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  • Organization: UN WOMEN - United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
  • Location: Lilongwe
  • Grade: International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Women's Empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming
    • Social Affairs
    • Scientist and Researcher
  • Closing Date: 2018-04-26

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Perception Study for Social Norms

Lilongwe (Malawi)


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.

UN Women was established in 2010 to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. UN Women’s presence in Malawi has evolved from being a project-based office in 2012 to a Country Office with fully delegated authority in 2014. The work of UN Women in Malawi in the upcoming five-year period will be guided by its new Country Strategic Note (SN) for 2018-2022. The SN is aligned with the Global Strategic Plan of UN Women for 2018-2021 and aims to contribute to the gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Although Malawi’s Republican Constitution, Chapter 3, section 13 (a) provides for gender equality between men and women, violence against women and girls taking place in private and open spaces continues to be widespread. According to the Malawi Demographic Health Survey (MDHS 2015 – 2016) on domestic violence (2015- 2016) 34% of women have experienced physical violence since age 15 and 20% have experienced sexual violence. 49.6% of girls are married before their 18th birthday. The concern is that less than 40% who experience physical or sexual violence have not sought help to stop the violence and about 49% have never sought help on violence incurred. According to VACs Study, two in five females and one in five males ages 18 to 24 believe it is acceptable for a man to beat his wife if she goes out without telling him, if she neglects the children, if she argues with him, if she refuses to have sex with him or if she burns the food. Nine out of ten females and eight out of ten males aged 18 to 24 years endorsed one of the following gender biases: that men should decide when to have sex, that men need more sex than women, that men need other women, that women who carry condoms are “loose” and that women should tolerate violence in order to keep the family together.

In terms of spousal violence by region, Northern and Central region is at 47% and Southern Region is currently at 37%. The Malawi Demographic Health Survey reveals that since 2004, the percentage of women who have experienced physical violence since age 15 has risen from 28% in 2004 and in 2010 to 34% in 2015-16, and child abuse has risen to 44%, according to Police Statistics. With increased cases of violence against women and girls’ business enterprises fail to grow, the economy suffers as the majority of the population (women and girls) fails to be productive and produce to their potential because of physical injury, emotional stress, and sexual abuse.

The huge costs incurred in dealing with cases of domestic violence(DV) for example, by different sectors have a significant bearing on the economic growth and development of the country, because the resources being used on handling the domestic cases could have been channeled to other productive uses for wealth creation.  Overall the direct economic cost of handling physical DV cases in 2013 in Malawi is estimated at MKW 877 million or US$ 2, 698,462, at an average cost per case of MKW1,800 (US$5.5)

In a bid to effectively implement its 2018 Annual Work Plan under impact Area 3. All Women and   girls live a life free from all forms of violence. UN Women, Malawi is seeking a competent and experienced international consultant who has solid knowledge and professional experience in social norms, violence against women and girls, prevention of child, early and forced marriages. The international consultant will work with a national consultant who will be recruited separately.  The consultants are expected to have extensive experience in program implementation, research and advocacy, monitoring and evaluation and reporting and data analysis. The findings of the assignment/ survey will inform the design of the program which is to be implemented nationally.

The Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls (EVAW) social norms (2018 – 2021) project will be implemented by UN Women partners in five districts; Mzimba, Karonga, Dedza, Mangochi and Salima. However, the intended results are expected to inform UN Women’s partners nationally those upstream and downstream.

Duties and Responsibilities

The consultants/ team will work under the guidance of the UN Women Representative and under the direct supervision of the Programme Specialist (EVAW). The study will involve gathering knowledge around social norms, attitudes and behaviors that hinder women and girls’ rights and perpetuate gender imbalances. It is expected that the survey will inform UN Women’s work and its partners on how they can implement behavior change projects aimed at promoting favorable social norms and attitudes at national and community levels.

Specifically, the international consultant shall be responsible for the following:

  1. Conduct a national comprehensive baseline survey to obtain views from stakeholders (general population, opinion leaders, media, government, donors and civil society, staff) in Malawi on social norms, as they have experienced and perceived them (as well as other relevant issues)

  2. Map harmful practices that communities in the five districts perceive as normal and acceptable and perpetuate GBV including practices that influence early marriages

  3. Establish the main indicators for the country office social norms interventions and M&E framework based on the data collected and the development of an M&E tool to measure social norms (pilot) for 5 districts

  4. Compile a database that will enable the MCO to develop an accurate response to the prevailing situation.


  1. Detailed and professional report that addresses both the overall and specific objectives of the survey, and which includes specific recommendations on issues related to VAW. The report must be in English, clearly and concisely addressing the information outlined above. Documentation will include the following:

  • Work plan and inception report (with key parameters and indicators to be considered for the study including the methodologies for data collection and dissemination. Data collection based on the key output areas in the 2018 EVAW Plan.

  • Draft and present a research framework and protocol;

  • Develop and present research tools to understand the prevalence of harmful gender social norms;

  • Present results of the study and prepare a draft report for review—clearly identifying information relevant to social norms; as well as data gaps and areas that may require further assessment

    Reporting will include:

  • A comprehensive and well organized final report complete with standard reporting formats (main body of the report should be a minimum 30-40 pages in length, excluding TOC, tables and annexes).

  • An Abridged Report synthesizing the main findings and indicators of the survey (not to exceed 10-15 pages in length).

  • Case studies with testimony from victims of harmful social norms; institutions/organizations working and/or addressing issues related to social norms

  • A set of recommendations on suitable indicators for program monitoring during the implementation and scale up of activities. Recommendations should consider the needs of specific stakeholder groups and be relevant to the effective impact measurement of programme objectives and outcomes.




  •  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 

 Awareness & Sensitivity regarding Gender Issues

  • UN Women’s mandate demonstrates a global commitment to gender equality and this requires every team member’s commitment to developing gender awareness and applying this sensitivity in their day to day activities. ?


  • To achieve UN Women’s mandate requires that every individual takes ownership for achieving the organization’s priorities. Our success at UN Women is driven by the collective decisions each individual makes and their effort to deliver on these commitments. This means that each individual at UN Women is responsible for defining and delivering on the organizations priorities. ?

Creative Problem Solving

  • At UN Women we openly share ideas and identify creative solutions. We solve problems collaboratively by considering multiple perspectives and approaches. This means that we value different perspectives and collectively harness a wide range of viewpoints to identify innovative ways of doing things. 

Effective Communication

  • At UN Women we seek to communicate effectively by conveying ideas and thoughts in a clear, concise and convincing way. We achieve this by developing a strong set of messages and choosing the mode of communication that is best-suited to the relevant audience while also accounting for key cultural differences. 

Inclusive Collaboration

  • At UN Women we exemplify the principles of our mandate by engaging with all team members in an inclusive way and working collaboratively to achieve outcomes. Effectively working with others means supporting fellow team mates to be themselves at work, valuing differences and individual contributions. 

 Stakeholder Engagement

  • We achieve our priorities at UN Women by engaging internal and external stakeholders in the delivery of the mandate. This requires careful consideration of both the internal and external stakeholders as well as developing key relationships with these stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of the mandate. 

 Leading by Example

  • At UN Women all individuals are required to demonstrate a commitment to our values and mandate as well as consider how their behaviors influence the attitudes and thoughts of others. Leading by example is about helping all team members to deliver the most value to UN Women and working to overcome challenges.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Master’s Degree in the field of social sciences, development studies, behavior and communication, and other relevant fields for the intended assignment
  • Minimum 10 years’ experience in designing, implementing, managing and coordinating baseline survey/research/assessment/etc.
  • Excellent academic and research background and have proven track record in conducting similar assignment
  • Research experience on development and gender issues: in relation to social norms, CEFM, VAWG, GBV and other harmful cultural practices.
  • Knowledge and experience of using research/survey concept, approaches, tools, techniques, methodologies, sampling, etc.
  • Knowledge and experience of using quantitative and qualitative research/survey concept, approaches, tools, techniques, methodologies and sampling.
  • Advanced knowledge and experience in working on issues of gender, gender-based violence, violence against women and girls, women’s rights and gender equality
  • Ability to write high quality, clear, concise reports in English
  • Fluency in English
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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