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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

  • Organization: UN WOMEN - United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
  • Location: home-based with possible travel within the region as required by hiring unit
  • Grade: International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Women's Empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming
    • Environment
    • Legal - Broad
    • Economics
  • Closing Date: 2019-12-10

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Background

  1. Background 

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

  1. 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: 

 

  1. 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  

 

  1. 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  

 

  1. RECOMMENDATIONS  

  • 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. 

 

  1. 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 : 

  1. 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. 

 

  1. 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). 

 

  1. 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.   

 

  1. 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.   

 

  1. Based on the above actions, provide recommendations:  

 

  1. 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? 

  1. 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? 

  1. 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.).   

Page Break 

Table 1: Women’s Empowerment Principles and related policies  

WEPs by principle 

Related policies/ policy frameworks  

(Not exhaustive) 

Principle 1: Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality  

  • Corporate gender equality action plan 

  • Gender-sensitive corporate culture 

Principle 2: Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and non-discrimination 

  • Fair remuneration policy 

  • Equal pay policies 

  • Living wages (minimum wage floors)  

  • Non-discrimination and equal opportunity in recruitment, retention, promotion 

  • Flexible work arrangements 

  • Childcare and dependent care 

  • Paid parental leave  

  • Gender balance on non-executive boards, executives and senior management positions  

  • Gender balance in workforce 

  • Work-life balance initiatives 

Principle 3: Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers 

  • Safe working conditions  

  • Safety and protection from violence and harassment at work 

  • Zero tolerance for labour and sexual exploitation 

  • Domestic Violence for Employees Policy 

  • Support Programmes for domestic violence survivors 

  • Health care provisions for workers 

  • Health, safety and hygiene needs of women at work and while commuting to work  

Principle 4: Promote education, training and professional development for women 

  • Gender-responsive training, skills development programmes and continuous education 

  • Women’s training to facilitate their jobs in male-dominated departments/ sectors 

  • Networking, mentoring and sponsorship for women 

Principle 5: Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women 

  • Gender-responsive procurement  

  • Supplier diversity programme including with women SMEs  

  • Gender-sensitive solutions to credit and lending barriers 

  • Policy regarding unethical practices and respect of the dignity of women in all marketing and other company outreach materials  

  • Zero tolerance of human trafficking and labour and sexual exploitation in the supply chain 

Principle 6: Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy 

  • Representation of community in consultation 

  • Promotion and engagement with women’s leadership and organizations in communities  

  • Gender equality in corporate social responsibility activities (philanthropy, partnership, grants)  

  • Products and services to serve and not discriminate against women and girls in local communities  

Principle 7: Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality? 

  • Sex-disaggregated data and targets 

  • Monitoring and evaluation, including independent gender audit 

  • Public reporting  

  • Incentives and accountability mechanisms 

 

  1. Expected Deliverables  

 

No. 

Tasks & Deliverables 

Target dates 

1. 

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 

2.  

Draft report presenting the first of the three parts (24 days):  

  • Review of policies and policy gaps, covering the 12 countries and structured around the seven Women’s Empowerment Principles and criteria determined under Deliverable 1 

  • Review mandatory sustainability/business reporting policies for companies and identify gender-gaps / opportunities for incorporation gender-data 

 

Deliverable: Draft report (part 1) 

 

January 2020 

3.  

Draft report presenting the second of the three parts (12 days):  

  • Mapping of good practices among private corporations in the region (ASEAN and China and India) and how they integrate gender equality issues in their business practice and culture (analyze this linked to the sustainability/business reporting standards 

 

Deliverable: Draft report (part 2) 

 

Mid January 2020 

4.  

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 

5.  

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) 

 

February 2020 

 

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. 

Competencies

  1. Competencies  

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.  

 

Corporate Competencies:  

  • 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

Required qualification  

  • 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 

 

  1. Evaluation 

 

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 

Obtainable Score 

  1. Education 

  • Master’s degree in conflict, gender issues, economics, business administration, public policy, law, international relations or other related field. 

  1.  

  1. Experience and skills 

  • 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  

 

60 % 

  1. Language and report writing skills 

  • Excellent command of English. Other UN languages an asset. 

20 % 

Total Obtainable Score 

100 % 

 

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 hr.bangkok@unwomen.org and copy to Nutnita.limpanonda@unwomen.org , no later than 25th November 2019, COB. 

 

Submission package includes: 

 

  • Updated CV 

  • Personal History Form (P11) 

  • Technical proposal 

  • Writing examples/publications 

  • Financial proposal 

 

Items 

Amount (USD) 

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. 

 

  • Work-plan with methodology, sources and mapping with identified gaps and key criteria for overall review as base for Deliverable 2 

 

  • Draft report (part 1) 

 

  • Draft report (part 2) 

 

  • Consolidated draft report and presentation to the We Empower Asia team, UN Women ROAP, ILO  

 

  • 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 

 

Total Financial Proposal 

 

 

 

IX. Payments 

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. 

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.
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