Evaluation of Barisan Revolusi Nasional Melayu-Patani (BRN)’s Implementation of the Deed of Commitment for the Protection of Children from the Effects of Armed Conflict


In situations of armed conflict, the Geneva Call, as a neutral, impartial, and independent international humanitarian organization, endeavors to strengthen the respect of humanitarian norms and principles by armed groups and de facto authorities, to improve the protection of civilians. 

Geneva Call works in situations of armed conflict or armed violence where there are one or more armed groups and de facto authorities whose practices may have a direct impact on the protection of civilians. Geneva Call prioritizes engagements following the sensitivity of each conflict and conducts a needs analysis for each AGDA. We select the AGDAs we engage with based on which of them we believe has the greatest potential to create a positive humanitarian impact on the protection of civilians. Geneva Call focuses on several different thematic areas, as explained below, and uses a wide range of targeted awareness-raising and training tools in its engagement with AGDAs and communities. The objective of this humanitarian engagement is to encourage AGDAs to adapt their policies and practices to bring them into line with international humanitarian law, to ultimately better protect civilians from the negative effects of armed conflict.

There is a range of tools available to secure humanitarian commitments from AGDAs. The one most used by Geneva Call is the Deed of Commitment. The Deed of Commitment (DoC) is a formal commitment that AGDAs sign to ensure respect for international norms to protect communities. The signature of this commitment does not give any political or legal recognition to these actors. Geneva Call respects the principles of neutrality and impartiality in its work and strictly limits itself to increase compliance with international norms by armed non-State actors to ensure greater respect for communities in situations of armed conflict or armed violence.

Geneva Call monitors AGDAs according to the humanitarian commitments it has made. In all the Deeds of Commitment, there is a common monitoring provision, which requires signatory ANSAs to allow and cooperate in the monitoring and verification of their commitment by the Geneva Call.

The armed non-State actor Barisan Revolusi Nasional Melayu-Patani (BRN), active in southern Thailand, adopted a unilateral declaration on the protection of children. Geneva Call has been engaging BRN for several years on humanitarian issues. Recently, dialogue has focused on planning for the concrete implementation of the Deed of Commitment for the Protection of Children from the Effects of armed conflict or armed violence.

In February 2020, the representatives of the military and political councils of BRN signed the Deed of Commitment for the Protection of Children from the Effects of armed conflict or armed violence, counter-signed by the Geneva Call, and the Chancellor of the Republic and Canton of Geneva. The Government of the Republic and Canton of Geneva reiterated its support for the efforts of the Geneva Call to protect children in armed conflict and was pleased to witness and serve as a guardian for this commitment. 

The BRN representative acknowledged that they undertook to sign the Deed of Commitment because of hard work between BRN and Geneva Call throughout the past years. He stressed that BRN is pleased and honored that the continuous humanitarian engagement between their movement and the Geneva Call for greater protection of Children reached a peak point with their adoption of this significant commitment. They are looking forward to strengthening their efforts to align their policies and practices with international norms to protect children by systematically carrying out their corresponding implementation plan with the technical advice of the Geneva Call.

The overall objective of the evaluation is to assess the status of implementation and compliance of BRN with its commitment, as well as the effectiveness of the commitment, and its impact on the protection of civilians, in particular children, in the deep south of Thailand. 

The following key questions should guide the evaluation. 

Relevance: Is the intervention doing the right thing?
  • To what extent has the signing and implementation of the doc responded to the needs of the civilians, in particular children, in the deep south of Thailand?
  • Have there been any significant political, social, and economic changes in the deep south of Thailand since the signing of the doc? If so, to what extent have those changes positively or negatively affected the implementation of the doc?
  • How has the doc been received by the local affected population?

Coherence: How well does the intervention fit?
  • To what extent have the Geneva Call’s efforts in supporting BRN in the implementation of doc been compatible with other interventions carried out by other actors in the same context/geographic location(s)? 
  • To what extent have the DOC helped or influenced other actors in their attitude toward the protection of the rights of children in the deep south?
  • How the support for the Deed of Commitment has helped Thailand and the BRN to fulfill their obligations under international law? 

Effectiveness: Is the intervention achieving its objectives?
  • To what extent has the DoC achieved its overall objectives?
  • What has been the progress to date of BRN’s implementation of the DoC?
  • What were the opportunities, gaps, and barriers faced by BRN in the implementation and compliance of the DOC?
  • What were the major factors influencing the successful or unsuccessful implementation of different provisions in the DoC?
  • Are there any areas where the DOC could be improved?
  • Are there any areas of the DoC's provision that need to be further clarified?

Efficiency: How well are resources being allocated and utilized?
  • Were the human and financial resources used by Geneva Call to engage and support the implementation of the DoC sufficient to achieve its overall objectives? 
  • How could the use of resources be improved?

Impact: What difference has the intervention made?
  • How have the implementation of the DoC negatively or positively impacted local populations especially vulnerable groups such as children, women, older people, and those with existing disabilities, etc.?
  • Were there any unintended positive/negative effects of the implementation of the DOC?
  • What are the best practices and lessons that can be learned to strengthen the impact?
  • ­What did BRN do well? What could have they done better?
  • ­What did Geneva Call do well? What Geneva Call could have done better?
  • ­What could other stakeholders do?

Sustainability: Will the Benefits Last or Have a lasting effect? 
  • What is the likelihood of the continuation and sustainability of BRN’s implementation and compliance with the DoC?
  • What are the key factors/areas that will require additional support/attention to improve prospects of sustainability of the BRN’s implementation and compliance with the DoC?
  • Is the impact of the DOC identified under this evaluation sustainable? 

The timeframe for the evaluation is since BRN signatory of the DoC on Child Protection in February 2020.

The proposed methodology of the evaluation will combine:
  • Desk review of the political, social, and economic context in the deep south of Thailand
  • Documentation review of materials, mission reports, and other documentation produced by Geneva Call in Thailand and its partners and stakeholders
  • key informant interviews and, if possible and appropriate, focus group discussions with both State and AGDAs and relevant CSOs, local communities/affected populations, and Geneva Call staff 
  • Direct observation during field evaluation visits ? TBC

The target groups for the evaluation are: 
  • BRN leadership
  • BRN ground soldiers/implementation wing
  • CSO members (Buddhist and Malay)
  • Community members/groups from the Deep South; and
  • Geneva Call team in Southeast Asia

Geneva Call is open to receiving additionally suggested methodology judged necessary from the consultant to obtain the objectives of the evaluation.

Some recommendations from GC are:
The evaluation should be conducted in a participatory manner, with the involvement of children, families, communities, and armed groups. The evaluation should also be conducted confidentially, to protect the privacy of those involved.

The evaluation should use a variety of methods, including desk review, interviews, focus groups, and document review. The evaluation should also collect data on the following:
  • The number of children affected by armed conflict
  • The types of abuse that children are experiencing
  • The Impact of the DOC on the Protection of Children
  • The challenges and opportunities for implementing the DOC
The evaluation should conclude with a set of recommendations for improving the implementation of the DOC and for strengthening the protection of children affected by armed conflict or armed violence.

The evaluation is expected to be completed within three months, with a start date to be agreed between the consultant and Geneva Call. The evaluation report should not exceed 20 pages, excluding annexes. 
The deadline for the submission of the final report may not exceed 30th October 2023.  Expected deliverables include:

1. An inception report, at minimum, explaining the detailed methodology, instruments to be used for data collection and analysis, identifying risks and mitigation plan, work plan, etc. This document will be used as an initial point of agreement and understanding between the Consultant and Geneva Call.  

2. Draft evaluation report containing the following sections:
    • Executive Summary
    • Table of Content
    • Key findings
    • Limitations
    • Introduction
    • Methodology
    • Results of evaluation, with answers to the key questions of the evaluation
    • Best practices/learnings/Challenges
    • Recommendations
    • Dissemination plan for the key findings
    • Conclusion
    • Annexes 

3. A final evaluation report that contains the same sections as the draft evaluation report. The final report should be submitted within two weeks of the restitution, incorporating feedback from Geneva Call. 

4. A presentation of the key findings of the evaluation should be made to Geneva Call Southeast Asia and key stakeholders to validate the preliminary findings and recommendations. The presentation should be conducted within one week of the submission of the initial draft report.  

The following qualifications are required for this consultancy:
  • Demonstrated experience and competence in research and evaluation in the field of protection of Human Rights, IHL/IHRL, or humanitarian affairs;
  • Strong conceptual and analytical skills;
  • Knowledge and practical know-how of the international humanitarian norms
  • Commitment to 'child protection and child safeguarding' is essential. 
  • Research/assessments/evaluation experience in Deep South Thailand.
  • Research experience with vulnerable populations including children will be preferred.
  • Previous work on Protection Rule of Law, CP, and GBV programming will be preferred.

As the external consultant/firm will be in contact with Geneva Call partners and beneficiaries and will be required to sign and apply/adhere to the following Geneva Call policies:
  • Code of conduct.
  • Child protection policy.
  • Anti-corruption policy.
  • Policy on Harassment and Sexual Violence; and
  • Confidentiality agreement.

In addition, the consultant is required to strictly apply the following ethical principles:
  • Conflict Sensitivity
  • Do no harm principle; and 
  • Gender sensitivity.

Interested and qualified consultants/firms must submit the following documents:
  • An updated Curriculum Vitae (of all individuals included in the consultancy team), highlighting relevant professional experience and qualifications for this consultancy.
  • A technical proposal explaining the understanding of the consultancy, as well as the methodological approach describing the different stages, the timetable, and the tools and deliverables that will be used for each stage.
  • A financial proposal with a detailed budget in USD.
  • A sample of work, related to this consultancy.
  • Full contact information for at least two recent client references.

Applications should be submitted by email to hr-eurasia@genevacall.org no later than 3rd July 2023. Please indicate 'BRN DoC Evaluation' in the subject of the email.