UN Women: Regional Programme Director

Location : Nairobi, KENYA
Application Deadline :12-Sep-11 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :D-1
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :12 months


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 centre of all its efforts, the UN Women will lead and coordinate United Nations system efforts to ensure that commitments on gender equality and gender mainstreaming translate into action throughout the world. It will provide strong and coherent leadership in support of Member States' priorities and efforts, building effective partnerships with civil society and other relevant actors.

The East and Horn of Africa Sub-Regional Office covers all countries of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Member States (Djibouti, South Sudan, North Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya) as well as Tanzania which falls under the East Africa Community. The SRO manages a large budget portfolio and covers a number of countries in the region in post conflict and complex emergencies situations (Somalia, North and South Sudan and Kenya).

The Regional Program Director (RPD) reports to  the Chief of the Africa Geographic Section with overall strategic guidance provided by the Director of Programme Support.  He/She  is responsible for leading and managing the Sub-Regional Office (SRO) and directing the strategic development, planning, management and oversight of programming in the  countries within the sub-region, to ensure delivery of results as planned in  UN Women global and regional strategies,  objectives and accountability framework.


Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of key functions:

1. Strategic program development and planning

  • Monitor and evaluate the political and economic situation and trends in the region/globally, and establish effective dialogue with the governments, national organizations and a wide range of stakeholders (civil society, private sector and development partners) in the region on development challenges, opportunities and priorities.
  • Identify opportunities and challenges and determine the vision and strategy to respond to these opportunities and challenges to achieve UN Women goals and objectives on gender equality and women's human rights with particular emphasis on UN Women core focus areas in the region/country.
  • Articulate and effectively communicate the strategic vision for UN Women in the region/country that is consistent with UN Women strategic plan and supportive of national development goals and priorities.
  • Provide direction and guide the strategic development and preparation of the program document in line with the national development strategies and plans of action, UN Women's mandate, mission, goals and objectives and accountability framework and UNDAF. Determine the allocation of resources in consultation with the government, international development partners and other constituents.
  • Represent UN Women in the UN Heads of Agencies meetings, major events and other inter agency fora, including the donor consultation processes to participate in strategic discussions affecting UN Women and UN system development programs and operations in the country; and to actively seek opportunities to strengthen collaboration/alliances/partnerships with UN system organizations, agencies and partners on common interests and goals.
  • Develop and maintain strategic partnerships with wide ranging constituencies, NGOs, donors and the UN system agencies/partners as well as multi lateral and bilateral donors and development institutions through policy dialogue, advocacy and effective, efficient and high quality program delivery.

2. Managerial leadership and direction

  • Provide strategic guidance and oversee the overall management of the UN Women Sub-Regional Office (SRO) including human resources and financial management, procurement and operations in support of programs and projects to ensure adherence to policies and procedures and accountability framework.
  • Establish in collaboration and discussion with the team the SRO annual work plans and set objectives, performance measurements, standards and expected results in accordance with UN Women results based management and reporting guidelines.
  • Guide the preparation of and approve budget proposal for financial, human and other required resources to ensure the office operates efficiently. Decide on the optimum and appropriate allocation and management of resources.
  • Supervise and assess work in progress to ensure delivery of results according to performance standards, overall objectives and accountability framework. Provide intellectual leadership and technical guidance and timely take decisions to meet objectives.
  • Promote teamwork to ensure harmonization, linkages, collaboration and synergy and ensure that staff members are provided sufficient information, guidance and support to perform and deliver results according to the organizational, personal and professional standards of efficiency, accountability and integrity.

3. Program management and oversight

  • Consult and/or engage senior partners in the UNDG/UN system, UNCT, RDTs to enhance understanding of the needs and challenges in programming to achieve gender equality and women's empowerment for strategic programming and policy discussion and agenda setting.
  • Provide advice to  UN Women Senior Management on the strategy, direction and plans of action for programs on gender issues in the region.
  • Lead strategic program discussion, formulation, design and preparation. Oversee progress, and assess relevancy and ensure the efficient and effective delivery quality of result. Plan and lea evaluations and assess results to ensure delivery of results as planned.
  • Attend regional, country and other critical meetings and events to participate in strategic discussions on the impact and efficacy of UN Women programs at the regional and country level.
  • Monitor reporting needs in order to ensure high quality, timely and results-based reporting.

4. External relations, communications and resource mobilization

  • Advise governments, NGO's, UNCT and bilateral partners on the implementation of key policy commitments to gender and women's rights at the sub-regional, national and regional levels, implementation of CEDAW and Security Resolutions (1325 and 1820), development of gender equality policies and mechanisms and mainstreaming of gender issues in national development strategies, budgets and other national initiatives.
  • Lead negotiations on cost-sharing agreements with donors. Ensure timely and accurate reporting to donors/partners to maintain UN Women credibility and keep their interests and support to UN Women programs and projects.
  • Maintain active relationship/partnership with Member States, UN system and agency partners, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, regional commissions, institutes and academia on women's issues to enhance collaboration, resource mobilization and/or share ideas to influence agenda and priority setting.
  • Establish and maintain effective consultations with governments, partners, stakeholders and donors to achieve active collaboration, cooperation and alliances on program development and implementation, resource mobilization and sustained partnerships to promote accelerate progress on gender equality and women's rights.
  • Represent UN Women in UNCTs and executing agencies as appropriate/delegated to consult, collaborate and/or interact on common issues and activities and participate in the CCA/UNDAF process to ensure the active participation of UN Women in these processes to advance gender equity and women's human rights.
  • Actively seek out participation of UN Women in UN system thematic and other working groups to establish effective network and to keep abreast of on-going debate and thinking on aids development, facilitate joint programming and promote UN Women competencies and interests to advance gender and women's human rights.
  • Conceptualize and oversee the implementation of a comprehensive advocacy and communication strategies to increase visibility for gender equality and women's human rights in key national and sub-regional venues and media.

5. Knowledge management and capacity building

  • Manage the process of collecting and sharing lessons learned on gender equality and women's empowerment to build knowledge and capacity of partners and stakeholders.
  • Identify lessons learned and areas of emphasis to guide program improvements and future strategic development plan.
  • Lead and oversee the design and implementation of capacity building training activities to enhance skills and knowledge in Results Based Management, Results based budgeting and systematic quality assurance.
  • Contribute to the development and maintenance of global and regional program knowledge networks and practices, and development of knowledge products.



Core values/guiding principles

  • Integrity:
    Demonstrating consistency in upholding and promoting the values of UN Women in actions and decisions, in line with the UN Code of Conduct.
  • Cultural Sensitivity/Valuing diversity:
    Demonstrating an appreciation of the multicultural nature of the organization and the diversity of its staff. Demonstrating an international outlook, appreciating differences in values and learning from cultural diversity.

Core competencies

  • Ethics and Values: Promoting Ethics and Integrity / Creating Organizational Precedents
  • Organizational Awareness: Building support and political acumen
  • Developing and Empowering People / coaching and mentoring: Building staff competence, creating an environment of creativity and innovation
  • Working in Teams: Building and promoting effective teams
  • Communicating Information and Ideas: Creating and promoting enabling environment for open communication
  • Self-management and Emotional intelligence: Creating an emotionally intelligent organization
  • Conflict Management / Negotiating and Resolving Disagreements: Leveraging conflict in the interests of the organization & setting standards
  • Knowledge Sharing / Continuous Learning: Sharing knowledge across the organization and building a culture of knowledge sharing and learning
  • Appropriate and Transparent Decision Making: Fair and transparent decision-making; calculated risk-taking

Functional Competencies

  • Excellent theoretical, intellectual and technical skills in  international development particularly those that are pertinent to UN Women strategic priorities on gender issues and women's rights
  • Demonstrates political astuteness  and intellectual capacity in representing the organization effectively at high levels in national and international fora to advocate and to promote organizational priorities, initiatives and a better understanding of the organizational strategic agenda and to build consensus
  • Ability to establish and maintain broad strategic networks and partnerships with UN agencies and other international partners to promote partnership and build alliances to advance organizational interests and competencies
  • Effective leadership in fund raising strategies and activities and proactive engagement with the multilateral and bilateral donor community to ensure a stable resource base
  • Exercises leadership in strengthening accountability and results-based management in supporting organizational priorities, policy and decision-making processes

Required Skills and Experience


  • Advanced university degree in development related disciplines, economics or public policy or other social science fields. 


  • Over 15 years of extensive development experience that combines intellectual, strategic and managerial leadership in  development cooperation at the international level, preferably in developing countries within the UN system, Agencies, Funds or Programs or UN Mission.

Language Requirements:

  • Written and oral proficiency in English is required. Knowledge of another UN language is desirable.

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.
All applications must include (as an attachment) the completed UN Women Personal History form (P-11) which can be downloaded from http://www.unwomen.org/about-us/employment

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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