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 Fiji Multi Country Office (MCO) covers 14 Pacific countries, with field offices/presence in 6 countries, and five ‘focus countries’ (Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Samoa). Each field presence is led by a national Country Programme Coordinator. UN Women, in partnership with Pacific Islands Governments, regional organizations, CSOs, donors and UN agencies, focuses on delivering within four interlinked programme areas:
- Ending Violence against Women and Girls (EVAWG);
- Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE);
- Gender and Protection in Humanitarian Action; and
- Governance and Participation in Public Life (GPPL)
UN Women Strategic Plan 2022-2025
Under UN Women’s Strategic Plan 2022-2025 set out UN Women’s vision to achieve gender equality, the empowerment of all women and girls and the full enjoyment of their human rights.
UN Women’s work under Governance and Participation in public life is described as follows under the 2022-2025 global Strategic Plan. UN-Women works with key partners so that all women can fully and equally participate in decision-making, and women and girls can benefit from gender responsive policies, laws, budgets, accountable institutions, and services.
Key interventions include the following:
- Supporting the achievement of 50/50 gender parity in decision-making across different spheres of governance and in elective bodies all levels, including through temporary special measures as well as changes in policies and procedures to increase women’s leadership, meaningful participation and influence in political and governance institutions and processes.
- Increasing the awareness, capacities, and political will necessary to integrate gender equality in planning and public financial management processes, including at all stages of budget planning and decision-making; and strengthening the capacity of institutions to design gender-responsive sectoral strategies, plans, monitoring frameworks and budgets and to provide accessible, affordable, high-quality services free from discrimination.
- Leveraging UN-Women’s convening role to ensure that the perspective of all women and women’s rights organizations are considered in decision making, and that women, and girls (as appropriate), fully and equally participate in the design, implementation, follow-up and assessment of public policies and services.
- Continuing to support the monitoring and tracking by government and non-governmental institutions of government accountabilities to global and regional commitments on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, as well as the collection and dissemination of data on the three SDG5 indicators for which UN-Women is co-custodian.
- Contributing, as part of the H6 partnership, to efforts to repeal discriminatory legislation and norms that impede women’s access to sexual and reproductive health-care services.
Key partnerships include the following:
- Advancing equal power sharing, gender-responsive governance and access to justice, by leveraging UN-Women’s participation in inter-agency mechanisms such as: the UN Inter-Agency Coordination Mechanism on Electoral Assistance; the Global Focal Point for the Rule of Law; the Secretary-General’s Call to Action for Human Rights Task Teams on Gender Equality; the SDG3 Global Action Plan on Healthy Lives and Well-being, and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Financing for Development.
- Continuing to cooperate with a range of UN partners to advance women’s participation and gender-responsive policies and legislation, including with the Development Coordination Office, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
- Supporting, as a co-sponsor of UNAIDS, the integration of gender equality and women’s empowerment throughout the Global AIDS Strategy 2021–202624 and its implementation
Considerations for situating Governance and Participation in Public Life priorities with the broader Pacific Context
The Pacific region is a unique and diverse region. UN Women Fiji Multi Country Office) works with governments and civil society organisations across 14 Pacific Island countries and territories to address gender inequality, empower women and build more inclusive societies. This includes Fiji, Solomon Islands, The Republic of Marshall Islands, Palau, Kiribati, Samoa, Tuvalu, Tonga, Vanuatu, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Tokelau, Niue, Cook Islands with presence in Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu. The MCO presently field offices in Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Tonga, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
While there are broad similarities in terms of geographical spread, evolving regional geopolitics and impact of climate change and underrepresentation of women in Parliament, each pacific island country has its own share of unique challenges and differ in terms of political will, institutional capacity, political context, priorities, agenda and needs. The are significant challenges and gaps in terms of access to justice, availability of gender data, women’s political participation and inclusion in decision making, gender responsive budgeting and mainstreaming and gender discriminatory legislation.
At national level, work on gender equality is guided by National Gender Policies, Action Plans as well as the National Development Plans. However, the level of synergy between existing policies and monitoring and implementation varies. Comprehensive gender data, gender mainstreaming mechanisms and gender responsive budgeting would help strengthen progress on implementation of national level gender commitments. The Pacific Island countries also have global commitments to international human rights instruments which the have ratified. Some of this includes the commitments towards the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, UN Security Council resolutions on Women Peace and Security, Agreed outcomes from Commission on Status of Women, Beijing Platform for Action, Addis Ababa Action Agenda, 2015, 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goals, Paris Climate Agreement, United Nations Strategic Development Cooperation Framework.
At regional level Pacific Island Leaders have made several commitments. Some of the notable ones are: The Pacific Leaders Gender Equality Declaration, Pacific Platform for Action for Gender Equality and Women's Human Rights 2018–2030, Boe Declaration, The 2012-2015 Pacific Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, Outcomes Statement from Pacific Ministers for Women and Senior Government Officials.
There are a whole host of actors in the Pacific region who are working in the area of governance and women’s leadership and political participation. This includes PIFS, SPC and other CROP Agencies, civil society and UN entities in the region. Governments particularly women’s machineries are integral part of gender and governance, and Parliamentary bodies. There is very influential set of civil society (CSO) Feminist movements and networks and women led organizations actively working on women’s rights, leadership and political participation, climate justice, women peace and security amongst other gender focus areas.
UN Women Fiji Multi Country Office: Governance and Participation in Public Life
The previous Strategic Note for UN Women Fiji Multi Country Office (2018-2022) focused on addressing the chronic under-representation of women in politics in the Pacific and to strengthen the voice of women leaders in governance issues.
The following projects were implemented within this period:
- Women in Leadership in Samoa (2018-2022)
- Inclusive Governance of Natural Resources Project (2021-2022)
- Sustainable financing for the 2030 Agenda through viable INFF in Cook Islands, Niue and Samoa (2022-2023)
- Ending Stigma and discrimination against women with disabilities (2022-2023)
- Fiji Country Gender Assessment Project (2020-2023)
On normative work, the Mid-Term Review (MTR) (2022) of the previous UN Women Fiji Multi Country Office Strategic Note (2018-2022) noted that this office’s contribution had been significant, particularly in supporting CEDAW reports and engagement of Pacific stakeholders in the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), Beijing +20 and other global inter-governmental processes. The MTR also noted that while The Pacific Community (SPC) and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) were also somewhat engaged in this work they did not have sufficient resources to be able to meet the needs of the region and that the MCO should therefore maintain its engagement and continue working in partnership with these actors in this area.
One of the major challenges for GPPL has been opportunity based ad hoc projects that often lack integrated approach with limited resources both human and financial in relation to the expressed needs of the Pacific Island Governments. Some of the key aspects highlighted during the MTR noted that UN Women Fiji Multi Country Office and our development partners, were too often supporting isolated interventions implemented just before elections with limited impact and results. It was noted for instance that while building the capacity of women candidates and increasing their numbers was essential, it did not address some of the key obstacles to women’s political participation and would not by itself lead to increase in numbers of women elected.
Considering the complexity of issues surrounding women’s leadership in the Pacific, the UN Women Fiji Multi Country Office was advised to instead focus on comprehensive programming, along the entire electoral cycle, coordinated with other development partners. The Increasing Women’s Political Participation in Samoa UN Women – UNDP joint project was welcomed as a positive example in this regard. It was further recommended that interventions aimed at building the capacity of women leaders should look beyond elections and include women’s voice and leadership in other sectors such as the public service or at community level and include stronger support on linking women with their constituencies. These recommendations confirmed findings from UN Women Fiji Multi Country Office’s MTR and the decision implemented in 2016 to stop investing small amounts of core resources in a multitude of countries to support one-off candidates’ trainings and to instead focus on leveraging core to raise non-core resources through country focused comprehensive projects developed, where possible, in partnership with UNDP.
Given below is the proposed framing for GPPL under the current Strategic Note for UN Women Fiji Multi Country Office (2022-2027):
SN Impact 1: Pacific women and girls, including those from LNOB groups, participate in leadership and decision-making processes and benefit equally from gender-responsive governance, is aligned with the Pacific UNSDCF
Outcome 1.1: By 2027, people enjoy and contribute to more accountable, inclusive, resilient and responsive governance systems that promote gender equality, climate security, justice and peace, ensure participation, and protect their human rights.
Output 1.1.1 Institutions have strengthened their capacity to design, monitor, and advocate for (i) gender-responsive legislation, policies, and action plans and (ii) gender statistics and gender-responsive budgets to promote gender equality, enhance the participation of women and girls and protect their human rights.
Output 1.1.1: The promotion of understandings, action, monitoring and the tracking of progress by governments, inter-governmental organizations, civil society, and UN in advancing the global, regional and normative commitments. This will be done through technical assistance and capacity building support to governmental institutions (regional and national), to intergovernmental organizations and civil society in the design, review and monitoring of relevant regional and national policy frameworks, legislations, and action plan, and will promote peer learning between governments on how to strengthen gender mainstreaming and cross-sectoral coordination within governments. Support has been requested by the governments of Kiribati, the Federated States of) Micronesia, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu, including in strengthening accountability on development investments at local level. Additionally, the MCO will continue to support governments in advocating for the collection, analysis, and utilization of gender data to inform national development efforts across all spheres, and to inform evidence-based and gender-responsive planning and budgeting, and to enhance the monitoring and reporting of national development efforts.
Output 1.1.2 Women and girls, including those from identified LNOB groups, have the ability to express their voice, agency, and priorities in public life, and are empowered to access gender-responsive public goods and services.
Output 1.1.2.: Increasing the leadership, voice and agency of women in all their diversity in the political arena, in government and other decision -making spaces, including in conflict prevention, conflict management and resolution, climate action and disaster risk reduction and humanitarian response. Building in the Women in Leadership project that was undertaken in Samoa, and in line with the outcomes of the 14th Triennial Conference for Pacific Women, the 2018 Boe Declaration on Regional Security, and the objectives of the revitalised PLGED, the MCO will collaborate with key CROP agencies (PIFS, SPC), with national gender machineries and civil society actors, to advocate for and support the design and implementation of legislative and institutional measures that promote women’s leadership across all spheres of society (regional, national, and community level). Additionally, the MCO will continue to invest in building the leadership capacities of aspiring women leaders (i.e. in the political/public and/or private sectors), and correspondingly support efforts to tackle discriminatory societal norms and practices which deter women from exercising their rights particularly in relation to governance and decision making, climate security, access to justice and women, peace and security.
Output 1.1.3 Key stakeholders have improved their capacity to monitor and report on progress in implementing international and national gender equality and women's empowerment commitments.
Output 1.1.3: Focussed on advancing UN Women’s normative mandate, efforts here will be aimed at providing technical assistance and capacity building support to PICTs in meeting their reporting obligations for global and regional normative commitments including the CEDAW, UPR, the BPfA (+30) national and regional reviews, the annual sessions of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the Triennial Conference for Pacific Women and the PLGED scorecard. This will be done in close collaboration with SPC and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) for the Pacific.
In partnership with PIFS and SPC, the MCO will also continue to support civil society, and other regional partners to meaningfully engage with their governments, to inform their contributions to global and regional intergovernmental and other processes (e.g. the Pacific Women Leaders Forum), including through support for preparatory platforms and consultations focussed on supporting PICT governments. Additionally, support will also be provided by way of capacity building and financial resourcing of shadow reporting by civil society actors (regional and national). There is also opportunity to engage regionally and locally on women, peace and security to progress commitments under UN resolutions on Women, Peace and Security as well as the 2012-2015 Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security by leveraging on collaboration with active WPS focussed women led organizations and networks, women’s machineries in Fiji and Solomon Islands as well as regional agencies such as PIFS and SPC.
Developing a comprehensive program framework for GPPL for UN Women Fiji Multi Country Office
Taking into consideration the Pacific context, national and regional priorities, needs and political will of CSOs women’s machineries and governments, national and regional framework and commitments on gender equality, major stakeholders, and actors in GPPL in the region, previous, current, and future work, the major aim of this consultancy is to develop a comprehensive program framework around GPPL for UN Women Fiji Multi Country Office. This also includes taking into account and integrating the ambitions of the 2050 Blue Pacific Strategy and Revitalized PLEGD (2023) and also lessons from the evaluation of GPPL programmes and other governance projects in the Pacific as well as the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework and country implementation plans for the Pacific.
One of the potential areas UN Women Fiji Multi Country Office is keen to focus on is working with Pacific Governance systems on advancing gender equality and women’s leadership in public life with the focus on being able to contribute towards all the three outputs mentioned in the strategic plan.
This included the following dimensions:
- Institutional Strengthening and Capacity building on gender mainstreaming and gender responsive budgeting.
- Supporting greater engagement between government, parliamentarians and key stakeholders with women and women’s groups for informed policy and action
- Creating an enabling environment to support women and emerging women leaders including young women in political positions and roles in public life including female candidates in national and local elections.
- Ensuring government, parliamentarians and other stakeholders have information and tools to support progress on local, regional, and global commitments on gender equality.
Objectives of the assignment
The purpose of this consultancy is to develop a comprehensive programming framework on GPPL for UN Women Fiji Multi Country Office based on agreed guiding outline and focus area developed in consultation with this office and other relevant stakeholders in government, Parliament, CROP agencies, civil society, the UN and among development partners in the Pacific. The lead consultant will guide and work with a supporting consultant.
The Lead Consultant will:
- Conduct a Desk Review on the following GPPL in Pacific Region: Including but limited to context and situational analysis of the Pacific Region as well as mapping previous and current interventions for governance in the Pacific Region (regional and multi country level) and the stakeholders and partnerships involved. Additionally, the consult will review national and regional policy frameworks and strategies, key program or project documents (including final and midterm project evaluation reports), and strategies (or that these partners and UN Women will share. Based on this identify a programing direction for GPPL in the Pacific for UN Women Fiji Multi Country Office.
- Donor Engagement: In collaboration with UN Women Fiji Multi Country Office Senior Management Team, engage with potential development partners to co-develop GPPL programming based on an agreed identified intervention.
- Conduct consultations with relevant stakeholders including but not limited to those listed under section 2 above, and UN Women Fiji Multi Country Office (GPPL, Country Program Coordinators and other team leads as is appropriate) and ROAP Team, UN entities.
- Develop a concept note: Based on the desk review, develop as concept note on a potential program framework for GPPL including a resource mobilization strategy.
- Develop a Draft Comprehensive Program Document: The program document will be based on an agreed outline and shared for preliminary comments and align with the requirements of align with UN Women’s program design requirements.
- Support a review and validation for the Program framework design: The validation can be a hybrid workshop/meeting with representation of stakeholders from the other PICs.
- Present the finalized Program Document: Present the finalized program document to the Senior Management Team.
Duties and Responsibilities
Under the overall guidance of the UN Women Fiji Multi Country Office Programme Specialist Gender Equality, Women’s Rights & Governance and close consultation with Country Representative and Deputy Representative, the Consultant will undertake the tasks as outlined in the deliverable table in Section IV.
The duration of this assignment will be up to 100 working days over 7-month period starting 21 December 2023 – July 2024 as per suggested schedule of deliverables below.
The Consultant is expected to deliver the following Deliverables in collaboration with the supporting consultant:
Submission of Inception Report: Detailing the methodology and workplan and preliminary list of stakeholders
By 29 December 2023
Conduct Desk Review for GPPL in Pacific Region: Including but not limited to context and situational analysis of the Pacific Region in terms of women’s leadership and political participation as well as mapping previous and current interventions for inclusive governance in the Pacific Region (regional and multi country level) and the stakeholders and partnerships involved, final and midterm project evaluation reports, national and regional policy frameworks, and other key documents. Based on this analysis, the desk review will identify a programming direction for GPPL in the Pacific for Fiji Multi Country Office.
Context and Situational Analysis Brief
31 January 2024
Conduct consultations with relevant stakeholders: Including but not limited to women’s machineries, CSO’s, UN Women country program coordinators, UN Women GPPL MCO and ROAP Team, UN Agencies, CROP agencies, academia and donors and other relevant development actors.
Donor Engagement: Develop a concept note and in collaboration with UN Women Senior Management Team, engage with potential donors to co-develop GPPL programming based on an agreed identified intervention.
Concept note, Resource Mobilization Strategy and donor engagement.
15 April 2024
Submit and present the Draft Comprehensive Program Document: The program document will be based on an agreed outline and shared for preliminary comments. This should be presented to the Senior Management Team to elicit feedback. The consultant shall submit a summary of comments received, and incorporate the same ahead of the Validation workshop.
Draft Program Document
15 May 2024
Conduct a validation for Draft 2 of the Program Document: The validation can be a hybrid workshop. The consultant shall submit a summary of comments, post the validation and indicate how they plan to address the same.
Validation Workshop Brief
15 June 2024
Submit the finalized Program Document: Present the finalized program document to the Senior Management Team for endorsement.
Final Program Document and Presentation
15 July 2024
Up to 100 working days over 7 months
Note that all materials, including any video footage and images, will remain property of UN Women and cannot be used without UN Women’s permission.
Upon receipt of the final deliverables and prior to the payment of the instalment, the deliverables, related reports, and documents will be reviewed and approved by UN Women at least within 10 business days of submission.
All the documents and materials utilized need to be returned to UN Women in electronic format. Any printed materials utilized to be referenced and returned.
- The Consultant is expected to work remotely using his/her own computer but may access the UN Women office for printing of relevant documents or should he/she be required to work on-site at any point during the assignment.
- The Consultant will work under the overall guidance of UN Women Fiji Multi Country Office Programme Specialist – Gender Equality, Women’s Rights and Governance and senior management team of UN Women Fiji Multi Country Office.
- The consultancy envisages extensive consultations with key stakeholders.
- The selected Consultant shall sign a contract with UN Women for stipulated assignment, as stated above.
The Consultant’s performance will be evaluated based on timeliness, responsibility, initiative, communication, and quality of the deliverables submitted.
Payments will be disbursed to the consultant in instalments, upon submission and approval of deliverables set forth in Section IV above “Expected Deliverables” and certification by the UN Women Programme Specialist Gender Equality, Women’s Rights and Governance that the services have been satisfactorily performed.
All travel related expenses will be covered directly by the UN Women Fiji Multi Country Office.
- Respect for Diversity
- Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues
- Creative Problem Solving
- Effective Communication
- Inclusive Collaboration
- Stakeholder Engagement
- Leading by Example
Required Skills and Experience
The Consultant should fulfil the following requirements:
- Master’s degree or equivalent in in Law, Governance, Political Sciences, Gender Equality, Human Rights, or other related field is required.
- A first-level University Degree in combination with two (2) additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
Experience and Skills:
- A minimum of fifteen (15) years (with Masters’ Degree), or minimum of seventeen (17) years (with first-level University Degree) of progressive work experience in planning, management and evaluation of development programmes and projects in gender and governance in the Pacific or other closely related fields.
- A minimum of five (5) years of experience in gender and inclusive governance.
- Demonstrable experience with or strong familiarity with the work of UN Women and/or other multilateral, bilateral and civil society, development partners, including other actors working on gender and governance issues in the Pacific is required.
- Substantial experience in developing programme/project documents for the UN or other international organization is required. Experience with UN Women project documents would be desirable.
- Experience in facilitating workshops and conducting consultations and validations is a strong asset.
- Excellent analytical, writing and communication skills.
Language and report writing skills:
- Excellent skills and fluency in verbal and written English is required (as assessed by P11 and two sample project documents)
- Knowledge of other languages spoken the Pacific would be an asset.
UN Women Statement on Diversity 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).
Initially, individual consultants will be short-listed based on the following minimum qualification criteria:
- Master’s degree or equivalent in in Law, Governance, Political Sciences, Gender Equality, Human Rights, or other related field is required. A first-level University Degree in combination with two (2) additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
- A minimum of fifteen (15) years (with Masters’ Degree), or minimum of seventeen (17) years (with first-level University Degree) of progressively responsible experience in in planning, management and evaluation of development programmes and projects in gender and governance in the Pacific or other closely related fields.
Applications will be evaluated based on the cumulative analysis:
- Technical qualification (100 points); weight: (70%)
- Financial proposal (100 points): weight (30%)
A two-stage procedure is utilized in evaluating the applications, with evaluation of the technical application being completed prior to any price proposal being compared. Only the price proposal of the candidates who passed the minimum technical score of 70% of the obtainable score of 100 points in the technical qualification evaluation will be evaluated.
Technical evaluation of shortlisted candidates will be done through desk review of applications on the basis of responsiveness to the Terms of Reference (TOR) as per table below. Interviews and/or written tests will be organized if needed only, depending on the short-listed candidates’ qualifications.
Technical Evaluation Table:
First-level university degree – 5 pts.
Masters’ s qualification- of 10 pts.
Up to 2 years with master’s degree and up to 15 years with first-level university degree – 17 pts,
Each year over 15 (or 17) years - 2 pts each up to a max 20 pts.
Maximum Total Technical Scoring
The consultancy recruitment process will be governed by the rules and regulations of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).
Submission of application
Interested candidates are requested to submit fully completed application on the UNDP Vacancy Site.
- Cover letter explaining the suitability of the consultant: applicants are encouraged to address experience and qualifications listed in the ‘criteria for technical evaluation’.
- Duly filled Personal History Form (P11) and/or Curriculum Vitae (CV) of consultant including records of past experience in similar assignments and specific outputs obtained; P11 can be downloaded at: https://www.unwomen.org/en/about-us/employment
- 2 writing samples of project documents (must be samples for which the applicant was directly responsible for writing).
Failure of candidates to submit a duly completed P11 form, as well as false representations on this form, shall constitute sufficient grounds for withdrawal of further consideration of the application. Information provided in the P11 form will be treated with confidentiality. Applications without a complete set of the required documentations will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment. UN Women reserves the right to accept or reject any bid.