund’

Major change at the Norwegian Human Rights Fund: from Sandra Petersen to Ingeborg Moa

November 1, 2021

After 11 years as the NHRF’s Executive Director Sandra Petersen was succeeded by Ingeborg Moa on 15 October 2021.

sandra
Ingeborg

Ingeborg Moa comes to the NHRF from the position as Director of Activism and Organisational Development at Amnesty Norway, and has nearly two decades of international experience working with local organizations and human rights defenders around the world. She has ten years of working experience with the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), as well as having worked for Norwegian Refugee Council and the UN. Geographically, she has extensive work experience from the Middle East and Southeast Asia, having spent a number of years in Palestine and Myanmar, as well as in Cambodia, Thailand, Iraq and Turkey. She has also been working on Syria. “My own experiences after working with human rights defenders for nearly 20 years is that for situations of injustice to change, it is the affected communities and people on the ground who need to organize, mobilize and take the lead in the struggle for their own rights. At the same time, international solidarity is necessary both in order to ensure support for practical initiatives on the ground, and not least in order to ensure that local struggles are supported by policy initiatives on a multilateral level”, she says.

Sandra Petersen will during the next four years undertake a PHD research at the Norwegian Center for Human Rights, University of Oslo with a focus on International Support to Human Rights Defenders. Apart from her research, Sandra Petersen will continue to work with the NHRF as a special advisor on human rights defenders.

Sandra Petersen first started working in the NHRF in 2009 leading the work on Pakistan and India. In 2010 she moved into the role of the executive director and has for more than a decade been leading the organisation towards growth; both with strengthening NHRF’s financial muscles to support frontline grassroots human rights organisations and defenders, and by increasing the organisational capacity from a two-staffed office in Oslo in 2010 to 25 people divided between the Oslo and Colombia offices – including team members and consultants in the US, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand and Mexico. [see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2020/04/21/norwegian-human-rights-fund-annual-report-2019/]

In an interview (see link below) Sandra give her views on what was achieved and her hopes for the future. And tells a bit more about her research project: The project is partly funded by the NHRF and by the Norwegian Research Council, and will be undertaken at the Norwegian Center for Human Rights at the Law Faculty, University of Oslo. I will seek collaboration with international universities and hopefully contribute to new partnerships. The primary goal of this research is to make an important contribution to future policy outcomes by providing empirical knowledge and comparative analysis of international and in particular Norway’s role in efforts on human rights defender’s protection. This will be shared within institutional structures here in Norway as well as internationally. The Ph.D. seeks to highlight best practices, lessons learned, as well as to try pointing to areas for improvement. Importantly, it aims to understand how human rights defenders in a selection of countries perceive international efforts to support them. Central to this analysis will be to understand possible new needs including effects of COVID-19 and the rapidly evolving technology and digital developments that can affect defenders’ safety and security. I think this is immensely important for all of us that wish to support human rights work and defenders’ role in these efforts. I deeply believe in a combined practitioner and academic approach to our work. Our actions should be well founded in knowledge.

https://nhrf.no/article/2021/announcement-new-executive-director-of-the-norwegian-human-rights-fund

https://nhrf.no/article/2021/a-new-chapter-interview-with-sandra-petersen-outgoing-executive-director

Possible grants for Protection of Human Rights Defenders and the Right to Defend Rights in India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar.

March 22, 2021

The NHRF is opening a specialised and limited call for concept notes for projects contributing to building resilience, adaptability and increased safety and security for human rights defenders and human rights movements. Projects focusing on digital security and new technological threats used against human rights defenders and projects that seek to give psychosocial and multifaceted support to human rights defenders will be prioritized. The applicant should explain how the initiative will lead to a positive change for human rights defenders in their local communities.

Geographical location: India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar. Regional initiatives that include human rights defenders from one or more of the listed countries are also welcome to apply.

Thematic area and target groups: Protection of human rights defenders at risk, the right to defend rights, digital security, psychosocial support, pressure on and repression of civil society. Initiatives with a strong gender focus will be prioritized.

Amount: 15-25,000 USD. Please note that the proposed project budget must be proportionate to the applicant’s current annual budget and must not exceed an amount that is more than double the current annual budget.

Project timeline: One year (12 months)

Project start date: End of 2021/beginning of 2022*.

Deadline for registration and concept note: 18 April 2021

(NB: This call is part of the NHRF’s resource mobilisation, and grantmaking is dependent upon positive response from the NHRF’s network.)

Priority will be given to:

  • Organisations that are led by the target group or that have a strong link to the community and have special competence in the thematic area of focus
  • Organisations that adapt an inclusive approach, for example for gender, minorities and persons with disabilities
  • Organisations that work with women human rights defenders, LGBTIQ- defenders, environmental defenders and trade union activists
  • Organisations that have proven experience from working in networks, both nationally and regionally
  • Organisations focusing on digital security and psychosocial support

How to apply

Organisations working within the thematic area are invited to complete the eligibility quiz and concept note form in the NHRF application portal. You will also be asked to upload an overview of a one-year budget of the proposed project. Applicants must adhere to the word limits within the submission form.

The NHRF will review submissions and then make a shortlist of applicants that will be invited to submit a full application. This process could take time – up to 6 months – so we ask applicants to please be patient with our processes.

Please visit the NHRF’s page for grantseekers for more information.

4 December 2020: seminar on Norwegian support to human rights defenders.

November 13, 2020

The Norwegian Center for Human Rights and the Norwegian Human Rights Fund invite you to a seminar addressing the Norwegian and international support to human rights defenders.

This seminar will focus on the role of human rights defenders in creating sustainable, peaceful and just societies, in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goal 16. It will look at the role and support of the Norwegian government, Oslo Municipality, the University of Oslo and Norwegian civil society in the protection of individuals and organisations working for human rights and peaceful and just societies. How can these institutions collectively – and individually – meet the needs of the day, both during and after COVID-19?

Program

13:00-13:10: Welcome by the Rector of the University of Oslo, Svein Stølen.

Welcome by the organizers: NHRF (Executive Director Sandra Petersen) and NCHR (Head of Department Gentian Zyberi).

Short introduction of the panels by the facilitators.

13:10-14:25: Panel 1: The current situation of Human Rights Defenders and protection work.

Key speakers:

Asha Kowtal, Dalit Human Rights Defender, India

Idil Eser, “Scholars at Risk” and former Director of Amnesty International Turkey [see: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2020/07/06/istanbul-court-jails-four-human-rights-defenders-on-terror-charges-seven-acquitted/]

Luciana Peri, Coordinator of Shelter Initiatives, ProtectDefenders.eu

John Peder Egenæs, Director of Amnesty International Norway

Moderator:Nora Sveaass, Professor Emeritus (University of Oslo), member of the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) and member of NHRF’s Advisory Board.

14:25 – 14:45: BREAK.

14:45 – 16:00: Panel 2: The role of international, national and local support to Human Rights Defenders

Short video messages from human rights defenders from different countries with recommendations to Norwegian and international actors supporting human rights defenders.

Key note: Mary Lawlor, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders (digital participation)

Panel:

Ine Eriksen Søreide, Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs

Raymond Johansen, Governing Mayor of Oslo

Mary Lawlor, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders

Moderator: Sandra Petersen, Executive Director of the NHRF.

Concluding remarks by the NCHR.

The seminar will be streamed.

https://nhrf.no/event/norwegian-and-international-support-to-human-rights-defenders-under-and-after-covid-19

Michel Forst about the security risks faced by Human Rights Defenders

July 7, 2020

Human rights defenders reconnect us to what makes the essence of humanity” says Michel Forst, the former UN Special Rapporteur in his foreword to the updated Guidelines on security and protection for grantees by the Norwegian Human Rights Fund (NHRF).

Jalila, Mohamadou, Paulo and Lita are all human rights defenders who work in difficult areas. In forgotten places, where the State does not operate anymore or where conflicts rage on. They provide support to women victims of sexual violence; they advocate for transitional justice; they visit peaceful protesters who have been arbitrarily detained. They bring human rights to the darkest, most isolated places. They are the voices for those whose voices have been stolen. Each and every day these ordinary women and men brave countless risks to be close to those they defend. Because they defend human rights they are targeted by those who benefit from human rights violations. Each day they must reinvent themselves and their most trivial routines. Jalila turns her phone off while having discussions with other defenders; Lita makes sure she travels back home while the sun is still high; and Paulo frequently changes the passwords to his social media accounts. When traveling outside his village, Mohamadou leaves instructions for his family as preparation for the possibility of being arrested and taken to jail.

Each day these four defenders feel in their own minds and bodies what it means to defend human rights in complex settings and thousands of other human rights defenders face the same situation on the ground. They cannot depend on protection from the State or constant protection from their own communities, so they bear the heavy responsibility of protecting themselves, staying safe alone. Some are fortunate to have the support of their organizations and movements but must still practice self-protection. Sometimes this individual responsibility feels like a burden and can have lasting and severe consequences on their psychological, physical and social well-being.

Former Special Rapporteur on the situation of HRDs, Michel Forst, with human rights defenders during a consultation on the situation in the MENA region (Photo: NHRF’s grantee partner, Gulf Centre for Human Rights).

In recent years, a number of initiatives across the globe have contributed to support defenders and to provide them with a set of concrete tools to mitigate risks. Defenders have been building solidarity networks and strategic alliances, they have developed risks analysis and digital security trainings. Women human rights defenders and indigenous communities have helped understand the necessity to develop collective and holistic approaches to security. Some States have developed laws and mechanisms to better protect defenders as a response to the current deterioration of the situation of HRDs. Over the past five years, I have heard and learnt about many good practices on protection, and I am pleased with the efforts of the NHRF to provide these guidelines as a resource to help identify and navigate these initiatives.

….Defenders often represent the last remaining hopes for those whose are left behind, who are excluded and despised by their societies. … it is imperative that we strengthen our support to these heroes. It is not only a matter of justice, it is for the sake of our common future, for our humanity. We must defend and stand and act in solidarity with these selfless, indomitable people.

Main photo: Mónica Orjuela/NHRF.

https://nhrf.no/article/2020/human-rights-defenders-reconnect-us-to-what-makes-the-essence-of-humanity-michel-forst

See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2018/01/17/protection-internationals-next-e-learning-course-on-security-starts-19-february/

Norwegian Human Rights Fund publishes its theory of change

May 20, 2020

Perhaps the home-bound period of the pandemic is a good time to reflect more deeply on the way we work. The Norwegain Human Rights Fund has done this [see also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2019/07/29/nhrf-seeks-a-theory-of-change-consultant/] and now reports the first result:

The development of the theory of changewas a participatory process involving the NHRF Secretariat, its Board, NHRF local consultants, and a selection of grantee partners. It is a living document that represents our theory of how change is created and driven forward. It articulates expected outcomes and their preconditions that, together, form pathways of change that lead to the overall goal. We understand these processes to be non-linear, interconnected, interdependent, mutually reinforcing, and occurring simultaneously or separately. The theory of change will guide our work as a partner and grantmaker by informing the support we provide to human rights work to achieve the defined outcomes and overall goal. It is one of the key elements used in our monitoring, evaluation, and learning processes. We will regularly review and refine the theory of change as we assess if our interventions are bringing about change and if the pathways of change are accurate and realistic.

Download our Theory of Change

https://nhrf.no/what-we-are/theory-of-change

Norwegian Human Rights Fund Annual report 2019

April 21, 2020

From the Preface written John Peder Egenæs and Sandra Petersen of the Norwegian Human Rights Fund (NHRF):

…..2019 will stand out as an important year for the Norwegian Human Rights Fund (NHRF) in terms of growth and development. … We believe that the seeds of change planted by grantees every day will result in a robust and forceful defense for future generations. As this annual report demonstrates, our grantees and local human rights defenders are continuing to stand up and fight for a future of equality and dignity for all. For some, their work centers on ensuring that vulnerable workers have safe and dignified work environments, for others it’s providing psychosocial support for families of the disappeared and seeking justice for victims of torture and others are leading movements for gender equality. Establishing links, coordinating and collaborating on the local and national levels to create better working conditions for civil society and human rights defenders are crucial to strengthening the work and moving it forward. For this work, we support grantees who build networks and equip and empower defenders with the tools and skills needed for their work; who advocate for positive laws or the prevention of restrictive laws to protect or enable a thriving civil society; and others who provide relief, support and legal representation for human rights activists in cases of arbitrary arrests, detention or when they’re facing threats. Our grantees’ work is interlinked and reinforcing; success in one struggle impacts and can lead to success in another. Their work is driven by the needs on the ground and thus it comes in many forms, but the efforts to contribute to make positive and structural changes and the realization of human rights are shared by all. In 2019, the Norwegian government led an adoption of a new resolution on environmental human rights defenders – a critically important response during one of the most dangerous and even deadly points in recent history for human rights defenders, especially those who fight for natural resources, the rights of indigenous peoples and against environmentally detrimental megaprojects. …… Working together with our partners, we are able to see the reality of the dire situation for people on the front lines working for change, which leads us to seek to increase our support to and solidarity with their work. During 2019, the NHRF created strategic partnerships that increased the financial base for the years to come. We know this will be indispensable for local and front-line human rights defenders and for investing in the realization of human rights for the most vulnerable and marginalized. With these increased resources and with support from our partners, we will continue to invest and sow seeds that we believe will lead to long-term positive change…

 

Click to access NHRF-AR-2019-OL-20April-compressed-file.pdf

Norwegian Human Rights Fund seeks Country Director Colombia

September 10, 2019

The Norwegian Human Rights Fund is looking for a country director in Colombia., which is a newly created post.  Deadline for applications: September 17th, 2019.

Duration: 3 years with possibility of extension

Duty station: Bogota, Colombia. Travel inside the country and follow-up of grants/grantees will be an important part of the work. International travels will also be required.

The tasks include, but are not limited to

  • Lead the process of establishing a team in Colombia (initially 4-5 people) and set up an office.
  • Lead the strategy process for the NHRF for its Colombia work, including fundraising and communication work in line with the NHRF overall strategies.
  • Liaisons with and reporting to donors
  • Work dynamically with the grantees, and develop work, capacity building and follow-up based on needs and the situation on the ground.
  • Conduct risk assessments and risk reduction measures for the NHRF and its grantees.

Official qualifications (must have)

  • Master’s degree in social science, law, economics, or relevant field (can be compensated with long relevant leadership experience in funds mechanism).
  • Fluent in Spanish and Norwegian (might also be another Scandinavian language), good level of English needed.
  • Proven leadership experience, including leading a team/staff (min. 3-5 years)
  • Experience in working with civil society, grant making and funding mechanisms to civil society, including capacity building and networking.
  • Experience in handling donors and funds including from the Norwegian/Nordic governments.
  • Experience from Colombia, and possibly the region, when it comes to civil society and human rights defense/work.
  • Results-oriented and experience with Learning, monitoring and evaluation (LME) processes, previous work with Theories of Change is an advantage.

Please send your CV and a letter to sandra.petersen@nhrf.no

https://nhrf.no/article/2019/new-position-country-director-colombia?fbclid=IwAR2rNP4fbvZ6qlDkpQuXhKDcqYeILNzhkSjg2RIsh5ii-Hl0vLXtTmlyewY

NHRF seeks a ‘theory of change’ consultant

July 29, 2019

The Norwegian Human Rights Fund (NHRF) recently went through the process of an external evaluation (November 2018) with a focus on the current strategy and its implementation. The findings of the evaluation were positive and we’re currently working on integrating the recommendations into our future work. The NHRF is seeking a consultant who can advise and support us through, to a limited extent, the development of our theory of change. The NHRF will begin a collaborative and holistic process that will include NHRF personnel (NHRF Secretariat and local consultants) and stakeholders (e.g. grantees and board members) to build a conscious theory of change that reflects the work of the Secretariat as a support mechanism and the work of our grantees on the ground.

The primary objective of the overall project is to develop a theory of change for the NHRF with longevity and adaptability in mind. The NHRF has developed an expansive and in-depth M&E framework that was just recently updated. ….The theory of change should be developed with the idea that it will be the core that our M&E framework and all other organizational development can stem from. As stated above, the overall project will be led by the NHRF’s LME officer, but will be advised by the selected consultant.

The consultant will be asked to advise on the following activities:

  • Early stage guidance and preparation for a theory of change retreat with the NHRF Secretariat and engagement via questionnaire and other methods with other stakeholders and NHRF personnel for collecting input and feedback throughout the development process.
  • Co-lead the NHRF Secretariat retreat in Oslo, Norway
  • Advise on the early drafts of the theory of change once all input, data, and feedback has been collected, interpreted, and translated into a draft

The NHRF is primarily seeking to be advised throughout this process, therefore it is expected that the consultancy will be no more than 5 working days of 7.5-8 hours.

Submissions

  • Candidate’s CV
  • Budget with daily rates based on a 7.5-8-hour workday and estimated flight costs for travel to Oslo in November based on consultant’s location
  • Brief (max 500 words) proposal that includes a timeline of the distribution of the 3 working days that will not be used for the NHRF Secretariat theory of change retreat.
  • 1-2 references (name, email, phone)

Deadline: Thursday, 1 August 2019

Send to: sarah.mcmains@nhrf.no and cc: info@nhrf.no Subject line: “Application – NHRF Theory of Change consultancy”

https://nhrf.no/article/2019/consultant-advisor-on-theory-of-change-development

Progress report on “I Defend Rights” project in 2018

January 4, 2019

In 2018 the Norwegian Human Rights Fund and Memria continued their partnership on the unique I Defend Rights initiative, an audio archive of hundreds of stories told by human rights defenders. The purpose of this listening project is to commemorate and celebrate the important roles that human rights defenders have by recording, archiving and sharing their experiences and contributions. The platform includes personal accounts of 188 human rights defenders. This are some of the highlights in 2018:

March
We had the first open call for stories on our site (English version).  Within the first three months, over 50 human rights defenders spoke about why they defend rights. These stories were published on the platform and shared on social media. 

May
Official launching of Yo Defiendo Derechos and Je Defénds le Droits, the archives for Spanish and French-speaking communities.

August
We held a sensemaking workshop in New York with key stakeholders and partners including communication experts to analyze a sample of the archive and think about next steps for the project.

September
Our team participated in a community fair at Forum Asia’s 8th Asian Regional Human Rights Defenders Forum in Bali and engaged with human rights defenders from the region

October
We attended the Human Rights Defenders World Summit in Paris and installed our first storytelling booth. With the help of volunteers, we collected 65 stories in three days. 

A HRD recording his message at the HRD World Summit in Paris, October 2018

November 
We collected more stories and created an exhibition at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo during the Norwegian Human Rights Fund 30th Anniversary Conference. (Listen to the NHRF Conference and the panel on new tools with the participation of I Defend Rights).

LOOKING FORWARD TO 2019

The gathering will continue during 2019 with an emphasis on dissemination. Our main channels will be social media, a new website, and an exhibition. We want to do this in collaboration with our partners. We hope to have our new website by February, one that reflects our new image and lets us showcase the amazing stories from so many wonderful human rights defenders on our platform.
We are also joining forces with designers to create an exhibition with the voices of the rights defenders. We will be working with libraries, universities, museums and unexpected venues to reach a diverse audience.

Follow them on twitter and facebook.

https://mailchi.mp/9649638e13d0/happy-new-year-from-the-i-defend-rights-team?e=0c88049d46

Norwegian Human Rights Fund celebrates 30th anniversary with video and conference

November 14, 2018

This video is published in the context of the Norwegian Human Rights Fund’s (NHRF) 30 years anniversary on 13 November 2018. A well-deserved celebration for 30 years service to the worldwide human rights community and especially the human rights defenders. 

Support to human rights in a context of shrinking space, rise of populist regimes and hostile environment lie as a backdrop in the year we celebrate both the 20th anniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights Defenders and the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. What are the consequences for the movement and what are the ground realities for human rights work and defenders working in the frontline in these changing realities? What strategies are used to support and respond to juridical harassment, restriction in freedom of association and expression, threats, criminalization and killings of human rights defenders? What new tools can be used in our work and what kind of support and strategies are needed looking ahead? This conference gathers international experts and human rights defenders from a variety of local, national and international contexts, to give us their advice and reflections on how to continue and improve support to human rights work in changing and challenging times. The conference seeks to highlight and celebrate the indispensable work that human rights defenders – individuals, groups and organizations – do every day to promote equality, dignity, justice, peace, sustainable development and freedom in their local communities as well as across the world.
See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2018/03/24/i-defend-rights-shifting-the-narrative-about-human-rights-defenders/
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