Press Releases

Technical Assistance to the Liberia Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)

Montserrado County, Liberia
19 October, 2008
Categorized as pertaining to: Reports

Terms of Reference for the Expert on Report Writing

1. Background and Justification

The Liberia Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) is Liberia's key transitional justice mechanism that came out of the Accra Comprehensive Peace Agreement (ACPA) reached by parties to the Liberian conflict to end fourteen years of civil war. It was established under the TRC Act of 2005 to promote peace, security, unity and reconciliation among the people of Liberia.

The TRC is mandated to create an independent, accurate and objective account of Liberia's conflict or "crisis period" between January 1979 and October 2003. More specifically the TRC is enjoined to focus on the causes, nature, patterns and impact of human rights violations and abuses that occurred during this period. It is also charged with identifying the most important antecedents to the crisis by reviewing Liberia's history before 1979.

To fulfill this mandate, the TRC has developed a robust inquiry process incorporating programs and other mechanisms including taking statement from victims and other witnesses, research and investigation into key conflict and civil war events otherwise known as "window cases", and the holding of public hearings. Following these fact- finding processes and activities, the TRC is required to compile a comprehensive report cataloguing these findings and containing recommendations that will address issues of justice, human rights, the root causes of the conflicts, peace building and institutional reforms targeted to avoid the recurrence of Liberia's violent conflict history and depart from the legacy of past abuses.
The TRC process has been on-going since 2006. However challenges exist including the need for enhanced technical capacity of the Commission. In Article IX, Section 32 of the TRC Act the TRC is empowered to retain as many professionals as it desires to fulfil its mandate:
"Section 32. A National Secretariat shall be established to render technical, professional, administrative and clerical assistance to the TRC; it shall comprise such sections or units and staff of diverse professional background relevant to the work of the TRC in the areas of finance, investigation, law, women, children and vulnerable groups, psychosocial and trauma counselling, amnesty, reparation, statement taking and in as many other disciplines as the TRC deem desirable."

This need is the more urgent in the particular context of retaining an expert on report writing. The Commission is expected to be winding down operational activities very soon to write and produce a final report by December 21, 2008 in keeping with Article IV section 4 of the Act creating the TRC which states that the TRC shall pursue its objectives by:
"...compiling a report that includes a comprehensive account of the activities of the Commission, and its findings".

Currently, the TRC accesses a large amount of data and has completed or is near completing most of these truth- seeking processes including the collection, collation and analysis of over 18,000 statements from Liberia and the Diaspora, and the compilation of data gathered through empirical information field missions aimed at corroborating information gathered through statements and hearings. To date, and pursuant to Article V section (e) of its mandate the TRC has completed investigations into the impact of the conflict on particular groups like children and women and processing its findings. Public hearings are still ongoing with most of the key actors during the conflict appearing, and hearings into relevant thematic and institutional hearings as well as a national conference on reconciliation to be convened and completed shortly.
The TRC process is further supported within an International Contact Group on Liberia (ICGL) /TRC Working Group framework. The purpose of the Working Group is to assist in enhancing the TRC process. Its specific objectives are to lend support to the TRC through policy guidance and advice, organisational support, co-ordination, monitoring and evaluation and enhance funding assistance and coordination.


Beneficiary and Contracting Authority
The appointment is for the benefit of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia who shall also be the Contracting Authority.

Management structure

The assignment will be managed by the TRC, acting through its Chairperson and Commissioners, in accordance with the principles set out in the TRC Act.

The Expert on Report Writing will be financed through donor funding mobilized on behalf of the TRC by its partners including members of the ICGL.

Global Objective
The overall objective of this contract is to provide expert assistance to the TRC in reducing the huge volume of information and evidence gathered through its inquiry process into a standardized report that will form part of Liberia's history.

The expert appointed is expected to undertake the following responsibilities:
1.Within one week of taking up the assignment, the expert will develop a work plan outlining a methodology in approaching this task
2.Review the draft structure/ outline of the TRC report developed by the Commission and provide expert advice
3.Assist in extracting and presenting information/data gathered from investigation and research in specified forms or chapters based on the cross cutting issues and themes for review
4.Help format report based on information gathered
5.Assist in analysing data in a coherent way that expresses the objectives of the TRC inquiry process. Specifically, the expert will help to analyse research findings, collate research data and compile a report containing findings and recommendations that clearly identify the conflict history and violations patterns.
6.Produce draft chapters based on report outline for review by Commissioners and team of experts
7.Produce editorial comments and suggestions on the forms and nature of analysis, findings and recommendations.
8.Expert will work with the report writing committee and co-ordinate regularly with its members through meetings. Such team shall comprise of the Inquiry Consultant, ITAC Member(s), Chief investigator and other experts with comparable skills and professional experience.
9.Expert will report to and hold regular briefings with the Chairman and members of the Commission
10.Advise the TRC on any other matter related to the writing of the final report.

Expert in Report Writing
Qualifications and skills
The Report Writing Expert must have a functional knowledge of the Liberian conflict, its history and impact on the West African sub-region. Previous work in the sub-region generally and Mano River Basin in particular will be an added advantage. The Expert must have a minimum of 7-10 years experience in the field of research writing and background in conflict analysis and must have written quite extensively. His/Her expertise should also be focused on dealing with complex research themes related to conflict identification, analysis and transformation.
The expert must have a minimum Masters level Degree or equivalent in the Social Sciences, Communication, Advanced Research Methods, Conflict Studies or Law.
Computer literacy and an excellent knowledge of English language both written and spoken are required, as well as very good written (reporting) and oral communications skills. The Expert must have demonstrated capacities as a researcher and professional writer. He/she should be culturally competent to work with people of diverse background and should be willing to travel to remote regions of the country outside the assignment station in the Capital City, Monrovia. He/She should also have the cultural competence and ability to consult and interact extensively with local communities nation-wide.
Starting date
As soon as possible after the signing of the contract, and preferably no later than 30th September, 2008 (travel day to Liberia).
Duration of the assignment
Indicative day for commencement October 1st 2008 (first working day in Liberia). The assignment is for duration of three (3) man-months (90 days), reporting included from October to December 21st, 2008.

Location of assignment
The assignment will primarily be carried out in Monrovia, Liberia at the TRC Head Offices in Sinkor on 9th Street and Tubman Boulevard but the Expert will be required to travel and undertake missions in counties for verification, familiarity as his/her work methodology may deem relevant.

Initial Report: Within 30 days of the start of the contract, the lead writer will produce a first draft of the report including an executive summary and detailing initial findings of the Commission's investigations into key events and other thematic issues. The expert will also during this period establish a work programme that specifies deliverables for the rest of the assignment.
Final Report: A draft final report will be produced for comments by the Commission, Monrovia and the TRC at least 10 days before the end of the contract and a full final report will be delivered after reception of comments and editorial suggestions from the Commissioners and members of the reporting committee.
TRC will make available an appropriate management and backstopping mechanism, quality control system, secretariat and any other support staff (editors, proof readers etc.) necessary for the execution of the assignment. The support team will provide all the necessary logistical support both prior and during the assignment to allow the expert to concentrate on their primary responsibilities.
The Expert will have office space in the TRC Head Office building as well as TRC County Offices all over the country.
The expert will be paid a total fee of US$400.00 per day. This includes $250.00 for 20 man days in a month for three months representing the contract period and $150.00 for hotel accommodation.
Reimbursable expenses
International airline tickets (economy class) and visas are to be considered as reimbursable costs and will be paid for on submission of the original supporting documents (ticket stubs, boarding passes, invoices, evidence of payment etc.).
Contact details
If clarifications are required on the request for services, questions are to be sent by e-mail answer as soon as possible by sending the question and the answer to
Nathaniel T. Kwabo
Executive Secretary
Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia
Tel: +231-(0)6-90-92-75

Cclic This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This had been the official website of the Liberian TRC. The Commission ended operation
in 2010. This website is maintained by the Georgia Institute of Technology.