Advisor on psycho-social issues and approaches for attending to survivors of GBV (Qualified National Consultant)

Location : Dili, Timor Leste
Application Deadline :26-Feb-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Time left :2d 10h 29m
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :National Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :10 months with the possibility of 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.


Timor-Leste is a Small Island Developing State, independent since 2002, making it one of the world's youngest democracies. In only 19 years, it has taken significant steps to rebuild the nation and redefine its future, following centuries of colonization and a violent occupation that lasted 24 years, killing approximately a third of its population and displaced almost half a million people in 1999. Timor-Leste's current population of 1.3 million people is one of the youngest in the Pacific, with 75%under 35 years old. It is the 15th youngest nation in the world.

Despite the notable efforts in state-building and economic growth (especially between 2007-2016), Timor-Leste is one of the least developed nations in the region, with 41.8% of the population living below the poverty line. Despite having a Human Development Index (HDI) of 0.625 in 2017, when weighed against the inequality factor, the HDI drops to 0.452. This inequality is predominant in rural areas - where 70% of the population is disproportionately affected by poverty, malnutrition, unemployment, and lack of access to quality education and basic infrastructure.

Inequality particularly affects women, who face discrimination within their homes and society, and across sectors of health, education, employment, and access to justice. Women’s labor force participation is 24.9 percent, less than half that of men at 52.5 percent.

Women and girls with disabilities, young mothers, women in vulnerable employment, domestic workers, and rural areas have even greater challenges to access their rights as enshrined under the law. Although there is insufficient data to calculate the Gender Inequality Index (GII) for Timor-Leste, the 2017 female HDI value for Timor-Leste is 0.567 in contrast with 0.663 for males. In addition, the Spotlight Country Selection Proxy composite indicator and weighting (used in lieu of the GII for the region) rates Timor-Leste as 9.75, the third-highest after Papua New Guinea and Palau.

This gender inequality fuels the high levels of violence against women and girls (VAWG), which remains one of the most widespread human rights abuses in Timor-Leste. A dedicated prevalence survey in 2015 found that 59% of Timorese women (15-49 years) reported having experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. The 2016 Timor-Leste Demographic and Health Survey Domestic Violence Module showed the diversity of prevalence across municipalities, reinforcing the need for targeted interventions fully owned by the affected community.

Timor-Leste recognizes women’s rights as human rights and violence against women and girls as a serious and pervasive human rights violation and an extreme form of discrimination. Telling evidence is the country’s existing strong VAWG national framework, having ratified most of the core international human rights treaties/conventions and development frameworks, with clear articles in its Constitution dedicated to gender equality (Article 16, 17, 18, and 26). The Strategic Development Plan (SDP) 2011-2030 also addresses gender equality and women’s empowerment. In 2016, Timor-Leste ratified ILO Core Conventions No. 111 and No. 100 on gender equality. It contributed to adopting a new International Labour Standard concerning eliminating violence and harassment in the world of work (Convention No. 190) in June 2019.


Project Description

To address the challenges of VAWG, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations have embarked on a new multi-year programme- the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative. The Spotlight Initiative aims to support transformative change on the ground to end violence against women and girls and harmful practices in numerous countries globally. The Initiative comes with the highest level of commitment globally and is governed by the UN Deputy Secretary-General and the EU Commission's vice president.

The Spotlight Initiative in Timor-Leste is being implemented through five UN agencies (UN Women, UNFPA, UNDP, UNICEF, and ILO) to address intimate partner violence and domestic violence. In addition to the five agencies above, the Programme collaborates with the International Organization for Migration, the Human Rights Advisor’s Unit, and the World Health Organization.

The Spotlight Initiative's overall vision in Timor-Leste is that women and girls enjoy their right to a life free of violence within an inclusive and gender-equitable Timor-Leste.

The programme, aligned to the Timor-Leste "National Action Plan on Gender-based Violence (2017-2021)," contributes to the elimination of domestic violence/ intimate partner violence (DV/IPV) by responding to the needs of women and girls and addressing the underlying causes of violence against women and girls using a multi-sectoral and intersectional approach to implement intervention on the following six outcomes areas:


Pillar 1: Legislation and Policies

Pillar 2: Institutional strengthening

Pillar 3: Prevention of violence

Pillar 4: Available, accessible, and acceptable, quality services

Pillar 5: Quality and reliable data

Pillar 6: Supporting women’s movements and relevant civil society organizations

The Programme is grounded on the core principle of leaving no one behind and reaching the furthest behind first. The interventions have been designed to target women and girls most marginalized (rural, poor, with disabilities), at higher risk of intimate partner violence, and groups that face multiple or intersecting forms of discrimination.

To ensure the effective and meaningful impact of the Spotlight Initiative in Timor-Leste, the Programme focuses on a comprehensive set of actions at the national level, alongside community-based interventions in 3 municipalities (of the country’s 13 municipalities). Based on a preliminary analysis of needs, gaps, and opportunities, from a thematic and geographic lens and consultations with various stakeholders, the Programme focuses its community-level efforts in Ermera, Viqueque, and Bobonaro municipalities.

Timor-Leste has drafted a Country Joint Programme Document, which was developed in full consultation with and participation by the Government of Timor-Leste, the European Union, CSOs, independent institutions, and other stakeholders. It is anticipated that the document will be approved in December 2019, with its implementation to begin in January 2020.

To better understand the factors that contribute to gender justice, violence against women and girls, and access to justice for survivors, and to build the evidence base, UNDP, on behalf of the Timor-Leste Spotlight Team, is seeking to hire a qualified consultant to provide psychological support to the Legal and Judicial Training Center, the Court of Appeal (COA), District/Mobile Courts, as well as Access to Justice Clinics (AJC), in understanding the complexities of violence against women and girls.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Consultant will undertake the following tasks:

1. Assessment of judicial actors’ knowledge on the psychological complexities of VAWG

  • Undertake initial research on initiatives in other countries relating to psychological support to judicial professionals to better understand the complexities of violence against women and girls. If necessary, the consultant can establish an advisory group with other psychology and social work experts to discuss and share knowledge.
  • Based on the initial research, develop questionnaires to assess the knowledge of individuals attending the Legal and Judicial Training Center, current justice officials working in District and Mobile Courts and COA, and individuals providing free legal aid through AJCs the complexities of VAWG from psychological aspects.


2. Development of tools for sensitive psychological decisions for VAWG cases

  • Using the assessments (see task 1) as guidelines, develop manuals for training judges, public defenders, prosecutors, and paralegals on VAWG cases' decision-making and psychological sensitivities.
  • Provide training using the manuals developed to support judges, prosecutors, paralegals, public defenders in the District Courts, Mobile Courts, and AJCs to render gender-sensitive decisions by closely working and coordinating with lecturers at LJTC (Legal and Judicial Training Center).


3. Psychological advising for judicial actors and relevant CSOs

  • Advise judicial actors on how to attend to survivors of GBV regarding psychological sensitivity, particularly more vulnerable victims such as children (e.g., a seminar on how to be careful when attending victims with PTSD symptoms, such as triggers).
  • Advise judicial actors on psychological conditions that can affect victims and witnesses of sexual and gender-based violence, which may require alternate forms of evidence gathering (e.g., where victims are too traumatized to give evidence in person, evidence should be provided through a trusted intermediary such as a social worker).
  • Provide technical support to the actors giving counseling services to survivors of GBV, particularly through the Access to Justice Clinics.


Functional / Technical Knowledge: 

  • Excellent coordination and communications skills, including the ability to convince, convey and advocate
  • Ability to consolidate information from multiple sources
  • Able to prepare a strategic report for decision-makers
  • Ability to work independently as well as a good team player
  • Excellent time management and ability to produce outputs as per agreed deadlines

Required Skills and Experience


  • Masters’ degree in Psychology, including forensic psychology and criminal justice

Professional Experience: 

  • Minimum of 5 years of work experience in psychology, with a focus on criminal justice, preferably related to VAWG
  • Experience in conducting assessment and evaluation of programming, including conducting analyses, action planning, making recommendations, and reporting
  • Previous training on case management or psycho-social approaches
  • Experience promoting and developing gender-sensitive policies, procedures, and practices
  • Experience developing training materials and implementing programming that supports justice actors and other relevant institutions
  • Experience working with Justice Institutions at the national and municipal level is an asset
  • Ability to work well in a team environment and individually with limited supervision
  • Demonstrated expertise in managing development projects with a focus on capacity building.

Language Skills

  • The candidate shall be fluent in English with excellent writing abilities
  • Knowledge of Tetum is required
  • Knowledge of Portuguese as an asset


Interested applicants are mandatory to apply online through Supporting documents/filled templates to be submitted along with the applications are following, and those templates can be download from

  • UN P11 Form
  • Individual Contract Offerors Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability
  • Individual Contract Reference Check (at least from two referees)
  • CV

Any request for clarification must be sent in writing to 

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