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’s engagement in humanitarian action and DRR is to ensure consistency and sustainability in addressing gender equality concerns across the humanitarian-development nexus. The importance of gender integration in Humanitarian and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is embedded in the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, that acknowledges the impact of conflict and disasters on women, recognizing the importance of utilizing women’s contribution and active participation in conflict prevention, peacebuilding and relief and recovery. In addition, gender mainstreaming has also been included in the Sendai Framework for DRR (SFDRR) and was one of the key commitments from the World Humanitarian Summit held in Turkey in 2016.


Somalia is facing severe drought occasioned by the failure of four consecutive rain seasons, the worst in 40 years. The regional forecast by ICPAC projects a fifth [October to December 2022] rain failure, a fact that will deepen vulnerability of the women and girls and aggravate the humanitarian situation.  The severity of the current drought surpasses the 2010–2011 and 2016–2017 droughts. This is being experienced before the country could recover from the impacts of COVID 19, locust invasions, protracted conflict, and endemic poverty. This has been compounded by the global macro-economic factors such as the Ukraine Russia conflict that has fuelled the astronomical increase in basic commodity prices including food and fuel. These crises have resulted in widespread food insecurity where 7.8m people are affected and over 1m displaced. A multi-partner Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis released in September 2022, projected that famine will occur between October and December in South and Central regions, if humanitarian assistance is not urgently scaled up and sustained.


The “Strengthening the Leadership, Empowerment, Access and Protection of Women Affected by Drought and Famine in Somalia”  2023/2024 contributes to the UN Women Somalia Strategic Note which supports Women's Leadership, Empowerment, Access & Protection in Crisis Response (LEAP) which is in line with on-going drought and famine responses aligned with Somalia National Development Plan 2020 to 2024  Pillar 3: Inclusive economic growth and Pillar 4: Improved social and human development, the Somalia Humanitarian response plan (HRP), and drought response and famine prevention plan priorities that articulates Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM), protection and Gender Based Violence (GBV).


The project aims to support the Women’s Leadership, Empowerment, Access & Protection in Crisis (LEAP) to strengthen gender equality and women’s empowerment central for coordinated, effective humanitarian action and crisis response in Somalia. The country is grappling with climate change, and the resultant impact including widespread displacement, rapid urbanization, food insecurity, increased poverty, and epidemic and pandemic disease outbreak. Critically, climate change is also increasingly understood as a major driver of conflict in Somalia as dwindling resources intensify clan divisions and inter-clan conflict.


In this context and through the support of the Government of Japan, UN Women in Somalia is implementing a Project titled Strengthening the Leadership, Empowerment, Access and Protection of Women Affected by Drought and Famine in Somalia” targeting to reach 9,200 of direct beneficiaries for refugees, IDP women and girls and Indirect 10,000, x vulnerable women, men, and youth in Somalia.


Specific Outcomes of the Project are:

  1. 7,600 Women and girls in the identified priority areas are protected from SGBV in the context of ongoing drought and impending famine in Somalia.
  2. 1,600 Women and girls in Somalia in the identified priority areas have increased access to alternative livelihoods that support recovery of the gendered impacts of drought and famine.  

Duties and Responsibilities

Objectives of the assignment:

UN Women Somalia implemented Women's Leadership, Empowerment, Access and Protection (LEAP) in 2021/2022 for Uganda and Somalia. In Somalia, the LEAP project aimed to empower women and girl refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and their communities to mitigate the impact of multiple crises on their livelihoods, exposure to gender-based violence, and enhance their decision-making capacities.  During the project period, 42 Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) groups were established [21 in Kismayo - 500 members, 21 in Baidoa - 530 members] to improve their resilience by increasing literacy and numeracy, linking them to markets and credit, helping women start small businesses, strengthening women’s entrepreneurship in agricultural sector by introducing them to new knowledge and skills on climate smart agriculture.


The End of Project Evaluation conducted between March-July 2022 verified that empowering women economically is a significant achievement attributed to the project in the targeted locations. This was realized through establishment of VSLA approach in 40 villages that created a platform for inculcating positive financial practices such as saving and loan issuance and consequently improving household economic incomes. Some members of these VSLAs have established their own business from the loans that they received from the group while others have expanded their business. The culture of consistently saving has prevented them from sliding into bad debts that would otherwise negatively impact the scarce household incomes. Additionally, VSLAs by their very structure provide opportunity for cohesion among members and therefore a strong anchor to each other in times of hardship.  


The Strengthening the Leadership, Empowerment, Access and Protection of Women Affected by Drought and Famine in Somalia seeks to build on the gains by UN Women’s work in Somalia realized over previous LEAP interventions.   

Therefore, the objective of this assignment is two-fold;

  1. Map out (Assess, & document) the impact of VSLA groups established under the Women's Leadership, Empowerment, Access and Protection (LEAP) project in 2021/2022 in Somalia (LEAP I) and findings inform policy and practice on socio-economic interventions in humanitarian crises in Kismayo, Baidoa Districts;
  2. Assess and identify existing and potential marketable opportunities for vocational skills that can be adapted and scaled up as a form of economic empowerment for women and girls.


Scope of Work:

The national consultant will: a) conduct an impact assessment of VSLA groups established under Women's Leadership, Empowerment, Access, and Protection (LEAP – 1), document and disseminate of findings to humanitarian stakeholders and actors to inform policy and practice on socio-economic interventions in humanitarian crises in Kismayo, Baidoa Districts c) Assess and identify existing and potential marketable opportunities for vocational skills that can be adapted and scaled up as a form of economic empowerment for women and girls.


Duties and Responsibilities:

Under the overall supervision and guidance of the Country Programme Manager, and in close coordination with the LEAP Programme Specialist, the consultant will undertake the following responsibilities:

  1. Map out and undertake a comprehensive review of the Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) groups established in 2021 in Kismayo, and Baidoa district to better understand VSLAs status and their engagement in economic activities in Kismayo and Baidoa District;
  2. Conduct consultative meetings with VSLA members, LEAP I project implemented partners, Ministry of women & Human Rights Development in Kismayo and Baidoa District;  
  3. Develop viable modalities of continued support to the Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA);
  4. Undertake a review on potential marketable opportunities that can be adapted and scaled up as a form of economic empowerment for women and girls;
  5. Document lessons learned and give recommendations for increased efficiency of the VSLA program and the development partners engagement.


Deliverables & Work Schedule:


Allocated Percentage


Inception report outlining the structure and the process of undertaking the assignment and timelines





25th June 2023




15th July 2023


Mapp out the Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) groups members, ministries of women, CSOs, and other, project beneficiaries to ascertain impact made, cohesion, existence, lessons learnt challenges faced and priority areas for continued support

Undertake a review on potential marketable opportunities that can be adapted and scaled up as a form of economic empowerment activities for women and girls






20th July 2023






31st July 2023

Validation workshop of the findings and submission of the final report for UN Women along with a PowerPoint presentation with key findings and recommendations



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

  • Demonstrable ability to produce high quality assessment reports in English within the humanitarian-development-peace nexus programming;
  • Demonstrable ability in conducting impact assessment on VSLAs & food security and livelihood intervention, Marketable Vocational Skills Assessment etc;
  • In-depth knowledge of gender equality, humanitarian action, conflict and disaster risk management;
  • Knowledge of policies and legal frameworks on gender equality, livelihoods and food security, disaster and humanitarian crisis;
  • Ability to complete complex assignments in a timely manner and delivery quality results.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s degree in Program in Public policy, Economics, food security & TVET related, Disaster Risk Management, Humanitarian Affairs, Conflict Management, Social Sciences, Gender Equality, statistics and/or other social science related to the areas relevant for the assignment; a Bachelor’s degree may be considered with additional two years’ experience.


  • Minimum 5 years of proven experience in food security, livelihood, and economic empowerment in humanitarian and development projects; Experience working on gender and women’s economic empowerment programming is highly preferred.
  • Experience conducting consultative research, data collection and preparing project analytical reports
  • Experience working on women's leadership, empowerment, access protection, disaster risk management and humanitarian crisis;
  • Experience in working in communication, documentation and reporting with international organizations, UN experience is an asset.

Language skills:

  • Excellent verbal and written English.
  • Knowledge of Somali language will be considered an advantage.


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.


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