International Consultant to Conduct Assessment for Establishment of Multi-purpose Women Centers (MPWCs)
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 in Afghanistan has been providing support to partners in Afghanistan to increase the meaningful participation of women in conflict prevention, conflict resolution and sustainable peacebuilding processes. Under the current country Strategic Note (2018-2022) and in line with UN Partnership for Sustainable Development (2016-2020) and Afghanistan’s National Peace and Development Framework (2017 – 2021), UN Women supports the government to implement its National Action Plan for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR 1325) and to achieve targets of SDG 5 and 16.
Under the Gender in Humanitarian Action mandate UN Women contributes to promoting gender informed decision making within the humanitarian system. This includes establishing Gender in Humanitarian Action Working Group, supporting displaced women and girls with establishing Multi-purpose Women Centers (MPWCs) in informal settlements and providing technical support to the humanitarian system in in advancing gender equality and empowerment of women and girls (GEEWG) for a better response and delivery.
- Considering the mentioned trials, UN women aims to recruit one international consultant to scope the programming priorities to strengthen gender responsive humanitarian response with a primary focus on ensuring effective response to meet the needs and capacities of women in the informal settlements and their ability to participate in the decision making within their families and communities. Based on desk review and targeted interviews, the consultant will assess women IDPs needs and the issues IDP women face during and post displacement, including access to humanitarian assistance with a focus on financial aid, protection and participation including through livelihoods, in informal settlements of Herat province.
Duties and Responsibilities
Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is a critical component of achieving inclusive, effective and life-saving humanitarian action. However, humanitarian response often misses opportunities to transform gender relations through the leadership and empowerment of women and girls in their role as decision makers, first responders and economic actors — notwithstanding the fact that these are key to respond effectively and to building longer-term resilience and social cohesion of communities.
To address the existing gap and based on current secondary research and assessment and humanitarian planning priorities, focused discussion and targeted interviews across key stakeholders, the consultant will develop comprehensive recommendations to inform establishment of the Multi-Purpose Women Center (MPWCs) and ?programming that address the needs of women in informal settlements, with a particular focus on enabling women’s participation through strengthening protection concerns, g protection measures, economic conditions, and employability, as well as access to vocational and education opportunities and will inform programmatic interventions. The purpose of this consultancy is to:
- Analyse the current situation and identify main issues plus different protection needs and risks of women IDPs including response priorities and factors that trigger the escalation
- Identify the existing coping mechanisms (both positive and negative) of IDP women, their capacities, and available resources.
- Mapping of key actors/stakeholders/donors and current models of practice and mechanisms, including referral pathways.
- Identify key thematic areas and long-term program responses that include amplifying good examples and best practices.
- Identify opportunities for strengthening women’s skills development and improve women’s leadership within the informal settlements.
- Provide recommendations for sustainability that informs an exit strategy.
- Inform the design of further assessments based on identified information gaps.
- Collate data to inform service provision and the development/update of relevant guidelines including referral pathways.
- Desk review: Collection and review of relevant documentation and secondary data, particularly but not limited to: situation analyzes or assessments of women’s situation in informal settlements conducted by other organizations; quantitative data (e.g., number of women and girls affected) from official sources where available; national strategic documents such as national action plans; humanitarian planning documents (HRPs, HNO) and country--level research evidence, etc.
- Primary data collection: based on summary of secondary data, design qualitative data collection methods, such as semi-- structured interviews, e-surveys and/or focus group discussions.
- Data and information analysis: Develop a preliminary analysis with the main areas and themes assessed consistent with the consultancy objectives as highlighted in the ToR. The analysis should be anchored on women rights--based approach as well as a gender and diversity perspective. Indicatively, this will involve an analytical process that factors in age, education, employability, disability, male/female-headed households, or ethnicity. Develop a comprehensive report, providing strategic recommendations and programmatic solutions to the current issues, particular focus on establishing the multi-purpose women centers for IDP women. The report should acknowledge the impact of risks on the implementation of the recommendation and establishment of multi-purpose women centers in informal settlements.
To attain the set outcome the consultant is required to undertake the following tasks:
- Inception report shall provide a summary of desk review and proposed methodology for primary information gathering – (12 w/days)
- Conduct a desk review of all related assessments/studies/analysis and secondary data including relevant national and international policy frameworks, looking at Afghanistan’s implementation of national policies and adherence to international obligations. The desk review of these policy documents should inform the study methodology as well as its final recommendations.
- Provide situation analysis along with relevant background information on women living in informal settlements and conflict-affected communities and provide a contextualized analysis of all the target locations where study will be conducted.
- Elaborate the assessment methodology and key approaches including the stages of the study, data collection tools/instruments, and method for data analysis. This should include clear protocols on privacy, and safety as well as a culturally appropriate tools in collecting and storing of data and information using survey/FGD etc.
- Plan and conduct the study in a participatory manner in collective centers and communities populated with IDPs and conflict-affected persons in at least 3 provinces of Afghanistan, (particularly hard to reach and remote provinces) including field visits, focus group discussions, observations, key informant interviews, etc. (10 w/ days)
- Transcription of interviews/focus groups held and analyze the data, identify the key findings and develop final analytical report on the needs and priorities of IDP women living in informal settlements and conflict-affected communities and specific policy and program related recommendations on improvement of their protection, economic conditions and employability, and access to vocational and education. Specifically, the assessment should focus on identifying opportunities for women’s women IDPs to engage in income generation activities; capacity and willingness of the women IDPs to engage in humanitarian response and crises management; and availability of opportunities for women IDPs to develop networks to share their expertise, lessons learned, strategies to access markets and to establish/ strengthen linkages between IDP women and the private sector - – (6 w/days)
- Drafting and presenting preliminary findings and validation meeting of first draft report to collect feedback and suggestions: To present the study findings and list of recommendations to all key national stakeholders including the civil society organizations, international organizations, central and local governments and come up with agreed final set of recommendations. The recommendations should include immediate as well as multiyear policy and programmatic interventions – (6 w/days)
- Final report: to submit the narrative final report with respective annexes (questionnaires/ survey tools, field visit schedules, meeting agendas, and other related documents) describing all work undertaken during the given assignment. The report should highlight the assessment process, applied methodology for data collection and analysis, identified key findings, results, conclusions, recommendations, main challenges, and opportunities including needs and priorities of women IDPs living in informal settlements and conflict-affected communities and specific policy and program related recommendations on improvement of their protection, economic conditions and employability, as well as access to vocational and education (see below for the report outline). (6 w/days)
Structure of The Final Report
- The Final Report (max. 40 pages) should include:
- An Executive Summary (max. 3--4 pages)
- Introduction - context setting, methodology and summary of secondary data
- Key findings and recommendation of the study making direct reference to evidence (summary statement). The recommendations developed should consider:
-- Actions needed on multiple levels across sectors (e.g., state, civil society, donors, monitoring bodies)
-- Potential areas for consideration of intervention in line with programmatic priorities
Key Performance Indicators:?
- Leadership in area of expertise in the conflict affected countries like Afghanistan
- Quality reports drafted and submitted in a timely manner
- Strong relationships with various partners and stakeholders
- UN Women is well represented in important field activities on topics related to expertise
- Timely and quality knowledge products
- Respect for Diversity
- Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues
- Creative Problem Solving
- Effective Communication
- Inclusive Collaboration
- Stakeholder Engagement
- Leading by Example
The consultants must hold the following minimum qualifications:
- Substantive knowledge and experience related to current analyzes, policies and practices in the fields of gender equality, and humanitarian work, including in gender analysis, program planning and policy advice;
- Strong knowledge of the country (especially the IDP informal settlements)
- Excellent networking skills;
- Ability to perform qualitative and quantitative policy research;
- Ability to advocate and provide policy advice;
- At least three years of experience in research and survey for marginalized groups for instance IDPs in complex contexts;
- Experience working with national partners to build sustainable solutions that can be managed locally;
- Excellent analytical skills with the ability to collect, organize, analyze, and disseminate significant amounts of information with attention to detail and accuracy;
- Expertise on research, data analysis, and report writing; and
- Strong knowledge of program development, implementation, results-based management, and reporting
- Adept at queries, report writing and presenting findings.
- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
Required Skills and Experience
Education and certification:
- Master’s degree or equivalent with strong research and analysis component in humanitarian action, gender issues, social sciences, or other international development related fields is required.
- A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
- At least 5 years progressively responsible experience in conducting assessments or data analysis to feed into strategic and operational planning, preferably in the area of gender equality, including in humanitarian settings.
- Previous experience working in the design, implementation, or management of humanitarian action operations with international organizations.
- Excellent writing and communication skills.
- Substantive and technical experience in collecting and communicating qualitative and quantitative findings.
- Demonstrated ability to synthesize and critically analyze a wide range of material from primary and secondary data sources and to present information in a concise yet thorough form.
- Experience in and understanding of gender equality and women’s empowerment.
- Demonstrated understanding of the links between data collection and analysis, and policy and planning.
- Experience working with government, donors, and civil society organisations internationally.
- Good planning, goal setting and prioritization skills including ability to work autonomously.
- A demonstrated ability to work with team to help build capacity, including training and facilitation skills in area of research
- Experience working in the country is highly desirable, though not required.
Fluency oral and written in English; speaking knowledge of Dari and Pashto will be an advantage .