The Initiative For Equal Rights



This research is commissioned by The Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERs) and Education as a Vaccine (EVA) with the support of Wellspring Philanthropic Fund.

Founded in 2005, TIERs is a non-profit organisation working to create a society where human rights are guaranteed regardless of status, identity, orientation and affiliation. We exist to protect, uphold and promote the rights and humanity of all Nigerians through advocacy, empowerment, education, and the provision of safe platforms of convergence. 

EVA is a non-profit organization founded in 2000 to improve the health and development of children, adolescents, and young people. EVA envisions a Nigeria where children and young people reach their full potentials, and work to build and implement an innovative and sustainable mechanism for improved quality of life for vulnerable children and young people.


A. Background

Fundamentalist groups have taken-up different methods in popularising their perspectives into the single, mainstream story in Nigeria. These perspectives are consistently espoused to justify the subjugation and dehumanisation of women and sexual minorities. Concurrently, our indigenous histories have either been forgotten or take second place in relation to these mainstream fundamentalist ideologies.

To this end, TIERs and EVA, with the support of Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, are carrying out two-pronged research on religious fundamentalism, and the history of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities in Nigeria. The first research will determine the ways, systems and extent of fundamentalism in reaching civil society and human rights organisations. Attitudes have shown that one of the major defences of denying women, queer persons and other minorities their rights is grounded in the allegation that to do so is contrary to our cultural practices and western imports. Therefore, as a counternarrative, the second research will find evidence of the existence of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities in Nigeria before and after colonialism.

The research will be largely qualitative and contain specific datasets and in-depth analysis on:

  • The methods and ways religious fundamentalists fund, impose narratives, promote mainstream ideas of exclusion and project a single, western standard of behaviour among civil society groups and human rights advocates in Nigeria.
  • Evidence and histories of diverse sexual orientation, gender identities and gender expressions in Nigeria in pre-colonial times and in the early years of colonialism.

The findings of this research will increase our understanding of the ways fundamentalists impose and import ideas on indigenous activists, and the impact of religion on human rights activism in Nigeria. The research findings will also increase our understanding of how queerness existed and was accepted (or rejected) before evangelicals and colonialists arrived.

B. Definition of scope and timeline

The researcher will prepare targeted surveys and hold in-person meetings on the subjects.

For the first research, the researcher should collect and analyse data across the six geopolitical zones, focusing on a cross-section of mainstream popular and grassroots activists/human rights organisations in each zone.

The second aspect of the research will aim to gather historical evidence of queerness (practices and beliefs) as well as existing knowledge and perspectives on sexual and gender minorities in Nigeria. To achieve this, the researcher will collect and analyse data from indigenous persons and groups including but not limited to historians, activists within the civil society space, traditional leaders and practitioners, and people who live in rural areas.

The research will span 17 weeks, from 5th April to 2nd August 2021, with a report containing an in-depth analysis of findings submitted on or before Monday 9th August 2021.


This research is an inclusive study on fundamentalist approaches in the promotion and imposition of alien/Western ideas amongst Nigerian human rights and civil society groups, and a study of queer histories in indigenous Nigerian cultural practices and traditions.

The researcher will provide the following:

  • Specific datasets on the extent of fundamentalist intervention among civil society and human rights groups in Nigeria, as well as the extent of these human rights activists recognising and understanding the methods and extents imposition of these ideas.
  • Specific datasets on histories, practices, traditions and beliefs of and about persons who identify as lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and other sexual and gender minorities.
  • In-depth analysis of all data collected.
  • A wholistic report providing desk research, the specific datasets, in-depth analysis of data collected and recommendations.

All data collected should be provided including interview summaries. The researcher should also provide a full analysis of data collected and collated, highlighting best practices and notable information, as well as a full and detailed report on findings, and recommendations.


The data collection method for this research will be quantitative and qualitative.

The researcher will develop a questionnaire that will gather knowledge on fundamentalist approaches among civil society and human rights activist groups. Further insight will be obtained through key informant/in-depth interviews of stakeholders within these groups.

In addition, the researcher will develop a questionnaire aiming to gather perspectives and knowledge about queerness and queer history in Nigeria. The researcher will also carry out key informant interviews on the subject.


For this exercise, TIERs and EVA are looking for a consultant having a proven background and expertise in conducting quantitative and qualitative research within Nigeria, as well as excellent oral and written communications skills in English.

Interested consultants or researchers should prepare and submit by or before 2nd April 2021 a financial and technical proposal including:

  • A detailed curriculum vitae with two professional references.
  • Evidence of relevant experience – including 2 pieces of research papers from previous work.
  • Proposed methodology.
  • Work plan including the timeframe for research, and for writing the reports.
  • A detailed financial proposal or budget.

Please submit all proposals and direct enquiries to:

Ohotuowo Ogbeche
Director, Research and Knowledge Management, TIERs

Download the Terms of Reference here