Consultant for research on the barriers that women farmers face in their entry into, participation and leadership in Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) of different kinds (Open to Indian Nationals Only)

Publicado en nombre de :

Localidad : Home Based with Travel, India
Fecha límite de postulación :08-Jul-18 (Medianoche Nueva York, Estados Unidos)
Categoría adicional :Igualdad de género
Tipo de contrato :Individual Contract
Nivel de puesto :National Consultant
Idiomas requeridos :
Fecha de comienzo del contrato :
(Fecha en que se espera que comience el candidato seleccionado)
Duración del contrato inicial :100 working days spread over 5 months
Duración esperada del puesto :100 working days spread over 5 months


UN Women is the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women created in 2010 as a UN entity, to accelerate progress on gender equality and the realisation of women’s rights. UN Women is a dynamic and strong champion for women and girls, providing them with a powerful voice at the global, regional and local levels. In 2015, UN Women commemorated 20 years of the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA, 1995), and successfully advocated with partners, for the stand-alone gender equality goal under the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030. UN Women is involved in strengthening the commitment of UN member states to the Agenda 2030, Beijing Platform for Action, and other normative frameworks such as CEDAW, by investing directly in the rights of women and girls, and in supporting gender mainstreaming initiatives, in order to ensure substantive equality, particularly for those from marginalised communities.

At the adoption of Agenda 2030, it was recognised that rural women are key agents for achieving transformational economic, environmental and social changes required for sustainable development. The use of the word “transformational” symbolises commitment to address the root causes of inequality, and not just the symptoms. Goal 5 of the Agenda has special significance for the advancement of rural women, with its emphasis on eliminating all forms of discrimination and violence against women, creating opportunities for effective participation and leadership at all levels of decision-making, undertaking reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources and stepping up measures for women’s unpaid work to be recognised, reduced and redistributed. In short, Agenda 2030 provides all national and sub-national governments the platform to accelerate the achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment, with a focus on the most marginalised. 

Furthermore, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), of which India is a State party, through the CEDAW Article 14 on Rural Women guides the member States to (a) locally contextualise the national priorities around rural women and women farmers and (b) strengthen the rights of women farmers to ensure equality. The CEDAW General Recommendation No. 34 on Rights of Rural Women, explicitly recognises rural women’s entitlements on food and nutrition through an integrated approach, ensuring that the member States also respect, protect and realise their rights to (a) access, control, manage and own natural and productive resources, (b) decent work and social protection, (c) health care, and (d) strengthen the women’s role in production, processing, distribution, market access, trade and investment. The Convention provides a holistic structure, recognising the distinct categories of rural women, from different vulnerable and marginalised sections, who suffer disproportionately from discrimination.

Background of UN Women’s work on economic rights of women in India:

Within the overall context of UN Women’s Strategic Plan for India and Bhutan, UN WOMEN MCO in New Delhi works towards realisation of the rights of women, with a focus on women from most marginalised and low-income communities, to decent work, opportunities of sustainable livelihood and social protection.

UN Women’s past work in the region has correspondingly focused on centre-staging women’s resource rights and capabilities, their voice and agency and ending all forms of gender based violence in policy formulation and programme implementation on sustainable livelihoods. UN Women supports the leadership and participation of rural women in finding solutions to the problems and issues that affect their lives, especially improved food and nutrition security and enhanced rural livelihoods. UN Women engages with various government bodies to develop and implement laws and policies that promote equal rights, opportunities and participation, so that rural women can benefit from India’s growth story, obtain financing, upgrade their skills, market their goods, and make a strong contribution to inclusive economic growth in an environment free of discrimination and violence.

Since 2014, UN Women has been supporting and collaborating with the Mahila Kisan Adhikaar Manch (MAKAAM) to secure the rights and entitlements of women farmers in India MAKAAM is an alliance of individuals, organisations, networks, campaigns, movements and people’s collectives across 24 states of India, working towards ensuring empowered, self-reliant and sustainable women’s livelihoods. The proposed research will be undertaken by UN Women with the active involvement of MAKAAM members in its design and implementation.

Since then, MAKAAM and UN Women have convened regional and state meetings to strengthen the constituency of organizations, movements, institutions, activists, researchers, media persons, and undertake actions and advocacy to promote the issue of women farmers rights. Through participation at various policy dialogues and conferences the perspectives and issues arising from these engagements have been foregrounded to inform the public and policy discourse.

Study proposed by UN Women in collaboration with MAKAAM:

Farmer Producer Organisations, or collectivisation of farmers into groups which are either informal or formal legal entities taking different shapes, have been recognised as an effective medium for empowerment of farmers on numerous fronts, including on the economic front in terms of improving farmers’ terms of negotiation with external stakeholders and profitability in their individual and joint farming enterprises. Civil society interventions as well as particular schemes of governments have given a thrust to organising/collectivising farmers into such FPOs, which could be (informal) Joint Liability Groups or registered Cooperative Societies or Producer Companies. It is seen that aggregation helps in achieving economies of scale, and while individual farmers might dispose off their produce to the FPO soon after harvest, the collective retention power until better prices are realised, is higher for the FPO through the capital that it holds.

The collective enterprise also presents greater possibilities of processing and value addition, thus increasing the margins accruing to the farmers of the retail price and also presents greater possibilities at exploring newer markets. FPOs are known to work not just at the output or market end (“forward linkages”) but also at the production end. Pooling of resources (labour, capital etc.), and sharing of risks (crop failure, price crash, vulnerable individuals being supported by others including in the context of domestic violence etc.), form the basis of this aggregation, which is why it is a strategy commonly used with low-income, marginal and smallholder farmers. The collectives also present a significant opportunity to farmers in gaining greater socio-political strength in negotiating with the state as well as other players in the market, increasing their status, dignity and morale.

While this may be so, it is also true that not all FPOs operate in an atmosphere or context that is enabling for women farmers to leverage such collectives for their empowerment.

A number of barriers exist with regard to women farmers being recognised as farmers and being treated on par with male farmers by their own families, their communities and by state institutions. These barriers also exist when it comes to women farmers becoming members of Farmer Producer Organisations thus presenting lesser opportunities for women farmers to gain benefits from this collectivisation process.

UN Women and MAKAAM seek to address such barriers systematically, by (a) identifying the barriers through a research study; (b) drawing a roadmap for advocacy with the state and community level interventions based on the research findings.

Details of the Assignment and Scope:

In this context, UN Women is seeking to study the gender specific barriers that exist for women farmers’ entry, participation and leadership in FPOs and draw a framework for addressing gender gaps in laws, institutions, policies and programmes in the agricultural sector. This study will be an essential starting point for advocacy on recognition and empowerment of women farmers and realising equal human rights for all, as well as for achieving national and global development goals for food and nutrition security, poverty eradication, and sustainable development.

The assignment will require (a) study of 7 kinds of FPOs from different contexts (and in different states), to delineate 4 broad categories of factors that determine entry, participation and leadership of women farmers (legal/institutional, policy atmosphere, socio-cultural context of the community/communities in which FPO operates and finally, the internal management norms and mechanisms that create disabling or enabling factors for women farmers); and (b) analysis of policies relating to FPOs and institutional policies and norms relating to functioning and representation within FPOs to examine the aspects that could serve as gender barriers and constraints therein.

Objectives of the study:

  • To identify the various legal, institutional, policy, socio-cultural and other barriers to the entry/membership, participation and leadership of women farmers in a spectrum of FPOs in select states in India;
  • To provide recommendations on what steps can help improve their entry, participation and leadership.

Expected Outputs:

  • A detailed analysis of legal barriers and existing institutional gaps that deter the entry and/ or membership, participation and leadership of women farmers in a spectrum of FPOs in select states in India;
  • Case studies to substantiate the analysis, including data on women farmers’ membership in FPOs;
  • A final report that presents clear evidence and analysis of the main barriers encountered through the research study, analysis of why these barriers exist, case studies that are illustrative of the main analysis, incorporated tabulated data with analysis on the situation encountered, high quality photographs, and practical recommendations for policy makers, FPO leaders, FPO-promoters, UN Women and MAKAAM.

Deberes y responsabilidades

The consultant will work under the guidance and direct supervision of Programme Analyst, Women’s Economic Empowerment Programme, UN Women and the MAKAAM National Facilitation Team (NFT). Interested researchers may utilise the services of research assistant, to conduct the study as per this Terms of Reference. The consultant will undertake the following tasks: 

  • Developing a research methodology note for undertaking the research study;
  • Undertaking desk review on the status of FPOs in India as of now, and the picture with regard to women farmers in FPOs, including a collation of laws and policies, numbers as well as secondary literature from other recent studies for identifying the gaps;
  • Undertake mission travel to support primary research for – (a) data collection and analysis for the select case studies of women’s membership, participation (as per meeting minutes) and leadership performance; (b) in-depth interviews with the promoters of the FPOs about how they had planned or not planned women’s entry, participation and leadership; and (c) FGDs/Interviews with women farmers in the FPOs (members and leaders);
  • Undertake data collection and analysis as per a format created, from any other willing-to-cooperate FPOs, that too larger and older FPOs;
  • Draft a analysis report with recommendation on various legal, institutional, policy, socio-cultural, the institutional barriers that restrict women's entry and other barriers to the entry/membership, participation and leadership of women farmers in a spectrum of FPOs in different states of India;
  • Documentation of three good practices and case studies to substantiate the research findings and recommendations;
  • Hold consultative meetings and follow-up with relevant government functionaries and civil society experts and UN Women, as and when required;
  • Contribute to UN Women’s knowledge networks and communities of practice, as relevant;
  • Attend relevant meetings with Government and/or UN Women and MAKAAM for feedback on and finalisation of knowledge products.  

Deliverable :

The final report should present clear evidence and analysis of the main barriers encountered through the research study, present analysis of why these barriers exist, present case studies that are illustrative of the main analysis, incorporated tabulated data with analysis on the situation encountered, high quality photographs, and practical recommendations for policy makers, FPO leaders, FPO-promoters, UN Women and MAKAAM.


 Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates commitment to UN Women’s mission, vision and values;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.

Functional Competencies:

Knowledge Management and Learning:

  • Shares knowledge and experience;
  • Actively works towards continuing personal learning, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills.

Development and Operational Effectiveness:

  • Ability to perform a variety of specialized tasks related to design, planning and implementation of programme, managing data, reporting;
  • Ability to provide input to and use new IT based systems.

Leadership and Self-Management:

  • Focuses on result for the client and responds positively to feedback;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Remains calm, in control even under pressure;
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities;
  • Good understanding of gender and development in South Asia;
  • Demonstrable ability to work in a team;
  • Ability to work under pressure;
  • Good writing and communication skills;
  • Excellent computer literacy and skills.

Habilidades y experiencia requeridas

Education :

  • Masters’ degree in Gender and Development Studies, Economics or any Social Sciences.


  • Minimum 5 years of professional experience in feminist evaluation;
  • Demonstrable understanding of gender and development issues in the context of rural livelihoods and gender equality in India;
  • Demonstrated ability to undertake research and documentation, including qualitative and quantitative research methods;
  • Relevant papers, articles and knowledge products published;
  • Ability to work independently and with minimal supervision.


  • Strong written skills in English and good command over Hindi as medium of communication.

Travel and DSA will be booked and settled as per SSA norms directly by UN Women on submission of F-10 form with original ticket stubs, vouchers, etc. as per actuals.


Interested applicants should apply to this announcement through UNDP jobs site:

Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications in one single PDF document:

  • All applications must include (as an attachment) the completed UN Women Personal History form (P-11) which can be downloaded;
  • Kindly note that the system will only allow one attachment, please combine all your documents into one (1) single PDF document. Applications without the completed UN Women P-11 form will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment;
  • Applications received after the close date will not be accepted;
  • Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Evaluation and Selection Criteria

Criteria for shortlisting of CVs will be based on the following assessment:

  • Required Degree and Qualification (5 points);
  • Minimum Experience relevant to the assignment (5 points);
  • Experience of working in gender related projects would be desirable (5 points);
  • Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, etc.) required and advance knowledge of spread sheet and database packages desirable. (5 points).

The evaluation process for selection of the candidate will be based on the following assessment:

  • Written Test (30 points);
  • Interview (70 points).


 In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The creation of UN Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact. It merges and builds on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system (DAW, OSAGI, INSTRAW and UNIFEM), which focused exclusively on gender equality and women’s empowerment.


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