Un Women: Director, West and Central Africa Regional Office

Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Dakar, SENEGAL
Application Deadline :19-Oct-15 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :D-1
Languages Required :
English   French  
Duration of Initial Contract :1 year


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, UN Women will lead and coordinate the 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 State's priorities and efforts, building effective partnerships with civil society and other relevant actors.

The role of the Regional Office (RO) is threefold: 

  • Empower and support country level capacity and processes to deliver on the UN Women' mandate.
  • Oversee country and regional based mandate delivery across normative, policy, advocacy and UN Coordination roles.
  • Deliver on the UN Women mandate at the regional level by leveraging regional coordination mechanisms and liaising closely with other regional bodies.

The Regional Director reports to the Director of the Programme Division, who provides overall strategic direction and supervision. The Regional Director is responsible for leading and managing the Regional Office and for providing leadership and managerial oversight in the region on the direction, strategic design and planning of UN Women regional initiatives, as well as contribution to and integration of UN Women interventions in the broader UN development framework and reform. S/he is also responsible for providing managerial support, guidance and oversight of the Regional Office and Country Offices (CO) programme implementation and operations (financial, human resources and administrative), and for political advocacy, strategic partnership, resource mobilization and representation activities to promote UN Women goals, competencies, interests and objectives.

The West and Central Africa Regional Office covers a diverse and complex part of the continent, in which UN Women currently has Country Offices in 9 countries, with programme presence in 4 additional countries. Some of the countries in this natural resource-rich region enjoy political and socio-economic stability, while others are in the midst of conflict situations and many of the countries in the Sahel region are experiencing protracted humanitarian crises. The region encompasses some of the most populous countries and fastest growing economies globally, alongside countries with some of the lowest human development indicators in the world.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Key Functions:

  • Strategic program development, policy and normative support.
  • Oversight, program and operational guidance and quality assurance.
  • Managerial leadership and direction.
  • UN inter-agency coordination and intergovernmental support.
  • Representation and advocacy.
  • Strategic partnerships and resource mobilization.


Strategic Program Development, Policy and Normative Support:

  • Assess trends and development issues in the region and develop the regional vision and strategy to advance the achievement of UN Women goals and objectives within the region and submit strategic position papers and briefs and/or recommendations to the Director, Programme Division.
  • Identify program opportunities, approaches and modalities and submit to the Director, Programme Division, recommendations on regional program strategies and plans in accordance with UN Women's global policies, priorities and goals and in harmony with national development agenda, capacities and interests.
  • Participate in UN Women senior management meetings to contribute to strategic planning and formulation of regional and global policy and strategies.
  • Lead and guide the RO's consolidated and coordinated program, policy and normative support and technical advisory services to MCOs and COs to build capacity and to support achievement of objectives.

Oversight, Program and Operational Support and Quality Assurance:

  • Monitor and oversee country programs to ensure the delivery of quality results, timely and appropriate reporting and compliance with corporate requirements. Take timely decisions to ensure objectives are met as planned and allocated.
  • Lead and coordinate the regional program and project planning and review processes to ensure the harmonization and integration of regional programming with UN Women global and regional goals and strategy and to ensure that financial resource allocations, organizational structures and staff planning are line with program needs.
  • Provide direction and guidance in the formulation of high quality and relevant regional and country programs and projects and oversee the appraisal and approval of UN Women programs in line with corporate strategies, policies and guidelines.
  • Lead and manage the substantive program and operational support to Multi-Country Offices and Country Offices within the Region.
  • Establish the Regional Office security strategy, plan and measures to ensure the protection and security of UN Women staff, eligible dependents, property and operations and to enable effective program planning, implementation and delivery within the framework of all UN security policies and procedures.

Managerial Leadership and Direction:

  • Establish the regional annual work plans in collaboration and discussion with the regional team and set objectives, performance measurements, standards and expected results. Ensure regular program monitoring and evaluate results for timely action and intervention.
  • Set performance plans and evaluation standards. Regularly conduct performance assessments, provide feedback and on-going guidance to ensure optimum performance and accountability according to UN Women standards of integrity, ethics and accountability framework.
  • Lead and manage the regional budget preparation and submission processes to ensure budget proposals are correctly presented and submitted in a timely manner.
  • Monitor the utilization of allocated funds to ensure transparency and compliance with UN Women financial policies and accountability framework. Decide on the optimum and appropriate allocation and management of resources.
  • Oversee the design, collection, and dissemination of knowledge products and promote knowledge sharing and building through networks and communities of practice.

UN Inter-Agency Coordination and Intergovernmental Support:

  • Lead and support the coordination and promotion of accountability within the UN system to advance gender equality and women's empowerment and UN Reform.
  • Consult and/or engage senior partners in the UN Development Group (UNDG)/UN system, and Regional Development Team (RDT) and Regional Commission in Africa, in programming, policy discussions, agenda setting and to actively promote gender equality and women's empowerment issues and its integration in UN programming processes such as Comprehensive Country Assessment (CCA)/UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), Country Programs, etc.
  • Coordinate and oversee the preparation of reports for presentation to inter-governmental bodies such as the Commission on the Status of Women, Economic and Social Council, the General Assembly and other policy-making organs. Review and endorse reports prior to submission to the Director, Programme Division, to confirm compliance with quality standards and accountability framework for reporting.
  • Provide direct support to regional inter-governmental bodies .

Representation and Advocacy:

  • Represent, lead, coordinate and contribute to strategic and policy discussion on gender equality, and women empowerment issues within the UN system, intergovernmental, international, regional and national conferences and meetings and advocate UN Women's policy and initiatives in advancing gender equality and women's empowerment.
  • Represent UN Women with governments, UN agencies, NGOs, academia, media and the private sector to raise awareness and stimulate action to advance gender equality and women's rights.
  • Represent UN Women in the RDT to contribute to the mainstreaming of UN Women's policies in joint programming and initiatives.
  • Lead the development and implementation of regional communication, information and advocacy strategies to increase visibility for gender equality and women's human rights in the region and globally.             

Strategic Partnerships and Resource Mobilization:

  • Work with a wide array of partners, e g UN system, government institutions, regional players such as the African Union, Economic Commission for Africa, ECOWAS, ECCAS, NGOs, academia, media and private sector to forge/foster strategic alliances to promote gender equality and women's issues and enlist their support and contribution to the development and implementation of UN Women programs and activities in the region.
  • Maximize partnership opportunities to mobilize resources for UN Women programs and initiatives.
  • Lead the development and manage the implementation of a regional resource mobilization strategies and plans.
  • Oversee Country Offices' partnership agreements including cost sharing agreements in line with the corporate Delegation of Authority.
  • Review donor reports from Country Offices for quality assurance and compliance with commitment met and accountability framework established and to ensure that donors are duly informed on a timely basis.

Impact of Results:

The effective leadership and management by the Regional Director of the Regional Office and all services provided by the Regional Office directly impact on the achievement of program results, on the overall effectiveness of UN Women's presence at the regional and field level and consequently the visibility and image of UN Women as an effective leader on gender equality and women's rights and empowerment.


Core values and Guiding Principles:


  • Demonstrate consistency in upholding and promoting the values of UN Women in actions and decisions, in line with the UN Code of Conduct.


  • Demonstrate professional competence and expert knowledge of the pertinent substantive areas of work.

Cultural sensitivity and valuing diversity: 

  • Demonstrate an appreciation of the multicultural nature of the organization and the diversity of its staff. Demonstrating an international outlook, appreciating difference in values and learning from cultural diversity.

Core Competencies:

Ethics and Values:

  • Demonstrate and promote ethics and integrity by creating organizational precedents.

Organizational Awareness:

  • Build support for the organization and ensure political acumen.

Development and Innovation:

  • Support staff competence development, and contribute to an environment of creativity and innovation.

Work in teams:

  • Build and promote effective teams.
  • Demonstrate ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment and to maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds.

Communication and Information Sharing:

  • Create and promote an environment for open and effective communication.

Self-management and Emotional Intelligence: 

  • Stay composed and positive even in difficult moments, handle tense situations with diplomacy and tact, and have a consistent behavior towards others.

Conflict Management: 

  • Surface conflicts and address them proactively acknowledging different feelings and views and directing energy towards a mutually acceptable solution.

Continuous Learning and Knowledge Sharing:

  • Share knowledge across the organization and build a culture of knowledge sharing and learning.

Appropriate and Transparent Decision Making: 

  • Ensure fair and transparent decision making processes and manage risk.

Functional Competencies:

  • Ability to conceptualize and convey strategic vision from the spectrum of development experience.
  • Excellent theoretical, intellectual and technical skills in aid development particularly those on gender issues and women's rights.
  • Demonstrated political savvy and intellectual capacity in representing the organization effectively at high level in national and international fora to advocate and to promote organizational priorities, initiatives and to build consensus.
  • Ability to establish and maintain strategic networks and partnerships with UN agencies and other international partners.
  • Effective leadership in fund raising strategies and activities and proactive engagement with the multilateral and bilateral donor community;
  • Effective leadership in managing staff and resources, strengthening accountability and results-based management in supporting organizational priorities, policy and decision-making processes.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master's degree or equivalent in development related disciplines, economics or public policy or other social science fields.


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


  • Written and oral proficiency in English and French are required.
  • Fluency in any other UN official language will be an asset.


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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