Terms of Reference for a Lecturer to conduct presentations on the subjects of burnout, trauma and emotional fatigue as well as stress prevention techniques

Terms of Reference for a Lecturer to conduct presentations on the subjects of burnout, trauma and emotional fatigue as well as stress prevention techniques

Published on August 15, 2022 by Atina – Citizens' Association for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and All Forms of Violence against Women (i.e. NGO Atina)

European project WeToo – Protecting mental health: Empowering frontline workers and SGBV victims and survivors. This project is implemented in Italy (Oxfam Italia Intercultura and NGO Alice), Greece (KMOP - Social Action and Innovation Center), Serbia (NGO Atina), Germany (INTEGRA e.V.) and Bulgaria (Association Animus), and is funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) Programme of the European Union.


Recognizing the gaps in the implementation of the Istanbul Convention and EU Directives on SGBV, WeToo Project aims to enhance the capacities of frontline workers (law enforcement agencies, social workers, antitrafficking and anti-violence operators, women’s clinic medical staff) to identify SGBV cases, manage stress and establish trust relationships with SGBV victims and survivors, in full respect of their needs. Based on a research of existing policy and practises, a multidisciplinary team of experts will develop hands-on tools and related training program to assess frontline workers’ stress and to identify mental health distress affecting SGBV victims and survivors. Empowering and psychosocial counselling guidelines and activities will be delivered to facilitate local and migrant women and girls' recovery from trauma and distress. Concurrently, awareness-raising activities and policy recommendations will be offered to promote an organizational culture more attentive to the frontline workers' needs and performance. Project’s intellectual outputs will be reviewed and evaluated by frontline operators, SGBV victims/survivors, stakeholders and competent authorities in Italy, Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Germany. Validated tools will be disseminated in other EU countries for their piloting and adoption. Key actors will also participate in the workshops with their counterparts, encouraging joint responses. Frontline workers and key stakeholders will be enabled to better cope with the stress generated by working on SGBV cases, thus contributing to the successful implementation of SGBV primary prevention and response programmes. Enhanced capacities and tools will be adopted in empowering programs to support women and girls survivors and victims of SGBV in their trauma recovery. Project results will boost the national and European discussions on the quality of services provided to SGBV victims/survivors and on the capacity building of frontline workers.


Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) disproportionally affects women and girls also in Europe, where 33% of women have experienced physical and sexual violence since the age of 15 (FRA of the EU, 2014). In addition to the Istanbul Convention, there are specific legal and policy instruments such as EU Directives (2012/29/EU), the Reception Dir. (2013/33/EU art.25), Dir. 2011/36/EU on trafficking and Dir. 2011/99/EU on the European Protection Order, Regulation (EU) No. 606/2013 on mutual recognition of protection measures and Council Directive 2004/80/EC relating to compensation to crime victims. Their application is not fully implemented by institutions and services providers in Member States and remains unclear to women affected by violence (WAVE Report 2017). The Commission recommended implementing programs addressing the strengthening of public services, prevention and support measures, and capacity building of professionals and victim-centered access to justice (EU Gender Equality strategy 2020-2025).

In Serbia, almost 19% of the women aged 18-74 have experienced sexual and physical violence by men (UN Women, 2019), while SGBV against MR women and girls remains unknown. According to the EU gender strategy, adequate interventions for SGBV victims should include supporting actions that address frontline workers (police, health, legal and social operators), who are the first to come in contact with women and girls affected by violence and are asked to establish trust relations with SGBV victims and survivors. Mental health and social wellbeing of professionals who deal with SGBV cases are fundamental in order to respond and tackle gender-based violence, support SGBV victims and survivors, and interrupt violent relations/situations and their traumatizing consequences. During their work, frontline operators risk stress, burnout and interpersonal difficulties that might lead to re-traumatization (in case of untreated trauma history), vicarious or secondary traumatization of SGBV victims (from work conditions, especially when working with individuals who report their own traumatic experiences) and/or compassion fatigue, developed from a combination of burnout and vicarious traumatization.

Despite the delicate role played by frontline professionals, there is no official data about the quality and typology of trainings they attend during their professional life, while the high turnover of frontline staff shows the difficulties to manage stress/trauma and the lack of an organizational culture that prioritizes the safety and well-being of the staff. The need to ensure frontline professionals’ mental health while effectively protecting and supporting SGBV victims and survivors is a priority in transit and reception countries of the current forced migration flow, as well as in countries with a high rate of domestic violence that is more and more brutal and pervasive, such as Italy, Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Germany. Thus, the Action targets both the public organizations (law enforcement, court, health and social services) and nongovernmental organizations (anti-violence centers, feminist associations) whose frontline staff works with women and girls survivors or victims of SGBV, and are exposed to highly stressful situations and to the risk of vicarious trauma. Specifically, it aims to increasie their organizational awareness on safety and wellbeing of their staff, and provides handout tools and recommendations to assess mental health of frontline professionals while supporting SGBV victims and survivors.

NGO Atina is a civil society organization founded in 2003 with the aim of combating human trafficking and all forms of gender-based violence and supporting the victims. For the last 18 years, Atina has been providing comprehensive support to sexual and gender-based violence survivors, including safe accommodation, case management, psychological support, economic empowerment, education, cultural mediation, etc. During this entire period, Atina was the sole provider of the safe shelter specifically designed to support HT survivors in Serbia. In 2018, Atina licensed a social service – assisted housing, and therefore gained equal status to other state-run social service providers in Serbia. Furthermore, in 2015 Atina founded its social enterprise – Bagel Bejgl bakery shop, aimed at training and empowering sexual and gender-based violence survivors, as they belong to hard-to-employ social group. As of 2015 and the eruption of the European migration crisis, which spread in the Republic of Serbia as well, NGO Atina has taken an active role in coping with its consequences, and in assisting the most vulnerable persons among this population – women and children. Given these new circumstances, Atina extended its support programs in order to properly respond to the specific needs of the migrant and refugee group, which was fleeing away from devastating conflicts in Middle Eastern, North African, and other countries. In the last five years, Atina implemented numerous projects and continues to maintain those designed to support refugees and migrants, to decrease risks of GBV among this population in general, and among women and children as the most vulnerable ones in particular, thus improving their overall living conditions while they reside in Serbia. NGO Atina has versatile and valuable experience in providing support to gender-based violence survivors among refugees and migrants, and most notably women and children. This makes NGO Atina one of the most engaged NGOs in Serbia in relation to understanding this beneficiary group, its needs, and challenges they encounter in the protection system.


One lecturer, with specific background in the area of psychology and clinical psychology, should carry out two presentations at the training for frontline workers working with women and girls victims and survivors of SGBV with the goal to advance their capacities to adequately recognize and respond to trauma and communicate in a situation of intense feelings. The training aims to provide support to professionals who come into contact with victims of SGBV to deal with secondary trauma, as well as to provide support to victims in their recovery from trauma.

The training, intended for professionals who come or may come into contact with victims of gender-based violence, was created as a result of mapped challenges and difficulties within the Report on the mental health protection of both professionals working with SGBV victims and the victims among migrant population in Serbia (http://www.atina.org.rs/sites/default/files/WeToo%20izve%C5%A1taj.pdf).  The report was made in order to indicate the degree of exposure to trauma and experiences of gender-based violence that professionals face in contact with women and children from the refugee and migrant population. The training is intended for professionals who took part in the previous phase of the project, that is, representatives of non-governmental organizations, police, health, education and others who are in daily contact with women and children from the refugee and migrant population. The results presented in the Report indicate the need to provide professionals with additional and continuous support in dealing with cases of suspected gender-based violence, but also in taking care of their own mental health and preventing burnout.

The lecturer is responsible for two main issues:

  1. Creating and carrying out two presentations on the specific subject of:

  • of burnout, trauma and emotional fatigue

  • as well as stress prevention techniques and burnout

2. Delivering a comprehensive report on implemented activities.

The training is scheduled to be realized on September 15, 2022 and should take place in Belgrade, for a total number of 20 participants.

Implementation of the whole process of planning and delivering the presentations should last from September 5 until September 30, 2022.




05/09/2022 – 09/09/2022

Creation of the presentations


Implementation of the presentations

15/09/2022 - 30/09/2022

Delivering comprehensive report on implemented activities



NGO Atina will negotiate a number of days of engagement with the selected trainers on the basis of the financial offer (gross amount) that will classify the following:


Activity description


Rate per day


Activity 1





Activity 2





Activity 3





Activity 4





*Add columns as needed depending on the number of activities needed to perform the assignment

            Subtotal                                               EUR__________

            Other costs (specify)                           EUR__________

            TOTAL                                               EUR__________

The total cost should cover all preparatory work regarding the job description, and communication costs between the Project team, consultants and organizations (e-mail, telephone, fax, mail).



The interested consultant should develop and submit the bidding proposal in the English language to respond to above mentioned specific tasks no later than August 29, 2022.  The bidding proposal should include:

1. Description and contact details of the trainers applying;

2. A detailed Budget Proposal (in the required form);

3. CV of trainers involved emphasizing only relevant experience;

4. Past performance in similar areas of a trainer applying, with reference to previous contracting agencies.


The project team will make a decision on the selection of the most successful bidder, subject to the available budget, on the following four criteria:

  • University degree in the relevant field;

  • A minimum of 10 years of relevant experience;

  • Experience of the candidate in performing similar projects or programs;

  • An example of previous work as a reference of previous experience is desirable.


All bids need to be submitted no later than August 29, 2022, at 5 PM in electronic version, to the email marija.pantelic@atina.org.rs

A selection will be made no later than August 30, 2022, and the selected consultant will be contracted no later than September 1, 2022. Only the selected candidate will be informed.