Terms of Reference | Strategic Communications Project in Serbia

Astraea seeks expressions of interest from organizations with expertise in social change communications to partner with us and two Serbian LGBTQI organizations in a project to strengthen their communications and campaign strategy.

Astraea seeks expressions of interest from organizations with expertise in social change communications to partner with us and two Serbian LGBTQI organizations in a project to strengthen their communications and campaign strategy. The engagement will run from April to October 2019. Expressions of interest are due March 12, 2019.

About Astraea
The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice is the only philanthropic organization working exclusively to advance LGBTQI human rights around the globe. We support brilliant and brave grantee partners in the U.S. and internationally who challenge oppression and seed change. We work for racial, economic, social, and gender justice, because we all deserve to live our lives freely, without fear, and with dignity.

About Gayten-LGBT
Gayten-LGBT, founded in 2001, was one of the first groups in the Balkans to start organizing and creating space for trans communities. They have played an important role in supporting the development of new transgender groups and projects throughout the region. Rooted in progressive politics, Gayten’s LGBTQI programming has always stressed ‘multiple discriminations,’ connecting the experiences of race, ability, gender identity, sexuality and sex characteristics.. Gayten builds and empowers trans, intersex and queer communities through support groups, an LGBT SOS help line, culture and arts, education, advocacy and networking.

About Labris – Lesbian Human Rights Organization
Labris is the first lesbian human rights’ organization in the whole Western Balkans formed in response to the need of lesbians in Serbia to have their own space, the opportunity to connect to other women and get empowered. Guided by feminist principles, Labris aims to work on the elimination of all forms of violence and discrimination against lesbians and to take part in creating a more equal society free of hate and fear. Labris organizes its work around three core programmatic pillars: community development, education, and advocacy.

About the Strategic Communications Project
This project aims to strengthen the communications capacity of Labris and Gayten, two Serbian LGBTQI organizations, to develop evidence-based messaging strategies in support their self-defined and self-led social change work. The overall objective is to identify, frame, vet and test persuasive messages that Serbian LGBTQI activists can use to further their self-determined social change goals.

About the Consultancy
We seek an organization or consultants with expertise in social change communications to work in deep collaboration and partnership with Astraea and two Serbian LGBTQI organizations: Labris and Gayten. Labris and Gayten are each taking a lead role in separate advocacy priorities, but also working in support of one another’s campaign goals. We hope this consultant would be able to support each organization’s priorities and create opportunities to share linkages, insights and best practices with both. 

With respect to communications expertise, we seek a partner that brings a rigorous social science lens to their work, which may include strategic communications firms that partner with social scientists in their work. The project places a high priority on process, meaning that we are looking for an organization that has the interest, commitment and competence to work in authentic partnership with Serbian LGBTQI organizations.

We particularly seek a partner who is based in Serbia or who has substantial experience working in the Balkan region, with activists, on LGBTQI issues, and with a social justice approach. 

The partner(s) will lead three main areas of work:

  • Landscape Mapping | With guidance from activists, conduct primary and secondary research to provide a robust understanding of the current landscape of messaging and perceptions of LGBTI communities in Serbia, in order to: identify some of the key drivers of attitudes and stereotypes, and identify strategic points of entry and opportunities to achieve positive gains and successes. Specific milestones and deliverables include:
    1. Consultations with Labris and Gayten-LGBT about their research priorities and needs;
    2. Baseline mapping of audience attitudes;
    3. Baseline assessment of Labris and Gayten current messaging;
    4. Development of a research workplan that details approach to attitudes mapping and research, and including methods for message testing/validation.
  • Messaging Development & Testing | In close partnership with Labris and Gayten, develop and test messages in support of their communications and campaign priorities. Steps will include building understanding of the contexts and challenges facing Serbian LGBTQI people; identifying strategic objectives and key audiences; supporting activists to understand the methodology behind changing attitudes and the steps that need to be undertaken for effective messaging; and identifying and testing messages with key audiences. Specific milestones and deliverables include:
    1. Development of plan for message testing and validation, including detail on data collection and audiences, to be approved by Astraea, Labris and Gayten;
    2. Design, facilitation and delivery of message testing and validation with key audiences;
    3. Share findings and recommendations on how to apply them in communications efforts; and
    4. Provision of follow up support with Labris and Gayten as they implement their own messaging and communications work.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation | Throughout the project, monitor and evaluate the project’s methodology and effectiveness to produce learning and best practices for activist-driven communications and messaging work.
    1. Ongoing evaluation and adjustment to project design, based on ongoing results;
    2. Provision of monthly reports covering project activities and ongoing lessons learned;
    3. Provision of a final narrative report that describes deliverables and achievements; identifies lessons learned, needs, gaps, challenges and opportunities; and makes recommendation for how funders and activists can support strategic communications; and
    4. Provision of a final financial report that comprises a detailed account of all income and expenditure related to the project.

The partner(s) will be supervised by Astraea’s Strategic Communications Project Manager and supported by Senior Program Officer, and work in close partnership with staff at Labris and Gayten.

To Apply

Interested organizations should submit:

  • a CV/organizational brief indicating your relevant track record;
  • a letter of interest outlining a) your interest in working on sexuality and gender issues in Serbia, b) your strategic communications and message testing experience, and c) any relevant experience doing this work in meaningful partnership with activist organizations;
  • a proposed budget;
  • two references; and,
  • a writing sample of 3-5 pages.

Proposals should be directed to Raviva Hanser at rhanser@astraeafoundation.org by March 12, 2019.

Apply for the job

Astraea is an equal opportunity employer. Our policy is to select, place, train and promote the best qualified individuals based upon relevant factors such as work quality, attitude and experience so as to provide equal opportunity for all of our employees in compliance with applicable local, state and federal law, and without regard to non-work related factors such as sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, disability, economic status, personal appearance including height and weight, family responsibility, matriculation, political affiliation or any other status protected by applicable law. This policy applies to all activities, including but not limited to, recruiting, hiring, training, transfers, promotions and benefits. This policy governs all aspects of employment, including selection, job assignment, compensation, discipline, termination and access to benefits and training