Support to Gender Balance in the Civil Service Legislative Review Experts

Location : Riyadh, SAUDI ARABIA
Application Deadline :20-Mar-18 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Gender Equality
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Arabic   English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :6 months, subject to extension

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.


Saudi Arabia enjoys a very high human development & ranked 38 out of 188; with an adult literacy rates of 99% for females and 99% for males for ages 15-24 years (2009-2014); yet international indicators point to the progress that needs to be achieved. For example, the Gender Inequality Index ranked Saudi Arabia 50 out of 188 countries; and Saudi Arabia’s Human Development Index has a value of 0.779 for females in contrast to 0.884 for males; with the lowest rank of 1.3% on the Global Women Leader Index (GWLI) which measures civil service leadership; and a labor force participation of 20.1% for females versus 79.1% for males. Indeed, it is important to note that the employed males in the labor force (Saudi and non-Saudi) constitute 83% versus 16.7% for females and the 2016 statistics point to the distribution of Saudis versus non-Saudis in the labor force (15 years and above) standing at 47.5% of non-Saudi males as opposed to 35.6% of Saudi males, and 10.1% of Saudi females versus 6.7% of non-Saudi females. Moreover, among the Saudis, female unemployment stands at 33.7% compared to 5.4% for males within a total unemployment figure of 11.6% for 2016. In this regard, women’s low economic participation is correlated to women’s low representation in leadership positions. While women’s participation in the public sector is increasing, rates of leadership are staggeringly low. A limited number of women assume decision making roles. In 2016, only 6 females were in Level 13 versus 548 males. Moreover, 42 females were in Grades 11-13 versus 2,385 males. Thus, these low rates of women’s participation in leadership positions exclude women’s voices and needs from important decision-making processes.

In recent years, the Kingdom paid particular attention to advancing the socioeconomic and political

development of women based on the rights granted to them in the Basic Law of Governance and the successive development plans. As part of its commitment to the advancement of a gender balance in the civil service and women’s empowerment, the Saudi Government has committed within its Vision 2030 launched in September 2017 to “Empower women and materialize their potentials; and improve performance, productivity, and flexibility of public authorities;” to increase “women’s participation in the workforce from 22% to 30%;” and to achieve the National Transformation Program’s 2020 goal of raising the proportion of women in Grade 11 and above of the civil service from 1.27% in 2016 to 5% by 2020.

To contribute to the achievement of Vision 2030 targets, the Ministry of Civil Service is undertaking an Initiative entitled “Women’s Empowerment in the Civil Service Sector and the promotion of Women’s Leadership.” The main objective of the Initiative is to increase the percentage of women's participation and representation in the civil service at all levels of employment and in all job categories including women's leadership positions, and capitalize on their available capabilities to expand their employment options thus increasing their participation in order to achieve a gender balance in the civil service. The Initiative

consists of three projects: a) Project to empower women leaders and increase their representation in decision-making positions; b) Project on Achieving a Gender Balance in the Civil Service; and c) Project Strategy for Telework in the Civil Service.

The overall aim of the Initiative on achieving a Gender Balance in the Civil Service (hereafter called the “project”) is to facilitate an enabling environment (legislative frameworks, policies and regulations); gender-sensitive institutional practices and work place culture supportive of the actualization of Vision 2030 targets on women’s empowerment.

The Initiative’s Development Goal is to achieve the following: Females in civil service institutions (selected pilots) by 2020, are empowered and their participation increases, at all levels and in all job categories, through equitable and diversified representation; capacities and opportunities; and supportive legislative frameworks to contribute to Vision 2030 Targets on achieving a prosperous economy, prosperous opportunities, increasing participation of women in the labour market and reducing unemployment rates (Enabling environment and institutional levels trickling down to the individual level).

To facilitate the implementation of the proposed Development Goal, the Initiative is designed around a set of concrete outcomes: Outcome 1: Gender-Balanced Enabling Environment in the Civil Service Enhanced to Promote Women’s Empowerment (enabling environment level); Outcome 2: Gender-Sensitive Structural and Institutional Frameworks including Human Resources Systems’ & Practices Developed & Strengthened to Ensure Gender Balance in the Civil Service (institutional level); and Outcome 3: A Positive Mind-set towards Women’s Employment by Decision-makers, Civil Servants, the General Public, and Women Promoted (individual and community level).

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the Chief Technical Advisor/Project Manager (PM), the Human Resources Expert will assist MCS in the implementation of this component of the project and is responsible for delivery of program outputs as per the project document. It is expected that through strengthening the capacity of MCS in this area, an improved HRM and HRD policy and system will be designed and implemented.

In order to address gender-balance in the civil service, the project will undertake a review of the Human Resources’ Framework of the Civil Service.  To this end, the project will hire an international expert or two who will work in cooperation with the project’s management to conduct an in-depth review and prepare proposals for gender-sensitization of the civil service human resources regulations, policies and practices.

The review of the Human Resources’ framework will reflect the specific working conditions and constraints of female staff in line with international practices as well as the applicable civil service regulations and practices. This review and the gender-neutral Human Resources should result in the establishment of a gender-sensitive human resource’s development plan that provides clear guidelines for the recruitment, deployment and professional development of a gender-sensitive civil service on the basis of merit.

Moreover, the review will also provide insight into the situation of the Civil Service as an equal opportunities employer. The final report will provide recommendations on how to mainstream gender-perspectives into the Civil Service Human Resources’ Regulations and practices. Another output of this activity is the development of a sound regulatory framework to ensure monitoring of the gender-sensitive human resources’ indicators that will be established.

Supported by the project management, international experts, with extensive experience in Human Resource frameworks, the Human Resources’ expert will be expected to perform home-based desk review of relevant documentation, undertake extensive missions to Riyad as necessary, and, play a significant role in elaborating the conclusions and recommendations of the review. The project team will ensure a high level of analytical support, facilitate the communication and cooperation with the MCS and other stakeholders and play a major part in the preparation of proposed draft policies and procedures. The assignment shall be carried out in close cooperation with the Project’s Chief Technical Adviser and Secretariat.

Duties and responsibilities:

Under the direct supervision of the Chief Technical Adviser (CTA), the incumbent will perform the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Support MCS in instituting a gender-balance HRM and HRD policy and system;
  • Review existing relevant documents, propose amendments where necessary, identify human resource practices that would further benefit achieving a gender balance in the civil service, and draft relevant amendments related to these practices. The review of the civil service human resources will benefit from the cooperation with on-going national Human Resources related Initiatives. Moreover, the findings and recommendations of the review will be incorporated into the MCS’s multiannual/strategic development plan; 
  • Present the findings of the legislative review and the proposals to the Project’s Secretariat and High-Level Advisory Committee;
  • Conduct a gender analysis comprehensive review of all human resources’ regulations, by-laws, policies and practices within the civil service;
  • Support the institutional development of the MCS and pilot institutions to fulfill their role as a gender-sensitive institution;
  • Ensure the timely production of outputs and activities related to HRM and HRD according to set work plan; and
  • Advice the Project’s senior management on gender-sensitive Human Resources’ regulations and policies best practices and their implementation.

The following should be tackled by the review:

  • Thoroughly analyse existing regulations and policies, job descriptions, propose amendments where necessary, propose a new policies/regulations and job description template and support drafting new ones where these are missing;
  • Analyse existing/past recruitment procedures and policies and propose amendments as necessary; 
  • Present gender-sensitive options for filling vacant positions (e.g. using possible incentives for attracting qualified females, establishing trainee and interns schemes, etc.);
  • Support the Project in drafting the Code of Ethics/Conduct for civil service staff based on applicable legislation and best practices from other countries;
  • Draft policies to ensure gender equity in future recruitment as well as promotion of women to senior management positions;
  • Propose a framework for recruiting and hiring (through Quota) female staff to leadership positions;
  • Conduct interviews and consultations with Senior Management of the MCS and related national Human Resources initiatives on current human resources policies and practices; 
  • Prepare a set of initial recommendations on amendments to and implementation of the gender-balance human resources regulation in consultation with the Human Resources Department;
  • Organise and lead a roundtable discussion with the Project’s Secretariat and managers of national Human Resources’ Initiatives, and Director of the Human Resources Department to agree on implementation modalities of recommendations to implement a gender-sensitive human resource policies and procedures;
  • Submit the final draft of the Review Report in Arabic. The Project management will review the work done by the consultants (taking the time to discuss, question and consult via e-mail) and are expected to do a final validation of the findings during a final mission; and
  • Once the report has been approved by the Project Management, deliver a presentation to the Project Secretariat and the High Level Advisory Committee on the findings of the report and the specific recommendations on improving the human resources framework.

The expert will undertake long-term (about 20 day) missions to Riyad. He/she is expected to work home-based prior to the field trip. Travel expenses, including Daily Substance Allowance will be covered by the Project as per the agreed financial and practical arrangements. 


Corporate behavioral Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity in values and ethical standards; 
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of the Ministry of Civil Service;
  • Displays cultural, gender, nationality, age, etc. sensitivity and adaptability; and
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism.

Functional Competencies:

  • Has proven knowledge of project cycle and log-frame design including budgeting abilities;
  • Has the ability to advocate and provide policy advice;
  • Perform leadership in capacity development, strategic planning, re-engineering processes, results-based management and reporting;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  •  Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities;
  • Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills, including ability to convey complex
  • concepts to different stakeholders in a clear and concise style;
  • Manages multiple activities concurrently, work under pressure, and to meet tight deadlines; and

Displays a high level of respect, diplomacy and tact when dealing with government officials, donors and other stakeholders.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Graduate degree in Law, Political Sciences, Administrative Sciences (i.e. Management, Economics, Public Administration, Business Administration, and Human Resources Management etc.) or Social Sciences;
  • At least 10 years’ experience in implementation of activities related to human resource management and review;
  • Knowledge of Saudi Arabia environment;
  • Knowledge of the applicable civil service law in Saudi Arabia;
  • Proven experience in producing at least 3 analytical reports;
  • Excellent analytical and drafting skills;
  • Excellent computer/information systems skills;
  • Excellent communication and inter-personal skills;
  • Ability to work as a team member and meet tight deadlines without compromising quality; and 
  • Excellent command of written and spoken Arabic and English is essential.

If you are experiencing difficulties with online job applications, please contact

© 2016 United Nations Development Programme