Women’s Political Participation Senior Expert

Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Freetown, SIERRA LEONE
Application Deadline :22-Jun-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
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 :5 months

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.

Women’s leadership and political participation is one of UN-Women’s primary areas of work as mandated in its inception, recognizing the integral role of women in strong and stable democratic processes. Through its Leadership and Governance section, UN-Women works to implement Output 4 of the Entity’s Strategic Plan 2018-21 “More women of all ages fully participate, lead and engage in political institutions and processes”.

To promote the leadership and participation of women in all levels of decision-making processes, UN-Women works with a range of stakeholders including women leaders and aspiring candidates, national parliaments and parliamentarians, political parties, media, civil society organizations, and electoral management bodies, in coordination with UN partner Entities, through a wide range of interventions which include: i) support gender responsive legal reforms, and institutional processes to advance women’s participation and representation (including initiatives to address violence against women in politics); ii) build capacities of women leaders and aspiring candidates; iii) promote change of gender norms through advocacy and outreach initiatives targeting communities, political leaders and the media; iv) and support women leaders in gender responsive political institutions.

In Sierra Leone, women represent today only 12.3% of the parliament while they make 52% of the voters and 50.8% of the population. Women’s organisations have indeed been challenging existing barriers to women’s political participation through nationwide activism, advocacy and other social norm change actions including engagement of communities and male authorities. However, Parliament has yet to respond to their demand for a 30% women’s representation quota at various levels of leadership since no legislated or voluntary quotas are in place. However, the 2004 Local Government Act provides that the Ward Committees shall consist of 5 women and 5 men (Article 95 (2: c).[1]

In March 2023, voters across Sierra Leone will cast ballots again for president, parliament, local councils and mayors in a general election widely seen as a crucial opportunity to increase women’s situation in terms of political representation and participation.UN-Women in Sierra Leone is seeking to undertake targeted interventions to increase women’s representation in decision making at all levels within the current electoral cycle in coordination with national institutions, UN partners and civil society.


Under the direct supervision of the Country Representative, the Consultant will work with the UN Women team to develop and rollout a road map on women’s political participation in alignment with the recommendations of the recent UN electoral Needs Assessment mission, and in partnership with UN Women partners’ on the ground, particularly  women’s groups and networks currently advocating for legal and policy reforms including temporary special measures to increase women’s political participation.

[1] http://www.sierra-leone.org/Laws/2004-1p.pdf

Duties and Responsibilities


Under this assignment, the Senior National Consultant will be responsible to undertake the following duties:

Summary of Key Functions:

Programme design and implementation:

  • Produce a mapping of existing women coalition and networks and ongoing initiatives in Sierra leone including regional coalitions and lesson learned.
  • Lead the coordination of multi-stakeholder consultations on electoral law reform
  • Oversee the roll-out and implementation of a women’s political participation project in close coordination and as agreed with the government, partners, and United Nations Country Team, particularly with UNDP
  • Ensure results-based monitoring and reporting

Technical support on gender mainstreaming into UN programming on elections

  • Support UN coordinated advocacy, within the context of ongoing legal and policy reforms to promote women’s electoral and political participation and leadership, including prevention of Violence Against Women in Politics.
  • Participate in the different coordination meetings around women’s political participation and leadership.
  • Participate in the formulation UN joint programming and ensure specific interventions targeting women with adequate resources.

 Establish coordination with national partners and other stakeholders and networks

  • Identify potential national and international partners and existing coalition and networks
  • Develop a coordination matrix and lead the coordination meetings  
  • Liaise with the donor community and ensure regular and businesslike communication
  • Identify potential programmatic areas of cooperation
  • Research opportunities and avenues for expanding resource mobilization partnerships, including through existing capacities of networks, government, the private sector in Sierra Leone and donor community to fund the programme.

Summary of Deliverables:

  • Finalise project documents and roll out a Women’s Political Participation work plan and deliverables
  • Communications and advocacy strategy to transform gender norms, to sensitize the media and electorate on the need for women in public life developed and coordinated
  • Matrix of coordination
  • Preparation of a comprehensive handover note upon completion of consultancy that includes context and programme/policy recommendations, including status report on all tasks and deliverables and any other relevant information (including briefing notes on the consultations conducted with national and international partners)

Duration of the Assignment:

The total duration of this assignment is initially 5 months starting July 2021.


UN Women will put at the disposal of selected individuals all available materials and necessary information for tasks achievement and will facilitate the meetings and discussions, as needed. During assignment’s related missions, the Consultants may use the facilities of the office (i.e., internet access, printing, copying, local phone calls, including office laptop etc.). However, he or she is expected to use his/her own personal computer for normal office related matters.

Location of work:

The consultant will be located in the UN Women Office for the implementation of the assignment.

Performance evaluation:

Performance will be evaluated against such criteria as: timeliness, responsibility, initiative, communication, accuracy, and quality of the products delivered.

Financial arrangements:

Payment will be disbursed in installments upon the satisfactory submission of the deliverables.


Core Values :

  • Respect for diversity
  • Integrity
  • Professionalism

Core competencies:

  • Gender Sensitivity
  • Accountability
  • Strategic thinking
  • Effective communication
  • Inclusive collaboration
  • Stakeholder engagement

Values and Guiding Principles:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling UN Women values and ethical standards.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to UN Women’s mission and vision.
  • Able to work effectively within a team.
  • Displays cultural and gender sensitivity and adaptability.
  • Able to multi-task and juggle competing demands.
  • Can assess and prioritize work needs quickly.
  • Able to relate to external partners, including other international organizations and agencies, NGOs, grassroots community groups, etc.

Functional Competencies:

  • Good knowledge of gender equality and women’s empowerment, including women’s political participation
  • Good organizational skills and ability to pay close attention to detail.
  • Good communication skills.
  • Demonstrated leadership and personal examples of promoting knowledge management and a professional learning environment.
  • Outstanding networking, team building, organizational and communication skills.
  • Capacity to work with diverse partners including governments, donors, and civil society.
  • Ability to use Microsoft word, excel, e-mail, web-based applications, and databases.
  • Ability to work effectively and harmoniously with people from varied cultures and professional backgrounds.
  • Results based management skills.
  • In-depth knowledge of development issues.
  • Ability to advocate and provide policy advice.
  • Ability in strategic planning, results-based management, and reporting.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in Gender Studies, Law, Political Science, Sociology, International Relations, Law-related fields, and equivalent practical experiences.


  • A minimum of 8 years (Master’s degree) relevant work experience in the field of gender equality and women’s political empowerment, including proven experience integrating gender equality and electoral cycle.
  • Experience working with multi-stakeholder organizations is essential: governments, CSOs, and the UN/ multilateral/bilateral institutions. 
  • Substantive experience in women’s leadership and participation.
  • Experience in programme design and results-based management.
  • Experience with UN electoral assistance processes
  • Experience in working in a multicultural environment.
  • Sound knowledge of international standards on human rights, women’s rights and related instruments.
  • Experience working with multi-stakeholder organizations is essential: governments, CSOs, and the UN/ multilateral/bilateral institutions. 


  • Fluency in oral and written English is required.
  • Working knowledge of other UN languages is an asset.

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