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  • Organization: UN WOMEN - United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
  • Location: Tome
  • Grade: International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Communication and Public Information
    • Women's Empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming
  • Closing Date: 2017-08-17

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Substantive Editor

Tome (United States of America)


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. Placing women’s rights at the centre of all its efforts, UN Women will lead and coordinate United Nations system efforts to ensure that commitments on gender equality and gender mainstreaming translate into action throughout the world. It will provide strong and coherent leadership in support of Member States’ priorities and efforts, building effective partnerships with civil society and other relevant actors.

Based on UN legislative mandates and UN Women Strategic Programme Plan, the Policy Division undertakes and/or coordinates global or sectoral research and data analysis; advises on norms, policies and strategies for achieving the internationally agreed goals related to gender equality and women’s empowerment issues. It acts as a knowledge hub, collecting evidence on progress and emerging issues, identifying trends in implementation of global commitments; and sharing knowledge on innovative approaches and lessons learned in implementation. It designs tools for inter-regional capabilities building and institutional development programmes and fosters strategic substantive partnerships with academia and other UN partners, in close collaboration with the Intergovernmental Support and Strategic Partnership Bureau, the Programme Division and UN Women Training Center (Santo Domingo).

To successfully perform its mission/mandate, the Policy Division is organized into Sections, bringing together technical experts who undertake issues-based research; analyze data on country, regional or global trends; build a knowledge base on policy commitments and their implementation; propose evidence-based options for global policy, norms and standards and for UN Women global programme strategies; and contribute substantive inputs to policy advocacy and technical cooperation programmes.

The Research and Data (R&D) Section in the Policy Division is responsible for leading UN Women’s research and data agenda and for positioning UN Women as a global knowledge broker on gender equality and women’s empowerment. It produces knowledge products including UN Women flagship publications such as Progress of the World’s Women, the World Survey on the Role of Women in Development and the upcoming Gender Equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The section also conducts other policy-related search relevant to gender equality and women’s rights, and oversees the global flagship programme on gender statistics.

Duties and Responsibilities

This consultancy is for a substantive editor who will form one part of a two-person team as a substantive editor for the 2018 edition of Progress of the World’s Women, which will focus on the theme of “Families in a Changing World.” The report will answer the question: How can laws, policies and public action support households and families in ways that enable women’s rights to resources, bodily integrity and voice? Drawing on positive examples from around the world, the report will outline a comprehensive agenda for public action, by states, civil society - including feminist movements, the media, schools and religious organizations - and the private sector, one that supports diverse families while triggering the kinds of changes in power dynamics, social norms and stereotypes needed for women to enjoy substantive equality. Strengthening gender equality within families is critical to ensure women’s rights more broadly (whether within the ‘private’ or ‘public’ domain) to resources and income; to bodily integrity; and to voice and agency.

The substantive editor will be responsible for the following:

Take the lead on editing the full report, which will consist of seven chapters, plus an executive summary and a shorter final recommendations chapter. This work includes:

  • Developing a set of chapter guidelines to provide the authors with guidance on structure, length, key components (data elements, boxes and figures), referencing and other elements related to the form and structure of the chapters. This should enable greater consistency in format across the chapters, which will be produced by multiple internal/external authors.
  • Providing overarching comments on the zero drafts of the chapters, focused on issues of structure, narrative flow, sources and overall direction.
  • Providing comments on the first drafts, which along with the feedback from the advisory group, will be a basis for the writing of the second drafts.
  • Suggest a comprehensive set of key messages that should head each chapter, summarizing its most salient arguments.
  • Once the revised chapters are finalized and peer reviewed, the substantive editor will do a comprehensive edit, with attention to coherence in narrative voice, flow, structure and smooth out any inconsistencies.
  • Given that there are a large number of chapters, this work will be divided between two editors, but the lead substantive editor will be responsible for the global edit of the report as a whole.

Draft the executive summary:

  • The report will contain an executive summary of approximately 4000 words, which will open the report and highlights its key messages.
  • The executive summary will be sent for review internally once drafting is complete. The substantive editor will be responsible for incorporating the feedback from the review process into the final draft.
  • This document will also be used as the basis of a separate summary booklet prepared in-house, drawing together the executive summary and recommendations, along with key data elements from the report. The substantive editor will also review this summary booklet for coherence in terms of messaging and structure as well as consistency with the report.



  • Demonstrate consistency in upholding and promoting the values of UN Women in actions and decisions, in line with the UN Code of Conduct.


  • Demonstrate professional competence and expert knowledge of the pertinent substantive areas of work.

Cultural sensitivity and valuing diversity:

  • Demonstrate an appreciation of the multicultural nature of the organization and the diversity of its staff;
  • Demonstrate an international outlook, appreciating difference in values and learning from cultural diversity.

Core Competencies:

  • Demonstrates and safeguards ethics and integrity;
  • Demonstrates ability to work in a multicultural, multi ethnic environment and to maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds;
  • Facilitates and encourages open communication and strives for effective communication;
  • Stays composed and positive even in difficult moments, handles tense situations with diplomacy and tact, and has a consistent behaviour towards others;
  • Surfaces conflicts and addresses them proactively, acknowledging different feelings and views and directing energy towards a mutually acceptable solution;
  • Treats all people fairly without favouritism.

Functional Competencies:

  • Ability to think analytically, synthesize and clearly present complex processes and issues to service the information needs of heterogeneous audiences 
  • Excellent writing skills – ability to write in a structured, lucid and concise manner
  • Demonstrated ability in substantively editing development-related publications and/or reports
  • Results orientation and commitment to producing high-quality products
  • Knowledge of UN Women editorial guidelines and methodologies will be an advantage
  • Ability to work under tight deadlines

Required Skills and Experience


  • Advanced university degree in development studies, social sciences, political sciences, public administration or related field.


  • At least 10 years of international development experience with demonstrated experience in writing and editing international reports;
  • Substantive knowledge and expertise in gender equality, social policy, international development, and human rights


  • Working language is English;

Fluency in other official UN languages is advantageous but not essential.

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.
We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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