Consultant – Policy review of the enabling environment for women’s economic empowerment in Asia (selected countries)
home-based with possible travel within the region as required by hiring unit
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, the 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.
A key area of concern for UN Women is women’s economic empowerment as expressed in UN Women’s Strategic Plan 2018-2021 as well as in the targets and indicators of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 for gender equality and women’s empowerment and of several other SDGs relating to inclusive growth, decent work, ending poverty, and reducing inequality, and revitalizing the global partnership for sustainable development.
The We Empower Asia programme
The We Empower Asia (WEA) programme is a collaborative effort between the Regional Office of UN Women for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) and the European Union (EU), which is funding the action under its Partnership Instrument. With this programme the two entities will leverage their joint commitment to enhance women’s economic empowerment globally. They each have longstanding experience and partnerships in the Asian region. UN Women will apply its triple mandate of normative, operational and coordination actions and use its convening power to bring multiple stakeholders together for effective collaboration. EU brings valuable private and public sector partnerships across sectors as well as its solid expertise in trade and economic development.
The overall objective of the WEA programme is that more women lead, participate and have access to enhanced business opportunities and leadership within the private sector to advance sustainable and inclusive growth. The programme will achieve this through three complementary outcome areas to be implemented in seven selected middle-income countries (China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam) in Asia:
ADVOCACY: Women’s networks, public institutions, and the private sector will collaborate and share expertise and knowledge to build an enabling business environment for women’s economic empowerment in the workplace and in the marketplace,
ENTREPRENEURSHIP: The capacity of women-owned businesses and women entrepreneurs will be developed to enable them to engage with government and private sector corporations in policy development and dialogues for advancing women’s economic empowerment, and
BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT: The private sector will be supported to implement gender-sensitive practices and culture within their businesses through the take-up of the Women Empowerment Principles (the WEPs – a set of guiding principles to achieve gender equality within companies).
Ultimately, the programme will contribute to the achievement of gender equality through enabling women’s increased participation in the labour force and in the marketplace, improved opportunities for women entrepreneurship and business start-ups, and through strengthening of corporate sector’s commitment and action to ensure gender equality in business culture and practices.
The guiding platform for the programme is the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), a set of seven principles for businesses offering guidance on how to strengthen gender equality in the workplace, in the marketplace and in the community. The WEPs are jointly developed by UN Women and UN Global Compact and seeking the commitments and concrete implementation by private corporations around the globe.
Duties and Responsibilities
Objective of the Assignment
UN Women in collaboration with ILO is seeking with this assignment to gain an overview of the policy framework (looking at national and regional (ASEAN), governmental policies and highlighting i.e. sectoral codes of conduct); in place and how existing policies are impacting women’s economic empowerment in the ten ASEAN countries and in China and India.
This overview will include:
NATIONAL / REGIONAL GOVERNMENTAL POLICIES
Analyzing the current guiding principles, requirements and governmental policies in place for companies to disclose gender-related data in their business and/or sustainability reporting (i.e. pay gender-disaggregated data, gender-balance across at different levels etc.)
Rapid mapping of international frameworks (i.e. CEDAW, Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, International Labor Standards etc.) to WEPS principles
Identifying and reviewing policies and policy gaps in relation to thematic areas women’s economic empowerment/gender equality aligned with the WEPs themes [Annex 1] in each of these countries, and assessing their relevance and effectiveness to the implementation of the WEPs;
Identifying and prioritizing the ‘main’ gender-related constraints in each country and map them if possible, to the WEPs
COMPANY / SECTORIAL POLICIES
Mapping of current practices among private corporations in the seven countries in relation to how they address gender inequality and further women’s economic participation and leadership; corporations’ incentives to do so; and the business case that can be built from this; and
Get an understanding to what extent national/international policies are reflected in company policies
Formulation of recommendations for governmental policy advocacy for the We Empower Asia programme and its partners in support of women’s economic empowerment across the region (ASEAN + China, India)
This policy overview will serve as the knowledge base and advocacy tool for We Empower Asia’s work in supporting and advocating for regional and country-specific policy development in the areas, which are relevant to women’s economic empowerment and specifically to furthering gender equality in the private sector aligned with the WEPs including SME promotion, decent employment, and social protection for women. It will equally serve as an influencing tool to rally government support to mobilize the private sector to take accelerated action through implementing the WEPs.
Duties and Responsibilities
Under the supervision and guidance of the Regional Programme Manager for the WEA programme, UN Women ROAP in Bangkok, and in collaboration with the WEA country programme managers and UN Women’s and ILO’s technical experts in the region the consultant will undertake the following tasks :
Step 1: The review should also map important international commitments (i.e. CEDAW, ILO, UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights etc.) and align key norms and standards from these frameworks with the 7 WEPS Principles. This should be presented as an analytical framework (aligned with WEPS). This first review should define key criteria or indicators for analysis (aligned with WEPS and international standards) for the overall review. It should also point out the ‘Top 3 Gender Gaps’ per country.
See Table 1 below for a list of the seven WEPs and a non-exhaustive list of related policies/ policy areas.
Step 2: Second focus of the review must also include an overview to which extent gender reporting is considered a mandatory requirement (set by governments and/or sector bodies) within sustainability reporting, social and governance (ESG) by private companies and to which extent comply companies with these standards?
Step 3: After the alignment of the results of Step 1, conduct a comprehensive desk review of current national policies and policy gaps in the ASEAN countries and in China and India with a focus on social and economic policies impacting opportunities for women’s employment and decent work, equal pay, entrepreneurship, corporate leadership, and other economic participation as relevant for women’s economic empowerment overall. The review is to be structured around the seven Women’s Empowerment Principles and with an assessment of the relevance and effectiveness of policies to stimulate corporate sector’s implementation of the WEPs and, thereby, transform their business culture and practice. The idea will be to get a comparable matrix across the identified countries and define priority areas across the countries.
The desk review will be informed by consultations with the WEA country programme managers in each of the seven programme countries and will integrate country-level review findings where relevant and align recommendations as relevant and strategic (national policy reviews are undertaken in selected countries).
Carry out a mapping of practices and actions that private corporations in the seven countries undertake to address issues of gender inequality especially implementation of internal policies related to women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and in the community as aligned to the areas of the WEPs. This mapping will be mainly based on publically available materials as communicated/ publicized by the corporations themselves, with selected consultations/ interviews with corporations and with support from We Empower Asia country managers as needed.
The mapping should also include an exploration of current practices and/ or requirements in place in the programme countries – whether mandatory or voluntary - in regards to companies’ regular ESG reporting and the level of inclusion of gender-related data in such reporting through such initiatives as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) or other. The mapping must offer recommendations on how UN Women can further promote the integration of the WEPs (especially Principle 7 on reporting) and gender equality reporting into these already established reporting procedures.
The mapping will focus on identifying good practices that can be replicated widely across sectors and countries, while identifying companies’ incentives to change their practice to embrace more gender-sensitive actions, and analyzing how this contributes to the building of a strong business case for companies to support women’s empowerment through the implementation of the WEPs and in other ways.
Visualize the mapping analysis in a compelling and clear format that can be used as a tool to engage with local governments and regional inter-governmental bodies (i.e. ASEAN). (Country-Comparison Scorecard with technical background). The consultant can work with an external designer here.
Based on the above actions, provide recommendations:
What are the key areas (within the WEPs themes) with biggest policy gaps and what recommendations for policy change are most strategic across the defined countries?
What and where (which countries) are the biggest gaps in mandatory gender reporting within the private sectors and define entry-points/ways for policy influencing. What best practices of national/sector policies can be used as best practice?
How UN Women and ILO can best build coalitions and capacity among women entrepreneurs and business women in order to strengthen their advocacy towards policy makers for the building of a stronger public policy framework in the identified priority areas that will contribute to the enabling business environment for women’s economic empowerment across the Asian region? Identify which strategic partnerships could lead to substantive change.
Recommendations should consider different groups of stakeholders and in practical terms propose immediate and long-term actions as well as suggest different methodologies of advocacy (advocacy materials, campaigns, formats (meetings, events, media outreach, etc.).
Table 1: Women’s Empowerment Principles and related policies
WEPs by principle
Related policies/ policy frameworks
Principle 1: Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality
Principle 2: Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and non-discrimination
Principle 3: Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers
Principle 4: Promote education, training and professional development for women
Principle 5: Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women
Principle 6: Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy
Principle 7: Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality?
Tasks & Deliverables
Workplan, proposed methodology and sources for the policy review and mapping of the important international commitments with the 7 WEPS Principles and gender-reporting standards for companies in the 12 countries (ASEAN, China and India) (8 days)
Present defined key criteria or indicators for analysis (aligned with WEPS and international standards) for the overall review, including ‘Top 3 Gender Gaps’
Deliverables: Work-plan with methodology, sources and mapping with identified gaps and key criteria for overall review as base for Deliverable 2
Mid December 2019
Draft report presenting the first of the three parts (24 days):
Deliverable: Draft report (part 1)
Draft report presenting the second of the three parts (12 days):
Deliverable: Draft report (part 2)
Mid January 2020
Consolidated draft report, including part 1 and 2 (incorporating UN Women’s comments), and part 3 Recommendations (6 days)
Deliverables: Consolidated draft report and presentation to the We Empower Asia team, UN Women ROAP, ILO
Late January 2020
Final report (in three parts) in a compelling and clear format, and in layout aligned to the WEPs branding for external use. The report must be accompanied by Power Point deck with presentation of main findings and recommendations (8 days)
Duration of Assignment and Duty station
The consultant is expected work from home-based during November 2019 – January 2020 (58 days). The consultant may be required to travel on mission as assigned by hiring unit.
Essential knowledge and experience:
Excellent grasp of substantive gender equality and economic dynamics and actors in the Asian region.
Experience in supporting gender equality programming and conducting gender research in the Asian region. Specific experience working on research or projects related to women’s economic empowerment is an asset.
Excellent writing skills. Experience in writing review reports (preferably policy -linked) to a publishable quality is a distinct advantage.
Demonstrates integrity by modeling the United Nations' values and ethical standards;
Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of the UN and UN Women;
Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability; ?
Ability and willingness to work as part of a team to meet tight deadlines and produce high quality work.
V. Contract period and work location
The contract will cover a period of three months (November 2019 to January 2020) with 58 working days. The consultant will be home-based, liaising with the We Empower Asia team, UN Women in Bangkok and may be required to travel on mission as assigned by hiring unit.
Required Skills and Experience
Master’s degree in gender issues, economics, business administration, public policy, law, international relations or other related fields.
Minimum 7 years of relevant experience with a demonstrable ability to undertake research and analytical reviews, and provide technical expertise in the areas of gender, economic empowerment, and multi-sector partnerships.
Very good multi-stakeholder understanding with strong focus on governments and private sector
Very good understanding of the ASEAN – wider Asia gender-policy landscape
Excellent English writing skills is a must
Applications will be evaluated based on the cumulative analysis.
Technical Qualification (100 points) weight; [70%]
Financial Proposal (100 points) weight; [30%]
A two-stage procedure is utilised in evaluating the applications, with evaluation of the technical application being completed prior to any price proposal being compared. Only the price proposal of the candidates who passed the minimum technical score of 70% of the obtainable score of 100 points in the technical qualification evaluation will be evaluated.
Technical qualification evaluation criteria:
The total number of points allocated for the technical qualification component is 100. The technical qualification of the individual is evaluated based on following technical qualification evaluation criteria:
Technical Evaluation Criteria
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Total Obtainable Score
Only the candidates who have attained a minimum of 70% of total points will be considered as technically qualified candidates who may be contacted for validation interview.
Financial/Price Proposal evaluation:
Only the financial proposal of candidates who have attained a minimum of 70% score in the technical evaluation will be considered and evaluated.
The total number of points allocated for the price component is 100.
The maximum number of points will be allotted to the lowest price proposal that is opened/ evaluated and compared among those technical qualified candidates who have attained a minimum of 70% score in the technical evaluation. All other price proposals will receive points in inverse proportion to the lowest price.
VIII. Submission of application
Interest candidates are encouraged to submit electronic application to UN Women website as well as to firstname.lastname@example.org and copy to Nutnita.email@example.com , no later than 25th November 2019, COB.
Submission package includes:
Personal History Form (P11)
Lump Sum fee (equivalent to daily fee x no. of days)
Number of days refers to actual days that the consultant works in order to produce deliverables as required by the ToR, NOT the number of days covering the whole period of consultancy.
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Total Financial Proposal
Payments for this consultancy will be based on the achievement of each deliverable and certification that each has been satisfactorily completed. Payments will not be based on the number of days worked but on the completion of each stated deliverable within the indicated timeframes. Any travel under this consultancy will be covered by UN Women as per our rules and regulations.