International Consultant: UN Women Country Portfolio Evaluation (CPE) in Bangladesh

Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Dhaka, BANGLADESH
Application Deadline :20-Jan-19 (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 :40 working days over a period of 5 months


UN Women BCO is recruiting one international evaluation consultant to undertake Country Portfolio Evaluations (CPEs) in Bangladesh. International Consultant will work closely with national consultant during the assigned period. UN Women CPEs are a systematic assessment of contributions made by UN Women to gender equality and development results at country level. Both the consultants will assess the entire UN Women portfolio which includes normative, programme and coordination work during the period of a UN Women Strategic Note.
The objectives of the CPEs are:

  •  Assess the relevance of UN Women contribution to the intervention at national levels and alignment with international agreements and conventions on gender equality and women’s empowerment;
  • Assess effectiveness and organizational efficiency in progressing towards the achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment results as defined in the Strategic Note;
  • Support the UN Women CO to improve its strategic positioning to better support the achievement of sustained gender equality and women’s empowerment;
  • Analyse how human rights approach and gender equality principles are integrated in the design and implementation of the Strategic Note;
  • Identify and validate lessons learned, good practices and examples of innovation that supports gender equality and human rights.
  • Provide insights into the extent to which the UN Women CO has realized synergies between its three mandates (normative, coordination and operations);
  • Provide actionable recommendations with respect to the development of the next UN Women CO Strategic Note.


The Bangladesh Country Office (BCO) Strategic Note (SN) is the main planning tool for advancing Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (GEEW) through UN Women’s support to normative, coordination and operational work in Bangladesh.

The BCO has been operational in Bangladesh since 2012 when it transitioned from a project office (under UNIFEM) to a country office. This evaluation will consider the Strategic Notes covering the period 2014-2016 and 2017-2020. The current Strategic Note will end on December 2020, and a new Strategic Note is due to be developed starting in July 2020.

The SN is grounded in the standards, principles and obligations of the Convention to Eliminate all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA), Concluding Observations of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), Security Council (SC) Resolution 1325, and the Sustainable Development Agenda (Agenda 2030), which includes the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. The SN is grounded firmly in Agenda 2030, building on UN Women’s comparative advantage to address specific gaps that limit national capacity to implement gender equality commitments. The SN is linked to the UN Women Global Strategic Plans 2014-2017 & 2018-2021, aligned with the Government of Bangladesh (GoB)’s 7th Five-year Plan, including SDG gender equality targets as adopted by the GoB and the National Action Plan for the National Women’s Development Policy (which is grounded in CEDAW and the BPfA), and the country-level United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2017-2020. In 2019, the Government’s 8th 5-year plan development will be initiated, and UNDAF review and formulation will also be rolled out. The UNDAF points to the UN moving away from wide-scale service delivery to focus more on reaching the most marginalized; and to capacity enhancement and technical assistance for policy and advocacy, management and data and knowledge generation given the current context of Bangladesh attaining lower middle-income status and aspiration to move to upper middle-income status.  For the UN system, 2017 to 2020 is seen as an important opportunity to strengthen national capacities for a peaceful, inclusive and equitable society with effective and accountable institutions.   

The BCO SN supports the following Outcomes contained in UN Women’s Strategic Plan (2017-2021):

  • Outcome 1. A comprehensive and dynamic set of global norms, policies and standards on gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls is strengthened and implemented;
  • Outcome 2. Women lead, participate in and benefit equally from governance systems;
  • Outcome 3. Women have income security, decent work and economic autonomy;
  • Outcome 4. All women and girls live a life free from all forms of violence;
  • Outcome 5. Women and girls contribute to and have greater influence in building sustainable peace and resilience, and benefit equally from the prevention of natural disasters and conflicts and humanitarian action.

UN Women is a member of the UN Country Team (UNCT), co-chairing the UN SDG Task Force together with UNDP; and co-chairing the Gender Equality Theme Group (GETG) with UNFPA which gives UN Women the possibility to directly engage with the SDG’s coordination committee, PMO; General Economic Division, Ministry of Planning; and other relevant key stakeholders. BCO facilitated the establishment of an Inter-Cluster Gender in Humanitarian Action Working Group (GiHA WG) in February 2017 under the Humanitarian Coordination Task Team (HCTT) as an advocacy and leadership platform for mainstreaming gender equality in all humanitarian actions in the country.  The aims of BCO’s coordination strategy include (1) increasing the results achieved for women and girls in UN Women impact areas, (2) supporting UNCT accountability for achieving gender equality results and contributing to national implementation of CEDAW and the gender equality targets of Agenda 2030; and (3) strengthening capacity of UN agencies for mainstreaming gender equality.   

The following key contextual considerations have been taken from the BCO’s Strategic Note and updated as appropriate:

The GoB aligned their 7th 5-year development plan to the SDGs, and the plan includes many gender equality results but need to address more specifically violence against women and women’s unpaid work (although data is available).  The Constitution recognizes equal rights for women and men in the public sphere and there is a reasonably strong legal framework guaranteeing women’s rights (with exceptions).  The National Women's Development Policy 2011, and linked National Action Plan, provide a strong base for government action to promote gender equality.

Bangladesh has a comprehensive architecture for promoting gender equality across government. BCO has been closely working with the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs (MoWCA) to strengthen overall coordination capacity of MOWCA on gender equality and empowerment of women; and also, to enhance capacity of MOWCA’s technical expertise including policy implementation. It is noted that most of MOWCA’s budget is linked to delivery of projects. More recently, MOWCA is engaged in Gender Responsive Budgeting which has been institutionalized across 44 ministries.

Social norms and attitudes that tolerate violence against women are wide spread.  A 2015 Violence Against Women survey conducted by Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) showed that ‘almost two-thirds of (72.6%) of ever-married women experienced one or more such forms of violence by their husband at least once in their lifetime, and 54.7% experienced violence during last 12 months’.  Research into men’s attitudes by Partners for Prevention, a joint UN regional programme on prevention of violence against women, found that the most common motivation for sexual violence was the belief that sex is men’s entitlement (77% of urban and 81% of rural men) . About 32% of men sexually abused women to take out their anger or to punish them, while 62 % said it was just for fun.  Only 15% of urban respondents and 25% of rural men feared repercussion from any source. There is a good legal framework for addressing diverse forms of gendered violence and exploitation, including the Domestic Violence Act 2010 and the 2009 Bangladesh High Court Directive to Prevent Sexual Harassment, although the latter has not been translated into law despite the Court’s recommendation.  In all cases, however, implementation is poor.

Discriminatory social norms are reinforced by discriminatory laws and policies particularly pertaining to matters of marriage and family. Personal laws, specific to each religion, make it difficult for women to claim custody of children or receive a share of household assets if they leave an abusive marriage and marital rape is only recognized as an offence under the Penal Code for brides younger than 13 years old . A new law  on child marriage has raised considerable concern as the proposed law includes a clause allowing marriage of girls at 16 with the consent of either parents or a court.

In 2018, the government celebrated crossing the 1st threshold for graduation from Least Developed Country (LDC) and is setting an ambitious target to finally graduate in 2024. Economic indicators confirm that this is likely with an annual growth rate of over 6%, low inflation, growth in employment and a strengthening currency. Much of this growth has been driven by a rapidly expanding industrial sector, in ready-made garments (RMG) which accounts for more than 80% of Bangladesh exports.

Economic growth in Bangladesh has been accompanied by significant reduction in poverty and the country has almost doubled its human development rating since 1980, ranking 136 out of 189 countries in 2017.    It is estimated that 24.3% of the population is currently below the upper poverty line and the proportion of people living in extreme poverty has dropped dramatically to 12.9% but the absolute numbers of poor are still staggering (about 40 million poor and within that almost 18 million extreme poor).   National averages also hide inequalities. Ethnic and religious minority households are over-represented among the poor and there are also geographic patterns.  The 15 poorest districts include the Chittagong Hill Tracts, where most indigenous peoples live, and districts significantly affected by climate change and disaster in the south-west.  28% of female-headed households live in extreme poverty, more than double the national average, and the value of assets in female-headed households is estimated at 56 percent that of male-headed households.    

Climate change defines the context for social and economic development in Bangladesh.  The Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI)  2015 identified Bangladesh as ‘the most at risk country’  due to population density, high levels of poverty, high number of poor living in the coastal areas, low altitude and extensive coastline and river systems. In Bangladesh climate change is contributing to more intense and frequent disasters (cyclones, floods and droughts) as well as longer-term changes such as sea-level rise, saline ground water and soil, changes in precipitation pattern that negatively impact food production and land erosion.   UN Women research has documented the gendered impacts of climate change and related disasters.

Increasing incidents of extremist violence, many claimed by international networks of terrorists, culminated in a well-organized attack on a popular restaurant in the diplomatic zone in July 2016.  28 people were killed including two police officers and 6 of the attackers.  Research to better understand this violent extremism, including from a gender perspective, is just beginning.

Bangladesh has been hosting Rohingya refugees since 1948, with several waves of new refugees entering Bangladesh due to upsurges in violence experienced in Rakhine State, Myanmar.  UNHCR reported that prior to August 2017, 33,000 Rohingya refugees had been living in refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar since the 1990’s and a further 200,000 undocumented Rohingyas were living outside them.  In August 2017, an upsurge of extreme human rights violations against Rohingya communities in Rakhine State, forced more than 700,000 people, 52% of which were women, to flee their homes. A significant number of women and girls reported witnessing or experiencing gender-based violence, including severe forms of sexual violence.   The Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis indicates that this has become one of the fastest growing refugee crises in the world with the refugee population in Cox’s Bazar more than quadrupling in a two-month period.  In September 2017, the Government of Bangladesh provided new land to establish a camp, which has become the largest refugee camp in the world with over 600,000 refugees living there.   

Duties and Responsibilities

The international evaluator (along with national one) are expected to design and facilitate the following events:
1.    Participatory inception workshop in Dhaka, Bangladesh (including refining evaluation uses, the evaluation framework, stakeholder map, and theories of change);
2.    In-country exit brief for Evaluation Management Group at the end of each in-country visit;
3.    Findings, validation and participatory recommendations workshop (online or pending resources in-country).

The full ToR link:


Core Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the United Nations' values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of the UN and UN Women;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Ability and willingness to work as part of a team to meet tight deadlines and produce high quality work.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in social sciences including gender studies, international affairs, sociology, public policy, political science, public administration, economics, regional planning, or other relevant fields.


  • At least 10 years of experience in conducting evaluations; A minimum of 5 years as evaluation team leader designing and leading evaluations;
  • Documented previous experience in conducting gender-responsive evaluations;
  • Extensive knowledge of, and experience in applying qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods including data analysis skills, experience using NVIVO an asset;
  • Knowledge of international normative standards on women’s rights and gender mainstreaming processes;
  • Excellent ability to communicate with stakeholders including process management and facilitation skills;
  • Technical competence in the thematic areas to be evaluated;
  • Knowledge of the role of the United Nations System, preferably knowledge and experience with UN Women and its programming, coordination and normative roles at the regional and country level;
  • Country or regional experience in South Asia.

Language and others:

  • Language proficiency in English; language skills in Bengali an asset.

Submission of application:

Interested Individual Consultants will submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications.
To be included as part of the proposal:

  • Methodological proposal identifying key steps the evaluation team will take to initiate scoping the evaluation and initial thoughts on timeframe for data collection, analysis and reporting based on adaptations of the UN Women Country Portfolio Evaluation guidance (no longer than 10 pages);
  •   Budget proposal – separately indicating daily fee (all communication costs to be included in daily fee) and travel costs for two visits to Dhaka, Bangladesh (one appx. 5 days, the other 8-10 days) (travel costs should separately list an estimate for airfare (some in-country travel will take place), local transportation and DSA);
  • CV and UN Women P-11 form;
  •  Published evaluation reports in English;
  •  Samples of written reports in English.

The full ToR link:


Payments for this consultancy will be based on the achievement of deliverables and certification that each has been satisfactorily completed.

Please use " International Consultant: UN Women Country Portfolio Evaluation (CPE) in Bangladesh” as the subject heading of your application.

All applications must include (as an attachment) the CV and the financial proposal. Applications without financial proposal will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment. “Personal History Form - P 11” can be downloaded from

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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