Programme Specialist - Women's Economic Empowerment

Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Pretoria, SOUTH AFRICA
Application Deadline :02-Apr-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :TA International
Post Level :P-3
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :364 days

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.


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.


Globally, women’s employment is overwhelmingly informal, with limited legal or social protection. In low-income countries, 92% of women work informally, compared to 87% of men. Contributing family workers, usually considered unpaid, account for 28.1% of women’s informal employment, compared to 8.7% for men. Many of these women do small-scale farming, making a vital contribution to food security. In urban areas, women are often overrepresented in informal market or street vending, home-based work and domestic service.


The key objective of this role is to support the Government and stakeholders of the countries within the purview of SAMCO, to ensure the economic inclusion of women in the informal sector. In particular, under the framework of the Accelerating Women Micro-Enterprises (AWOME) Programme, the goal is to ensure that low-income women entrepreneurs better manage their enterprises for decent jobs and income security; and to develop and implement a context-responsive capacity building model that can be adapted and scaled up across Southern Africa. The outputs of this programme will include:


  • Women micro-entrepreneurs have increased capacity in business and life skills to successfully manage their enterprises.
  • Governments and national partners have increased capacity and skills to implement gender sensitive support to entrepreneurs.
  • Government has access to gender sensitive training materials and knowledge of strategies to develop the capacity of entrepreneurs.
  • An enabling environment for micro-entrepreneurs through changes in policy and legal frameworks tailored to the programme country’s planning cycles and processes.


A related objective would be to ensure strategic advocacy for the greater economic inclusion of women operating in informality, ensuring adherence to Leaving No One Behind principles through inclusive research and policy guidance.


Reporting to the Deputy Representative, the Programme Specialist exercises overall responsibility for planning, implementing, and managing UN Women interventions under their portfolio.  The Programme Specialist works in close collaboration with the programme and operations team, UN Women HQ staff, Government officials, multi and bi-lateral donors and civil society ensuring successful UN Women programme implementation under portfolio. 

Duties and Responsibilities

Design and develop programme strategies in the area of Women Economic Empowerment (WEE) Informality:

  • Design and formulate programme/ project proposals and initiatives;
  • Draft inputs to country strategy documents, briefs, policy dialogue and other documents


Manage the implementation and management of the WEE programme:

  • Finalize the annual workplan and budget and manage their implementation;
  • Manage the technical implementation of the programme/project; ensure synergies with other teams;
  • Manage the submission of implementing partner financial and narrative reports;
  • Provide guidance to staff and partners on Results Based Management tools and performance indicators;
  • Organize Project Steering Committee, project review and/or evaluation meetings, as neede;
  • Manage the programme budget and draft financial reports.


Manage technical assistance and capacity development to project/programme partners

  • Manage the implementation of technical advice and guidance. Develop and implement technical tools, and initiatives;
  • Build and manage relationships with national partners to support implementation and expansion of the; respond to any potential problems;
  • Identify capacity building needs of partners and lead the coordination of technical assistance, mentoring, training and capacity development initiatives to partners.


Manage the monitoring and reporting of the programme:

  • Manage the monitoring of programme/ project implementation and finances using results-based management tools;
  • Oversee field missions and review reports on monitoring missions;
  • Write quarterly reports and donor reports, focusing on results, output and outcomes;
  • Contribute to office donor and UN Women reports.


Build partnerships and support in developing resource mobilization strategies

  • Develop and implement partnerships and resource mobilization strategies;
  • Finalize relevant documentation on donors and potential opportunities for resource mobilization;
  • Analyze and research information on donors, prepare substantive briefs on possible areas of cooperation, identification of opportunities for cost sharing.

Contribute to inter-agency coordination on WEE to achieve coherence and alignment of UN Women programmes with other partners in the multi-country office:

  • Provide technical support to the Representative and Deputy Representative on inter-agency coordination related activities by attending meetings, events, and participating in groups and committees as needed;
  • Coordinate with other UN agencies, government departments, donors and NGOs to ensure the projects’ capacity development programme is harmonized and aligned with other in-country efforts.
  • Supervise related UNWOMEN contribution to inter-agency Joint Programmes


Manage advocacy, knowledge building and communication efforts:

  • Develop and review background documents, briefs and presentations related to the WEE programme;
  • Represent UN Women in meetings and policy dialogues on issues related to WEE as necessary;
  • Develop advocacy strategies and oversee their implementation;
  • Identify best practices and lessons learned to guide programme improvement and strategy planning;
  • Develop knowledge management strategies, products and methodologies on WEE.


Key Performance Indicators

  • Timely and quality programme design and inputs to Strategic Note
  • Timely and quality of programme delivery in line with budget and workplans, and in line with all UN Women operational rules and regulations, including security
  • Timely and quality monitoring and evaluation of programmes
  • Relations with partners and stakeholders
  • Quality reports and timely submission
  • Regular communication with other agencies and partners
  • Quality of advocacy and communication initiatives



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

  • Strong programme formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation skills
  • Strong knowledge of Results Based Management
  • Ability to synthesize program performance data and produce analytical reports to inform management and strategic decision-making
  • Strong knowledge of Women Economic Empowerment (WEE)
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Ability to identify and analyze trends, opportunities and threats to fundraising and develop strategies

Required Skills and Experience

Education and Certification

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in social sciences, human rights, gender/women's studies, international development, or a related field 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 5 years of progressively responsible work experience at the national or international level in design, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development projects;
  • Technical experience in Women Economic Empowerment (WEE) particularly Informal Sector;
  • Experience coordinating and liaising with government agencies and/or donors is an asset;
  • Experience working in the UN System is an asset;
  • Experience in leading/managing a team is an asset.


Language requirements

  • Written and Oral Fluency in English is required;
  • Working knowledge of another official UN language is an asset.

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