UN Women, grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security.

Eliminating violence against women and girls is a key area of UN Women´s work. The focus of Outcome 4 of the UN Women Strategic Plan (2018-2021) is All women and girls live a life free from violence.

The European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) are embarking on a new multi-year programme, called the ‘Spotlight Initiative,’ which is focused on eliminating violence against women and girls (VAWG) and harmful practices (HP). In a focused set of countries, the Spotlight Initiative will deploy targeted, large-scale investments to improve the rights of women and girls, helping them to live lives free of violence. 

The Latin American regional programme of the Spotlight Initiative will focus on eliminating femicide. As stated by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), on average, at least 12 women are killed daily in the region because they are women. Through a comprehensive approach, the Spotlight Initiative will focus its work on eliminating femicide through six key pillars: I) developing and implementing relevant legislation and policies, II) strengthening national and sub-national institutions, III) preventing violence through evidence-based programmes and campaigns, IV) establishing essential services for victims and survivors; V) ensuring the collection and use of prevalence and incidence data, and VI) partnering directly with women’s movements and civil society. The Spotlight regional joint programme is focused on pillars: I, III and V and will ensure that women’s civil society organizations are involved in the implementation of all 3 pillars.

The Spotlight Regional Joint Programme aims to add value, maximize investment, and contribute to the scale, sustainability, visibility, lessons learnt and replication of programming to prevent and address femicide throughout the Latin American region.  The regional programme is meant to address aspects of femicide that extend beyond borders and that cannot be solved entirely from a national perspective.  The regional component will encourage regional institutions to move forward policies to prevent femicide in a context where women’s human rights are being put into question and where some countries are rolling back previously agreed policies on gender equality.

UN Women is the Lead Agency to coordinate the implementation of the Regional Joint Programme.  UN Women, UNDP and UNFPA are recipient UN organizations (RUNOs) that will jointly implement resources and provide technical assistance for the implementation of the Regional Joint Programme as well as to the Joint Programme Team.  ECLAC, PAHO, OHCHR and UNICEF will participate as Associate Agencies (AA) working closely with RUNOs and providing their technical assistance and work jointly in partnership.  Intergovernmental organizations, regional networks of CSOs and other regional partners will be engaged as well.

UN Women is leading the implementation of Pillar I) developing and implementing relevant legislation and policies and is also leading the implementation of some of the activities in Pillars 3 and 5.

Duties and Responsibilities

Reporting to the Spotlight Regional Joint Programme Coordinator, the UN Women Programme Specialist will be responsible for coordinating the effective implementation of the programme activities that UN Women is leading in the joint programme consistent with UN Women rules and regulations.  S/he will use results-based management tools to contribute to programme management, coordinating relationships with key programme stakeholders, as well as contributing to the monitoring, reporting and the financial management of the programme. The UN Women Spotlight Programme Specialist works in close collaboration with the operations, programme and project staff in the RO, UN Women HQ, Recipient UN Organizations (UNDP, UN Women, UNFPA), Associate Organizations (ECLAC, PAHO, UNICEF, OHCHR), Spotlight Secretariat, EU, Steering Committee and Civil Society Reference Group, and partners as required for implementing the programme activities and achieving the expected results.

1.  Coordinate the implementation of the Spotlight Programme activities led by UN Women

  • Provide substantive inputs to the design and formulation of the annual workplan and budget;
  • Coordinate the implementation of the overall programme work plan according to Spotlight Regional Programme document;
  • Liaise with the Joint Programme Team, Associated Agencies, Intergovernmental organizations, regional networks of CSOs and other regional partners or stakeholders to ensure the Programme results are achieved and resources are managed;
  • Lead the coordination of the call/request for propsals, including the organization of technical review committees, and capacity assessment of partners;
  • Record and maintain documents on relevant Programme activities, issues, and risks;
  • Prepare work-plans, procurement plans, periodic narrative progress reports and expenditures status reports.

2.  Guide coordination with regional implementing partners and other stakeholders

  • Establish systems for project planning, implementation and monitoring, in collaboration with partners;
  • Coordinate relationships with regional partners to support implementation of the activities led by UN Women in the Spotlight Regional Programme, raise potential problems and provide solutions;
  • Provide guidance to partners on the implementation of programme activities, establishment of performance indicators, and monitoring achievement of results;
  • Identify capacity building needs and support partners through technical assistance, mentoring, training, cross-partner learning, and capacity development initiatives.

3.  Provide substantive technical inputs to the monitoring and reporting of the Spotlight Regional Programme

  • Monitor progress of implementation of activities using results-based management tools;
  • Monitor the implementation of activities and the expenditure of funds by partners; conduct regular monitoring visits;
  • Gather and compile all information necessary for monitoring and reporting on programme activities led by UN Women in the Spotlight Joint Regional Programme and provide substantive inputs to the preparation of UN Women and donor reports;
  • Review and coordinate the submission of implementing partner financial and narrative report.

4.  Manage financial resources

  • Monitor budget implementation, coordinate the preparation of budget re-alignments/revisions, and expenditure tracking and reporting;
  • Oversee and monitor the allocation and disbursement of funds to participating partners;
  • Oversee recruitment processes, as necessary.

5.  Provide substantive inputs to build partnerships and support in developing resource mobilization strategies

  • Provide substantive inputs to resource mobilization strategies; analyze and maintain information and databases;
  • Prepare relevant documentation such as project summaries, conference papers, briefing notes, speeches, and donor profiles;
  • Participate in donor meetings and public information events, as delegated.


Key performance Indicators

  • Timely and quality substantive inputs to programme strategies and activities;
  • Timely and quality substantive inputs to workplans and budgets;
  • Adherence to UN Women standards and rules;
  • Timely monitoring and tracking of programme results and finances;
  • Relationship with partners and stakeholders;
  • Timely organization of events;
  • Quality of knowledge and advocacy products.

Core Values

  • Respect for Diversity
  • Integrity
  • Professionalism

Core Competencies

  • Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues
  • Accountability
  • Creative Problem Solving
  • Effective Communication
  • Inclusive Collaboration
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Leading by Example

Functional Competencies

  • Good programme formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation skills
  • Strong budget and finance skills
  • Good knowledge of Results Based Management
  • Ability to gather and interpret data, reach logical conclusions and present findings and recommendations
  • Strong analytical and organizational skills
  • Good knowledge of technical area
  • Good knowledge of UN programme management systems
  • Excellent interpersonal and networking skills and ability to work in multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary environments
  • Ability to build and promote partnerships across the organization and beyond
  • Ability to work under pressure on multiple activities whilst maintaining high-quality and timeliness

Required Skills and Experience

Education and certification            

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in public administration, law, human rights, gender equality, management, social sciences or other related areas is required;
  • A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree;
  • A project/programme management certification would be an added advantage.


  • At least 7 years of progressively responsible experience at the national or international level in managing complex and multi-component programme interventions with national, regional or international partners, preferably related to EVAW;
  • Experience in coordinating, implementing, monitoring and evaluating development programmes and projects;
  • Previous experience working in the UN system is an asset.

Language Requirements 

  • Fluency in English and Spanish is required

Other requirements

  • The person to be hired must be a Panamanian  citizen (natural or legal), or foreigner with legal residence and valid work permit  to remain and work in Panama for the duration of the contract.
  • Applicants cannot be a public servant from the State, Departmental Government, State Entity and Decentralized services, whatever the nature of the link (paid or not), or hired under any modality by said state public persons.

Application Instructions

  • Applications consists of one attachment that include a completed and signed, UN Women Personal History Form (P11).  Applications without the completed P11 form will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment. . The electronic version of the P11 can be downloaded from the following website:

UN Women 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.

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Note:  Only short-listed qualified candidates will be contacted.