West and Central Africa is a diverse region which combines low income and middle-income countries (Senegal, Nigeria, CDI, Ghana, Cabo Verde, Togo, Benin). For middle-income countries, women’s participation in the economy is a key driver to achieve prosperity as well as the objectives under the 2030 and 2063 agendas. The region is at a critical moment where several socio-economic transformations unfold, leading to tremendous opportunities to put women at the center of the economic emergence. These include the AfCFTA, the transition to the green economy, digital transition and transformation, reindustrialization in high value-added niches of the economy, or natural resources-based growth.  How to position women and youth (young women) at the center of inclusive growth and economic emergence in West and Central Africa and what role should traditional and non-traditional actors play to anchor gender transformative growth strategies in the region are some of the questions that require a reflection, originated in the region, in order to generate home-grown solutions for transformative development and economic growth.

UN Women is therefore engaging a process of reflection and analysis to develop its own specific offer for middle income countries, and it is looking to enhance its positioning in emerging economies in the region by: 

  • Defining interventions that leverage UN Women’s normative, coordination and operational mandates by developing strong WEE offers in the intersection of two or three of the mandates, that leverage UN Women’s comparative advantage and areas of excellence (thought leadership, research, data, etc.); and that are able to produce impact at scale (identify scalable interventions, leveraging data and intergovernmental work).
  • Building new types of partnerships with new actors (Ministries of Finance, IFIs, private sector) and old actors;
  • Leveraging existing and emerging opportunities in the region around critical processes such as AfCFTA, the transition to the green economy, digitalization, etc.

To this end, UN Women is hiring the services of a consultant to help define UN Women offer and develop a strategy for engagement for middle income countries. The process of development of the strategy will include the elaboration of a mapping exercise, and the organization of a high-level external dialogue with strategic partners.

Duties and Responsibilities

The overall objective of this assignment is to develop a strategy for UN Women’s engagement in middle income countries in West and Central Africa. In particular, the consultant will:

  • Conduct a mapping exercise to use as a baseline to inform UN Women’s positioning in middle income countries in West and Central Africa;
  • Lead the organization of a high-level workshop ‘putting women at the centre of the economic emergence in West and Central Africa’ by a developing the programme, contents, and identification of speakers;
  • Act as a facilitator at the high-level workshop ‘putting women at the centre of the economic emergence in WCA’;
  • Formulate a first draft of UN Women’s offer/strategy for engagement in middle income countries building on the findings of the mapping, and the conclusions of the high-level meeting, and consultations with UN Women’s WEE thematic cluster;
  • Present the strategy to UN Women WEE thematic cluster and senior management for validation and finalize the strategy.

Scope of the task

1. Mapping strategic interventions to put women at the center of the economic emergence.

The mapping exercise will include at least the following elements:

  • mapping of UN Women’s work on WEE in WCA identifying areas that best align to opportunities in middle-income countries;
  • mapping of successful interventions by any other actor in the ecosystem to support women’s economic empowerment in middle income countries in Africa;
  • it will identify external opportunities by mapping both, regional trends and processes, as well as large-scale financing sources, specific to middle income countries.
  • Based on this information, the report will propose areas of engagement for UN Women WEE in middle income countries as well as interventions in the intersection of normative/coordination-convening; operational mandate.
  • It will also identify strategic approaches (including in the areas/combining research, policy advice, strategic partnerships, etc.) to deliver impact at scale in middle-income countries.

The consultant will be responsible for developing the methodology, gathering the data, conducting the analysis and drafting the report.

2. High level Partners Meeting: Putting Women at the Centre of the Economic Emergence in WCA.

UN Women is convening a high-level dialogue with strategic partners, to identify high-impact strategies and scalable interventions to put women at the center of economic development and drive gender transformative growth paths in West and Central Africa. The discussion will include Ministers of Finance and Economic Planning; private sector leaders, researchers and intellectuals from the region, international financial institutions, women leaders from across the economic and social spectrum, and other key development actors. The dialogue will be launched through a 2-day high-level meeting to take place in Abidjan in Q1 of 2024. A full concept note for this activity is available separately. The consultant will be responsible for adapting the concept note, finalizing the programme, identifying key high-level speakers, liaise with them as to their participation in the workshop, and facilitating the workshop.

3. Development of an offer/strategy for engagement for UN Women in middle-income countries.

Based on the input of the mapping exercise and the high-level meeting, and following consultations with members of UN Women’s WEE cluster, the consultant will formulate a first draft of UN Women’s offer/strategy for engagement in middle income countries, will present it to UN Women WEE thematic cluster and senior management during a validation workshop (virtual) and will finalize the strategy integrating UN Women’s feedback.

4.Deliverables and Timeline





Inception report including methodology and outline for the mapping and the strategy, and workplan for the assignment

December 2023 – one week after signing contract



  • Draft mapping exercice document
  • Final mapping exercise integrating input from UN Women

End of January 2024


High-level dialogue

  • Concept note and programme of the workshop;
  • Presentations to support specific sessions of the workshop;
  • List of high-level speakers from the region
  • Facilitation of the 2-day workshop
  • 5 page document with key conclusions and recommendations from the meeting

By end of February 2024



Engagement Strategy

  • Draft strategy document (power point version)
  • Presentation to UN Women 
  • Final version of the strategy integrating UN Women’s feedback
  • Final power point presentation of the strategy

By mid-March 2024

5. Other

The consultant will report to UN Women’s regional policy advisor for Women’s Economic Empowerment. This assignment is for 60 days. All deliverables will be submitted in English.


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


Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s degree or equivalent in economics, development economics, or any other relevant field of social or public policy.


  • At least 10 years of international experience and record of accomplishment in international development conducting strategic planning and development policy analysis 
  • Experience in development programming, policy analysis, and strategic planning
  • Previous professional experience in developing and emerging economies
  • Extensive knowledge and experience working in West and Central Africa


  • Fluency in English and French is required.


All applications must include (as an attachment) the completed UN Women Personal History Form (P-11), which can be downloaded from . Please note that the system only allows one attachment. Applications without the UN Women P-11 form will be considered incomplete and will not be considered for further evaluation.

At UN Women, we are committed to creating an environment of diversity, inclusion and mutual respect. UN Women recruits, employs, trains, remunerates and promotes without regard to race, religion, colour, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ability, national origin or any other basis covered by the appropriate law. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, skills, integrity and the needs of the organisation.

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 towards behaviour that is inconsistent 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 policies and procedures and the standards of conduct expected of UN Women staff and will therefore be subject to a rigorous reference and background check. (The background check will include verification of academic qualifications and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to complete a background check).


In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly established UN Women, the UN entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women. The creation of UN Women is part of the UN reform agenda, which aims to pool resources and mandates for greater impact. It merges and builds on the important work of four previously separate parts of the UN system (DAW, OSAGI, INSTRAW and UNIFEM), which focused exclusively on gender equality and women's empowerment.