Development of a Reference Guide on Fostering Women's Political Participation

Location : Home-based
Application Deadline :10-Feb-18 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :50 working days over a period of 8 months


Women’s participation and representation is supported by a number of international frameworks, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, UNSCR 1325, UN Resolution on Women and Political Participation, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Many of these frameworks acknowledge that women’s participation must be considered in a meaningful way.

Further, CEDAW emphasizes that women’s representation must be not only achieved, but sustained. While temporary special measures (TSMs) are, by nature, intended to last for only a limited period of time, they must remain in place until women’s representation can be maintained without their presence.  As such, it is critical to consider mechanisms to monitor and assess the effectiveness of TSMs and their ability to ensure continuous representation and participation.

Gender equality and women’s political participation are also at the core of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. SDG 5 and its target 5.5 aim to ensure “women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life,” and are crucial to establish inclusive institutions at all levels, as called by the Goal 16. This includes promoting women’s participation as voters and candidates in electoral processes; supporting women’s representation and meaningful participation in governance institutions, including parliaments, sub-national and local assemblies.

The recent Report of the Secretary-General on Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (E/2017/66) unveiled that “globally, women’s participation in single or lower houses of national parliaments reached 23.4 per cent in 2017, just 10 percentage points higher than in 2000. Such slow progress suggests that stronger political commitment and more ambitious measures are needed to boost women’s political participation and empowerment.”

For all of the preceding reasons, it is crucial for the UN to foster increasing women’s political participation and representation. The UN General Assembly has encouraged member states to remove discriminatory practices that might hinder women’s political participation, and to adopt policies that promote women’s ability to fully participate at all levels of decision-making.

In the Arab States, there is an average of 18% female parliamentarians. This constitutes the second lowest performing region for female representation in the world. Indeed, 7 of the 22 Arab States have less than 10% female representation in parliament despite the 30% target for female representation in decision-making outlined in the Beijing Declaration.

Despite these gaps, the region has shown progress. In 2013, the Arab States recorded its highest annual progress, increasing female representation to 16%. This was attributed to quotas in the region and to changes in the political environment and civic space for women and men following the Arab revolutions, which were significant for increasing women’s participation in demonstrations and civic engagement. These changes impacted women’s participation in electoral reform and the introduction of quotas. Between 2011 and 2013, 6 of the 12 existing quotas were introduced or updated. Many countries improved their legal frameworks; Morocco, for example, adopted several quotas for women and youth.

Yet, the underrepresentation of women across the region must be further addressed. The success of TSMs is impacted by many additional factors, and thus an analysis of barriers to women’s participation must consider each context in a holistic manner. It is crucial to address all levels of restriction, inside and outside of the political arena, including institutional barriers (practices of recruitment, internal party selection, recruitment into political candidacies, barriers related to the electoral system, bylaws in parliament, etc.), cultural barriers (traditional understandings and perceptions of gender roles and leadership, lack of social acceptance, etc.), socio-economic barriers (time constraints, family work, gender gap in education, finances, etc.), security barriers, and others. The analysis must also include a careful distinction between representation and effective participation of women.

In order for women to effectively participate, political institutions must be strengthened and all obstacles to women’s entry must be considered. The barriers that hinder women’s access to assemblies (or other political bodies) and limit the women’s political representation must be overcome. TSMs aim to address the gender gap in politics and promote women’s representation and participation in political institutions. One of the more common TSMs forms is the quota system. However, in the Arab region, only 12 countries have implemented quotas for female representation in parliament, and even less have taken steps towards putting into effect quota systems in local councils. This lack of action further contributes to the low representation rates.

Furthermore, as mentioned above, there are many more reasons to the lack of effective women’s political representation, such as the type of electoral system and the limited space for women in political parties. Other than quotas, there are more TSM forms that can better address these barriers, and they should all be considered in order to promote more just and inclusive societies.

It is critical to overcome the marginalization of women sitting in assemblies. There is a difference between the number of female parliamentarians and the number of female parliamentarians with meaningful influence in their assemblies. To activate women’s representation in assemblies and foster effective female political participation (and for TSMs and quotas to be effective), it is necessary to identify and better understand the potential barriers and solutions towards equal influence in addition to equal representation (e.g. through revision of parliament’s bylaws). 

TSMs are not a comprehensive solution to women’s political participation challenges, but rather one in a set of tools that should be utilized, alongside long-term campaigning support, electoral reform, and civic education. The role of political parties, media, and financing of politics thus also have to be explored, as they can have a major impact—positively or negatively—on the political participation of women. It is     crucial to explore individual solutions for barriers to both the representation and effective participation of women in the Arab region. 


Duties and Responsibilities

The objective of this consultancy is to develop practical tools and a guidance note, for policy-makers and practitioners, exploring the barriers to women’s representation and effective participation in the Arab Region, and proposing adequate solutions, including temporary special measures, to counter the identified barriers in their specific contexts. The guide will also provide a mapping of existing materials and frameworks supporting women’s participation and representation in the Arab states.

This document will be prepared in consultation and collaboration with a technical committee of experts on political participation, parliaments, elections and gender, to ensure that it responds to the needs of UNDP COs, and national counterparts.

The consultancy comprises:

  1. A desk review of existing materials and international, regional and national frameworks related to women’s participation and representation.
  2. A reference guide that responds to the need of practitioners (including UNDP COs) and national decision-makers, that contributes to address, in an efficient and context-sensitive way, the underrepresentation of women across the region and to strengthen meaningful women participation to political institutions by considering adequate mechanisms to overcome the identified barriers and obstacles.
  3. Support to the validation workshop for the designed tools and resources.

The Handbook will draw from existing primary (assemblies, members, staff…) and secondary sources as well as any other material that UNDP and consultants may deem useful. It will then integrate the existing best practices in the field, including but not limited to policy contributions by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Capacity Development for Development Effectiveness (CDDE) Facility, the Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa (AWEPA) among others.

The Handbook should be easy to read, avoiding as much as possible overly technical jargon or academic language. The core document should be relatively short, from 40 to 50 pages maximum, so as to invite as many decision-makers and practitioners as possible to actually make use of it in their day-to-day work. Illustrative materials of the main recommendations contained in the core document should appear in a separate Annex.


The consultant will liaise with UNDP Regional Hub in Amman to establish an agreed timeline and workplan including the following main outputs:

  1. Conducting the desk review.
  2. Developing the reference guide, as well as additional tools and resources as needed.
  3. Supporting the validation workshop, as well as follow-up advisory and technical support for the implementation of completed tools and resources.


All proposals must be expressed in Lump Sum Amount (“all-inclusive”). Please note that the contract price will be fixed regardless of changes in the cost components.

The consultant will be paid, in three installments, after the first draft of the handbook (Output 2), after the Report on validation workshop (output 6) and after the follow-up advisory and technical support for the implementation of completed tools and resources (output 8).


  • The individual is required to exhibit his or her full-time commitment with UNDP-RBAS;
  • The individual is expected to liaise and collaborate in the course of performing the work with other consultants, suppliers and UN colleagues;
  • The individual is required to maintain close communication with the UNDP-RBAS on regular and needed basis at any period throughout the assignment in order to monitor progress. In the event of any delay, S/he will inform UNDP promptly so that decisions and remedial action may be taken accordingly;
  • Should UNDP deem it necessary, it reserves the right to commission additional inputs, reviews or revisions, as needed to ensure the quality and relevance of the work.


The duration of the work is expected to be 50 working days throughout a period of 08 months starting signature date.


  • This is a home-based assignment.
  • Part of this assignment may require the individual to travel to different Arab and non-Arab Countries. In such cases, for unforeseen travel, and after seeking relevant approvals, all related travel and accommodation expenses will be arranged and covered by UNDP in line with applicable rules and regulations.


Corporate Competencies

  • Demonstrates integrity and fairness, by modeling the UN/UNDP’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.

Functional Competencies

  • Solid experience in facilitation high level meetings;
  • Background knowledge about the SDGs, United Nations and UNDP;
  • Demonstrates ability in conducting creative-thinking and innovation learning events;
  • Good teamwork and interpersonal skills;
  • Flexibility and ability to handle multiple tasks and work under pressure;
  • Excellent computer skills especially Word, Excel and Power Point;

Leadership Competencies

  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and to provide credible leadership;
  • Demonstrated intellectual leadership and ability to integrate knowledge with broader   strategic overview and corporate vision;
  • Demonstrated flexibility in leadership by performing and/or overseeing the   analysis/resolution of complex issues;
  • Strong managerial/leadership experience and decision-making skills with proven track record of mature judgments;
  • Ability to conceptualize and convey strategic vision from the spectrum of development experience.

Managing Relationships

  • Demonstrated well developed people management and organizational management skills;
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  • Excellent negotiating and networking skills with strong partnerships in academia, technical organizations and as a recognized expert in the practice area;
  • Strong resource mobilization and partnering skills and ability to accept accountability for management of large volume of financial resources. 

Mnaging Complexity

  • Ability to address global development issues;
  • Substantive knowledge and understanding of development cooperation with the ability to support the practice architecture of UNDP and inter-disciplinary issues;
  • Demonstrated substantive leadership and ability to integrate knowledge with broader   strategic, policy and operational objectives;
  • A sound global network of institutional and individual contacts.

Knowledge Management and Learning

  • Ability to strongly promote and build knowledge products;
  • Promotes knowledge management in UNDP and a learning environment in the office through leadership and personal example;
  • Seeks and applies knowledge, information and best practices from within and outside of UNDP;
  • Provides constructive coaching and feedback;
  • Demonstrates a strong capacity for innovation and creativity in providing strategic policy advice and direction.


  • Mature judgment and initiative;
  • Proven ability to provide strategic direction to the project implementation process;
  • Independent judgment and discretion in advising on handling major policy issues and   challenges, uses diplomacy and tact to achieve result.

Required Skills and Experience

I.Academic qualification:

  • Advanced university degree (Master) in law, political science or other relevant thematic area.

II.Work Experience:

  • At least 10 years of relevant professional experience;
  • Extensive technical knowledge of parliamentary strengthening and democratic governance, inclusive political processes, etc;
  • At least 10 years of experience in the Arab region and proven familiarity with the gender-political participation Nexis in the Arab region;
  • Previous experience working for the UN
  • Proven intellectual and practical capacity to understand and interpret regional, national and local development issues;
  • Excellent drafting and formulation skills.

III.Language Requirements

  • Language proficiency in both written and oral English. Arabic is an asset.  



Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications. Candidates that fail to submit the required information will not be considered.

a) Duly accomplished using the template provided by UNDP;

b) 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;

c) Brief description of why you consider yourself as the most suitable for the assignment, and a brief description on how you will approach and complete the assignment;

d) Financial Proposal that indicates the all-inclusive Deliverables/Outputs based total contract price, supported by a breakdown of costs, as per template provided.  The terms “all-inclusive” implies that all costs (professional fees, travel costs, living allowances, communications, consummables, etc.) that could possibly be incurred are already factored into the final amounts submitted in the proposal.If an Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution, and he/she expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNDP under Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNDP. 

All necessary information including: Complete Procurement Notice, The Selection Criteria, and Annexes are found on the following link under Procurement

Interested candidate shall apply the CV/P11 to Job advertisement website, hence consultant should submit to e-mail: not later than 10th February, 2018. The following documents are:

  • Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability;
  • CV/P11;
  • Technical Proposal;
  • Financial Proposal.


Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodologies:

Step I: Screening and desk review:

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodology.

Applications will be first screened and only candidates meeting the following minimum criteria will progress to the pool for shortlisting:

  • Advanced university degree (Master) in law, political science or other relevant thematic area.
  • At least 10 years of relevant professional experience;
  • Extensive technical knowledge of parliamentary strengthening and democratic governance, inclusive political processes, etc;
  • At least 10 years of experience in the Arab region and proven familiarity with the gender-political participation Nexis in the Arab region;

Shortlisted Candidates will be then assessed and scored against the following evaluation criteria noting that an interview will be conducted to the shortlisted candidates.

Technical evaluation Criteria max 100 points (Weighted 70):

  • Advanced university degree (Master, PhD) in law, political science or other relevant thematic area. (10 points);
  • At least 10 years of relevant professional experience (20 points);
  • At least 10 years of experience in the Arab region and proven familiarity with the gender-political participation Nexis in the Arab region (20 points);
  • Technical Proposal (Technical proposal detailing how they will approach the assignment, prioritizing activates to meet the deliverables as set above in the most efficient and effective manner –(40 points);
  • Previous experience working for the UN (10 points);

Financial Criteria - 30% of total evaluation

For those offers considered in the financial evaluation, the lowest price offer will receive 30 points. The other offers will receive points in relation to the lowest offer, based on the following formula: (PI / Pn)* 30 where Pn is the financial offer being evaluated and Pl is the lowest financial offer received.

Step II: Final evaluation

The final evaluation will combine the scores of desk review, interview and financial proposal with the following weights assigned to each:

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the cumulative analysis methodology (weighted scoring method), where the award of the contract will 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 technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

Technical Criteria weight: [70%]

Financial Criteria weight:  [30%]

Only Individual Consultants obtaining a minimum of 49 points (70%) on the Technical evaluation would be considered for the Financial Evaluation.


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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