Consultancy for the development of research on the participation of women in the STEM sector in Latin America and the Caribbean and elaboration of a programmatic proposal



Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Home Based, URUGUAY
Application Deadline :28-Jun-19 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :3.5 months

Background

1. CONTEXT

The Latin American region has experienced a sustained economic expansion in the last 15 years, along with a decrease in income inequality, and a growing incorporation of women into the labor market. However, these positive balances are undermined by the structural challenges that the region has yet to overcome. Gender gaps have remained relatively stable, despite economic development, as one of the pending key issues. Even more worrisome is that in this period, despite the distance between men and women has decreased in terms of wage gaps, a great stratification occurred among women who distanced themselves from each other (Progress LAC 2017) and occupational segregation is very marked, both horizontally and vertically.  As in other sectors of the economy, gender gaps are present in ICTs and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), globally women represent 30% of the staff operative technician, only 15% of the managerial level and only 11% of the planning professionals.

Similarly, data from the countries of the region show the deep inequality that exists and even a setback in this area. The percentage of women working in the field of STEM is much lower than that of men. 33% in Uruguay, 29% in Argentina, 23% in Mexico or 32% in Brazil are just some examples of the labor participation of women with respect to the total number of workers in this area.

The work in STEM can make a sustainable development reality, improving the lives of people, promoting the prosperity and protection of the planet. However, the rapid technological evolution entails the introduction of new political challenges, creating winners and losers in societies and presenting new ethical and moral dilemmas.

The 2030 Agenda identifies that "the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will contribute decisively to progress towards all goals and objectives. It is not possible to realize all the human potential and achieve sustainable development if we continue denying half of humanity the full enjoyment of human rights and their opportunities" (United Nations, 2015). The work, jointly, in STEM and Gender will contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, since the empowerment of women and girls is fundamental to boost economic growth and promote social development. As pointed out in a publication of OPP (Uruguay Office of Planning and Budget)[1] "The low participation of women in science, technology and innovation, is a problem of justice (...) Increase human capital in this field of knowledge is a priority (...) and low Women's participation has a direct impact on the possibilities of developing this field of knowledge, as well as on deploying the development strategy of the region".

In this regard, UN Women seeks to accelerate the reduction of gender gaps in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics at all levels of education and research. It is therefore necessary to contribute to the promotion of women and girls in STEM, support key stakeholders in designing and implementing policies for gender equality and access to evidence to evaluate policies using disaggregated data gathering new information on drivers and barriers in STEM.

2. REGIONAL BACKGROUND

Although there are not many data on STEM in the Latin American and Caribbean region jointly, there is firm evidence about the costs to the region of the low participation of women in this area. For example, in Mexico, it has been determined that if gender inequality is eliminated in achieving high academic degrees, the country would have an increase in scientific productivity between 17% and 20%.

The gaps are evident from very early stages, girls are increasingly focusing on fields further away from STEM-related studies. According to a study by the UNESCO (2016) in the region, girls tend to do better in math than boys in third grade, but this advantage diminishes towards sixth grade. The patterns are accentuated when you get to college, where women are concentrated in social sciences and in certain areas of natural or medical sciences and have limited presence in STEM; this difference is even greater in postgraduate studies.

In research, it can be seen how in the region the gender gap has been reduced in the public sphere (government and higher education), where women represent around 40% of the total number of researchers. However, this is not the case in the private sector, where women are 20% and 30% of the total.

As for patents, only 27.8% of the patents developed in the region include at least one woman inventor. This gap is even more pronounced in some countries such as Ecuador, where patents in which women have participated represent only 9% of the total.

Girls and women face numerous challenges in accessing educational opportunities, which is accentuated in the field of STEM. It is extremely important and a priority to address this difference, since it is precisely in this field where it seems that the jobs of the future and sustainable growth will be found. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education has a vital role to play in this transformation as it underpins the 2030 Agenda. Advances in STEM have already brought about improvements in many aspects of life, such as health, agriculture, infrastructure and renewable energy. STEM education is also key for preparing students for the world of work, enabling entry into in-demand STEM careers of tomorrow[2].

In this sense, a report from the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE)[3] points out that gaps in education, women in care and humanities sectors and men in engineering and science, tend to remain in the labor market. This report also provides a revealing data, ending this gender gap and getting women to access studies and professions related to the STEM field could mean GDP growth of up to 0.9% in 2030 and 3% in 2050 As a result, 1.2 million jobs will be created.

In primary education, science and mathematics are part of the core curriculum globally and it is expected that both girls and boys have the same exposure to these subjects, although the amount of time differs widely between regions and countries. In many contexts, sex-role stereotyping is reinforced at this age range.

The gender gap in STEM participation becomes more apparent in lower secondary education. This is when specialization begins, and students make choices about which subjects to study. Furthermore, in many contexts, girls appear to lose interest in STEM subjects with age and more than boys do. For this reason, it is necessary to act on this age range, since it represents the critical point where differentiation occurs in terms of the interest and performance of children in the field of STEM.

A study in the United Kingdom[4] (UK) found that, at age 10-11 years, boys and girls were almost equally engaged with STEM, with 75% of boys and 72% of girls reporting that they learned interesting things in science. By the age of 18, this proportion fell to 33% for boys and 19% for girls, as measured by participation in STEM advanced studies. Here, boys began dropping out of STEM subjects as they approached their advanced level studies, whereas girls decided to drop out much earlier in secondary school. A longitudinal study[5] with Swedish youth also found that their career aspirations were largely formed by age 13, and that it would be progressively more difficult to engage students in science after that age. Those who have studied STEM subjects at advanced levels in upper secondary are more likely to move on to STEM-related degree programmes in higher education.

Regardless of the level of studies, exposure to STEM and intentions do not always guarantee the continuation of STEM studies. For example, girls may consider not to choose educational pathways that lead to occupations where few women are employed or to occupations perceived to be difficult to combine with family life. It is necessary to consider the multiple factors and the intersectionality that the education of the youngest one’s crosses, to try to reduce the reproduction of traditional cultural roles and stereotypes that limit learning of the girls in the STEM area.

Considering the context and the existing gaps, there are great challenges and opportunities to generate transcendent changes through the promotion of the equal participation of men and women in the area of STEM and the ICT sector. It is necessary to articulate initiatives aimed at the government, civil society and the private sector and promote the exchange of good practices among countries, in this sense focused on achieving real equality at all levels of the life cycle, from primary school up to access to high positions of women. Special emphasis not only from the top down, but also approaches the bottom up to correct imbalances, from primary education and considering the differences between countries, it is necessary to propose different and diverse approaches, working in all the stages of the life cycle.

The lines of action identified in the area of STEM, ICTs and Gender point the 4 pillars to work with: Data, Social Norms, Education and Business.

 

 

[1] Mujeres en Ciencia, tecnología e innovación, un problema de justicia.  Pág. 50 http://200.40.96.180/images/genero/mujerescienciaytecnologia.pdf

[2] Cracking the code: Girl’s and women’s education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), Unesco, 2017.

[3] Economic benefits of gender equality in the EU: How gender equality in STEM education leads to economic growth, EIGE, 2017.

[4] A.T.Kerney and YourLife. 2016. Tough Choices: The Real Reasons A-level Students are Steering Clear of Science and Maths. A.T.Kerney. https://www.atkearney.com/ documents/10192/7390617/Tough+Choices.pdf/a7408b93-248c-4b97-ac1e-b66db4645471

[5] Lindahl, B. 2007. A longitudinal study of students’ attitudes towards science and choice of career. Paper presented at the 80th session of the International Conference of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, New Orleans, LA. Cited in: Tytler, R. 2014. Attitudes, Identities and Aspirations towards Science. N. G. Lederman and S. K. Abell (eds), Handbook of Research on Science Education, Vol. 2. New York, Routledge, p.91.


Duties and Responsibilities

3. OBJECTIVE OF THE CONSULTANCY

  1. Formulation of an analytical and comparative document that includes the main experiences and initiatives implemented in the Latin American and Caribbean region to encourage and promote the participation of women and girls in the STEM sector.
  2. Prepare a regional program proposal to be implemented in LAC to encourage and promote the participation of women and girls in the STEM sector, recognizing between 3 and 5 countries where it could be carried out to address main challenges and gaps identified through the analytical and comparative document. The proposal must consider the different women-STEM relationships throughout both academic and professional life cycles, as well as the enabling conditions and identified challenges each of the countries have.

4. ACTIVITIES NECESSARY FOR REACHING THE OBJECTIVE

The main functions that the contractor must fulfill are the following:

  • Carry out a mapping/research of the initiatives that have been implemented in the region to encourage the participation of women in STEM. The research will include compilation and revision of secondary data and information as well as online/telephone consultations with informants and key organizations and a desk review that will include:
    • Review the initiatives previously identified by UN Women, background, development and results obtained.
    • Strategic reading of key regional plans and documents; relevant reports and documents on education, STEM, ICT, research, etc.
    • Information from studies and analysis already carried out (at the national and / or regional level).
  • Prepare a list of main partners and stakeholders to be interviewed/consulted and have it validated with UN Women.
  • Elaborate a commented outline of the diagnosis document to be discussed with UN Women
  • Carry out consultations with national, regional and global stakeholders to collect inputs of the main experiences and initiatives implemented in the region.
  • Based on the desk review and the interviews, carry out the analysis to identify the gaps in the different stages of women's lives and prepare a document indicating progress, gaps and common challenges in the region, as well as successful, replicable experiences, common elements observed in the implementation and identify lines of action to improve participation in such sector.
  • Prepare a draft version of the analytical and comparative document containing the main experiences and initiatives implemented in the Latin American and Caribbean region to encourage and promote the participation of women and girls in the STEM sector.
  • Finalize the analytical and comparative document including UN Women’s comments.
  • Develop a programmatic proposal at the regional level that contributes to increase the participation of women in STEM.
  • Organize a teleconference (webinar) to present and validate the proposal with UN Women experts.
  • Identify 3-5 potential countries where the elaborated proposal should be carried out.

5. EXPECTED OUTPUTS AND PAYMENT TERMS

Outputs

Activities

  1. An analytical and comparative document that includes the main experiences and initiatives implemented in the Latin American and Caribbean region to encourage the participation of women and girls in the STEM sector and the results obtained with such initiatives.

1.1 Desk review on women in STEM in the LAC region

1.2 Prepare a list of main partners and stake holders to be interviewed/consulted and have it validated it with UN Women

1.3 Elaborate a commented outline of the diagnosis document

1.4 Carry out consultations with national, regional and global stakeholders (identified in point 1.2) to collect inputs of the main experiences and initiatives implemented in the region.

1.5 Prepare a draft version of the analytical and comparative document containing the main experiences and initiatives implemented in the Latin American and Caribbean region to encourage and promote the participation of women and girls in the STEM sector.

1.6 Finalize the analytical and comparative document including UN Women’s comments (language: English)

  1. A regional program proposal developed to be implemented in LAC to encourage and promote the participation of women and girls in the STEM sector, recognizing between 3 and 5 countries where it can be carried out to address main challenges and gaps identified through the analytical and comparative document. The proposal must consider the different women-STEM relationships throughout the academic and professional life cycle as well as the enabling conditions and identified challenges each of the countries have.

2.1 Presentation of results of diagnosis document to a group of specialists and organizations to identify lines of work (identified in activity 1.2).

2.2 Prepare a regional programme draft proposal.

2.3 Organize a teleconference (webinar) to present and validate the proposal with UN Women experts.

2.4 Finalize the programme proposal including UN Women’s comments (language: English)

Payments

Payments will be made according to the following schedule in USD and will be disbursed within 30 days of the submission and approval of the products as follows:

  • 40% against the validation of UN Women of the diagnosis document.
  • 60% against the validation of UN Women of the final regional programme proposal.

The estimated time for review and feedback of the products will be of 10 days. However, time may vary on a case by case basis considering all the team members and external group of experts who will also review the products. Once the feedback is given, the consultant will have 10 days to incorporate the changes.

Responsibility of the consultant

  • It is the responsibility of the consultant to complete the activities and present the final product according to the timeline specified.
  • The consultant is not a staff member of the United Nations and will carry out the activities of the consultancy in his/her own working space, which will require technical equipment and the necessary technology to finalize the agreed products.
  • The consultancy does not contemplate travel. In the case the consultant considers travelling is needed, the consultant will be responsible for all travel and accommodation expenses and daily subsistence allowances associated with undertaking this assignment. All travels and logistical arrangements shall be coordinated by the national consultant herself/himself.

Supervision of the consultant

The consultant will be supervised by the Country Coordinator of UN Women office in Uruguay and the Policy Specialist of Economic Empowerment of UN Women Americas and the Caribbean Regional Office in Panama.

COPYRIGHT, PATENTS AND OTHER PROPIETARY RIGHTS

Except as is otherwise expressly provided in writing in the Contract, the UNW shall be entitled to all intellectual property and other proprietary rights including, but not limited to, patents, copyrights, and trademarks, with regard to products, processes, inventions, ideas, know-how, or documents and other materials which the Contractor has developed for the UNW under the Contract and which bear a direct relation to or are produced or prepared or collected in consequence of, or during the course of, the performance of the Contract, and the Contractor acknowledges and agrees that such products, documents and other materials constitute works made for hire for the UNW.

To the extent that any such intellectual property or other proprietary rights consist of any intellectual property or other proprietary rights of the Contractor: (i) that pre-existed the performance by the Contractor of its obligations under the Contract, or (ii) that the Contractor may develop or acquire, or may have developed or acquired, independently of the performance of its obligations under the Contract, the UNW does not and shall not claim any ownership interest thereto, and the Contractor grants to the UND a perpetual license to use such intellectual property or other proprietary right solely for the purposes of and in accordance with the requirements of the Contract.

At the request of the UNW; the Contractor shall take all necessary steps, execute all necessary documents and generally assist in securing such proprietary rights and transferring or licensing them to the UNW in compliance with the requirements of the applicable law and of the Contract.

Subject to the foregoing provisions, all maps, drawings, photographs, mosaics, plans, reports, estimates, recommendations, documents, and all other data compiled by or received by the Contractor under the Contract shall be the property of the UNW, shall be made available for use or inspection by the UNW at reasonable times and in reasonable places, shall be treated as confidential, and shall be delivered only to UNW authorized officials on completion of work under the Contract.


Competencies

6. PROFILE OF THE CONSULTANT

  • Have residency in Uruguay or availability to travel to Uruguay frequently.
  • Postgraduate in the fields of Engineering, Economic Sciences or Social sciences.
  • More than 5 years of experience in the field of women’s in STEM in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Proven experience and participation in at least 2 investigations and/or renowned studies on related topics in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Experience in programme design and formulation and knowledge on results-based management
  • High level of written and oral English and Spanish language is required.
  • UN Core values and competencies:

Core Values

Core Competencies

  • Respect for Diversity*
  • Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues*
  • Integrity*
  • Accountability*
  • Professionalism*
  • Creative Problem Solving*

 

  • Effective Communication*

 

  • Inclusive Collaboration*

 

  • Stakeholder Engagement*

* Leading by Example


Required Skills and Experience

7. SELECTION PROCESS

The evaluation will follow several steps as indicated below:

Before undertaking a detailed evaluation of each offer by the Evaluation Committee, a preliminary examination of the offers will take place to assess whether the proposal meets the minimum requirements indicated in the present terms of reference. Offers will not be considered for further evaluation in the cases when:

  • They are incomplete (i.e. they do not include the information and documents according to what is specified in these terms of reference, including, CV, P11 and Financial offer)
  • The offer has not been properly signed or is not signed
  • The validity of the offer does not correspond to the requirements
  • The offer does not present any technical or financial details
  • If the candidate does not accept correcting arithmetical mistakes
  • Offers or modification to the offers sent to any other direction or an electronic email that is not the one specified in the terms of reference.

Offers that are incomplete, clearly not compatible, or that contain substantive deviations from the terms of reference and conditions of the contract, can at UN Women’s discretion, be rejected or excluded from consideration at whatever time during the evaluation process, including after the preliminary evaluation.

Technical evaluation:

The evaluation of the technical aspects will be done according to the following methodology: meeting the requirements – most economic quality/price.

In this sense, the offers will be evaluated according to whether they comply with the minimum requirements specified in the terms of reference.

The consultants who pass the preliminary evaluation and the criteria of academic training and experience, will be called for an interview to check on the criteria of knowledge and other requirements.

Only those who obtain the necessary points will be considered eligible for a financial evaluation.

Financial evaluation:

The recommendation to accept an offer will be based on the most economic price/cost, provided all the minimum requirements have been met.

The following evaluation table will be used:

Technical evaluation (scoring 70%)

Academic background

  • Postgraduate degree in the fields of Engineering, Economic Sciences or Social sciences

Experience

  • More than 5 years of experience in the field of women’s in STEM in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Proven experience and participation in at least 2 investigations and/or renowned studies on related topics in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Experience in programme formulation.

Knowledge

  • Strong knowledge of results-based management (RBM) principles
  • Proven knowledge on programme development, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Knowledge and understanding of UN Women’s mandate and experience in policy analysis, strategic planning and programme formulation is desired.
  • Excellent writing and oral skills in English.
  • Great knowledge of written and oral Spanish.

Financial evaluation (scoring 30%)

  • Lowest Price

* The consultants who pass the preliminary evaluation and the criteria of academic training and experience, will be called for an interview to check on the criteria of knowledge and other requirements.

Important note:

  • This consultancy is open to individuals only.
  • Offers received from juridical persons will not be considered.
  • Offers that are submitted late, after the closing date, will not be considered.
  • The applicant should preferably have residency in Uruguay. If not possible, the applicant should have availability to travel to Uruguay frequently. However, travel expenses such as DSA, tickets, etc. must be included in the aggregated financial offer. The “aggregated financial offer” is the total sum of all financial claims of the candidate, including travel costs (ticket, DSA etc. – the consultancy fee and other expenses should be clearly described) for accomplishment of all tasks spelled out in this ToR.

    8. APPLICATION

Deadline for submission of applications is June 28th 2019. Interested candidates must submit the following documentation in the UNDP Jobs platform:

All applications must include only one attachment that consists of all the documents requested. Applications without complete and duly signed P11 will not be considered for evaluation and will be treated as incomplete.

Please combine all your documents into one (1) single PDF document as the system only allows to upload maximum one document

Only the candidates selected for the short list will be contacted. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.


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.


If you are experiencing difficulties with online job applications, please contact erecruit.helpdesk@undp.org.

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