UN Women: Programme & Grantmaking Specialist

Application Deadline :19-Nov-12 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :P-3
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :One Year


In 2009 a high-level Steering Committee with representatives from UN and other multilateral agencies, government, parliamentarians, and women’s organizations established the Fund for Gender Equality. Co-chaired by the Secretary of State of Spain along with the ED of UN Women, the Fund was created as a multi-donor aid effectiveness instrument working to support nations to advance their gender equality commitments, laws and policies. The Fund also helps the world make progress towards attaining gender equality goals enshrined in crucial international and regional agreements, such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and the Beijing Platform of Action, among others.

The Fund’s primary goal is to advance women’s economic and political empowerment through high-impact, multi-year grants of up to $5 million. The money is awarded directly to women’s organizations and partnerships between governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), so that they can turn their gender equality commitments into real gains in the lives of women and girls at local, national or regional levels. Spain’s donation of $65 million started the Fund in 2009, followed by Norway’s $3 million, and Mexico’s $800,000. Including interest accrued, the Fund’s corpus totals $69.5 million and is one of the largest and most recent grantmaking funds dedicated to women’s rights and empowerment globally. As such, it constitutes one of the largest multi-year (five-year grant coverage for grantees) portfolios within UN Women.

Under the Guidance of the Chief and Deputy Manager of the Fund for Gender Equality, the Programme and Grantmaking Specialist will be responsible for supporting the design and execution of grantmaking systems and documentation to facilitate a high-volume, multi-lingual and regionally-based application review process that is independent, accountable and transparent (estimated at $10 million USD per grantmaking cycle). This will also include coordinating the Fund’s Technical Committee and serving as the primary liaison with all internal and external stakeholders (i.e. UN Women staff in the regional, multi-country and country offices as well as the Geographic Sections and Thematic Advisors, and the corpus of external consultants who will be recruited to support the application review process). Moreover, in order to reflect the realities of UN Women’s new Regional Architecture, the Programme and Grantmaking Specialist will be tasked with overseeing the decentralization of key phases of the grantmaking cycle and also conducting research on grantmaking as a fast-track modality within the organization, systematizing this information and developing training to support capacity development of UN Women staff on integrating principles and approaches of the grantmaking modality in the management of their respective regional, multi-country or country portfolios.

The Programme and Grantmaking Specialist will also contribute to fundraising efforts, including research, presentations, and follow up with donors (specifically Member States and representatives from the private sector) in order to replenish the Fund’s budget and secure funds for future grantmaking cycles. In this vein, the Programme and Grantmaking Specialist will also be tasked with developing and implementing a workplan to support Steering Committee engagement in grantmaking and fundraising processes.

In parallel, the Programme and Grantmaking Specialist will also be responsible for ensuring on-going programme management and support – particularly to ensure the effective integration of the fund’s current portfolio of grantees into communications and fundraising events and knowledge products – to ensure grantee visibility and highlight the Fund’s impact and concrete results. The Programme and Grantmaking Specialist will also be responsible for conceptualizing, managing and designing research methodology for the implementation of in-depth thematic and regional research projects on women’s economic and political empowerment. She/he will also be tasked with the conceptualization and implementation of the Fund’s capacity development strategy in order to facilitate the capture and systematization of best practices and lessons learned from grantee programmes. Finally, the Programme and Grantmaking Specialist will be responsible for providing ongoing support to the programmatic work of the Fund and support to the Chief and Deputy Manager of the Fund on an as needed basis.

In 2009, when the Fund became operational, it did so under the auspices of UNIFEM (now UN Women).

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Lead the design and execution of global grant making (estimated at $10 million USD per year) for the Fund for Gender Equality. Establish systems to facilitate high-volume, multi-lingual and regionally-based application review, including design and production of assessment criteria and deployment of statistically-sound scoring and ranking procedures that are independent, accountable and transparent (for 1000+ applicants, in a minimum of 4 languages, across Africa, Arab States; Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and Central Asia).
  • Develop external/public programmatic guidance, including the Call for Proposals and online Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Manage and maintain ongoing engagement with the Fund’s Technical Committee (high-level regional experts in economic and political empowerment) – including overseeing the Technical Committee nomination process; conceptualizing and conducting trainings on the independent review process; supporting Technical Committee use of the online database system; and compiling and analyzing their inputs during the grantmaking review process.
  • Conceptualize and implement the decentralization of strategic phases of the Fund’s grantmaking in alignment with UN Women’s Regional Architecture. Manage the involvement of the Fund’s Monitoring and Reporting Specialists in the provision of Technical Assistance to and the implementation of due diligence processes with Semi- Finalists (i.e. development of Full-Fledged proposals and completion of the NGO Assessment).
  • During grant review, oversee communication with appointed UN Women Focal Points (at Headquarters and the regional, multi-country and country offices) in order to ensure UN Women strategic engagement in grantmaking process.
  • Oversee and manage 50+ external consultants as needed for grant review, translation; provide technical assistance for database use during grant review, etc.
  • Collaborate with Knowledge Management and Information Systems (KM & IS) Specialist and to extract technical/technological requirements of the grantmaking process and contribute to the updating of the Fund’s online grant application and grants database.
  • Provide lead technical assistance to potential grant applicants to support the completion of applications, including Concept Notes and Full-Fledged Proposals, and ensure compliance with Fund’s policies (including results-based management) and application technologies.

Programme Management and Support

  • Manage the conceptualization and implementation of the Fund’s Capacity Development Strategy and associated activities with grantee partners (draft TORs for and recruit external Capacity Development partners i.e. research centers).
  • Liaise with the Fund’s Monitoring and Reporting Specialists as well as the Fund’s portfolio of grantees (55+ organizations in 47+ countries globally) in order to systematize capacity development priorities; conduct on-site missions to grantee organizations in order to capture key achievements, results, good practices and lessons learned related to the Fund’s capacity development activities (regionally and thematically).
  • Oversee ongoing monitoring and produce progress reports on FGE’s Capacity Development Strategy (i.e. measuring deliverables, etc.); ensure all lessons learned from capacity development activities are captured in order to feed into the Fund’s Knowledge Management Strategy.
  • Coordinate with UN Women and other UN agencies to ensure that the Fund’s capacity development activities are in alignment with and complementary to existing initiatives.
  • Support the implementation of the Fund’s Resource Mobilization and Fundraising work plan.
  • Conceptualize and implement a work plan to support Steering Committee engagement in grant making and fundraising processes (i.e. newsletter updates, grantee highlights and visits).
  • Conduct outreach, meetings and follow up with potential donors (i.e. Permanent Missions, private sector entities, and national development agencies, foundations and trusts) to present on the Fund’s achievements, impact and results.
  • Prepare select and effective and strategic written contributions donor constituencies, on an as needed basis.
  • Under the guidance of the Chief and Deputy Manager of the Fund, provide programmatic and operational guidance for the effective and efficient management of the Fund’s portfolio of grantees (55+ organizations in 47+ countries globally).
  • Organize internal meetings and events with UN WOMEN Thematic and Geographic Sections in order to raise awareness of and facilitate knowledge exchange about the Fund (i.e. brown bag series) and respond to programmatic inquiries of these sections as well as other UN Women departments.
  • Organize, participate in and/or represent the Fund in internal and external Committees, interagency Task Forces, PACs, UN inter-agency networks, on financing and grantmaking for women’s economic and political empowerment (i.e. conceptualize and create presentations on technical aspects of the Fund and its grantmaking work).
  • Collaborate with Knowledge Management Information Systems Specialist and UN Women Communications Section to ensure website programme information and external communication is current and to draft strategic content for the intranet and extranet.

Research and Strategic Communications

  • Draft and conceptualize strategic communications pieces (i.e. news briefs, updates for UN Women Senior Management and other stakeholders (i.e. Steering Committee, external audiences).
  • Research and keep abreast of emerging trends and key learning related to rights-based grant making.
  • Manage the Fund’s internal grant making systematization, in alignment with UN Women’s new Regional Architecture, including compilation of good practices and lessons learned on effective and efficient grant making procedures and policies.
  • Conduct research and comparative analysis on grant making as a fast track modality within UN Women and the UN System more broadly.
  • Develop a manual and deliver training to support the capacity of UN Women staff to integrate principles and approaches of grant making modality in the management of their respective regional, multi-country or country portfolios.
  • Research and draft analytical contributions on grantee progress and results in order to contribute to select communications products (i.e. case studies, short topical papers, FGE annual donor reports, speeches, and related products), in collaboration with the Programme and Reporting Specialist.
  • Conceptualize, manage and design research methodology for the implementation of in-depth thematic and regional research projects on women’s economic and political empowerment (i.e. qualitative research, conducting interviews, focus groups, etc.) with the Fund’s portfolio of grantees (55+ organizations in 47+ countries globally).
  • Coordinate outreach to Fund for Gender Equality grantees in support of the joint UN Women/UNICEF “Consultation on Inequalities” with women, adolescents and children, in all their diversity, and ensure the inclusion of their perspectives on the post-MDG and post-2015 roadmap.


Core Values and Guiding Principles:

  • Integrity:  Demonstrating consistency in upholding and promoting the values of UN Women in actions and decisions, in line with the UN Code of Conduct.
  • Cultural Sensitivity/Valuing diversity:   Demonstrating an appreciation of the multicultural nature of the organization and the diversity of its staff. Demonstrating an international outlook, appreciating differences in values and learning from cultural diversity.
Corporate Competencies:
  • Demonstrates integrity by upholding the United Nations’ values and ethical standards.
  • Promotes UN Women’s vision, mission and strategic goals.
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age-based sensitivity and adaptability.
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism.
Functional Skills:

Reporting and Project Management:
  • Knowledge of women’s organizations and governmental agencies working on women’s empowerment and gender equality globally.
  • Experience in projects and programmes related to women’s economic and/or political empowerment is desirable.
  • Experience in grantmaking.
  • Experience in project management.
  • Experience in supporting capacity development.
  • Experience in results-based management (RBM).
Management and Leadership:
  • Ability to manage for results: translate strategy into achievable plans, with established priorities, monitor them, making periodic adjustments as required.
  • Ability to process and systematize large amounts of information.
  • Outstanding organizational and communication skills.
  • Capacity to work with diverse partners including governments, civil society and women's groups; high-level experts.
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities.
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet strict deadlines.
  • Good interpersonal and diplomacy skills.
  • Ability to liaise with a diverse and remotely located team.
  • Ability to use critical thinking, conceptualize ideas, and articulate relevant subject matter in a clear and concise way.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English.
  • Working knowledge in other UN official languages is highly desirable.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with and relate to people of different cultures, demonstrating an ability to see issues from other perspectives.
Computer Skills:
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office software.
  • Proficiency in translating programmatic into technological requirements.
  • Proficiency with online communication, including Skype, etc .

Required Skills and Experience

  • Advanced University degree or equivalent in Political Science, International Development Studies, Gender/Women’s Studies, Economics or Sociology

  • At least 5 years of relevant national/international working experience in international development, in gender equality and women’s empowerment issues. Knowledge and experience working on women’s economic and political empowerment highly desirable.
  • In-depth knowledge of programming on women’s human rights and gender equality.
  • Substantive experience in grantmaking.
  • Project management experience for at least3 years – managing the deliverables, organizing implementation timelines, managing for deadlines, issues management, and conducting quality assurance.
  • Research and Strategic Communications experience – supporting the strategic analysis, drafting, and dissemination of programmatic content to a diverse audience of stakeholders.
  • Experience in the United Nations, a governmental, other multilateral or civil society organization in a developed or developing country highly desirable. 
  • Fluency in English and at least one other UN language.

In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The creation of UN Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact. It merges and builds on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system (DAW, OSAGI, INSTRAW and UNIFEM), which focused exclusively on gender equality and women's empowerment.

All applications must include (as an attachment) the completed UN Women Personal History form (P-11) which can be downloaded from http://www.unwomen.org/about-us/employment

Kindly note that the system will only allow one attachment. Applications without the completed UN Women P-11 form will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment.

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