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.

The UN Women Regional Office for East and Southern Africa addresses gender equality and women’s empowerment challenges in the ESA region, including deeply embedded discriminatory social norms and practices that perpetuate inequalities based on gender and other intersectional identities (e.g., ethnicity, class, region, age, disability, migratory status, and sexual orientation and gender identity, among others). The Regional Office works across the following areas: Governance and Inter-governmental support (including Gender Statistics); Women’s Economic Empowerment (including Migration, Ending Violence Against Women; Women, Peace, and Security; Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction, and Humanitarian Action. The Eastern and Southern Africa region (ESAR) comprises 22 countries. UN Women exercises its triple mandate and functions at a regional level and in support of UN Women’s offices and UN Country Teams (UNCT) in 13 of these countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa Multi-Country Office (MCO) and Zimbabwe. The South Africa MCO covers the Southern Africa Customs Union countries i.e. Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland. UN Women also has recently established a physical presence In Somalia. The UN Women ESA Regional Office (ESA-RO) also oversees and manages programming where there is programme presence and provides support on demand to an additional 12 countries where UN women has no physical presence (Non-resident Agencies - NRAs) within ESAR.

The Programme Specialist will work under the dual supervision: the primary level is Resident Coordinator Office (RCO) and the secondary level is the UN Women ESA-RO Strategic Planning and Coordination Specialist. The Programme Specialist will be embedded in the Resident Coordinator’s Office. The Programme Specialist will be responsible for supporting country-level strategic planning processes, for the development, implementation, monitoring, and reporting of programmes under his/her/their portfolio. He/she/they will provide technical support towards building partnerships around gender equality and women’s empowerment with governments, inter-governmental bodies, UN, humanitarian actors, diverse women’s rights, youth groups, and organizations of persons with disabilities, among other civil society, private sector, multi and bilateral donors, and supporting the NRA’s engagement in intergovernmental processes. Additionally, he/she/they will provide technical and capacity development support to /programme presences in UNSDCF formulation and implementation processes, including supporting joint programme development, and UN inter-agency coordination, including humanitarian coordination processes and accountability for the advancement of gender equality and women’s empowerment. He/she will also support the NRA with resource mobilization efforts in consultation with the UN Women Regional Strategic Partnerships Advisor, and other members of the UN Women ESARO team as relevant, as well as knowledge management.

Duties and Responsibilities

High-quality technical and policy advisory support to Resident Coordinator (RC) and the Resident Coordinator’s Office (RCO), UNCT, and HCTs:

  • Provide advisory support to the RC and UNCT towards the development and monitoring of gender-responsive policy and legal frameworks in-country;
  • Draft policy documents, briefs, and other strategic background papers for use in the development and presentation of policy and programmatic positions;
  • Support the identification/quality checks of areas for support and interventions within the thematic/sectoral areas assigned;
  • Coordinate research and analyze the political, social, humanitarian, and economic situation in the country related to gender equality, including supporting the development and implementation of Country Gender Equality Briefs/Profiles;
  • Provide technical inputs in the development of systems, processes, and mechanisms to support programme planning, implementation, monitoring, and progress reporting with a gender lens;
  • Provide analysis and guidance to the RC, the RCO, the UNCT, and HCTs on key gender issues and opportunities to support women engaging in and benefitting from the assistance provided by the UNCT and humanitarian action.

Technical and advisory support in inter-agency coordination on Common Country Assessments (CCA) and United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks (UNSDCF) processes and humanitarian planning process:

  • Provide technical support in mainstreaming gender concerns in the planning, development, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, annual reviews and progress reporting of UNSDCF as well as humanitarian response plans;
  • Coordinate and provide substantive inputs in the conduct of rigorous gender analysis to inform the Common Country Assessment (CCA), including its annual updates, analyzing root causes of gender inequalities and discrimination that results in differentiated impacts for men and women, boys and girls;
  • Ensure strategic positioning of UN Women in CCA/UNSDCF processes, with UNCT fully leveraging on UN Women’s thought leadership and expertise on GEWE;
  • Support the preparation of analytical and regular progress reports on gender equality marker index through UNINFO, in in close coordination with the RCO Data Management Officer;
  • Support the preparation of analytical and regular progress reports on UN Women’s experiences in support of its inter-agency coordination role;
  • Support in mainstreaming gender in humanitarian needs overviews, response plans (HNOs and HRPs) and other humanitarian documents (flash appeals, etc.).

Foster coherent inter-agency planning, analysis, and action for enhanced accountability to GEWE:

  • Coordinate and provide strategic analysis and advice to the RC and UNCT on gender perspectives and opportunities to support inclusive engagement of women in the development assistance provided by the UNCT and HCTs where applicable;
  • Coordinate and provide technical support to strengthen UNCT’s commitment and accountability for gender equality including supporting the UNCT-SWAP Gender Equality Scorecard exercise and implementation of its Action Plan;
  • Provide strategic guidance and support to joint programmes related to gender equality and empowerment of women and girls, as per the UNSDCF where applicable;
  • Support the implementation of relevant system-wide UN strategies and frameworks at the country level, such as SG Parity Strategy and Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) strategy, and support related monitoring and reporting;
  • Represent UN Women and participate in UNCT and HCT meetings to provide a gender perspective and brief the UNCT and HCTs on current developments and priorities relating to gender equality and women’s empowerment;
  • Coordinate inter-agency analysis of the situation of women and girls in-country and brief the RC and UNCT on current developments and priorities relating to the UN’s contributions, including in advance of Joint Monitoring/Steering Committee meetings with the host Government (and partners);
  • Support capacity-building initiatives of GTGs, UNCTs, HCTs staff, government, and women-led organizations on mainstreaming GEWE into UNSDCF, Gender Scorecard, Gender Markers, and on gender in humanitarian action;
  • During emergencies, coordinate gender analysis and the collection of data to inform humanitarian response.

Support strategic programme development including joint programming:  

  • Support the design and formulation of programme and project initiatives on gender equality and women's empowerment, UN Women’s priorities at country levels to the strategic goals of UN Women regionally/globally as well as donor priorities;
  • Support the full integration of gender equality and women’s empowerment in joint projects and other joint initiatives;
  • Prepare substantive programme briefs on possible areas of cooperation with key partners, in support of RCOs resource mobilization efforts, and in close coordination with the RCO Partnership Officer;
  • Support and coordinate partnerships with relevant UN Agencies, government institutions, inter-governmental bodies, bilateral and multi-lateral donors, private sector, civil society, media, etc., to support successful development and implementation of RCOs programmatic activities at country level.

Interagency advocacy and facilitation of knowledge building and management:

  • Coordinate interagency efforts to establish advocacy networks and linkages to international networks related to gender equality, women’s empowerment, including those relating to peacebuilding and humanitarian support;
  • Coordinate the development of relevant interagency advocacy strategies and their implementation;
  • Lead and oversee the process of identifying and synthesizing best practices and lessons learned, according to priorities set by the UNCT; and contribute to their dissemination.

Coordinate technical support to strategic partnerships building and resource mobilization in close coordination with the RCO partnerships and development financing officer:

  • Coordinate the provision of technical and substantive inputs to partnerships and joint resource mobilization strategies related to GEWE and the Cooperation Framework;
  • Support interagency efforts to liaise with key stakeholders from Government, academia, civil society, private sector, media, and key actors to build and strengthen strategic alliances and partnerships on women’s rights and gender equality initiatives;
  • Coordinate, review, and lead the development of interagency briefs on possible areas of GEWE cooperation, including the identification of opportunities for cost-sharing.

Support the UNCT in engaging in intergovernmental and normative work related to GEWE with national partners:

  • Provide expert guidance and advice to the RC, UNCT, development partners, and national counterparts on the implementation of key UN frameworks and conventions on gender equality and women’s empowerment;
  • Coordinate UNCT’s preparation and follow-up on key inter-governmental processes for the advancement of gender equality, including contributions to relevant global/regional reports and background documents;
  • Advise the RC and UNCT on gender-related SDG consultations and outcomes of regional and global inter-governmental processes on the advancement of gender equality and women’s empowerment;
  • He/she will facilitate UNCT’s engagement with Civil Society Organizations with respect to the above.

Key Performance Indicators:

  • Gender responsive programme/project documents, workplans, and budgets are developed, and programme teams supported on implementation, in line with JWP, and RCOs rules, regulations, policies, and procedures, using results-based management approaches;
  • Timely and quality contributions and guidance to the UNCT, HCTs, and DPG working groups and other coordination meetings;
  • Quality advice to RC, UNCT, HCTs, and Senior Management;
  • Increased communication and collaboration on GEWE between agencies;
  • Increased UNCT and HCT leadership and results in gender equality and women’s rights;
  • Increased joint programming on GEWE;
  • Better integration with and support received from UN Women as a non-resident agency.


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

Please visit this link for more information on UN Women’s Core Values and Competencies:

Functional Competencies:

  • Ability to support strategic planning, results-based management and reporting;
  • Ability to support formulation, implementation, monitoring and reporting of development programmes and projects;
  • Ability to formulate and manage budgets, manage contributions and investments, manage transactions, conduct financial analysis, reporting and cost-recovery;
  • Ability to advocate and provide policy advice;
  • Ability to implement new systems and affect staff behavioral/ attitudinal change;
  • Ability to build strong relationships with development stakeholders focused on impact and results for target beneficiaries;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Ability to lead teams effectively and shows conflict resolution skills;
  • Demonstrates good oral and written communication skills.

Required Skills and Experience

Education and Certification:

  • Master’s degree (or equivalent) in International Development, Gender, Human Rights, Applied Anthropology, or in other related Social Sciences;
  • A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree;
  • A project/programme management certification (such as PMP®, PRINCE2®, or MSP®) would be an added advantage.


  • Minimum 5 years of progressively responsible experience at the national or international level in the design, planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of development projects;
  • Experience in setting priorities, budgets, work plans, participating in programme development, and programme writing;
  • Technical experience in the field of gender and/or human rights of women is preferred;
  • Prior experience in the UN System and working on UN System coordination is also desirable;
  • Experience in partnership building with development stakeholders including national governments, international organizations, and other UN entities;
  • Experience in leading teams effectively is an asset;
  • Experience working in crisis settings is an asset.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English and French is required;
  • Knowledge of other UN languages is an asset (Arabic, Chinese, Russian or Spanish).

Application Process:

All applications must include (as an attachment) a completed UN Women Personal History form (P-11) which can be downloaded from

Please note that the system will only allow one attachment and candidates are required to include in the P-11 form links for their previously published reports and articles completed within the last two years. Applications without the completed and signed UN Women P-11 form will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment.


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.

Diversity and inclusion:

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.