National Consultant, Strengthening Women’s capacities for enhanced engagement & participation

Application Deadline :15-Jul-22 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Democratic Governance and Peacebuilding
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :3 months
Expected Duration of Assignment :3 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.


Sierra Leone has held democratic elections between 1996 and 2018 marking the successful transfer of power from one regime to another. Women’s representation in elected office or other sectors of public life remains a challenge with about 13% of women in Parliament, 18% of local councillors and 6.6% of Paramount chiefs; no female flag bearer candidate has been put forward by a major political party. Women constitute more than 50% of the population and are quite active in political party campaigns but not as candidates. At local governance levels including chiefdom leadership, women’s contribution hardly results in a female-led local leadership. With low levels of representation, women’s access to resources is minimised and this further excludes them from participation and consequently reduces the chance of getting into leadership. The Government of Sierra Leone, adopted the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Policy in 2020, and commenced the development of the Gender Bill in 2021. The Bill aims to address structural barriers by legislating a quota threshold for women’s inclusion in elected office, other public offices and private sectors.
Commonly held views on the rationale for low women representation in leadership positions are that literacy levels, economic mean, confidence and capacities are lower in women than their male counterparts; 60% of girls are married off before the age of 18. Acquisition of soft skills such as public speaking and debate, granting interviews, etc. are further limited. UNDP through the 2019 Funding Window Project, “Improving Women’s political participation in Parliament and Local Councils,” supported the development of a mentoring guide aimed at engaging and mentoring adolescent girls for potential leadership positions: before this time, mentoring of girls has been done on ad-hoc basis. In collaboration with the Parliamentary Female Caucus, the 50/50 Group and Center for Good Governance (CGG). The Mentorship Guide pre-tested in 6 pilot districts between 2020 and 2021.
Efforts to address these issues have been hampered by limited knowledge of the governance architecture and resources available for them, weak leadership capacity, and weak agency to articulate and challenge the structural norms impeding their access. A study conducted by UNDP has indicated limited decision-making power and influence of women at household, community and at national level.
With national and local government elections scheduled for June 2023, demand for intensified interventions for strengthening women’s capacities to engage and possibly present themselves forward for various political candidature is on the rise. UNDP is partnering with the Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs to advocate for greater women’s representation in elected local governance and capacitate potential female candidates to compete for elected office. This assignment aims to build on previous interventions and capacitate potential women candidates with required skills to compete for public office at local and national levels. In view of the above, UNDP seeks to contract the services of a Civil Society Organization (CSO) grounded in women and girls’ mentorship programmes to work with and engage/capacitate 120 women including young women in 3 of the area-based districts of Falaba, Kambia, and Pujehun.

Purpose and Objectives
? To work with community groups, local councils and local women networks to identify young women

interested in competing for local elective office
? To facilitate engagement and advocacy for more women in elected local governance structures
? To assess the capacity gaps of the identified young women/potential candidates for mentoring and capacity strengthening to compete and engage in electoral processes
? To develop a capacity strengthening plan in a participatory manner
? To conduct capacity strengthening interventions using models that meet the needs of the recipients to enable them to participate in political platforms and processes,
? To provide platforms and facilitate peer learning exchanges between potential female candidates and experienced candidates/women leaders
? To document human impact stories for the cohort of potential women candidates.

Duties and Responsibilities

Methodology and scope of work:
1. Engage with community groups and women’s networks, among others, to identify potential
& participation.
2. Develop multi-tiered methodology for the needs assessment and capacity strengthening implementation.
3. Develop an inception report on agreed methodology, participants selection processes and working timetable for implementation.
4. Conduct capacity strengthening and submit report on the process
5. Engage beneficiaries in the 3 project districts for three months
6. Conduct evaluation of the mentorship programme and submit report to UNDP

Expected Outputs and Deliverables
1. 120 women including young women in the Target districts have capacity to compete for symbols in order to participate in the 2023 local government and parliamentary elections
2. 3 Strong network of community women’s groups strengthened to lobby (and engage) political parties for increased women’s participation



Core Competencies
? Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN values and ethical standards
? Promotes the vision, mission and strategic goals of UNDP
? Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
? Treats all people fairly without favouritism

Functional Competencies
? Proven experience of working with women’s groups in advancing equal participation in electoral process
? Excellent understanding of the electoral cycle and landscape to support women’s engagement
? Proven experience in working with different women’s groups in Sierra Leone and being apolitical
? Excellent training skills appropriate for different age and academic backgrounds and campaign experience
? Clear methodology and approach in engaging women and women’s groups
? Mentoring Knowledge and experience
? Excellent writing and communication skills (verbal and written), including the ability to conduct presentations by clearly formulating positions on issues, articulating options concisely conveying maximum necessary information, making and defending.
? Strong analytical and reporting skills, and experience in presenting complex technical information in an easily comprehensible way


Required Skills and Experience

Team Lead should have advanced university degree in Law, Gender studies, Human Rights, Development Studies or Population Studies.
? Minimum of seven (7) years of relevant experience in the development and/or review of laws, policies and strategic plans.
? Experience in developing tools and facilitating mentorship process and evaluating for effectiveness.
? Ability to facilitate platforms for advocacy, peer learning and communication between beneficiaries and stakeholders.
? Experience in developing PowerPoint presentations, training methodologies and facilitation of large and small groups
? Demonstrated experience in working with a variety of stakeholders
? Understanding of basic gender concepts and principles, skills, experience and commitment
? Strong writing and oral communications skills
? Prior experience within the United Nations is desirable but not a requirement.

Language Requirements:
Strong ability to communicate clearly in written and spoken English.

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