UN Women: Country Director

Location : Nairobi, KENYA
Application Deadline :30-Dec-11 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :P-5
Languages Required :

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


The 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 center 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 scope of work of the UN Women Country Director requires experience and in-depth understanding of gender equality and women’s empowerment issues, as well as management and programming expertise, to translate UN Women`s strategic plans into effective development initiatives and results.  It also requires developing mutually reinforcing partnerships with relevant Government counterparts, UN organizations, CSOs, and with bilateral and non-traditional donors in order to promote inter-agency partnerships, support for UN reform, and mobilization of visibility and resources to advance gender equality and women's empowerment.
Kenya is home to the only United Nations Headquarters in the developing world with most agencies of the UN represented. UN Women has well established presence both in the country and within the UN Country Team, setting the scene for numerous UN agency joint programming opportunities.
Donor harmonization has taken root in Kenya, and UN Women has mobilized and currently manages a Joint Basket programme for Gender and Governance; and has also taken the lead in setting up the Gender Sector Working Group, which provides technical expertise on gender analysis for the Donor Harmonization, Alignment and Coordination Group.
The Country Director is responsible for providing advisory, technical and programme support services ensuring high quality programming aligned to national priorities; programme delivery and outputs, consistent with the strategic priorities of UN Women.
The Country Director is a member of the United Nations Country Team and is responsible for coordination of the UNCT’s work on gender equality and women’s empowerment; aligning the work of UN Women’s programme of support within the United Nations Development Assistance Framework.  

Duties and Responsibilities

Key Functions:

  • Strategic Country Programme Development and Advocacy
  • Country Programme Management and Oversight 
  • Representation and Partnership Building
  • Knowledge Management and Capacity Building


Under the supervision of the Regional Programme Director, the Country Director has the following key functions: 

Strategic Programme Development and Advocacy:

  • Proactively assess trends and identify emerging issues at the national level of relevance to the mandate of UN Women; 
  • Lead the formulation and development of the UN Women Country Programme Strategy based on the Corporate Strategic Plan (SP)  in support of gender equality and women’s empowerment;
  • Identify strategic programme opportunities, and approaches and modalities to strengthen UN Women country presence;
  • Support, monitor and assure quality control in the formulation of high quality, results-based, rights-based and relevant country programmes and projects and oversee the appraisal and approval of UN Women programmes in line with corporate guidelines and consistency with corporate policies and strategies;
  • Participate actively as a member of the UNCT to ensure that gender equality and women’s empowerment issues are well integrated into UN programming processes such as CCA/UNDAF, Country Programmes, etc.;
  • Assist the RC System to secure expertise that will ensure commitment, quality control and resources for gender equality outcomes, and actively participate in country level United Nations programming processes ensuring that the UN Women is strategically placed within UN planning processes, joint programmes and other inter-agency initiatives;
  • Advocate on behalf of UN Women and its mandate to help raise awareness and stimulate action to advance gender equality and women's rights and form strategic partnerships with government, UN agencies, NGOs, academia, media and the private sector;
  • Carry out ongoing advocacy to ensure that UN support towards realization of the national plans and priorities are done in a gender responsive manner, and within agreed regional and international frameworks that promote and protect gender equality. 

Country Programme Management and Oversight:

  • Lead the management, implementation and evaluation of the country strategic plan based on UN Women's Strategic Plan (SP), and in line with regional and national priorities and in consultation with government, civil society and UN partners and stakeholders;
  • Manage ongoing programme activities on gender equality and women’s empowerment and ensure delivery of agreed results;
  • Ensure UN Women’s strategic and technical support to government counterparts, non state actors and UN agencies through direct involvement and provision of advisory services as needed;
  • Oversee, monitor and assure quality control in the implementation of high quality, results-based, rights-based and relevant country programmes and projects in line with corporate guidelines and consistency with corporate policies and strategies;
  • Ensure that the Country Office has the human and financial resources and capacities needed to respond to requests for assistance and to deliver on its commitments to support and advance gender equality and to participate effectively as a member of the UN Country Team;
  • Manage staff and office in an empowering and effective manner;
  • Manage the Country Office resources and administration to ensure proper utilization of allocated funds and accountability;
  • Use corporate monitoring and oversight tools to identify areas which need improvement;
  • Contribute to regular assessments of the regional, sub-regional and country strategic plans and implementation plans and identify lessons learned and areas of emphasis to underpin consistently improved programming and future Strategic Plan development.

 Representation and Partnership Building:

  • Represent the UN Women in UN system-wide inter-agency tasks forces to contribute to strategic and policy discussion on gender equality, and women empowerment issues;
  • Represent UN Women at inter-agency, intergovernmental, international, regional and national conferences and meetings and advocate UN Women's policy and initiatives in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment;
  • Forge strategic partnerships at the county level to promote gender equality and women's advancement through joint projects and interagency efforts;
  • Maintain active relationships and partnerships with National Government Counterparts, UN System, and agency partners, inter-government and non-governmental organizations, institutes and academia on women’s issues to enhance collaboration, resource mobilization and share and influence agenda and priority setting;
  • Forge strategic partnerships with Government, UN agencies, NGOs, academia, media and private sector  to stimulate action to advance gender equality and women's rights.

 Knowledge Management and Reporting:

  • Manage the process of collecting and disseminating lessons learned on gender equality and women's empowerment strategies and contribute to UN Women’s knowledge management efforts;
  • Lead and manage the preparation of UN Women country reports as required, ensuring relevancy, quality and appropriateness of content and presentation;
  • Work with relevant UN Women units to identify and disseminate best programme and management practices;
  • Lead the development and expansion of knowledge management strategies and methodologies at the country level;
  • Contribute to the development and maintenance of global, regional and national knowledge networks and practices;
  • Produce knowledge products to meet UN Women needs and standards of quality.   

Impact of Results:

Success of the efforts to formulate and implement the UN Women Programme Strategy at the country level to promote and advance gender equality and women’s empowerment issues.


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.  
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:
  • Substantive experience and record of accomplishment in the area of gender equality and women's empowerment issues; 
  • Demonstrated People Management Skills;
  • Familiarity  with women's rights organizations and networks in the region and globally;
  • Good knowledge of UN Women and the UN system;
  • Proven ability to advocate and provide policy advice;
  • Ability to lead strategic planning, programme development and implementation, results-based management and reporting;
  • Ability to develop and maintain strong partnerships  and mobilize resources;


Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s degree (or equivalent) in a social sciences, economics, gender issues, or other development-related fields.


  • A Minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible experience on gender programming issues, including 5 years field experience on gender equality and women’s rights issues with an international organization.
  • Strong familiarity with UN inter-agency cooperation would be an asset. 

Language Requirements: 

  • Fluency in written and spoken English;
  • Working knowledge in another UN language will be considered an asset.


Note: 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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