Legal Consultant To Support COTLA/CONATA's Institutional Governance

Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Home based, KENYA
Application Deadline :11-Jul-22 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :

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.

UN Women East & Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) maintains a large presence in the East and Southern Africa region, covering 13 countries with a Programme Presence in Somalia. UN Women Strategic Note for East and Southern Africa works to advance social, economic, and political rights and protection of women and girls from violence, including harmful practices, which is in line with its overall Africa Strategy.

UN Women in Africa has been at the forefront of innovating and creating new pathways for leveraging the power of community to transform social norms through the leadership of cultural and traditional leaders. As such, UN Women generated the evidence which anchored this work, which included the development of a compendium of laws on ending child marriage in September 2016 and a 2018 “Multi-Country Analytical Study of Legislation, Policies, Interventions and Cultural Practices on Child Marriage in Africa”. Both documents revealed the importance of interventions directed at transforming the harmful practices and the social norms which goes beyond raising awareness and changing the attitudes of traditional and cultural leaders. This requires interventions working at the nexus of implementation of policies/legislation and shifting harmful dominant cultural and religious practices that negatively affect women and girls. Informed by the findings and recommendations, UN Women initiated an engagement approach to build a social movement of traditional, cultural and religious leaders as the core support of this change process, drawing upon extensive work over the years on positive masculinities.

Through various efforts at country and regional levels, UN Women ESARO working with the African Union, facilitated the establishment of the Council of Traditional Leaders of Africa (COTLA//Conseil des Autorites Traditionnelles D’Afrique (CONATA) in February 2019. COTLA functions as a continental body with a focus to preserve positive cultural practices, customs and traditions while transforming and eradicating negative practices, customs and traditions, especially those that affect the human rights of girls and women. COTLA/CONATA is registered as a non-governmental organization in Nigeria, with a scope across Sub-Saharan Africa. Through continued UN Women engagement with COTLA/CONATA and its members at country level, COTLA joined the Generation Equality Action Coalition on GBV as a Commitment Maker, with the Convenor General attending the Generation Equality Forum in Paris from 30th June – 2nd July 2021.

Since the Council’s establishment, the COTLA Steering Committee has been the leadership body to guide the continental organization. A draft operational guide has been developed and strategy documents to guide the work of the Council in line with its mission to advance progress on the continent to end harmful practices and other forms of violence against women and girls. UN Women has supported these developments through technical and financial support to COTLA governing body meetings and has been requested by COTLA to support the finalization of these governance measures to enable the Council to achieve its commitments and vision.  As such, under the guidance of Deputy Regional Director, UN Women ESARO seeks legal services to support COTLA’s institutional governance.

Objectives of the assignment:

This consultancy work is expected to support COTLA to strengthen its governance structure through the finalization of key governance documents and processes

Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of Work:

Under the overall guidance of the UN Women Deputy Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, the consultant will work in close liaison with UN Women technical staff and COTLA Foal Points from the East and Southern Africa Regional Office, and other offices as relevant. The Consultant will be required to coordinate and work closely with COTLA leadership in the review, revision and finalization of the COTLA Operational Manual, development and finalization of Member By-Laws and the establishment and initial convening of a Board of Trustees. The Consultant will be required to report back to UN Women on progress against the work above to guide the entity’s future partnership with COTLA. UN Women will provide all preparatory documentation in a timely manner and linkages with Council of Traditional Leaders of Africa (COTLA) at the start of the assignment. UN Women will meet all travel-related expenses including a return economy ticket, Daily Subsistence Allowance and related accommodation costs as need may arise guided by the corporate travel policy.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. In liaison with COTLA Leadership (i.e. Convenor General and 3 Deputy Conveners Generals) review the COTLA Operational Manual following the COTLA Steering Committee inputs for finalization;
  2. Lead the COTLA Leadership into development, review and finalization of the members by-laws seeking and incorporating recommendations of the COTLA Steering Committee members;
  3. Lead all coordination efforts guided by the COTLA Leadership in calling for consultative meetings with the Steering Committee, on the Operational Manual and the proposed By-Laws;
  4. Seek COTLA Steering Committee consent and approval for the revised Operational Manual and Members By-Laws through their leadership;
  5. In consultation with COTLA Leadership, guide the COTLA Steering Committee in the nomination process of the proposed Board of Trustees;
  6. Provide legal guidance to the COTLA Leadership meeting in reviewing and selecting Board of Trustee Nominees;
  7. Support COTLA Leadership in organizing the Board of Trustees Meeting;
  8. Brief the Board of Trustees during the first meeting on COTLA’s institutional governance framework; 
  9. Assist COTLA Steering Committee seek Board of Trustee’s approval for all documents including and not limited to the Operational Manual and By Laws;
  10. Provide UN Women a report of successful completion of tasks.


The consultant will submit to UN Women all deliverables within the contract period as follows;

  1. Workplan of proposed approach and timeframe for the assignment;
  2. Revised and approved COTLA/CONATA’s Operational Manual approved by the Steering Committee and later by the Board of Trustees;
  3. COTLA By- LAWS, approved by the Steering Committee and later by the Board of Trustees;
  4. Report from Board of Trustee Meeting;
  5. Report to UN Women covering the scope of work and progress against assignment deliverables.

Work Schedule:



Allocated Percentage

Workplan for assignment based on background documentation and initial discussions with UN Women and COTLA Leadership

 1 week


Revised and completed Operational Manual and Member by Laws, approved by COTLA Leadership and informed by Member input

End of August


Validation Meetings for the Operational Manual and members by-Laws with COTLA Leadership, Steering Committee and Board of Trustees



Board of Trustees Meeting & Report

Final Report

End of November




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:

  1. In-depth knowledge of gender equality and women's rights issues;
  2. Demonstrated ability to produce clear reports and guidance with in-depth analysis and strategic recommendations in English in the relevant field;
  3. Good communication and interpersonal skills, ability to foster networks and partnerships;
  4. Ability to complete complex assignments in a timely manner and delivery quality results.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Advanced university degree (Master or equivalent) in International Development, Human Rights, Law or related field, with a strong expertise in gender and governance;
  • Relevant first level degree with an additional 2 years of relevant experience may be accepted in lieu of Master’s degree.


  • At least 3 years of experience in the development sector, preferably related to women’s rights and gender equality;
  • Demonstrated understanding of policy and legal frameworks on gender equality and human rights and guiding non-governmental organizations;
  • Proven experience supporting organizational development and governance of regional or continental organizations;
  • Demonstrated experience in establishing governance structures for non-governmental organizations working on issues affecting women and girls, with hands on experience liaising between executive, membership and oversight governance structures;
  • Experience working with traditional leaders and customary authorities in Africa would be an advantage.

Language Requirements:

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English;
  • Ability to communicate in French would be an added advantage

Please attach a completed P11 to your application. Kindly note that applications without a completed and signed UN Women P-11 form will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment.

UN Women Personal History form (P-11) can be downloaded from .

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.) 

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