Evaluation of counter hate speech campaigns

Terms of Reference and call for expressions of interest

Project name: Freedom From Hate

Duration: June 2018 – May 2020

Deadline for application: 31 March 2019 23:59 CET


Background of the project

This project tests and evaluates effective counter narrative campaigns targeting online hate speech against Roma communities in Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia. The programme works with civil society organizations (CSOs) in the target countries to develop effective campaigns to challenge online hate speech. From this programme, we want to see an increase in positive and accurate narratives about Roma communities online and enhance the understanding of effective ways of dealing with online hate speech.

Among its activities are:

  • Training partner CSOs on countering hate speech online
  • Testing strategies by implementing counternarrative campaigns
  • Evaluating campaigns to identify best practices
  • Roundtable discussion with CSOs and IT companies
  • Lessons learned YouTube videos
  • Training of trainers session for CSOs
  • Multiplier trainings for other activists

Our Partners:

Amalipe Center za mezhduetnicheski dialog i tolerantnost (Center for Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance), based in Bulgaria, is a leading Roma organization working for equal integration of Roma. The organization plays a central role organising the Roma civil movement and advocates for Roma integration to government institutions.

Institut ludskych prav (Human Rights Institute), based in Slovakia, works to promote human rights through online and offline campaigns. The organisation has significant experience in tackling online hate speech, including an online campaign on housing issues for marginalised Roma communities.

Romedia Alapitvany, in Hungary, is a regional media organisation run by Roma people. Romedia runs media campaigns to promote awareness and understanding of the Roma community. A recent project involved delivering filmmaking and journalism training for Roma women.

Romsko nacionalno vijece (The Roma National Council, RNC), based in Croatia, is an umbrella organization for the protection and promotion of Roma minority rights. The RNC promotes inclusion of Roma while protecting their historical and cultural heritage and promoting their identity.

Fórum pro lidská práva, z. s. (Forum for Human Rights), based in Czech Republic, focuses on international human rights litigation and advocacy in Central Europe. Its lawyers represent several strategic cases in the Czech Republic aimed at fighting discrimination against Roma.

Between January and March 2019, our Partners will run online campaigns in their respective countries to counter cyber hate speech against the Roma. MRGE is hiring an independent external consultant who will work with MRGE and partner CSOs to evaluate each campaign.


Evaluation Objectives

The objectives of the evaluation are:

  1. To assess each Partner’s campaign overall
  2. To review and extract key learnings about the success and challenges of each campaign
  3. To make recommendations based on the lessons learned from the campaigns
  4. To author a report on Lessons Learned and Recommendations from the impacts and outcomes of the campaigns. The report will be used, both for internal evaluation and will also be made available publicly and widely disseminated amongst civil society organisations in the EU, to foster greater learning, in the second phase of the project.


Methodology and key evaluation questions

The evaluation will build on the data collected by Partners while conducting the campaign which will be supplemented with interviews with partner CSOs, feedback from final beneficiary communities and additional research.

Key evaluation questions:

  • Were campaigns well formulated, realistic and achievable?
  • Have the campaigns countered online hate speech against the Roma successfully?
  • Were the partners able to monitor the effectiveness of the campaigns, during the implementation and were they able to modify the original campaign plan and react swiftly to opportunities and problems?
  • Was it necessary for Partners to modify the original campaign plan and if so, how and why?
  • Which campaign materials and strategy elements proved to be the most successful in countering hate speech and which ones were less useful? Why?
  • Which target audiences did the Partner reach?
  • Which messages were communicated to these target audiences?
  • What problems did the partners encounter while conducting the campaigns and how did they cope with these problems?
  • Did the campaigns manage to incorporate and convey messages concerning Roma women, Roma people with disabilities, those of different ages and other intersectional issues?
  • Was there any risk or threat for the Partner while conducting the campaign? How did the Partner handle the situation and mitigated any future risks?
  • If there were any unplanned results (positive or negative) explain what these were and how they came about.
  • How perpetrators of hate and their followers reacted to the campaigns? Were partners able to predict and mitigate against any reactions?
  • How successful the dissemination of the campaigns was at the national and international level?


Key deliverables

  1. Evaluation workplan in English
  2. Draft evaluation report (min 10 pages, max 15 pages excluding annexes – including 1-2 page executive summary).
  3. Final evaluation report that incorporates and responds to feedback from partners and MRG where warranted.

Based on MRGE’s prior experience, we anticipate that the following tasks will be needed but we are open to suggestion for alternative methodologies.

  • Read all project materials and partners’ campaign plans, review feedback from project partners, data analytics, (campaign reports, monthly meeting minutes etc.)
  • Speak to partners’ project staff (face to face or on Skype).
  • Speak to a group of beneficiaries convened by the partners regarding the campaign and its fit with community values and priorities
  • Independently seek data concerning Roma hate to independently ascertain pick up of these campaigns and their interaction with hate speech and neutral communities in at least one project country.


Experience and expertise required

  • Extensive knowledge and experience of working on minority rights, hate speech and online campaigns.
  • Experience working with Roma communities
  • Good knowledge of the Central and Eastern European region
  • Experience of comparable evaluations and strong track record of evaluations carried out on projects with similar elements
  • Ability to speak, read and write in English.

The evaluator will need to be independent of MRG, its partners and donors and will need to demonstrate that no perceived or actual conflict of interests would arise during the evaluation.


Report submission, timetable and budget

The evaluation field work should be carried out in April 2019 and early May 2019. A draft evaluation report should be submitted no later than 12 May 2019. MRGE and partners will submit comments within 15 working days and the final full detailed report responding to all comments must be submitted by 9 June 2019 in English.

The budget for this piece of work, which includes any costs related to the work is in the region of €1,400.


How to apply

If you are interested in being considered for this opportunity, please send the following to: andrea.spitalszky@mrgmail.org by 31 March 2019 23:59 CET.

  • Brief (max 3 page) CV of the evaluator or all evaluation team members
  • Cover letter – indicating relevant experience and knowledge and how you meet the task / candidate requirements
  • Workplan including methodology, timetable, budget for the evaluation and availability (max. 3 pages)
  • At least one, but if possible two, similar completed evaluation reports.
  • The names and contact details of 2 references who can speak to the evaluator’s or the team’s relevant experience and suitability.
  • A list of individuals and organisations with which you have/have had relationships which might compromise your perceived independence/might mean a potential conflict of interest arises and the nature of the relationship.

MRG will endeavour to shortlist potentially strong candidates right after the application deadline and may need to speak to strong candidates in the week commencing 1 April 2019. We hope to have made an appointment by mid April.

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