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International Consultant for a Thematic Evaluation of Women’s Economic Empowerment
|Advertised on behalf of :|
|Location :||Beijing, CHINA|
|Application Deadline :||16-May-22 (Midnight New York, USA)|
|Type of Contract :||Individual Contract|
|Post Level :||International Consultant|
|Languages Required :||English|
|Starting Date :|
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
|Duration of Initial Contract :||6 months|
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.
UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.
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.? Placing women’s rights at the centre of all its efforts, UN Women leads and coordinates United Nations system efforts to ensure that commitments on gender equality and gender mainstreaming translate into action throughout the world. It provides strong and coherent leadership in support of Member States’ priorities and efforts, building effective partnerships with civil society and other relevant actors.
A key area of concern for UN Women is women’s economic empowerment (WEE) as expressed in UN Women’s Strategic Plan 2022-2025 as well as in the targets and indicators of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 for gender equality and women’s empowerment and of several other SDGs relating to inclusive growth, decent work, ending poverty, and reducing inequality, and revitalizing the global partnership for sustainable development. The Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) is one of UN Women’s four established thematic impact areas, and its work on WEE aligns with key global normative frameworks and international commitments, including the Beijing Platform for Action, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and a series of International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions on gender equality.
Making up more than 90% of all companies globally, SMEs are the world’s main engine of economic development. Yet the impact wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic since 2020 has led to a series of severe challenges for SMEs and their leaders, ranging from rising operating costs to serious shortages of funds and recruitment difficulties. This has led, in many cases, to business stagnation and decline. One of the most serious consequences of the outbreak and control measures is the negative impact on economic development. Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)/ companies are most vulnerable in front of such emergency: according to a survey published on 6 February 2020, based on the remaining balance of cash, 85% SMEs cannot survive for over 3 months, and only 9.27% can survive more than 6 months.
Mass job losses have already started, such as workers in the SMEs in the most-affected sectors, especially daily wage workers, such as care workers, transport workers, cleaners, waitress, who are disproportionately women. The Chinese government is responding to the epidemic in unprecedented ways, to curb the spread of outbreak, treating patients, and mitigate the socioeconomic impacts of the outbreak.
Besides women workers and women-led SMEs, the COVID-19 has aggravated existing inequalities including the increased unpaid care work, especially for women, with children out-of-school, heightened care needs of older persons and overwhelmed health services. Domestic workers have been affected severely by the COVID-19 outbreak. Nearly three-quarters of domestic workers around the world – more than 55 million people – are at significant risk of losing their jobs and income due to lockdown and lack of effective social security coverage, according to new estimates by the ILO.
Recent years, as one drive to economic growth, care work including unpaid and paid care work has been increasingly recognized and discussed. Unpaid care work is often uncounted or undervalued.  All over the world, women have shouldered disproportionately the unpaid care. Globally, the time women spend on unpaid care and domestic work is 3.2 times as that of men on average.  The amount of time devoted to unpaid care work is negatively correlated with female labour force participation, the quality of employment and gender wage gaps. The inequality in economic status further affects gender equality in all aspects of the society. 
On the other hand, the paid care work (especially domestic work), is also normally undervalued, which affected the well-being of domestic workers as well as the provision of affordable and high quality domestic service. The paid care work performed by domestic workers is largely informal and lacking legal protection. Among 67 million domestic workers worldwide, only 10 per cent have access to social security, the majority of domestic workers have no unemployment insurance, and no work injury insurance.
 Policy Brief, The Impact of COVID-19 on Women, April 2020
 Care work includes direct care activities, such as feeding a baby or nursing an ill person and indirect care activities, such as cooking and cleaning.
 Diane Elson, Labor markets as gendered institutions: Equality, efficiency and empowerment issues, World Development, vol. 27, No. 3, pp. 611–627 (1999).
 International Labor Organization, Care Work and Care Jobs for the Future of Decent Work (2018)
 OECD Development Centre, 2014. Unpaid Care Work: The missing link in the analysis of gender gaps in labour outcomes (2014).
 ILO, Beyond contagion or starvation: giving domestic workers another way forward (2020)
WEE portfolio of UN Women China
UN Women China works to advance the economic empowerment of women so that they have income security, decent work, and economic autonomy. To achieve this, UN Women China partners with a range of allies, from UN agencies to government ministries, to regional bodies and international financial institutions, to women’s entrepreneurship organisations, and together work to transform the care economy by pushing for women to be recognized and paid for their work. The office also advocates for equal pay, support women as leaders and entrepreneurs, and work to close the digital divide to ensure women and girls have equal access to opportunities, including through capacity building and reskilling in the context of rural revitalization in China. Moreover, it works with companies and industry associations to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community via the women’s empowerment principles (WEPs), which has been signed by over 260 Chinese companies till date. Key highlights in this thematic impact are include: (i) building the capacity and increasing market-access of over 69,000 rural women and 6 business networks in a climate-smart economic empowerment programme in Qinghai; and (ii) empower over 600 women entrepreneurs, and especially women owned SMEs, through capacity development and enhanced access to market and finance and sharing the inspirational stories of women-owned businesses’ COVID-19 resilience to almost 1 million people.
Since May 2020, UN Women China implemented two projects in WEE portfolio that will be covered by this evaluation. To avert this trend Covid-19 scourge on SMEs, UN Women’s China office launched the project “Supporting Women to Recover from the Social and Economic Impact of the COVID-19” in May 2020. Supported by the Rockcheck Puji Foundation, the project aims to help women-led SMEs and women workers recover quickly from the economic losses caused by the pandemic, and to strengthen their skills and resilience in crisis response and contingency planning. The project’s outcome is actions of government, women entrepreneurs and relevant stakeholders aimed at economic recovery from COVID-19 pandemic benefit women and help build back the economy in a more gender responsive way. Besides the support to SMEs, UN Women launched another project under the WEE portfolio titled” WeCare-Mobilizing companies to address unpaid care work and violence against women in the workplace” in November 2020. The purpose of the project is to increase number of private sector companies to implement the WEPs and promote gender-sensitive business culture and practices.
In line with the evaluation plan in 2022, UN Women China Country office will manage a thematic evaluation of the WEE portfolio with an in-depth look at two projects i.e. 1) WeCare project and 2) a project on Supporting Women to Recover from Socio-economic Impacts of Covid-19, in order to provide a holistic and strategic recommendations to decision making, learning and accountability for the WEE portfolio of UN Women China country office. UN Women undertakes evaluations to enhance accountability, inform decision making, and contribute to learning. An external evaluation team leader and national evaluation consultant will be engaged to conduct the evaluation. In conducting the evaluation, the consultant team should continuously make reference to the guiding documents for evaluation at UN Women, which includes: the Evaluation Policy, the Evaluation Handbook, the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) Norms for Evaluation in the UN System and Ethical Guidelines, Evaluation Chapter of the Programme and Operations Manual (POM), the Global Evaluation Reports Assessment and Analysis System (GERAAS) evaluation report quality checklist, the United Nations System Wide Action Plan Evaluation Performance Indicator (UN-SWAP EPI). The report will be assessed against the GERAAS standards.
Purpose of the evaluation
UN Women China Country Office will engage two evaluation consultants (one international and one a national) to conduct the thematic evaluation of the WEE portfolio. The evaluation is aimed at feeding learnings into how much UN Women’s efforts contribute to gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in China and the extent to which synergies between efforts are leveraged for a coherent portfolio.
The findings and recommendations will be used to inform the coming country strategic note development, especially in the Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) portfolio as one of the key areas of UN Women China, specifically in the context of women entrepreneurs from SMEs and private sector. It will also serve accountability purposes in responding to the requirement of donors and potentially be used as reference to relevant stakeholders including government and CSO partners.
Objectives of the Evaluation
The objectives of the thematic evaluation will include:
Evaluation criteria and key questions
In alignment with the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG), the evaluation will address the following evaluation criteria: relevance, coherence, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability and human rights and gender equality.
The following key evaluation questions will be refined during the inception phase:
6) Human rights and gender equality
The questions above are a suggestion and could be changed during the inception phase in consultation with members of the Evaluation Reference Group and UN Women Regional Evaluation team. The questions will be revised by the evaluation team during the Inception Phase.
Duties and Responsibilities
Scope of the Evaluation
Thematic scope: This evaluation is expected to assess UN Women WEE portfolio’s contribution, activities implementation and lessons learned from the WEE portfolio with specific focus on both the ‘Supporting Women to Recover from Socio-economic Impact of COVID-19’ Project and WeCare Project.
Timeframe: The thematic WEE evaluation is expected to assess the project and activities implemented by both UN Women China team and its Responsible Parties from 19 May 2020- 1 December 2022.
Geographical coverage: Overall, the WEE portfolio is implemented in mainland China. However, this evaluation will focus on two projects including Supporting Women to Recover from Socio-economic Impact of COVID-19 implemented at Wuhan and Tianjin and the WeCare project implemented mainly in Beijing and Shanghai.
Evaluation design (process and methods)
The evaluation will be conducted in a participatory manner; key stakeholders will be involved in all phases of the evaluation, including the planning, inception, fact-finding and reporting phases. In the design, the evaluation will apply mixed methods with quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis components to ensure complementarity. An outcome harvesting approach is recommended and a gender-responsive approach at all stages of the evaluation. The evaluation design is non-experimental and gender-responsive and uses a mix of evaluation approaches while ensuring triangulation of information. The design of the evaluation will be theory-based, and the Theory of Change of the Projects would be used as the basis for the evaluation, which will be reconstructed through a theory of change workshop with the programme team. The evaluation methodology would enable achievement of the evaluation purpose, be aligned with the evaluation approach, and be designed to address the evaluation criteria and answer the key questions through credible techniques for data collection and analysis.
At UN Women the evaluation process includes four phases:
• Preparation: This includes the stakeholder analysis and establishment of the reference group, development of the ToR, and recruitment of the evaluation team;
• Conduct: Inception report, stakeholder workshop, data collection and analysis
• Reporting: Presentation of preliminary findings, draft and final reports
• Use and follow up: Management response, dissemination of the report, and follow up to the implementation of the management response
Data collection methods and data sources: Mixed data collection methods should be used as well as on-line and/or off-line data/information collection from the key project stakeholders (beneficiaries, the associated government and non-government agencies, the project responsible partner, etc.).
A sampling methodology for data collection should be developed. The analysis will be built on triangulating information collected from different stakeholders (project staff, project implementing partners, stakeholders, and beneficiaries) through different methods including secondary data and documentation review and primary data.
Regular meetings will be organized with the evaluation reference committee and the project team as the main entity for project implementation, informing on and verifying the stage of evaluation, seeking relevant data and coordinating organizational issues. It should critically examine the information gathered from the various sources and synthesize the information in an objective manner. If contradictory information is obtained from different stakeholders, an effort should be made to understand the reasons for such information, including any gender-based factors and differences. The evaluation must provide evidence-based information that is credible, reliable and useful.
The Evaluators/consultants shall review the following documents before conducting any interviews: Project documentation, progress reports (baseline, end-line and annual report), work plans, monitoring data, workshop reports, country data, policies, legal documents, etc. The preliminary suggestions for data collection methods to be envisaged include Documentation review (Desk review), Key informant Interviews; Surveys; Focus group discussions and presentation of findings to the UN Women and the wider stakeholders for validation prior to the preparation of the final report.
Limitations: Limitations regarding COVID-19 may affect the ability to meet with key stakeholders face-to-face or organize offline focus groups, the interviews have to be conducted virtually.
Participatory evaluation is encouraged in UN system. Stakeholders including but not limited to local government agencies, civil societies, women’s groups and leaders will be invited to participate in the process of the evaluation. The evaluators are expected to discuss during the Inception phase how the process will ensure participation of stakeholders at all stages, with a specific emphasis on members of women organizations and networks, rights holders and their representatives. The evaluators are expected to consult with vulnerable groups (e.g. ethnic minorities, women with disabilities, LGBTIQ+ and others) during data collection and apply an inclusive and participatory approach which will ensure active participation and involvement of stakeholders at all levels of the project.
The evaluators will finalize the list of key stakeholders/informants and the appropriate data collection methods for each informant category (such as semi-structured or in-depth interviews, expert interviews, focus groups), which will be chosen in close coordination with the project team.
Expected Deliverables and schedule
Management of evaluation
Under the supervision of the China Country Office WEE Programme Manager, and in close coordination with the WEE team, an international consultant and a national consultant will be hired to undertake this evaluation. The evaluation manager will be dedicated to coordinate the evaluation process. WEE team of UN Women China office will provide the support needed, including but not limited to project documents and relevant materials, assist with liaising and coordinate the meeting schedules as needed. An evaluation reference group that will consist of key stakeholders in WEE portfolio from a diverse range of stakeholders will be established for substantive technical support ensure diverse perspectives. UN Women Regional evaluation team will provide quality assurance throughout the evaluation process.
The international consultant’s role:
Ethical code of conduct
The evaluators should abide by the principle of UN Evaluation Group’s Ethical Guideline and Code of Conduct for Evaluation in UN System and follow the UN Women Evaluation Handbook. UN Women has developed a UN Women Evaluation Consultants Agreement Form for evaluators that must be signed as part of the contracting process, which is based on the UNEG Ethical Guidelines. These documents will be annexed to the contract. The four principles of ethics in evaluation are: 1. Integrity (the active adherence to moral values and professional standards, which are essential for responsible evaluation practice); 2. Accountability (the obligation to be answerable for all decisions made and actions taken; to be responsible for honouring commitments, without qualification or exception; and to report potential or actual harms observed through the appropriate channels); 3. Respect (involves engaging with all stakeholders of an evaluation in a way that honours their dignity, well-being and personal agency while being responsive to their sex, gender, race, language, country of origin, LGBTQI+ status, age, background, religion, ethnicity and ability and to cultural, economic and physical environments); and 4. Beneficence (means striving to do good for people and planet while minimizing harms arising from evaluation as an intervention) The evaluation’s value added is its impartial and systematic assessment of the programme or intervention. As with the other stages of the evaluation, involvement of stakeholders should not interfere with the impartiality of the evaluation. The evaluator(s) have the final judgment on the findings, conclusions and recommendations of the evaluation report, and the evaluator(s) must be protected from pressures to change information in the report. Additionally, if the evaluator(s) identify issues of wrongdoing, fraud or other unethical conduct, UN Women procedures must be followed, and confidentiality be maintained. If any indication of misconduct is identified, including sexual exploitation and abuse, the Director of IEAS will be informed and it will be referred to OIOS immediately in line with the UN Women Legal Framework for Addressing Non-Compliance with UN Standards of Conduct, and accompanying policies protecting against retaliation and prohibiting harassment and abuse of authority.
The evaluators will obtain oral informed consent from participants to participate in the evaluation activities prior to engaging in data collection. The evaluation team members will read the statement of intent of the evaluation and request the individual to express their willingness to participate or not prior to initiating the discussion or interview in English and/or the local language.
An ethical protocol should be developed as part of the inception report detailing how the data collection from the stakeholders and beneficiaries will obtain informed consent. The data should be safeguarded in the whole process of collection, utilization and maintain to ensure the confidentiality and rights protected in line with UN Women policy.
All data collected through this evaluation is subject to the UN Women Information Security Policy that sets out the basis for UN Women in protecting the confidentiality, integrity and availability of its data to protect these assets against unauthorized usage, access, modification, destruction, disclosure, loss or transfer of data, whether accidental or intentional. All UN Women staff and other authorized individuals or entities are responsible for maintaining appropriate control over information in their care and for bringing any potential threats to the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of that information to the attention of the appropriate management. Compliance with this Policy is a condition of employment for all UN Women staff and a condition of contract for all other authorized individuals or entities, unless a prior (temporary) waiver is obtained. Failure to comply with this Policy without obtaining a prior waiver shall be dealt with in accordance with Staff Regulations and Rules, or as appropriate, the contractual terms of UN Women’s engagement of the authorized individual or entity. Data Management Plan outlining key aspects of data protection during this evaluation, namely collection of data and study materials; treatment of consulted populations and observed topics; storage, security and backups; archiving, preservation and curation. The data may be requested and would be property of UN Women.
 UN Women Evaluation Handbook Tools: https://genderevaluation.unwomen.org/en/evaluation-handbook/tools
Please visit this link for more information on UN Women’s Core Values and Competencies:
Required Skills and Experience
Experience and Skills:
Evaluation criteria for proposals
Applications will be evaluated based on the cumulative analysis.
A two-stage procedure is utilized in evaluating the applications, with evaluation of the technical application being completed prior to any price proposal being compared. The total number of points allocated for the technical qualification component is 100. Only the price proposal of the candidates who passed the minimum technical score of 70% of the obtainable score of 100 points in the technical qualification evaluation will be evaluated.
Financial/Price Proposal evaluation
Submission of Proposal
Interested candidates are encouraged to submit electronic application (consolidated as ONE attachment) online, no later than 16 May 2022. Kindly note the system will only allow one attachment, please combine below listed submission package into one.
Submission package includes:
Consultant’s performance will be evaluated based on timeliness, responsibility, initiative, communication, accuracy, and quality of the products delivered.
Payments for this consultancy will be based on the achievement of each deliverable and certification that each has been satisfactorily completed. Payments will not be based on the number of days worked but on the completion of each stated deliverable within the indicated timeframes on satisfactory completion of task.
At UN Women, we are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. UN Women recruits, employs, trains, compensates, and promotes regardless of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ability, national origin, or any other basis covered by appropriate law. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, competence, integrity and organizational need.
If you need any reasonable accommodation to support your participation in the recruitment and selection process, please include this information in your application.
UN Women has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UN Women, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to UN Women’s policies and procedures and the standards of conduct expected of UN Women personnel and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. (Background checks will include the verification of academic. credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.)
1. Guidance on the UN Women Global Evaluation Report Assessment and Analysis System (GERAAS) is available at: http://www.unwomen.org/en/about-us/evaluation/decentralized-evaluation
3. UN Women Independent Evaluation Office http://genderevaluation.unwomen.org/en/evaluationhandbook
4. UNEG Ethical Guidelines and Code of Conduct for Evaluation in the UN system
5. UNEG Norms for Evaluations: http://unevaluation.org/document/detail/21
6. UNEG Standards for Evaluation: http://unevaluation.org/document/detail/22
7. UN Women Gender-Sensitive Evaluation Handbook: http://genderevaluation.unwomen.org/en/evaluation-handbook
8. A listing of UN report, databases and archives relating to gender equality and women’s human rights can be found at: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/directory/statistics_and_indicators_60.htm