Since the country’s first multi-candidate, multi-party presidential election in 2008, all succeeding elections have been held amid challenging circumstances and it continues to impact all spheres of society and development in the country. Although the local and international observers noted the elections were well administered, there were concerns expressed that should be addressed ahead of the upcoming electoral cycle (2018-2019), especially related to the engagement of civil society, campaign financing, vote buying, conduct of media and women’s participation.

Conduct of media is crucial for a geographically dispersed country such as Maldives, where a large population depends highly on, internet and television (including visual radio) as the main source of information and news. Especially during the times of key events in the country such as elections. Media has played a significant role in the past during the elections of the country. Their involvement has been both praised and criticized. Many of the election observation reports highlighted that the media’s apparent polarization[1] and resulting reporting has encouraged disunity and hatred among communities[2]. Number of recommendations have been made to ensure the media provide balanced and sensitive reporting during such times. The most unanimous recommendations that were made are encouraging equal and neutral air time for all candidates competing in the elections and capacity building trainings for all media personnel including journalists, and executive staff of media outlets to ensure that they produce sensitized fact-based reports and news.

Women’s participation in the political sphere is another key area of concern, which inevitably falls within the purview of the mandates of media outlets as well. Women make up almost 50% of votes casted and are very active at grassroot levels running campaigns for candidates. However, only a small proportion of the candidates are females and even less are elected for both local and parliamentary elections. Even with the large number of candidates running for the 85 seats of parliament, only 23 of the candidates were female and out of it only five of them got elected [3]. This is alarming, and many recommendations have been made to introduce measures to increase the number of women contesting for elections.  Despite the issue being discussed on multiple platforms these measures have not been fully implemented yet. Therefore, alternative means to encourage women to participate in public and political life need to be introduced. And the media’s role in these efforts could be ground breaking. There have been successful interventions in communities around the globe, where media interventions have affected how the communities perceive women as leaders resulting in women being encouraged to contest and more women being elected for parliaments and councils.

The Integrated Governance Programme of UNDP Maldives is working to enhance the capacities of CSOs and media outlets for increased advocacy on voter education, conflict resolution and dialogue on youth involvement, women’s participation and inclusive elections. Additionally, efforts are being made to create meaningful participation of underserved groups such as women and youth in the political sphere through dialogue platforms and strengthened engagement with political parties.

Against this background UNDP Maldives is seeking a consultant to work with local Media to roll out gender sensitive voter information and civic education campaigns which promote respect and tolerance and to promote gender sensitive reporting on electoral issues and processes.


[1]  European Union, Election Observation Mission Final Report 2014

[2]  Reports of the Commonwealth Observer Group, Maldives Peoples Majlis Election 2014

[3] European Union, Election Observation Mission Final Report 2014

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the direction of UNDP, and with the guidance of the technical committee, the consultant will develop a guideline for gender responsive and conflict sensitive coverage and reporting. The consultant will also train media personnel on objective, balanced and gender sensitive reporting on key issues and human rights, protected and prohibited speech to counter hate speech. The tasks to be undertaken by the expert include the following;

  • Home Based (5 days)
  1. Review the existing literature on media in reporting in the Maldives and any other relevant legislations and other key documents, and draft an outline for the guideline to be developed
  • In Country (21 days)
  1. Conduct consultation meetings and working sessions with relevant stakeholders to draft the guideline and develop training materials, incorporating stakeholder and UNDP feedback (6 days)
  2. Conduct a validation meeting to present with relevant stakeholders to present the final guideline and finalize, incorporating their feedback (2 days)
  3. Develop training materials and conduct Training Programmes for media outlets and other relevant media organizations on the guideline developed along with training on objective, balanced and gender sensitive reporting on key issue and human rights and prohibited speech to counter hate speech. (8 days)
  4. Conduct similar training for journalism students. (2 days)
  5. Conduct working session with the professors of Journalism in the National University of Maldives to further incorporate elements of best practices into the journalism curriculum.  (3 days)
  • Home Based (05 days)
  1. Finalise the media guideline and develop the final report identifying key challenges and limitations in developing the guideline and the training of media personnel and other relevant organizations with recommendations for way-forwards.

 Expected Outputs and Deliverables;

The consultant will be responsible for the following deliverables;

  1. Guideline: Development of a reporting guideline, in consultation with national stakeholders
  2. Training programme:  Based on the guideline developed and consultation with key stakeholders develop training materials aimed at covering the importance of objective, balanced and gender sensitive reporting on key issues and human rights and protected and prohibited speech to counter hate speech.
  3. Based on above, conduct training programmes for media outlets and other media organisations and journalism students.  Conduct working sessions with professors of Journalism in the Maldives National University.
  4. Report: A detailed report identifying key challenges and limitations in developing the guideline and the training of media personnel and other relevant organizations with recommendations for way-forwards.


The following table shows an indication of the duration for the deliverables;


Deliverables/ Outputs


Estimated Duration to Complete

Final guideline, validation meeting

13 days

Final training materials and conduct training sessions (media, students, professors, other relevant stakeholders)

13 days

Detailed Report including recommendations on way forward

05 days

Institutional Arrangement

The consultant is expected to work very closely with the media outlets and the Department of Journalism at the Maldives National University. The consultant will be accountable to the Project Coordinator of Result Area 2, IGP, for each deliverable as stipulated in the proposal. Regular meetings will be held with the Governance Unit of UNDP as needed. A briefing and debriefing meeting will be organized with UNDP senior management at the beginning and end of assignment.



  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission and strategic goals of UN/UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Ability to lead strategic planning, results-based management and reporting;
  • Builds strong relationships with clients, focuses on impact and result for the client and responds positively to feedback;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Demonstrates good oral and written communication skills;
  • Demonstrates ability to manage complexities and work under pressure, as well as conflict resolution

Required Skills and Experience

The consultant is expected to fulfill the following criteria in terms of the expertise and qualifications;

  • A minimum of a master’s Degree in Media or communications or related field
  • A minimum of 6 years of professional experience in media including experience in investigative reporting
  • Experience in developing training materials for media and facilitation of workshops is required
  • Experience and knowledge working on gender, human rights, elections, conflict is desirable
  • Experience working in the development sector is highly desirable  
  • Experience in the region or similar context is an added asset
  • Fluent in written and spoken English is required


  • Good Communication Skills in English

Application Documents

  • The application must include a letter of interest to undertake this task, the CV, Personal History Form (P11), and a financial proposal (indicating the daily fee (in USD) for the assignment).
  • The applicant must also submit the reference letters from past supervisors/clients. To download P11, kindly please visit the link:
  • Please combine all the documents into one single file, as the system will allow for only one document to be uploaded.
  • We will only accept online applications

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