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 Terms of Reference

Case Studies on Returnees, Deportees, and Other Former Felons Convicted on Terrorism Charges in Indonesia


Search for Common Ground (SFCG) Indonesia is seeking an individual/organizational consultant who can approach individuals and/ or families influenced by violent extremist ideologies, collect their personal narratives, and produce publishable content highlighting their stories. As part of our project to improve community-based approaches to preventing/countering violent extremism (P/CVE) and rehabilitation and reintegration (R&R), we are primarily interested in telling their stories 1) to increase community awareness of and sympathy towards former felons convicted on terrorism charges and 2) to provide counter-narratives that can prevent further radicalization.  We seek to highlight their journey, from radicalization to disengagement from extremist groups to the process of social reintegration.

1. Context


Search for Common Ground


SFCG is an international conflict transformation NGO that aims to transform the way individuals, groups, governments and companies deal with conflict, away from adversarial approaches and towards collaborative solutions. Headquartered in Washington DC, USA, and Brussels, Belgium, with 52 field offices in 29 countries, SFCG designs and implements multifaceted, culturally appropriate and conflict-sensitive programs using a diverse range of tools. SFCG has been working in Indonesia since 2002 and has implemented programs in conflict transformation, peacebuilding, prison reform, conflict-sensitive journalism, electoral participation, and initiatives with youth, media, government agencies, informal religious leaders, and women’s groups across the country.


Project Background


XTDRs — short for “ex- terrorists, deportees, and returnees — are individuals who were formerly imprisoned for their involvement in violent extremist actions or for their support for such actions undertaken by terrorist networks. “Extreme” political or religious ideals are those that cannot coexist with the policies of democratic countries such as Indonesia, which is strongly rooted in cultural diversity and its five guiding principles, called Pancasila. XTDRs include those intercepted, returned, or deported from their attempted trip abroad to join groups affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or to reside in ISIS-controlled territories.


In response to a series of terrorist and violent extremist attacks in the country, the government of Indonesia has taken both administrative and legal enforcement measures against those involved in terrorism and violent extremism. As a result, thousands of violent extremist actors were arrested and imprisoned, and in conjunction, their networks were dismantled. Those traveling abroad attempting to join terrorist networks were also intercepted, returned, or deported home.


For those arrested or deported home, the government has conducted rehabilitation and reintegration programs both in and outside prisons. The programs are intended to make them abandon their violent extremism ideologies and be able to return to their communities to live a ‘normal’ life. Few successes have been reported to come out of these R&R programs. For example, in March 21, 2021, a testimony of Gilang Nabaris, a former member of ISIS linked home grown Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) was televised. In his testimony, he explained his decision to ‘repent’ and abandon his violent extremism activities during his time at prison and start new life as a normal citizen after being released in August 2020.


Despite these major successes in combating terrorist activities and their networks, fresh crackdowns by the police’s specialized anti-terror squad, called Densus 88, against alleged violent extremist activities continue to take place. Between February and March 2021 alone, the police were reported to have arrested at least 50 alleged terrorists in various locations in South Sulawesi, East Java, North, and West Sumatra. These fresh crackdowns clearly show that violent extremist and terrorist organizations or networks in Indonesia continue to operate and remain capable to recruit new members and supporters.


To overcome these challenges, SFCG Indonesia is implementing a project called “Building Resilience Through Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration to Prevent Violent Extremism in Indonesia.” The project aims to strengthen comprehensive community-based responses to violent extremist radicalization, recruitment, and recidivism by improving the capacity of key actors to implement P/CVE and R&R programs. In this effort, SFCG will conduct a series of capacity-building trainings for civil servants, CSOs, and other relevant actors, in addition to developing update modules and guidelines to be delivered to various government ministries and offices.


2. Goals and Objectives of the Activity 


The consultant will be responsible for collecting the stories of XTDRs and formatting them into publishable and compelling content, including written case studies and a video. The consultant will then work with SFCG and SFCG affiliates to identify strategic avenues for publishing this content, and make any necessary adaptations to the content to suit the means of publication. This activity will support the project’s goal through three primary ways:


  1. By creating credible messages of change, peace, and reintegration that can serve as counter narratives for other individuals who are at risk of being radicalized, thereby preventing the further spread of violent extremism; 
  1. By increasing the awareness of surrounding communities about the conditions and challenges that XTDRs face, thereby increasing empathy towards and acceptance of XTDRs, thus improving social reintegration; 
  1. By providing concrete case studies to be included as examples in R&R and P/CVE training modules, helping civil servants and civil society actors better understand how to manage issues related to violent extremism. 


3. Key Elements of the Activity


In collecting and telling the stories of XTDRs, particular attention should be paid to:


  1. The enabling conditions of and their motivations for joining violent extremist networks;
  2. The process of disengaging from violent extremist networks;
  3. The process of being inside the carceral system, changes to attitudes therein, and overall experience;
  4. The process of re-acclimating to life outside prison, including challenges, opportunities, and lessons learned.


4. Geographic Locations


The project will implement programs in five geographic areasJabodetabek, Cirebon, Tasikmalaya-Garut, Solo Raya, and Palu-Poso.   


5. Methodology and Ethical Considerations


Proposals should outline methods for collecting the stories of XTDRs, including drafts of any data collection tools, such as surveys or questions lists. In addition, proposals should outline how the consultant will seek to approach XTDRs and gain their free, prior, and informed consent to participate in the activity. Last, proposals should address possible risks to participants as a result of this activity and the corresponding mitigation plans, in order to ensure that the activity complies with the principle of Do No Harm.


6. Deliverables


SFCG expects the following deliverables from the external consultant:


      An inception report detailing the planned respondents from XTDRs to be covered (numbers and locations),          methodology, data collection tools, members of the consultancy team, timeline, and budget;

      Any necessary training of data collectors or set-up of systems for data collection;

      Supervision and participation in data collection;

      All original data submitted to SFCG;

      Finalized content with stories of XTDRs, including at a minimum:

     1 video testimonial;

     6 in-depth case studies written in a journalistic style;

     Stories of XTDRs from a minimum of 2 SFCG project areas, with additional XTDRs from outside SFCG project areas as needed

      A list of other suggested outlets or channels for publicizing the stories of XTDRs


Drafts of all deliverables will be reviewed and approved by at least one member of the SFCG staff. The finalized content with stories of XTDRs must be in Bahasa Indonesia; all other deliverables may be written in Bahasa Indonesia or English.


 Logistical Support


The consultant will be responsible for organizing their own logistics for collecting XTDR stories (e.g. video producers, assistants, software, vehicles, fuel, and drivers), and this must be budgeted into the proposal. SFCG can provide support in arranging logistics as agreed upon based on the consultant’s proposal. At least one SFCG staff member may be available to support collecting XTDRs stories and producing the video.


In addition, SFCG will share the following project information with the external consultant: Background materials including the project proposal, logframe, needs assessment findings, and other relevant information.


 7. Timeline




May 20th 2021

Completion of inception report

June 30th, 2021

Finalization of story collecting team, identification of all XTDRs to be approached

October 31st, 2021

Minimum of 6 case studies and 1 video draft submitted to SFCG team for review

November 15th, 2021

Revised drafts submitted to SFCG team for review

November 30th, 2021

List of recommended outlets and channels for publicizing stories


8. Requirements of Consultant


The following skills and experience are required by SFCG for our consultant

  • Proficiency in Bahasa Indonesia and English;
  • At least 5 years of experience collecting qualitative data from human subjects through various methods (interviews, observation, focus group discussions);
  • Experience working with justice, civil society, and government actors;
  • Experience working with vulnerable populations and on sensitive social topics preferred. Experience working on issues related to violent extremism and peacebuilding strongly preferred;
  • Experience publishing analytical and journalistic writing in various media outlets;
  • Familiarity and experience with contextual challenges in SFCG’s project locations.


In addition, the consultant is required to respect the following Ethical Principles[1]:

      Competence: Consultant should possess the abilities and skills and experience appropriate to undertake the tasks proposed and should practice within the limits of his or her professional training and competence.

      Honesty and integrity: Consultant should be transparent with the contractor/constituent about: any conflict of interest, any change made in the negotiated project plan and the reasons why those changes were made, any risk that certain procedures or activities produce misleading review information.

      Respect for people: Consultant respect the security, dignity and self-worth of activity participants. Consultant has the responsibility to be sensitive to and respect differences amongst participants in culture, religion, gender, disability, age and ethnicity.


Selection Criteria


Consultant proposals will be selected for:

  1. Relevance of proposed methodology to the goal, objectives, and key elements for the activity.
  2. Quality of proposed methods and ethical considerations.
  3. Qualifications of the candidate(s).
  4. Proposed budget in relation to proposed methodology, deliverables and team.
  5. Timeline for proposed activities.




To apply, interested candidates (individuals or teams) are requested to submit the following two documents:

      A technical proposal including:  a methodology for the collection of XTDR stories; a financial proposal for the completion of the aforementioned deliverables; a proposed timeline (if different from timeline above); and a short cover letter. Only proposals written in Bahasa Indonesia or English will be accepted.


Please submit proposals to Pramita Handayani through by April 30thIf you have any questions regarding this Terms of Reference document, please contact Gracia Respati, Project Officer, through


 Please see our website for full details of our work.

[1] Adapted from the American Evaluation Association Guiding Principles for Evaluators, July 2004

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