Plan International

Girls Get Equal Campaign Consultant

Plan International

Job Description

  Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls.

We believe in the power and potential of every child. But this is often suppressed by poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination. And it’s girls who are most affected. Working together with children, young people, our supporters and partners, we strive for a just world, tackling the root causes of the challenges facing girls and all vulnerable children.

We support children’s rights from birth until they reach adulthood. And we enable children to prepare for – and respond to – crises and adversity. We drive changes in practice and policy at local, national and global levels using our reach, experience and knowledge.

We have been building powerful partnerships for children for over 75 years, and are now active in more than 70 countries.

Read more about Plan International's Global Strategy: 100 Million Reasons at 1. Requirements

Terms of Reference: Consultant for Girls Get Equal #FreeToBeOnline Campaign phase two

Topic of investigation: The global Political Economy regarding girls’ experience of navigating online spaces to learn, their interaction with misinformation and disinformation in these spaces, the new opportunities and risks this presents, and its impact on girls’ political development.

We are looking for a research consultant for a short-term assignment who will: • Map the existing power holders, including government, Social Media and news media organisations, and other advocates, in relation to tackling misinformation and disinformation online (particularly related to girls, in the context of their political development) • Provide an overview of existing power dynamics and political trends within and among relevant power holders regarding misinformation and disinformation online • Identify existing and emerging opportunities to influence power holders and advocate for the end of misinformation and disinformation online, including the protection of girls from such content. This is to include potential asks and recommendations to key power-holders, and effective strategies to influence them.

• Map the international NGOs and CSOs advocating for the end of misinformation and disinformation online, particularly those whose work is related to young people and girls.

• Present the current trends in digital literacy, focusing on those relating to girls’ ability to navigate online information sources and educate themselves online, safe from misinformation and disinformation.

To apply you should demonstrate:

• Solid skills in global political Analysis and synthesis.

• Experience working on digital matters, ideally in relation to Gender Equality • Desired experience in influencing (previous work in policy, advocacy or public campaigning) Context

Plan International is a global NGO that is focused on advancing children’s rights and equality for girls. As one of the leading girls’ rights organisations in the world, Plan International operates in over 75 countries. Last year alone the organisation worked with 21.6 million girls.

The global Girls Get Equal campaign was created with youth activists around the world. The campaign champions girls’ voices, power and leadership in the drive for gender equality.

Girls Get Equal #FreeToBeOnline – where are we now?

In October 2020, we launched the #FreeToBeOnline campaign as part of Girls Get Equal. We are calling for action against the harassment and abuse girls and young women face on social media, because it silences girls’ voices and is a barrier to their active participation in public life, including engagement in discussions on matters important to them. The Covid-19 lockdown has worsened the experience for many.

Girls need to know that when they’re abused, stalked and threatened online, they can report it. That they’ll be listened to. That action will be taken, and perpetrators will be held to account. Too often they’re met with silence. Girls want to see the major social Media Platforms create ways to report abuse and harassment that really work for them.

As part of the #FreeToBeOnline campaign, girls have written an open letter to Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter, calling on them to take urgent action against online abuse. Over 64,000 people have signed the open letter to amplify their voices.

Following the launch of our #FreeToBeOnline campaign and our research on the abuse and harassment girls face online, Instagram, along with Facebook and WhatsApp, committed to a series of listening sessions, bringing together girl activists in direct conversation with product and policy teams.

Girls Get Equal #FreeToBeOnline – where are we going?

Through Girls Get Equal #FreeToBeOnline broadly, we want to remove barriers to girls’ freedom online, and create an enabling online environment for girls and young women’s civic participation, so they can be leaders in the drive for gender equality. Girls should be able to use online spaces and platforms to exercise voice and agency safely and without fear. We are looking at barriers to girls speaking up online, about issues they care about.

In October 2021 we will move to a second phase in our campaigning on #FreeToBeOnline, where we will continue to explore how the digital environment is utilised for young people’s political participation and activism. We will transition from gender-based violence as a barrier to girls’ freedom online, and instead, begin to unpack how young people, particularly girls and young women, are accessing and navigating information. This includes their experiences of misinformation and disinformation, and how this impacts their confidence and capacity to become politically engaged.

Navigating online spaces to gain knowledge, learn skills and engage in political and civic debate opens huge opportunities for girls to get equal, take action, be change agents and further their political awareness. This requires girls and young women to navigate misinformation and disinformation, so that they can confidently and knowledgably engage in political, civic or social debates and be safe and active in the world.

We know that the internet is shaping adolescent girls and young women’s’ knowledge, perspectives and opinions. We also know that digital platforms, social media and online forums are often some of the first spaces girls turn to, to access information and to express their opinions on issues they care about. Girls are exposed to a vast amount of content, including non-traditional sources of information, knowledge, and news.

With access to reliable information being increasingly compromised, an increase in political polarisation and mistrust, the ability to engage in healthy debates has become increasingly difficult. With increasing amount of misinformation and disinformation, we are asking what impact this has on girls’ ability to speak out confidently online. COVID-19 has driven further creation and spread of misinformation and disinformation, from claims of links to 5G towers to unsubstantiated cures, presenting significant risks and dangers to girls’ learning online.

Details of the consultancy

The output from this consultancy will enable us to have a better understanding of the influencing landscape to advocate for girls to get equal freedom online. The project should seek to identify: the major current trends and dynamics on the evolving discourse of misinformation/disinformation, where the opportunities are to influence from a girls’ rights perspective and who are the key actors or “power-holders” and potential allies we should engage.

It will be desk-based research on existing literature / articles. The consultant will produce a general overview of the existing political situation and power dynamics, not a policy analysis. The consultant will apply an intersectional girl lens to the research.

We expect a broad, global view and not euro centric research.

Prompts (please note, each of these questions does not need to be answered independently and in detail)

· Who are the key power-holders when it comes to tackling mis/disinformation and what are they doing or not doing? What are other actors, including civil society, doing? · What are the relationships, power dynamics and political trends within and among these relevant key power holders? · What are the main opportunities for influence, and to advocate for girls to be able to learn and engage online, and to mitigate the harmful effects of mis/dis information? · How do power-holders (including big tech companies) respond when challenged on misinformation? Do they recognise this is an issue to work on and are already making commitments? How do they relate to each other? · What key national government policies exist when it comes to protecting girls from the negative impacts of learning online, and/or misinformation and disinformation? Are there any new or interesting policies? How effectively are they being enforced? · What are the biggest issues that prevent key power-holders from taking action against misinformation and disinformation? (e.g., business incentives, lack of AI infrastructure etc) · What key steps, policies and processes do online platforms have in place to combat and protect users from misinformation and disinformation? (Including social media, online news sites etc) (top-line) · Are there particular current, political or social topics that are more or less plagued by misinformation and disinformation than others? Are there harmful trends emerging? · Is anyone supporting girls to learn how to navigate misinformation / disinformation? Who? And How? Is this approached with a consideration of girls’ intersecting identities? (Top-line) · How do different online spaces and platforms compare when it comes to approach to mis/disinformation? What about emerging platforms like Clubhouse? · How do different approaches to moderation affect this? E.g. user moderated like Reddit, vs, centrally moderated.

· Who is responsible for mis/disinformation in promotional / advertising content? Difference between e.g. Guardian promoting an article, vs a news website selling space for targeted adverts.

· Are any power-holders looking at girls' rights/ experiences? Is mis/ disinformation ever spoken about in terms of girls needs and rights (including from an intersectional perspective)? · If and how mis/disinformation is spoken about as a form of abuse / violence? Deliverables:

· A report and summary collating all research findings (around 10 to 20 pages) · A 2-pager summary with key findings and influencing opportunities, and potential asks to key power-holders We expect this to be 10-14 days of work.


- Deadline for submission of Proposals: 8th March 2021 - Selection & Contracting: Between 8th March and 19th March 2021 - Work begins: 20th March 2021 -Final Submission of report: 2nd April 2021 Please send a resume, an example of a report you produced (one or two pages maximum) and a proposal, outlining the following on one page: 1. Suggested steps you would take 2. Day rate 3. Availability 4. Proposed timeline 2. Application

Please send proposals to Lorraine NiAnnrachain, Campaigns Manager: 3. Evaluation of offers

Shortlisted suppliers may be invited to discuss their proposals in more detail at Plan’s discretion.

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