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Meeting Survivors’ Needs: Gender Based Violence and the Criminal Justice System in Inuit Nunangat

Deadline for submissions: December 6, 2019

Statement of Work

Title

Meeting Survivors’ Needs: Gender Based Violence and the Criminal Justice System in Inuit Nunangat

Introduction

Pauktuutit fosters greater awareness of the needs of Inuit women, advocates for equality and social improvements, and encourages Inuit women’s full participation in the community, regional and national life of Canada. 

Violence and abuse prevention have been among Pauktuutit’s top three priorities since 1984. With the guidance and support of Pauktuutit’s Board of Directors and membership, the Violence and Abuse Prevention department addresses a broad range of issues as they relate to the safety and well-being of women and children, including family violence, sexual abuse of children, elder abuse, human trafficking, administration of justice and victims’ rights. 

Background

Gender-based violence (GBV) is a serious and complex social issue that has been largely ignored, avoided, and or minimized for a long time.  Owing to women and feminist movement there is a growing understanding that violence against women is a violation of human rights and a hinderance to gender equality. 

In response to this normative shift, there was a large expansion of shelter facilities and services for women experiencing violence and abuse. These advancements, while significant, have not been meaningfully realized by Inuit women across Inuit Nunangat. The failure of the government in Canada to address and remedy the disadvantaged social and economic conditions in which Inuit women and girls live leaves them exceedingly vulnerable to violence and unable to escape it.  Synchronously, the justice system fails to protect Inuit women and girls from violence as well as effectively prosecute and punish perpetrators.

To address this issue “Meeting Inuit Survivors’ Needs: An Inuit Nunangat Multi-Community Study of Gender-Based Violence and the Criminal Justice System” research project proposes to undertake an in-depth analysis of Inuit women’s experiences with the criminal justice system as victims of gender-based violence across Inuit Nunangat to increase awareness and understanding of the needs, challenges and service gaps that face Inuit women.

 Goals of the Project

The “Meeting Inuit Survivors’ Needs: An Inuit Nunangat Multi-Community Study of Gender-Based Violence and the Criminal Justice System” research project proposes to undertake an in-depth analysis of Inuit women’s experiences with the criminal justice system as victims of gender-based violence across Inuit Nunangat to increase awareness and understanding of the needs, challenges and service gaps that face Inuit women. The research aims to collect the diverse lived experiences of Inuit victims of gender-based violence to provide an evidence-based assessment of the criminal justice system with the goal of advancing effective crime prevention and criminal justice strategies that appropriately address violence against Inuit women, including strategies aimed at preventing re-victimization. The proposed research project is, therefore, premised on a trifold belief: 1) all Inuit women and youth have the right to live their lives free from the threat and reality of violence; 2) legal interventions in violence against women should serve a multitude of purposes, including protecting women’s safety, preventing violence, holding perpetrators accountable, and providing victims with meaningful redress; and, 3) an effective criminal justice system response is one that realizes victims’ needs.

The Supreme Court of Canada holds that the objective of the criminal justice system is to maintain a just, peaceful and safe society (Department of Justice, 2018). In Canada, the federal government and provincial/territorial governments (PTs) share responsibility for responding to victims of crime. There is, however, a notable paucity of the literature, reflecting Inuit women’s first-hand experiences with the criminal justice system as victims of gender-based violence to determine to what extent the objective is met.

The research seeks to garner a deep understanding, based on the lived experience of Inuit women and youths as they articulate it, of whether the criminal justice system meets the needs of Inuit victims. The overarching objective of the research is to offer policy recommendations aimed at improving the criminal justice response by improving Inuit women’s access to justice and their confidence in the justice system.

To fulfill the research goal, the objectives of the study are the following: 1) to assess Inuit women’s overall levels of comprehension, acceptance, confidence and impressions of the criminal justice system; 2) to determine how Inuit victims/survivors personally understand justice and how this applies to various aspects of the criminal justice processes and outcomes achieved; 3) to identify the gaps between criminal justice policy and practice as it relates to Inuit women’s lived realities; 4)to identify promising practices from Canada and other common law jurisdictions to address some of these challenges; and, 5) to offer recommendations aimed at enhancing policy and practice to achieve the stipulated goal of meeting Inuit victims’ needs and improved safety.

The research is critical to developing an understanding of how to make the criminal justice system more responsive to violence against Inuit women. It is only through this understanding that services can be created or adapted to better address the needs of Inuit women and that successful programs can be identified as models for best practices and replication. Listening to Inuit women themselves will also allow an opportunity for them to assume leadership roles in initiatives aimed at increasing awareness and education about their lived experience. The research project will significantly build upon Pauktuutit’s previous work of collecting evidence on the specific needs and challenges of Inuit women and their access to safety.

Ultimately, the objective of the project is to develop evidenced-based research and data around the specific needs of Inuit women to identify shortcomings, increasing understanding and offer sensible and concrete recommendations to improving judicial responses to gender-based violence to advance victim safety, offender accountability and community change.

Scope, Specifications of Work and Deliverables

This is an open call to individuals, firms, or organizations to provide a comprehensive proposal to:

  • undertake a comprehensive literature review to examine an array of empirical research on Inuit women’s experiences and needs as it relates to the how ‘justice’ is understood, sought, and experienced by Inuit victims/survivors of gender-based violence. Consultant writer will conduct a detailed review of existing literature to critically analyze and identify gaps in the current knowledge around criminal justice system responses to violence against Inuit women. The literature review will also provide an overview of the context in which the criminal justice system responds to issues of intimate partner abuse and sexual assault across Inuit Nunangat. It will synthesize existing research, studies and data on the experience of Inuit women and the criminal justice system to guide Pauktuutit’s research. The results of the literature review will inform the methodology, interview questions to be developed, including themes or areas of discussion to emphasize.
  • conduct qualitative research. Qualitative research seeks to investigate matters by understanding phenomena through the vantage point of those being studied.  The strength, therefore, of conducting qualitative research is its emphasis on offering a deep and complex contextual understanding of the human experience. To pursue comprehensive qualitative research, the method that will be used is in-depth, semi structured interviews.
  • develop a research methodology and accompanying materials, including an interview guide for key informants, a methodology for thematic analysis and a strategy for interview participant sampling and outreach (Inuit women and criminal justice system stakeholders and relevant service providers).
  • conduct a thorough environmental scan to identify promising criminal justice system related practices and existing services designed to serve the needs of gender-based violence victims within Canada and internationally.
  • finalize the research report.

Applicants must demonstrate an understanding of Inuit culture, experience in research, conducting literature review, environmental scan, develop methodology, and the ability to produce culturally-appropriate work.

We encourage the submission of proposals from Inuit or Indigenous researchers and organizations.

Additionally, the successful applicant/s will be required to:

  • participate in project meetings and teleconferences as appropriate;
  • to travel and accompany Pauktuutit staff to regions to conduct interviews,
  • support project related work where necessary;
  • provide progress updates as requested; and,
  • submit all final project documents upon completion.

Timeline

  • bids accepted until December 6, 2019.
  • contract begins December 16, 2019.
  • This is a two-year contract, with deliverable required in varied time.
  • Delivery of literature review, methodology and accompanying materials, including an interview guide for key informants, a methodology for thematic analysis and a strategy for interview participant sampling and outreach (Inuit women and criminal justice system stakeholders and relevant service providers), and environmental scan are due by January 23, 2020.
  • delivery of final report draft to be determined in consultation with successful applicant.

Pauktuutit’s Roles and Responsibilities

The primary contact at Pauktuutit for this project is Raha Ravasian, Project Manager (rravasian@pauktuutit.ca). Pauktuutit commits to provide the information and materials necessary to complete the work and will respond to requests for information in a timely fashion.

Pauktuutit will provide a decision within Five business days.

Confidentiality, Privacy and Copyright

The successful applicant shall not disclose to any party any confidential information gained or resulting from activities undertaken under this project, nor shall the applicant disclose any information concerning Pauktuutit or their affairs where such information is obtained through this project.

It is understood that Pauktuutit retains ownership of any and all materials and intellectual property created, designed, or produced as a result of activities undertaken by the successful applicant when awarded this project.

It is understood that the successful applicant will generate original work for this project.

Proposal Instructions

  • Applicants must submit their company name, and confirm their incorporation, references, and/or portfolio;
  • Submit by email to rravasian@pauktuutit.ca
  • Word format or PDF;
  • Estimates/budgets must remain firm until March 31, 2020;
  • No payment will be made for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of a proposal in response to this RFP;
  • No costs incurred before receipt of a signed contract can be charged to the proposed contract;
  • Travel that may be required will be separate from this scope of work budget and will be paid for by Pauktuutit; and,
  • Pauktuutit reserves the right not to award a contract as a result of this RFP.

The proposals shall be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • cost breakdown;
  • cultural relevancy;
  • schedule;
  • originality; and
  • feasibility.

Budget

The proposal must:

  • Include a detailed two-year budget to not to exceed $126,000+ HST and that demonstrates that the objectives and deliverables for the project can be met;
  • Indicate the billing rate;
  • List any other expenses that might be applicable; and
  • Total bid MUST include 13% HST tax.

Rights of the Organization

Pauktuutit reserves the right to:

  • Enter into negotiations with one or more bidders on any or all aspects of this proposal.
  • Accept any proposal in whole or in part.
  • Cancel and/or re-issue this requirement at any time.
  • Award one or more contracts.
  • Verify any or all information provided by the bidder with respect to this requirement.

Contact Information 

Please direct the application to:

Raha Ravasian, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada
520 – 1 Nicholas St. Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7

rravasian@pauktuutit.ca
613-238-3977 Ext. 263