International Consultant (Gender Equality Project Phase III Formulation)

Location : UNDP/GEP/Kabul with Possibility of Travel to Provinces, AFGHANISTAN
Application Deadline :14-Sep-15 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Democratic Governance and Peacebuilding
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :3 months with maximum 65 working days (5 days per week)


Over the past ten years, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has made significant progress in terms of strengthening its state machinery and in developing instruments to promote and support the development and wellbeing of its citizens. Gender equality and women’s empowerment have been given ample consideration in the nation building strategies. Ratification of the Convention of the Elimination of all Forms of Discriminations against Women (CEDAW) in 2003, endorsement of the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are some of the major steps taken by the government to this end. Rights and empowerment of women have been defended and emphasized upon in the Bonn Agreement, Berlin Plan of Action, the Afghan 2004 Constitution, Afghanistan Compact, and the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS).

In addition, Kabul Conference Communiqué put women’s empowerment and gender equality in the center of all GoA programmes in order to improve women’s position in all governmental sectors. All these documents and commitments include provisions that promote women’s empowerment and gender equality.

Within the overall framework of the ANDS, the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GoIRA) expressed its commitments and set specific priorities for a lasting and equitable development. The main objectives of the ANDS are to attain security, good governance, economic growth and poverty reduction. Gender equality has been considered as one of the crosscutting themes, whose vision is an “Afghanistan where women and men enjoy security, equal rights and equal opportunities in all spheres of life[1]

The Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework (TMAF) agreed in July 2012 undercores the necessity of strengthened governance and institutions, with a particular focus on the rights of women.  It includes specific commitments to:

  • Ensure respect for human rights for all citizens, in particular for women and children, and allow the AIHRC and civil society organizations to perform their appropriate functions;
  • Demonstrate implementation, with civil society engagement, of both the EVAW Law and NAPWA on an annual basis; and
  • Ensure adequate resource allocations to achieve MDG targets for health, gender, education, environment and food security and use of MDG indicators to measure progress.

Afghanistan is a pilot country for the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States.  The New Deal seeks to address the underlying causes of conflict through targeted support to meet peace-building and state-building goals.

These goals focus on:

  • (i) Strengthening legitimate and inclusive politics;
  • (ii) Investing in security;
  • (iii) Addressing injustices and strengthening access to justice;
  • (iv) Laying an economic foundation; and
  • (v) Improving revenues to support improved services.

Central to the New Deal is support for inclusive, country-led and country-owned transitions out of fragility, with full recognition of the need to accelerate efforts to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women in all aspects of their development efforts.

The outcome document of the London Conference on Afghanistan (December 2014) ‘Realizing Self-Reliance’ underlines the vision on inclusive, country-led transitions out of fragility, with an emphasis on accelerating nation’s self-reliance.  The document re-affirms ‘Afghanistan’s national and international commitments to end discrimination and violence against women and to ensure the fair and legal treatment of women before the law’. Special attention is made on ensuring ‘government leadership and policy to provide women and girls with increased economic and educational opportunities’ and ‘implementing measures such as ending workplace gender harassment, unjust treatment of women prisoners, or insufficient support to women police officers or other government employees where the government must set the example of gender fair treatment and gender friendly employment policies’

To measure progress to that effect, a specific benchmark has been set and the full implementation of the National Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan (NAPWA) is considered the minimum achievement.

In this context, and pursuant to UNDAF, CPD and CPAP and in response to national priorities stipulated in Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS), UNDP is requested to support Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA) through a multi-year project.

The project overarching goal is to contribute to national partners’ efforts towards the implementation of development priorities within the Transformation Decade (2014-2024) leading to self-reliant nation and state building, grounded on an imperative of promoting the human rights of women and men, enabling them to equally participate in Afghanistan’s national development. Furthermore, this project will aim to support the achievement of Afghan women’s human development as envisaged in the ANDS, NAPWA, national Priority Program (NPP) on building capacity to accelerate NAPWA, and the Kabul Conference Communiqué and provide them with equal opportunities through the engendering of national policies and local capacity development.

In addition, this project will be the successor of the current GEP-II project, and therefore the mission should focus to further strengthen and up-scale the best of practices of GEP-II such policy support, capacity development and M&E support.

GEP – II is a collaborative effort between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and UNDP Afghanistan.  It aims to improve the social and economic status of vulnerable Afghan women and girls by adopting a two-pronged approach: build on the good practices and lessons learned of the first phase of the UNDP Gender Project (GEP I) and implement innovative initiatives for mainstreaming gender. The project duration is for 3 years from 2012 – 2015. The Project has three components: 1) Enhancement of MOWA’s capacity for policy making and oversight for NAPWA Implementation; 2) Development of Women’s entrepreneurship skills and capacity building of women cooperatives in 19 provinces; and 3) Increasing access to justice for women including awareness on women’s rights among men and women. The Project is implemented based on best practices identified from the pilot phase in cooperation with selected key government and non-government partners. The project has been able to establish a functional policy directorate equipped with trained staff and tools to help the line ministries review polices from the gender perspective and develop more gender sensitive policies.  Under this component, GEP – II in collaboration with the ministry of finance and ministry of women’s affairs developed a GRB handbook to clarify the requirement, and role and responsibilities of all line ministries on GRB mandate. Furthermore, GEP – II has helped Kabul university develop a strategic framework and policy guideline for gender and women’s studies master’s degree.

Duties and Responsibilities

The mission will specifically focus on the following issues in close consultation with UNDP Afghanistan, government of Afghanistan and donors:

Area 1 – Institutional set up and effectiveness

  • Review of government structure, policies and institutions for enhancing government effectiveness and transformative structural changes in state policies and institutions to provide services, which are gender responsive and address specific needs of women and men;
  • Review of and make specific recommendations for increasing accountability of line ministries’ senior management and policy/planning and budgeting departments for integrating gender priorities into ministry/agency plans and budgets by adoption of normative requirements for gender mainstreaming;
  • Make an assessment of MoWA M&E system and mechanism in order to further improve and strengthen the M&E system.
  • Make an assessment of gender units in the line ministries and provide specific recommendations for institutionalization of these units in the line ministries;
  • Make a comprehensive assessment of the current policies and programmatic interventions, and identify the key challenges and opportunities in the area of Gender Responsive Budging (GRB);
  • Make a comprehensive assessment to expand and transfer the best practices (policy support, legal help centers, and religious leader trainings of GEP-Phase II to the other closet provinces through channeling and strengthening the structures of government such as DoWA and Department of Justice without UNDP physical existence but through the UNDP’s advisory support and skills transfer;
  • Make a comprehensive analysis of women’s political participation, and identify the key challenges and opportunities to promote women’s political participation and leadership.

Area 2 – Advocacy and awareness raising and partnership building:

  • Review of tools, mechanisms and frameworks for awareness raising and advocacy, and make specific strategy and recommendations that would introduce positive changes in social perceptions, attitudes and behaviors for promoting zero tolerance, and advocate for a genuine women participation in development processes;
  • Comprehensive review of GEP-II work in area of religious leaders and design a strategic framework that would help transformative changes at the rural areas and help women advance their agenda;
  • Review of traditional leaders’ role in advancing women’s right and agenda and make specific recommendation so that Traditional leaders promote gender and human rights awareness and education;
  • Make an assessment of the UNDP programmes/projects to identify key partners in the delivery of gender equality and women’s empowerment technical assistance to the GoIRA;
  • Make an assessment of civil society organizations (CSOs) which are active in the sector of gender equality and women’s empowerment to further strengthen the coordination and cooperation between MoWA, UNDP and CSOs;
  • Explore and review the current array of resources available to UNDP through existing and prospective sources and develop strategic framework for resource mobilization.


The mission shall produce the following documents:

  • Formulation of a multi-year project document in lightof the scope above, the developed conceptual framework that is a ) to improve the structure, policies and institutions for enabling government effectiveness to provide services, which are gender responsive and address specific needs of women and men;  and b) change social perceptions, attitudes and behaviors for promoting zero tolerance to discrimination and inequalities, and advocate for a genuine women participation in development processes; and  c)  up scale the best practices of Gender Equality Project Phase II (GEP Phase-I) such as policy support and institutional set and development;
  • Development of a resource mobilization strategic framework;
  • Development of project organizational and staffing structure, and Terms of References (ToRs);
  • Development of capacity development plan and exit strategy for each output of the project.

Working Arrangement

Duration of the mission will be 3 months and the duty station is Kabul with possibility of travel to provinces. The consultants are fully responsible to achieve the above set out deliverables and key results as per the schedule and time framework:

  • Consultation with partners - End of September 2015
  • Development resource mobilization - End of September 2015
  • Draft of ProDoc – Mid October 2015
  • Finalized ProDoc – 15 November 2015
  • Development of project organizational and staffing structure, and Terms of References (ToRs) – 20 November 2015
  • Development of capacity development plan and exit strategy for each output of the project – end of November 2015

Evaluation Method and Criteria

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodology:

Cumulative analysis

The award of the contract shall be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation;
  • Technical Criteria: weight 70%;
  • Financial Criteria weight 30%.

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 49 points (70% of the total technical points) would be considered for the Financial Evaluation

Technical Criteria – Maximum 70 points:

  • Criteria A: (Relevance of Education – Max 5 points);
  • Criteria B: (Relevance of experience, particularly programme/project formulation – Max 35 points);
  • Criteria D: (Description of approach/methodology) – Max 15 Points);
  • Criteria E: ( Experience in Afghanistan – Max 15 points).


Core Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards (human rights, peace, understanding between peoples and nations, tolerance, integrity, respect, results orientation (UNDP core ethics) impartiality;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
  • Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback.

Functional Competencies:

  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Demonstrates good oral and written communication skills with proven ability in report writing;
  • Ability to work both independently and in a team and ability to deliver high quality work on time;
  • Ability to lead strategic discussion with donors, government partners, CSOs and other relevant development partners.

Behavioral Competencies:

  • Comfortable in working in dynamic environments that change frequently;
  • Able to perform in a high-stress and difficult security environment, with basic accommodation choices;
  • Ability to manage relationships with a diverse range of stakeholders and incorporate diverse points of view.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Masters’ degree in gender studies, social science, development and Human Rights, and political science.


  • 10 years of relevant experiences in project formulation and development;
  • Experience of working in post-conflict, fragile environments;
  • Strong analytical capacities and strong ability to communicate and summarize this analysis in writing;
  • Experience of working in Afghanistan.


  • Fluency in written and spoken English is required;
  • Knowledge of a local language would be an asset.

Price Proposal and Sechedule of Payment:

The contractor shall submit a price proposal as below:

  • The contractor shall submit a lump sum amount for entire consultancy and the payment will be done based on below specified percentage of each delivery. However, the duration of consultancy shall not exceed 65 working days;
  • The contractor shall propose a Living allowance at the Kabul applicable rate of USD 181 per night for his/her stay at the duty station. The number of nights for which the Living allowance shall be payable under the contract estimated is 91 nights. The contractor is not allowed to stay in a place of his choice other than the UNDSS approved places. UNDP will provide MORSS compliant accommodation in Green Village (GV) to the contractor. The payment of GV accommodation shall be made directly to GV by the contractor;
  • Travel & Visa – The contractor shall propose an estimated lump-sum for home-kabul-home travel (economy most direct route) and Afghanistan visa expenses;
  • The contractor shall be entitled for R&R - 7 calendar days (USD 2,606) for every six weeks during the course of the assignment. During these 7 R&R days when the contractor is away from Kabul, the contractor shall be paid the LA at half rate (USD 90.50 per day) and the contractor is required to retain his/her room in GV for these 7 days for which the cost recovery shall be affected. After the last R&R, the contract should mandatorily stay in country for minimum of 30 calendar days.

The total contract price, inclusive of the above elements, shall be converted into a lump-sum contract and payments under the contract shall be made on submission and acceptance of deliverables under the contract in accordance with the schedule of payment linked with deliverables as specified below. The payment is subject to the approval of unit head/programme of the deliverables.

Price Schedule and Payment:

  • Consultation with partners - End of September 2015  10 %;
  • Development resource mobilization - End of September 2015  10 %;
  • Draft of ProDoc - Mid October 2015  20 %;
  • Finalized ProDoc – 15 November 2015 40 %;
  • Development of project organizational and staffing structure, and Terms of References (ToRs) – 20 November 2015  10 %;
  • Development of capacity development plan and exit strategy for each output of the project – end of  November 2015 10 %.

Documents to be included when submiting the proposals:

Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications in one single PDF document:

Duly accomplished Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability and Financial proposal that indicates the all-inclusive fixed total contract price, supported by a breakdown of costs, as per template provided using the template provided by UNDP (Annex II).

Personal CV or P11, indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references.

Technical proposal:

  • Brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment;
  • A methodology, on how they will approach and complete the assignment.

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.

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