Women, Peace and Security Policy Analyst



Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Home based with possible travel to Kabul and provinces, AFGHANISTAN
Application Deadline :30-Sep-22 (Midnight New York, USA)
Time left :5d 16h 1m
Additional Category :Gender Equality
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Duration of Initial Contract :Maximum 50 working days over a 1-year period
Expected Duration of Assignment :Maximum 50 working days over a 1-year period


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.


Background

The Taliban takeover of Kabul on 15 August 2021 has had a seismic impact on Afghanistan. With the ascent of the Taliban, the future of women from all walks of life who have shaped the fabric of the country over the past 20 years, is unknown. The conflict dynamics in the country are multi-layered, and Afghanistan’s people are facing the devastating effects of a protracted conflict, increasing poverty and natural disasters, all of which are amplified by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the Taliban’s military offensive progressed throughout August, thousands of people fled to Kabul and other urban areas, seeking safety from the conflict and other threats. There are some 5.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Afghanistan, and approximately 80 percent of nearly a quarter of a million Afghans forced to flee since the end of May are women and children.[1] 2021 has to date been one of the deadliest years for Afghan women and girls, with more women and more children killed and injured than ever before recorded by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) for the first half of any calendar year.[2] More than 18 million people – fully half of the country’s population – are in need of humanitarian assistance, and almost a third of the country is facing emergency levels of food insecurity compounded by severe drought.[3]

Despite gains on women’s rights achieved over the past 20 years, Afghan women continue to struggle to avail themselves of their rights and to consolidate and advance their progress. In 2019, Afghanistan ranked 166 out of 167 countries on the Gender Development Index, an index designed to measure gender equality in three basic dimensions of human development: health, education and command over economic resources.[4] Women and girls face barriers to their participation and decision-making in the public, economic, social and political sphere. These include deeply entrenched patriarchal socio-cultural and traditional norms regarding the role of women; women’s lack of awareness of their rights, linked to low levels of literacy; a lack of access to education and economic opportunities; and harmful traditional practices such as honour killings, underage and forced marriages, and discrimination in public and private sector services delivery.

What progress has been achieved on the advancement of gender equality in Afghanistan in the past decades is now at risk of being erased - and at worst regressed. The Taliban have not yet articulated their vision for women’s rights and protection, stating only that “women’s rights will be protected under Islamic principles”. The Taliban military offensive has been marked by unlawful restrictions on the human rights of women and girls.[5] There have been reports that Afghan women and girls are already seeing restrictions on their access to health and education, freedom of movement, and freedom of expression. In a statement issued on 16 August 2021, just before the fall of Ashraf Ghani’s government, UN human rights experts warned that reports from almost half of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces show that the majority of women are experiencing the same rights violations as 20 years ago under the control of the Taliban.[6]

Many women human rights defenders and public officials who have been targeted or threatened by the Taliban now fear for their lives, and many are trying to get emergency visas and flights out of the country, though currently unable to due to closure of the airport.[7] The deterioration of security is adversely impacting the ability of women and girls to access life-saving services and realize their rights. The Taliban as de-facto authorities are using their armed fighters to maintain “law and order” in the country, but the corresponding frameworks and lines of command are unclear. Amidst the resulting security vacuum, there is a heightened risk of increased activity of other armed groups, such as the Islamic State Khorasan Province (IS-K) in the country.

 

[1] IOM appeal for Afghanistan, 26 August 2021 (https://www.iom.int/news/usd-24-million-urgently-needed-acute-humanitarian-needs-afghanistan); UNHCR, 13 August 2021 (https://www.unhcr.org/news/briefing/2021/8/611617c55/unhcr-warns-afghanistans-conflict-taking-heaviest-toll-displaced-women.html) and OCHA, Internal Displacement in Kabul, 15 August 2021: https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/flash_update_4_-_internal_displacement_-_kabul_15_aug_2021.pdf

[2] UNAMA: Afghanistan. Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict Midyear Update: 1 January to 30 June 2021 (https://unama.unmissions.org/sites/default/files/unama_poc_midyear_report_2021_26_july.pdf)

[3] OCHA, June 2021 (https://www.unocha.org/story/daily-noon-briefing-highlights-afghanistan-3)

[4] Gender Development Index (GDI), United Nations Development Programme (http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/Country-Profiles/AFG.pdf)

[5] Statement from the High Commission for Human Right, 10 August 2021: https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/08/1097482

[6] https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=27384&LangID=E

[7] Informal Experts’ Group Meeting on Afghanistan to the UN Security Council, Thursday 19th August 2021.

The current security vacuum and instability in the country exacerbate pre-existing patterns of discrimination against women and girls, exposing them to heightened risks of violations of their human rights. Looking at the Taliban’s actions on the ground, two aspects are clear: (i) Oppressive gender roles are central to their governance vision and its implementation; and (ii) there is a direct link between the Taliban assuming control of a district and the imposition of rules that negatively impact the rights of women and girls and severely limit their access to protection, health, and education services.

Objective of the Assignment: In the context of a rapidly changing Afghanistan, there is a need to produce rapid gender analysis to leverage and optimize policy windows, as well guide UN Women’s engagement framework and operational priorities strategic framework and when they emerge, with the aim of ensuring that the international community does not compromise on or subordinate women’s rights to other agendas. Given the volatility of the context, a retainer expert is needed to support UN Women Afghanistan in producing analysis and reports to build evidence and understanding around the gender equality dynamics of the current crisis.


Duties and Responsibilities

  • Rapid gender analysis and advisory support

The WPS analyst will report to the WPS Manager. Upon UNW ACO request, and in response to anticipated needs and/or ad hoc opportunities, provide analysis and advice with the view to strengthen UNW ACO’s position and influence on women, peace and security-related issues among key stakeholders, and secure a more gender-responsive approach of the international community, including UN Women’s strategic priorities vis-à-vis Afghanistan.

  • Timeline

The duration of this assignment will be 50 days over a period of 1 year (Tentative dates: 1 October 2022 – 30 September 2023).

Deliverables (needs-based and in consultation with WPS Manager)

  • Lead drafting of a quarterly Gender Alert, including review of secondary research and data, analysis, coordination, consultation/review, publication and circulation;
  • Undertake ad hoc analysis on topics relevant to gender, peace, security and the humanitarian context in Afghanistan, including leading on data collection and analysis; Develop think pieces, policy briefs and other documents to prompt critical discussions on the status of women’s rights in Afghanistan and their representation and participation in the private and public spheres, among diverse stakeholders (including UNW ACO and HQ, UNFPs in Afghanistan, the international community, Afghan women activists/WHRD/CSOs, etc.), bringing in evidence and comparative perspectives in analysis.
  • Provide strategic advice and contribute to drafting analysis for the Gender Theme Group in Afghanistan;
  • Review strategies/documents/briefs/reports/proposals at request of ACO, including gender analysis of non-gender focused documents (such as UN system wide-planning document);
  • Support UN Women (including through organizing and facilitating workshops, reflection/brainstorming sessions, leading the development of strategic work, think pieces) to develop its strategic vision and engagement opportunities and optimally operationalize its mandate in the current political context in Afghanistan;
  • Other advice and analysis, as needed, to support ACO to respond to windows of opportunity to advance women’s rights and gender equality in Afghanistan.


Competencies

Core Values:

  • Respect for Diversity;
  • Integrity;
  • Professionalism.

Core Competencies:

Essential knowledge and experience:

  • Excellent grasp of substantive gender equality and women, peace and security issues relevant to contexts with de facto authorities;
  • Substantive experience in conducting research and writing for international organizations on women, peace and security. Specific experience on Afghanistan is an added value;
  • Excellent writing skills. Strong publication record on issues including gender equality and women, peace and security.

Functional Competencies:

  • Excellent programme formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation skills;
  • Ability to develop detailed operational plans, budgets, and deliver on them;
  • Excellent knowledge of Results Based Management;
  • Strong writing skills and ability to synthesize program performance data and produce analytical reports to inform management and strategic decision-making;
  • Strong organization skills and ability to pay close attention to detail;
  • Strong policy analysis experience and knowledge of WPS;
  • 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;


Required Skills and Experience

Education:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in conflict prevention and peacebuilding programming, gender/women's studies, international development, or a related field is required.

 Experience:

Must have:

  • At least seven years progressively responsible experience in conflict prevention and peacebuilding programming, training and analysis with significant experience mainstreaming gender into analysis and planning processes.
  • Experience working in the UN and multilateral organizations in conflict and post-conflict contexts.
  • Experience across multiple conflict-affected contexts working in the area of women, peace and security.
  • Extensive knowledge of the UN system, particularly in relation to peace and security and humanitarian response.
  • Experience leading on and producing peer-reviewed research papers on topics related to women, peace and security.
  • Experience drafting strategies/documents/briefs/reports/proposals/talking points for UN agencies, funds or programmes.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English. Additional official UN language considered an asset. 

Asset:

  • Experience working with multiple partners within the UN Country Team.
  • Strong track record on producing analysis on Afghanistan, especially post 15 August 2021.
  • Ability to work independently and deliver on tight timelines.
  • Outstanding partnership skills, particularly with civil society and government stakeholders.

Language Requirements:

  •  Fluency in English is required;
  • Additional UN language is an asset.

Evaluation Criteria:

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodology: Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 49 points in the technical evaluation would be considered for the financial evaluation.

Criteria Weight Technical: 70% (70 points)

  • Criteria 1:  Education (20)
  • Criteria 2:  Experience (40)
  • Criteria 3:  Language skills (10)

Financial: Lowest Financial Proposal: 30% (30 points)

The points for the Financial Proposal will be allocated as per the following formula:

  • Contract will be awarded to the technically qualified consultant who obtains the highest combined score (financial and technical);
  • The points for the Financial Proposal will be allocated as per the following formula: (Lowest Bid Offered*)/ (Bid of the Consultant) x 30;
  • 'Lowest Bid Offered' refers to the lowest price offered by Offerors scoring at least 49 points in the technical evaluation.

Application:

Note:

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.

Inclusion Statement:

At UN Women, we are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. UN Women recruits employ, 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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