UN Women: Research Specialist, MDGs and Post-2015 Framework

Application Deadline :14-Apr-13 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :TA International
Post Level :P-4
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :364 Days


UN Women, grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security.

The Research and Data Section is responsible for leading UN Women’s research and data agenda and for positioning UN Women as a global knowledge broker on gender equality and women’s empowerment. It produces knowledge products including UN Women flagship publications such as Progress of the World’s Women and The Survey of the Role of Women in Development.

Under the direct supervision of the Chief, Research and Data, the Research Specialist will be responsible for undertaking rights analysis and research on the gender equality dimensions of the post-2015 development framework, including the sustainable development goals (SDGs), and assuming substantive responsibility on defining principles and standards for addressing gender equality priorities (including goals, targets and indicators) in the future framework – both in terms of a separate gender equality goal and across all areas of the post-2015 framework.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Key Functions:
  • Research, analysis and drafting of UN Women’s inputs to a wide range of aspects of  the post-2015 framework, as well as critical analysis of the MDG framework (its strengths and limitations) and its outcomes (using statistical and other evidence). The work on the post-2015 includes research into development (economic and social), political, environmental, and security aspects of the post-2015 agenda and above all, attention to the constriction, messaging, and advocacy for a stand-alone gender goal.
  • Data analysis, including review and improvement of gender statistics and gender indicators related to MDGs, Post-2015 and SDGs.
  • Extensive awareness of literature and contemporary debates on the MDG and post-2015 agenda.
  • Drafting of policy papers and background notes.
  • Participation in UN Women internal coordination structures and UN Women’s contributions to interagency and intergovernmental structures relevant to the Post 2015 agenda 

Description of Functions:

Research and gender analysis in wide range of areas related to gender and other issues in the MDG framework (economic and social issues) and the post-2015 Framework, including gender issues related to sustainable development, good governance and security.
  • Conduct research on the priority areas for a gender equality goal in the post-2015 development framework, including economic, social and environmental policies.
  • Identify factors that have a positive or negative impact on women’s rights and women’s empowerment and that lead to transformations in gender relations.
  • Conduct analysis on ways to mainstream gender perspectives in a wide range of areas of sustainable development (covering economic, social and environmental aspects).
  • Lead preparation of review processes such as an Expert Group Meeting on the post-2015 agenda (from a gender perspective) and on a review of the performance of the MDG framework from a gender perspective.
  • Provide substantive support UN Women’s preparation and positioning for major interagency and intergovernmental reviews of the MDG agenda and preparation of the post-2015 agenda such as the September 2013 GA meeting on the topic of the performance of the MDG agenda, or the 2014 Commission of the Status of Women meetings.
  • Prepare the Secretary-General’s report(s) for the 2014 Commission on the Status of Women on the review of the MDGs.

Data analysis, including review and improvement of gender statistics and gender indicators related to MDGs, Post-2015 and SDGs :
  • Conduct research on existing qualitative and quantitative gender indicators, including indicators adopted by the UN Statistical Commission and indicators developed in a wide range of sectors (including but not limited to poverty, employment, health, education, participation, social protection, security/violence against women, care economy, sexual and reproductive health and rights, food, land, water, sanitation, energy, climate change).
  • Develop a set of gender indicators for potential goals in the post-2015 development agenda, including justification and feasibility.
  • Develop proposals for production of crucial baselines to secure the viability of proposed key indicators for the post – 2015 gender equality goal .

Conduct extensive and on-going analysis of  literature and contemporary debates on all aspects of the post-2015 agenda:

  • Review contemporary literature on feminist inputs into goal- and target-setting in the post-2015 development framework, including academia, women’s organizations and reports/documentation from UN system and special procedures of the Human Rights Council.
  • Maintain a ‘watching brief’ of the current debates on the post-2015 agenda including monitoring consultation processes, the work of High level panels and Working Groups such as the intergovernmental working group and the ‘Open Working Group’ and others that will be formed over time.
Drafting of policy papers and background notes:
  • Prepare position and analytical papers as detailed in item ‘1’ above; notably core position papers on the standalone gender equality goal, as well as communications materials (e.g. power points) related to this.
  • Prepare the SG report for the 2014 CSW review of the MDG framework.
  • Prepare annotated outlines for policy papers as requested by the Chief of Research and Data.
  • Timely preparation of drafts as detailed in this job Description, as well as additional paper, speeches and briefing notes that may be requested by the Chief of the research and Data section.

Support to UN Women internal coordination structures and UN Women’s contributions to interagency and intergovernmental structures relevant to the Post 2015 agenda.

  • Support coordination of the work of UN Women’s’ focal points on the many committees and consultations related to the post-2015 framework.
  • Ensure provision of appropriate background and analytical material to colleagues – build effective and timely communications systems internally.
  • Contribute to thematic working groups
  • Represent UN Women in interagency working groups such as the Post-2015 UN-Task Team and other such venues as requested by the Chief of the Research and Data Section.
  • Assist in short-term contracting for commissioned papers.
  • Support the work of the communications department in messaging UN Women’s’ positions on the post 2015 agenda.
Impact of Results:

The Research Specialist delivers high quality contributions to policy papers and reports; produces analytical inputs and advice. The Specialist supports further development of UN Women’s knowledge base on the UN development agenda.

The key results directly impact on the overall quality of the Division’s contributions related to post 2015 development framework including the sustainable development goals (SDGs) leading to enhanced visibility and image of UN Women as an effective leader on gender equality and women’s rights and empowerment.


Core Values and Guiding Principles:
  • Integrity:Demonstrate consistency in upholding and promoting the values of UN Women in actions and decisions, in line with the UN Code of Conduct.
  • Professionalism:   Demonstrate professional competence and expert knowledge of the pertinent substantive areas of work.
  • Cultural sensitivity and valuing diversity:   Demonstrate an appreciation of the multicultural nature of the organization and the diversity of its staff. Demonstrate an international outlook, appreciating difference in values and learning from cultural diversity.
Core Competencies:
  • Ethics and Values:Demonstrate and safeguard ethics and integrity.
  • Organizational Awareness:Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment
  • Development and Innovation: Take charge of self-development and take initiative.
  • Work in teams: Demonstrate ability to work in a multicultural, multi ethnic environment and to maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds.
  • Communicating and Information Sharing:  Facilitate and encourage open communication and strive for effective communication.
  • Self-management and Emotional Intelligence: Stay composed and positive even in difficult moments, handle tense situations with diplomacy and tact, and have a consistent behavior towards others.
  • Conflict Management:   Surface conflicts and address them proactively acknowledging different feelings and views and directing energy towards a mutually acceptable solution.
  • Continuous Learning and Knowledge Sharing:   Encourage learning and sharing of knowledge
  • Appropriate and Transparent Decision Making: Demonstrate informed and transparent decision making.
Functional Competencies:
  •  Advanced analytical skills with a firm disciplinary grounding in relevant social science disciplines.
  • Ability to conduct research and analysis and draft high quality clear and concise outputs under time constraints.
  • Familiarity with statistical analysis and indicators, especially gender-related statistics and indicators; ability to prepare quantitative and qualitative studies, utilizing statistical analysis.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Excel is a must and familiarity with other statistical packages is desirable.
  • Proven ability to advocate and provide policy advice on wide range of gender equality issues and development.
  • Ability to organize and complete multiple tasks by establishing priorities, timelines, sensible delegation and supervision, and tracking delivery.
  • Ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and monitor own work plan.
  • Knowledge of methodologies and best practices for promoting gender equality and women’s human rights.
  • Proven experience working with the UN in development contexts.
  • Ability to work with women’s movements, NGOs and civil society networks, and familiarity with women's rights organizations and networks in the region and globally Experience working on MDGs and engagement in post-2015 discussions from a gender perspective is a clear advantage.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s degree or higher in economics, gender studies, political science, international relations, security studies, development studies, public policy or other related disciplines.
  • Degree or diploma in statistical analysis or quantitative research methodologies is an advantage.


  • Minimum of 7 years of relevant professional experience in research and writing on development frameworks and gender equality and women’s rights issues, including statistical analysis and development of indicators.
  • Experience with the UN development system  highly desirable.


  • Fluency in English is required (oral and written); excellent drafting skills.
  • Knowledge the other UN working languages is an advantage.

  • 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.
UN Women Background:

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.

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