Regional Practice Leader (RPL) Gender

Location : Istanbul, TURKEY
Application Deadline :22-Nov-13 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Gender Equality
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :P-5
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :1 year
Expected Duration of Assignment :Renewable


UNDP Practice Architecture
UNDP's Strategic Plan 2014-2017 articulates how important is for the organization to be more effective in helping countries respond to increasingly complex and inter-connected development challenges.

The UNDP Global Framework for Policy Support to the UNDP Strategic Plan serves as a framework for better organizing UNDP to provide the following:
  • a) to transpose global policy services to the regional level and to manage the policy interface with the country offices of the region;
  • b) to ensure that regional and global processes benefit from the practical experience gained at the country level, and vice versa;
  • c) to bring timely, effective, and substantive policy advice and technical assistance services to the country offices through strengthened policy architecture at the global regional and country level.
The Bureau for Development Policy (BDP) is responsible for articulating UNDP’s global development policy, using evidence gathered through country applications, regional experiences and global interactions. BDP has a key role to play in helping country offices to accelerate human development by supporting the country offices in the design and implementation of programmes and projects that effectively contribute to the national-level policies and results. Driven by demand, and working through Regional Bureaus and the Regional Service Centers, BDP provides the global tools, analysis and capacities that country offices need to make a real difference in UNDP’s work.
BDP supports country offices through the 5 Regional Service Centres (RSCs) in Bangkok, Istanbul, Cairo, Addis Ababa, and Panama City. The management structure at the RSCs level in Istanbul, Cairo, Addis Ababa, and Panama City is composed of a dedicated Regional Practice Leader (RPL) for each thematic area, and a number of technical policy and programme Advisors and Specialists. The Regional Practice Leader, gender will be based in Istambul and will cover the Europe/CIS and Asia/Pacific.
The RPL coordinates the RSC gender teams, regardless of funding source, to promote consistency and coherence across programmes.  
Thematic Approach:
For UNDP, the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment is an intrinsic goal on its own as well as a driver of development overall. Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women has a pivotal significance for UNDP, understanding that sustainable human development will not fully achieved unless women and girls are able to contribute on an equal basis with men and boys to their societies.

UNDP works to implement gender equality through a two-pronged approach (i) mainstreaming gender in all priority areas; and, (ii) dedicated interventions that empower women and promote gender equality. UNDP’s work on gender equality is guided by the UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017 and the Gender Equality Strategy of the organization, which is aligned with the UNDP Strategic Plan. The UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017 while includes an outcome on faster progress in reducing gender inequality and promoting women’s empowerment, it integrates also gender equality and women’s empowerment throughout the rest of the outcomes.

The organization is in the process of developing a new gender equality strategy which will complement the new Strategic Plan. This Gender Equality Strategy will outlines in detail how UNDP works towards gender equality in each of the outcomes set out in the UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017. In addition, the Strategy will sets out institutional arrangements to achieve the expected gender equality results.  To this end, several global initiatives have been launched, such as the gender equality seal, the gender marker, which help strengthening accountability for gender equality results in the organization.

The objective of the strategy is that by the end of the next strategic plan period of 2014-2017, UNDP leveraging on its comparative advantage will:
  • Work with our partnerships with governments at the formal, institutional level to promote legal and policy reforms that eliminate structural barriers to gender equalities and put in place policies to empower women;
  • Convene diverse partnerships to bring together civil society advocates, academics and government to address gender equality and women’s empowerment through policy and legal reform;
  • Be recognized as a thought leader, through our Human Development Reports, MDG Reports and other evidence-based publications, which enables us to advocate for policy reforms and changes in social norms and behaviors; and,
  • Draw upon our extensive presence around the world to bring best practices from one region to another.
The Gender Team (HQ GT) of the Bureau of Development for Policy provides policy advice and technical support to all of UNDP’s operations. The Regional Practice Leader will work in close collaboration with the Bureau of Asia and Pacific (RBAP), and Europe and Central Asia (RBEC) and BDP HQ Gender Team to respond to the multiple gender related challenges in the region. The RPL will be part of the development of the new Gender Equality Strategy of the organization and move forward UNDP’s gender equality agenda in both regions and will be instrumental in supporting country offices meet the development and institutional results related to gender equality, as they will be set in the upcoming strategy.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Regional Practice Leader’s role is to strengthen the global gender policy architecture in both regions. S/he will provide substantive leadership and oversight to ensure systematic and strategic integration of gender equality and women’s empowerment in the UNDP’s work in both regions.  S/he will provide high level policy advisory services to country offices, governments and other partners in the region.

This also includes substantive and content leadership in UNDP’s corporate discussions and inter-agency coordination on gender equality.  S/he will also be engaged in development of the gender equality strategy/action plan for Asia and Pacific and Europe and the CIS, which will be aligned with the forthcoming Gender Equality Strategy. S/he will also be engaged in strengthening planning and accountability for gender equality results in the region through the use of the corporate accountability tools and mechanisms. As a result, the incumbent will be accountable for the delivery and quality of results to the Regional Manager of APRC Bangkok, the Regional Director (DRD) of Istanbul RSC and the Gender Team Director (GT) in BDP, NY.
He/she will report to the Regional Director of APRC Bangkok and Regional Director of Istanbul on all matters related to the planning and delivery of demand-based gender support to Country Offices and necessary support to respective regional programmes, and to the Gender Team Director in BDP/New York on issues pertaining to compliance with Gender practice policies, norms and standards, and contribution to global evidence-based knowledge.

The incumbent will be responsible for the following functions:
  • Management and Coordination;
  • Delivery of Policy Advisory Services, and the development of country office capacity;
  • Policy development and Advocacy;
  • Partnership Building;
  • Knowledge Management and capacity;
  • Quality Assurance.
Management and Coordination:
  • Provide substantive support and managerial leadership of the Gender Equality team and coordination for all personnel engaged in related operational activities in Istanbul and Bangkok RSCs including on regional programmes in keeping with the respective RSC management structures; Lead advocacy in the areas of gender equality and the empowerment of women in both regions including promotion of global policies, norms and standards and the sharing and effective dissemination of global and regional experiences;
  • Ensure UNDP’s credibility in delivery on a highly visible programme which in turn links to UNDP’s delivery on its Strategic Plan 2014-2017;
  • Lead and manage Regional Projects for gender equality with accountability for delivery where needed in consultation with the relevant management structures of the RSCs;
  • Engage with national and regional partners to address gender equality priorities in the region.
  • Create and consolidate the gender equality group of both regions to support Country Offices in close consultation with relevant RSC management structures;
  • Manage all activities related to the group’s functions at both RSCs including direct supervision, when appropriate, of the technical policy and programme advisors and specialists, create positive team environment and ensure access to learning; opportunities for all staff;
  • Collaborate with the Practice Director, Gender Team, BDP, New York; and policy advisors at headquarters to be up to date and contribute to evolving research and policy-options in gender related areas of work;
  • Provide project management oversight including development/management of regional and global programmes where necessary;
  • Develop and implement work plans;
  • Support the Global Tracking system for service provision.
Delivery of Policy Advisory Services, and the development of country office capacity:
  • Develop, in close partnership with the Practice Director, Gender, BDP in New York, corporate policy and guidance in gender equality;
  • Provide policy advisory services to priority Country Offices, Governments and other partners in both regions in a specialized technical area;
  • Ensure liaison with priority country offices to support the inclusion of gender equality and women’s empowerment issues at the planning stages of country programmes (and regional programmes);
  • Contribute to the design and formulation of CO programmes and projects/regional programmes and projects drawing upon lessons from programmes and other initiatives in the region and from global experiences;
  • Provide guidance on cross thematic issues and lead the development of cross disciplinary synergy on gender equality and women’s empowerment areas of work;
  • Provide policy advisory services and overall management support to the Bureau’s regional programmes (both RBEC &RBAP);
  • Strengthen internal priority COs capacity on the use of UNDP corporate cluster development frameworks;
  • Promote the utilization of financial resources mobilized and allocated for regional and country programmes and in HQ, thematic trust funds, facilitating access to these funds by country offices and regional projects.
Policy Development and Advocacy:
  • Develop corporate policy and guidance in focus area with the Gender Team Director in BDP NY;
  • Provide substantive inputs to international fora to help shape global and regional development strategies, policies, norms and standards;
  • Provide substantive leadership in UNDP corporate discussions and Inter-Agency coordination on gender priorities in the region;
  • Contribute to development of corporate global policies, norms and standard, working with Practice Director, Gender Team, BDP NY, linking RBA’s focal points; 
  • Support development and communication of UN/UNDP’s policy positions on gender equality and women’s empowerment; 
  • Lead advocacy in the region on promotion of global policies, norms and standards and the sharing of the practice’s global experience on gender equality and women’s empowerment;
  • Work closely with regional institutions, civil society (in particular, women’s organizations) and UN agencies (in particular UN Women) to mobilize partnerships, resources and overall support for implementation of gender equality strategy in the region.
Partnership Building:
  • Effectively position UNDP’s gender capacity within the UN system to foster consistency in approach, within the regional level by scanning and assessing activities of non-UNDP players in local context and in support of UNCTs and UNDP CO programming arrangements with government counterparts;
  • Maintain strong partnerships and synergies with UN Women;
  • Provides guidance and leadership for the engagement of civil society, particularly with women’s organizations in regional and country programmes;
  • Maintain strong and regular policy relationships with key donors in the area of work to support resource mobilization for country and regional projects;
  • Maintain strong relationships with civil society, particularly women’s organizations, women’s networks, gender Ministers and Ministries, and women’s associations on issues including but not limited to gender in aid effectiveness, women’s economic and political empowerment;
  • Maintain and strengthen partnerships with key multilaterals (BWIs, Regional Banks, etc) and key regional institutions to support the practice architecture;
Knowledge Management and capacity:
  • Contribute region-wide lessons learnt, best practices and knowledge into UNDP’s strategies in the region, including to inform global policies; 
  • Lead and strengthen a cross--regional Gender Community of Practice (COP-RBAP/RBEC) and connect such community to other communities of practice and networks  and to ensure cross-regional/thematic collaboration and synergies;
  • Coordinate and capitalize on the approaches and tools in other practices;
  • Develop and update expert roster for the region on gender equality and each thematic areas of UNDP’s work.
  • Develop with the Knowledge Management Team,  in co-ordination with the Practice Director, region-wide lessons learnt, best practices and generate knowledge needed and lessons learnt to shape UNDP’s global strategies in the region; 
  • Enhance internal capacities of priority country offices and the RSCs to manage and deliver on gender equality results.
  • Effectively support capacity development and overall training and learning for gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Quality Assurance: 
  • Provide Quality Assurance to ensure alignment with global development policies, norms and standards;
  • Coordinate delivery of demand-driven service delivery to country offices and regional programmes ensuring professionalism in support – e.g. timelines, responsiveness, quality in deliverables etc.;
  • Promote quality standards including long-term locally driven initiatives;
  • Ensure cross-practice approach and cross-regional collaboration back into the global practice level.
  • Systemize norms and standards for project and program management by developing tools including but not limited to templates, tip sheets, guidelines etc.) and by establishing a clear mechanism for reporting on gender equality results.

Impact of results:

The Regional Practice Leader’s role will impact strengthening of the global policy architecture of UNDP the quality and relevance of programme and project management in the gender equality and women’s empowerment practice/area and the results of UNDP’s programmes in both regions. In turn, it will impact UNDP’s capacity to deliver on its upcoming Strategic Plan 2014-2017 and its accompanying Gender Equality Strategy.  The Regional Practice Leader is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Gender Equality Strategy in two regions: Asia and Pacific and Europe and Central Asia. 


Corporate Competencies:
  • Demonstrates integrity and fairness, by modeling the UN/UNDP’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
Functional Competencies:
  • A self-starter with demonstrated credibility to carry missions and country support;
  • Strong ability to apply various gender equality and women’s empowerment related approaches to the specific context, including translating practice principles into effective policy/ and programme interventions in the field;
  • Strong substantive knowledge and experience of gender and ability to link knowledge to UN/UNDP global policies, processes and frameworks;
  • Capacity to interact with senior officials and credibly influence senior decision makers in UNDP programme countries and other international development organizations;
  • Strong analytical, negotiation and communication skills, including ability to produce high quality practical advisory reports and knowledge products, represent the organization and present global policies, norms and tools;
  • Professional and/or academic experience in one or more of the areas of gender equality and women’s empowerment practice area;
  • Demonstrated skills in planning, managing and reporting gender equality results.
Managing Relationships:
  • Demonstrated well developed people management and organizational management skills;
  • Strong ability to manage teams; creating an enabling environment, mentoring and developing staff;
  • Excellent negotiating and networking skills with strong partnerships in academia, technical organizations and as a recognized expert in the gender equality and women’s empowerment practice area;
  • Strong resource mobilization and partnering skills and ability to accept accountability for management of large volume of financial resources;
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a matrixed environment balancing regional and global priorities and tasks.
Managing Complexity:
  • Ability to address global development issues;
  • Substantive knowledge and understanding of development cooperation with the ability to support the practice architecture of UNDP and inter-disciplinary issues;
  • Demonstrated substantive leadership and ability to integrate knowledge with broader strategic, policy and operational objectives;
  • A sound global network of institutional and individual relationships.
  • Mature judgment and initiative;
  • Proven ability to provide strategic direction in gender equality and women’s empowerment practice area;
  • Independent judgment and discretion in advising on handling major policy issues and challenges, uses diplomacy and tact to achieve results.
  • Knowledge Management and Learning:
  • Develop with the Knowledge Management Team,  in co-ordination with the Practice Director, region-wide lessons learnt, best practices and generate knowledge needed and lessons learnt to shape UNDP’s global strategies in the region; 
  • Participate in local KM sharing events and support the corporate KM agenda; 
  • Support the development of a knowledge system and support the utilization of KM strategies and tools; 
  • Link KM to business processes; and 
  • Promote UN wide Knowledge Management Strategies. Capacity to manage and deliver gender equality results.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work in and build multi-cultural teams;
  • Recognizes and responds appropriately to the ideas, interests and concerns of others; builds trust by displaying open, transparent and credible behavior;
  • Respects individual/cultural differences; utilizes diversity to foster teamwork;
  • Ensures others’ understanding of, involvement in, adaptation to a change process;
  • Provides and responds constructively to feedback (correction or recognition);
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and to provide credible leadership;
  • Innovative approaches/experience on global development issues;
  • Demonstrated intellectual leadership and ability to integrate knowledge with broader strategic overview and corporate vision;
  • Demonstrated flexibility in leadership by performing and/or overseeing the analysis/resolution of complex issues;
  • Strong managerial/leadership experience and decision-making skills with proven track record of mature judgments;
  • Ability to conceptualize and convey strategic vision from the spectrum of development experience;
  • Knowledge and expertise/recognized expert in the gender equality and women’s empowerment practice area;
  • Proven ability to lead a gender equality and women’s empowerment practice area and drive for results.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s degree in gender and development or similar disciplines (e.g. women’s studies).


  • 10 years of overall relevant professional experience as well as a proven professional record in the gender equality and women’s empowerment practice area;
  • Work experience from a developing country context and familiarity with Asia and Pacific/Europe and Central Asia and its development challenges are highly desirable;
  • A track record of extensive national and international working experience with increasing managerial responsibilities in the development arena and UNDP’s practice areas and the ability to link to global policy development for UNDP.

Language requirements:

  • Fluency and proficiency in English.

Click here for important information for US Permanent Residents ('Green Card' holders).
UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

If you are experiencing difficulties with online job applications, please contact

© 2016 United Nations Development Programme