Programme Technical Specialist, Ending Violence against Women (Spotlight Initiative)

Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Monrovia, LIBERIA
Application Deadline :03-Jun-22 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :6 June 2022 - 31 December 2022
Expected Duration of Assignment :6 June 2022 - 31 December 2022

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, peace, and security. UN Women, as part of the United Nations in Liberia, contributes to the Government’s legislative and policy commitments to address violence against women and girls (VAWG), as outlined in its Strategic National Development Plan called the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD)— for July 2018 to June 2023. UN Women also helps coordinate and promote the UN system’s work in advancing gender equality, and in all deliberations and agreements linked to the 2030 Agenda. UN Women works to position gender equality as fundamental to the Sustainable Development Goals, and a more inclusive world. In support to its coordination mandate, UN Women Country Office Chairs the UN Inter-Agency Gender Theme Group.

The Spotlight Programme is a joint initiative of the United Nations system and the European Union in partnership with the Government and civil society of Liberia to contribute to the elimination of gender-based and sexual violence, harmful practices and obstacles to access to sexual and reproductive health rights. It will focus on consolidating gains by developing a more effective response to violence against women and girls and the promotion of sexual and reproductive health rights, through innovative approaches that strengthen an enabling legal and policy framework, effective and coordinated institutions, community mobilization and empowerment, increased and equitable access to holistic and integrated care services, access to and use of quality statistical data and strengthened and dynamic women's rights organizations.

In Liberia, the Spotlight Initiative is implemented through five UN agencies (UN Women, UNFPA, UNDP, UNICEF, and OHCHR) under the leadership of the UN Resident Coordinator. The Steering Committee, composed of government stakeholders, is the key governance structure of the Initiative, including approving the Annual Plan of the Liberia Spotlight Initiative. The Civil Society Reference Group provides ongoing advice and feedback on programming. Meetings with Heads of Agencies from participating agencies are held to monitor and adjust on implementation and delivery. The overall vision of the Spotlight Initiative in Liberia is that women and girls enjoy their right to a life free of violence, within an inclusive and gender equitable Liberia. This contributes to implementation of Liberia’s revised National Action Plan on Gender Based Violence (2018), the comprehensive Prevention Strategy (2020) and the anti SGBV Road Map (2021), with attention to prevention and response to violence against women and girls.

The Spotlight Initiative aligns to UN Women’s Ending Violence against Women (EVAW) Programme in Liberia and complements other thematic Country Programme focused on Women’s Economic Empowerment, advancing the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, mainstreaming gender in planning and budgeting in support of national and international gender equality commitments. The SI Programme in Liberia commenced in 2019 and has made significant progress over the past 3 years. In addition to supporting work at national level, the Programme also supports work in five Counties including, Nimba, Grand Cape Mount, Montserrado, Grand Geddeh and Lofa which were chosen in a consultative process of Programme design.

The Spotlight Initiative in Liberia under Phase 1 was initially funded for two years (June 2019- June 2021). Phase 2 was approved in 2021 and continued  with the implementation of SI based on the original Theory of Change and is informed by the recommendations from the Mid-Term Assessment which was finalized in March 2021. Due to COVID restrictions in 2020 and 2021 the Programme faced a number of challenges, but all Spotlight agencies adjusted its working modalities and moved forward in implementing its programs given the changed context.

UN Women is one of five UN partner agencies implementing the Spotlight Initiative in Liberia and provides technical coherence leadership to all agencies in this regard.  The Spotlight Initiative Programme Technical Specialist reports to the UN Women Deputy Country Representative and in close coordination with the Spotlight Initiative Coordinator in the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator, provides technical leadership to guide planning, implementing and reporting on the entire Spotlight Programme in Liberia.  The technical coherence specialist also provides backstopping support to the Programme coordinator.  The Programme Technical Specialist also works closely with the Steering Committee, the Civil Society Reference Group, the Office of the Secretary of State for Equality and Inclusion, the EU Delegation technical focal point implementing agencies as well as other stakeholders to ensure overall coherence in the implementation of the Programme. The Programme Technical Specialist is also responsible to manage the Technical Unit, which is a joint office of staff from all agencies working within Spotlight, as well as UN Volunteers working within the Technical Unit.

The Programme Technical Specialist requires substantial experience and in-depth understanding of violence against women and children and understand the nexus with gender equality and women's empowerment. The post holder is expected to have substantial experience in providing technical support for implementing UN joint programmes like the Spotlight Initiative and also leading and managing complex and multidimensional programmes. S/He must have experience of  human resources management; experience of coordination; and expertise in working in partnership with Government and civil society institutions, to make progress on EVAWG.

Duties and Responsibilities

Responsibilities and Deliverables:

Guide the implementation and management of the Spotlight Programme in Liberia:

  • Provide technical advice and innovative approaches to facilitating implementation of Programme interventions;
  • Provide Programme guidance, updates, and information to the Steering Committee, implementing partners and other stakeholders.
  • Provide timely reports to the UN Women management and to the Resident Coordinator on Programme performance and results;
  • Regularly communicate with the Spotlight Initiative Secretariat Technical Unit in New York and UN Women EVAW section.
  • Ensure a Programme completion/exit strategy is in place and agreed by all stakeholders with a mapping of opportunities, gaps and entry points to sustain the interventions and results achieved so far with the Spotlight Initiative.

Coordinate technical assistance and capacity development to and between the different UN agencies to achieve a coherent and aligned presence of the Spotlight initiative in Liberia:

  • Provide guidance in the overall technical coherence of the Programme across pillars, in line with Country Programme document;
  • Provide technical support to the UN Women Deputy Country Representative, the Resident Coordinator and the Spotlight Programme Coordinator on Inter-Agency coordination related activities by attending meetings, events, and participating in groups and committees.
  • Provide partners with technical assistance, training and ensure projects’ capacity development Programme is harmonized and aligned with other in-country efforts.
  • Guide the process of delivery of technical assistance and engagement with partners, as per the planned activities within the Country Programme;
  • Collaborate, Build, manage, and expand relationships with UN agencies, national partners (Government, Development partners, and CSO’s to support implementation of the Spotlight Programme; respond to any potential problems.

Provide Programme development guidance related to the Spotlight Programme:

  • Coordinate the design and formulation of Programme proposals and initiatives; Identify programmatic areas for support and interventions within the thematic/sectorial areas;
  • Draft Programme/ project proposals, briefs, policy dialogue and other documents related to the Spotlight Programme;
  • Organize periodic consultations with key stakeholders, women leaders, human rights experts, and UN partners to gather inputs on Programme design, as necessary.

Oversee financial resources, monitoring and reporting of the Programme:

  • Prepare analytical reviews and systematically capture lessons learnt from the Programme implementation;
  • Oversee the process of monitoring the Programme implementation of activities and finances using results-based management tools;
  • Identify and monitor Programme risks and provide support and guidance to mitigate and address them in a timely manner;
  • Provide inputs to the elaboration of narrative / annual reports  for final clearance by RC.
  • Oversee the Programme budget and finalize financial reports in liaison with the SI finance assistant and the Office finance associate;
  • Oversee the Programme technical unit; mentor and coach staff and conduct performance assessments.

Build partnerships and support in developing resource mobilization strategies:

  • Provide technical support to the spotlight technical working group (UN focal points, the National CSO reference Group and Government focal points) in the development of a joint resource mobilization and sustainability strategy for the Programme;
  • In liaison with the UN Women Partnerships and resource Mobilization Specialist, develop relevant documentation on donors and develop potential opportunities for resource mobilization;
  • Develop a plan for potential future programming leveraging results to date.

Key Performance Indicators:

  • Timely and quality Programme strategies and contributions.
  • Timely and quality of Programme delivery in line with budget, workplans and the Programme Document.
  • Timely Performance assessment of team.
  • Partners and other stakeholder provide positive feedback on technical services.
  • Quality reports and timely submission.
  • Quality of advocacy, communication and knowledge management initiatives and products.
  • Strong relationships with development partners, partners, and other stakeholders


Required core and functional competencies:

Core Values:

  • Respect for Diversity.
  • Integrity.
  • Professionalism.

Core Competencies:

  • Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues.
  • Accountability.
  • Creative Problem Solving.
  • Effective Communication.
  • Inclusive Collaboration.
  • Stakeholder Engagement.
  • Leading by Example.

Functional Competencies:

  • Knowledge and experience with evidence-based approaches to ending violence against women and girls.
  • Strong Programme formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation skills.
  • Ability to develop detailed operational plans, budgets, and deliver on them.
  • Strong knowledge of Results Based Management and developing capacities on RBM.
  • Ability to synthesize program performance data and produce analytical reports to inform management and strategic decision-making.
  • Ability to lead formulation of strategies and their implementation.
  • Strong networking skills.
  • Ability to negotiate and interact with donors, identify and analyze trends, opportunities and threats to fundraising.


All applications must include (as an attachment) the completed UN Women Personal History form (P-11) which can be downloaded from? 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.


Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s degree or equivalent in social sciences, human rights, gender/women's studies, international development, or a related field is required.
  • A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
  • A project/Programme management certification would be an added advantage.


  • Minimum 5 years of progressively responsible experience at the national or international level in design, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development projects.
  • Technical experience in evidence-based approaches to ending violence against women and girls.
  • Experience coordinating and liaising with government agencies and/or donors is an asset.
  • Experience working in the UN System is an asset.
  • Experience in leading/managing a diverse team is an asset. 
  • Experience working in another Spotlight Programme is an asset;


  • Fluency in English is required.
  • Knowledge of the other UN official working language is an asset



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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