I. Organizational context  

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 center 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 solid and coherent leadership supporting Member States' priorities and efforts, building effective partnerships with civil society and other relevant actors.  

UN-Women focuses on integrated approaches to address the root causes of inequality from a perspective of the transformation of the systems that perpetuate gender inequalities and discrimination and with a peacebuilding approach: 

  • women's voice, leadership, and female autonomy 

  • strengthening of global normative frameworks, and gender-responsive laws, policies, and institutions that promote gender equality at the national and subnational levels 

  • Effective participation and protection of women in all areas of peacebuilding, security, and humanitarian action 

  • women's equitable access to services, goods, and resources 

  • financing for gender equality and economic empowerment 

  • positive social norms, including through engaging men and boys 

  • production, analysis, and use of gender statistics, sex-disaggregated data, and knowledge; and  

  • UN system coordination for gender equality and women's empowerment  

The Strategic Plan 2022-2025 aims to achieve gender equality, the empowerment of all women and girls, and the full enjoyment of their human rights. The Strategic Plan is anchored in the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, UN Security Council resolutions on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS), the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, and other relevant intergovernmental outcomes, such as resolutions of the General Assembly and agreed conclusions of the Commission of the Status of Women. UN Women contributes to the gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, SDG 5 on gender equality at the center of the SDGs and in coordination with all the other Goals to ensure comprehensive progress. 

II. Background 

In Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) UN Women has been actively engaged in providing assistance to those in need and supporting the response to the multiple crises of national and local governments as well as women’s and feminists’ groups and women’s human rights defenders. 

The COVID-19 emergency and the post-pandemic contexts have seen a deepening in structural inequalities and forms of violence against girls and women, deepening existing human rights situations, weakening democratic governance and eroding civil society action and participation throughout the region. Also, the scarcity of resources, combined to the restrictions to mobility in the border areas could resort on increased criminality and exploitation, in particular sexual exploitation, trafficking and smuggling across illegal border paths and other situations. LAC is the most dangerous region for environmental defenders. In 2022, according to the most recent report by Front Line Defenders, 401 murders were recorded, and almost half of them were engaged in land and environmental activism. UN Women and CLACSO research carried out in 2022 shows how the different forms of feminist activism and grassroots women’s groups across the territories of LAC are directly affected by the permanent threats and the need to defend their agency, body autonomy, land autonomy and ownership as well as the defense of the environment, their communities and livelihoods. 

UN Women in LAC has been working through several initiatives with Women’s Human Rights defenders (e.g.  the programme “Defensoras”) and there are lessons learned and upcoming opportunities to deep this work and engagement, with women’s HR and environmental defenders across the region. In addition, in 2023, the Generation Equality initiative will have a mid-term point assessment and a re-engagement process is taking place globally for the mid-term and forward-looking engagement together with the SDGs stocktaking milestone. LAC governments and feminist and women’s organization have been leading several Generation Equality Action Coalitions and the Women Peace and Security Compact. Generation Equality commitments in LAC are beyond 200 commitments done by more than 50 governments and organizations and phase 2 starting in 2023 opens a space for increased engagement and strategic dialogue to accelerate gender equality and the SDGs towards 2025 and beyond. 

Duties and Responsibilities

III. Consultancy objective 

In order to strategically engage with women’s HR and environmental defenders at the regional level on one hand and support regional re-engagement with diverse stakeholder for the Midpoint Moment of Generation Equality in LAC on the other, a senior expert consultant is required to provide qualified advice to the Directorate, UN Women coordination in Non-Resident Agency countries and on an ad hoc basis to the Country Offices.  

IV. Scope 

The successful performance of the incumbent will effectively contribute to the UN Women’s Regional Office´s work on Women´s Human Rights Defenders and environmental defenders. In particular, the consultant is expected to deliver the following: 

  1. Strategic assessment of UN Women’s work on women’s HR defenders in LAC. 
  2. Technical assistance and advice to the UN Women Regional Directorate on women’s Human Rights and environmental defenders and HR crisis management on a regular basis. 
  3. Ad hoc support to Representatives as per needed to support women’s HR defenders. 
  4. Support strategic engagement of UN Women with women’s HR and environmental defenders in LAC,  
  5. Design ACRO strategy for 2023-2025 work with women’s HR and environmental defenders according to the regional Strategic Note. 

  6. Produce a toolkit or one relevant knowledge product on Escazú according to women’s HR and environmental defenders’ interests – needs. 

  7. Support strategic re-engagement of UN Women with diverse stakeholders in LAC to review GEF phase 2 scope, political dialogues, accountability, and impact assessment. 

  8. Briefings to the Directorate and the RO team, as requested, on trends and challenges in the socio-political situation in Latin America and the Caribbean and their impact on the human rights of women and girls. 

  9. Support UN Women’s participation in political dialogue and processes, as well as provision of advice and assistance to strengthen the RO capacity to develop and implement programs and initiatives on women’s HRs and environmental defenders and GEF in countries where UN Women operates as a Non-Resident Agency.  

V.  Contract execution arrangements 

The "Retainer" hiring modality implies that the consultant will be hired for a daily fee. A maximum cumulative value will be established, which will be maintained as the upper limit and should not be interpreted or understood as a financial commitment or guarantee of business volume on UN Women. It is not exclusive, which means that the parties are open to entering another contract/s with another person or entity. 

The specifications for each product requested, the number of working days and deadlines will be negotiated and agreed upon with UN Women and the consultant on a case-by-case basis. Before starting any work, the consultant should confirm his/her availability in writing to carry out the tasks assigned by each request and/or order. 

The consultant will be responsible for all supplies required to carry out the work, such as equipment, assistant fees, food, and local transportation. 

Financial commitments will be established each time services are requested under the framework contract, through the management of a purchase order agreed between the parties specifying the scope, products, and expected results and approved purchase order, as an indication of the start of the provision of services. 

Payment will be disbursed upon satisfactory delivery of the products, previously approved by UN Women, and against delivery of a signed Certificate of Payment (COP). 

The SSA contract determines the inclusion of all costs (all-inclusive); the Organization will not assume expenses or benefits in addition to the fee for services. Therefore, it is the consultant's responsibility to have health insurance for the period of the contract. It is recommended that they include medical coverage for illnesses related to COVID-19. Medical coverage must be international in cases where the contract requires international missions or assignments. If selected for this position, proof of medical coverage will be required within the first two months of the contract. 


VI. Performance monitoring and evaluation 

UN Women will provide to the consultant relevant inputs and all the information that facilitates the context of the consultancy. 

The supervision of the consultancy will be carried out by the Deputy Regional Director, with the support of the WPS and Humanitarian Specialist; and the proposed activities should be carried out in coordination with the different UN Women teams, as required.  

Reporting should be subject to the specifications and requirements set out in these terms of reference and the Monitoring. 

The consultant must be available for the meetings established in the framework of the consultancy.  

The consultant is not a United Nations staff member and will carry out the activities related to their consultancy in a virtual way, from their workspace under the work plan. 

Three months after the beginning of the consultancy, an evaluation of the selected person's performance and the products produced will be carried out. In case of not being favorable, the contract will be terminated by mutual agreement within 30 days.  

For the consultancy's optimal development, the supervisor will provide the consultant with the existing documents and information that UN Women has related to the consultancy's topics. It is the consultant's responsibility to obtain primary and secondary data from other sources, if necessary.  

The consultant will maintain permanent coordination with their supervisor to effectively execute and develop the products requested by this consultancy. They will also provide information as requested within the framework of the terms of reference. 

In the current context of the crisis due to COVID-19, no travel is contemplated for this consultancy, but rather remote and virtual work. This is subject to change depending on the current crisis.


VII. Performance indicators  

  • Timely presentation of products / deliverables according to the TORs  

  • Work quality 

  • Compliance with expected results 

  • Compliance with the competencies as mentioned above (Ref. Profile of the consultant) 


VIII. Intellectual rights, patents, and other property rights 

The right to equipment and supplies provided by UN Women to the consultant for the performance of any obligation under this contract shall remain with UN Women. Such equipment shall be returned to UN Women at the end of this contract or when the consultant no longer needs it. When returned to UN Women, such equipment shall be in the same condition as when it was given to the consultant, subject to normal wear and tear. The consultant shall be responsible for compensating UN Women for damaged or broken equipment regardless of normal wear and tear.  

UN Women is entitled to all intellectual property and other proprietary rights, including but not limited to: patents, copyrights, and trademarks, concerning products, processes, inventions, ideas, know-how, documents, and other materials that the consultant has prepared or collected in consequence of or during the execution of this consultancy, and the consultant acknowledges and agrees that such products, documents, and other materials constitute work carried out under the engagement of UN Women. However, if such intellectual property or other property rights consist of any intellectual property or property rights of the consultant (i) that existed before the consultant's performance of his or her obligations under this contract, or (ii) that the consultant may develop or acquire, or may have developed or acquired, independently of the performance of his or her obligations under this contract, UN Women will not and shall not claim any ownership interest therein, and the consultant shall grant UN Women a perpetual license to use such intellectual property or other property rights solely for the purpose and the requirements of this contract. 

IX. Requirements 

Core values: 

• Professional integrity 

• Professionalism 

• Cultural sensitivity and diversity of values 

• Respect for diversity 


Core competencies: 

  • Stakeholders’ engagement  

  • Accountability  

  • Creative problem solving  

  • Inclusive collaboration  

  • Leading by example  


Functional Competencies: 

  • Political acumen, strong analytical skills and knowledge on Women’s HR Defenders. 

  • Strong negotiation skills.  

  • Ability to gather and interpret data, reach logical conclusions, and present findings and recommendations.  

  • Excellent interpersonal and networking skills and ability to work in multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary environments.  

  • Ability to build and promote partnerships across the organization and beyond. 

  • Ability to work under pressure on multiple activities whilst maintaining high-quality and timeliness. 

Required Skills and Experience

 X. Selection procedure and application requirements: 


The selection process will be carried out through a desk review, which consists of a formal verification to verify that the applications comply with the documentary evidence to be examined and the minimum requirements established for the consultancy, followed by the technical evaluation of the received applications, which will be qualified based on the technical requirements established in the following qualification table: 


Evaluation criteria 


1. Master´s degree or equivalent in development related disciplines, economics or public policy or other social sciences fields. 


2. At least 10 years of progressively responsible experience working with feminist organizations, women’s organizations and/or as gender equality advocate. 



3. Experience working with women’s HR defenders. 



4. Deep knowledge of Latin-American context.  





Short-listed candidates may be called for a competency-based interview on the level of knowledge of the subject area and on the specific topic of this consultancy. The relative value of the interview (if it is determined necessary after the desk review) will be 50% of the total score (i.e., 50% for the requirements compliance table and 50% for the interview).   


XI. Documents to be submitted for the application 

  1. UN Women Personal History Form (P11), which can be found in  
  2. Personal identification (ID card, passport). 



  • Submitting the application: only one (1) file must be uploaded in PDF format. A guide is attached for you to perform this step.   

  • UN Women assumes no responsibility and only describes one of the many ways to compress documents related to the application. You may use whichever one you deem appropriate.    

  • Incomplete applications or those received after the closing date will not be considered.    

  • Only those applications appropriate for the shortlist will be contacted for an interview (if applicable).   

  • Consultants who have an employment relationship with public institutions can only be hired if they present proof of a work permit (license) without expiration and a letter of no objection to the consultancy's performance, issued by the employing institution. If the candidates are linked to a research institution, academic center, or university, presenting a letter of no objection issued by the employing institution is sufficient.    

  • The selected consultants must have medical coverage and present proof of their coverage within two months of signing their contract.  

  • If the consultant needs to travel, medical coverage, required vaccines according to the destination, and travel insurance must be confirmed.  

  • If the consultancy is international, the currency will be US dollars or the local currency. 


UN Women is committed to achieving workplace diversity in gender, nationality, and culture.    

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.)  

People from minority groups, indigenous groups, and people with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply.    

All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.