Lead Researcher - National Consultant

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Last update: Feb 18, 2022 Last update: Feb 18, 2022


Deadline: Feb 26, 2022 Deadline for applications has passed
Location: Afghanistan Afghanistan
Sectors: Gender, Humanitarian Aid & Emergency, Research Gender, Humanitarian Aid & Emergency, Research
Job type: Contract, up to 4 months
English, Pashto, Dari English, Pashto, Dari
Work experience: From 5 years
Date posted: Feb 18, 2022


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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.

As already recognized by the Gender in Humanitarian Action (GiHA) working group prior to August 2021, Afghan female humanitarian workers face multiple gender-specific barriers to full participation in the workforce and travel to field sites. A lack of female humanitarian workers was resulting in diminished response quality and effectiveness in dealing with female beneficiaries, even prior to August. Since August 2021 humanitarian agencies have rightly been concerned to preserve female humanitarian workers’ access to work. Additional measures will be needed to ensure that appropriate numbers of female humanitarian staff are being recruited and deployed. As the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan worsens, the need for female humanitarian workers will also increase. It is therefore timely to examine ways to promote the recruitment, deployment, and retention of female humanitarian workers in Afghanistan, considering the broader constraints that Afghan women face in working in this sector.

Against this background, UN Women Afghanistan Country Office is recruiting, on behalf of the Gender in Humanitarian Action (GiHA) working group and under the supervision of its co-leads, a research consultant to develop a guidance note aimed to promote the recruitment, participation, and retention of female humanitarian field staff in Afghanistan. Using a qualitative methodology, the scope of work would be focused on:

Documenting barriers to recruitment, participation and retention of female humanitarian workers, and;
Identifying methods for promoting recruitment, participation and retention of female humanitarian staff.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the Gender in Humanitarian Specialist and in close collaboration with the GiHA WG co-leads, the lead researcher will be responsible for the following functions:

Develop a detailed work plan including the proposed methodology within a 1-month period.
Conduct a desk review, using available literature on this topic in the Afghan context and similar contexts (e.g., complex emergency, high conflict, conservative social norms).
Develop survey tools/questionnaires based on the research questions provided by the GiHA Task Team for Key Informant Interviews (KII) and Focus Group Discussions (FGD).
Conduct FGDs with female humanitarian workers.
Conduct KIIs with: (i) HR specialists and hiring managers active in the recruitment of female humanitarian workers before and after August 2021, (ii) relevant Afghan women’s networks and organizations.
Draft a guidance note and tip sheet as per guidance provided by the GiHA WG Task Team.


Estimated number of days


1 day
Literature review

4 days
Data collection tools developed incorporating feedback from GiHA Task Team

2 days
Data collection conducted – agreed as per approved work plan

15 days
Draft short Guidance Note of findings from the consultations and literature review, including best practices and a ‘tip sheet’ for recruitment retention of female humanitarian staff, for organizations to adapt.

7 days
Presentations of the Guidance Note conducted to interagency working groups

2 days
Total Duration

31 days

The assignment will be based in Kabul. The contract will be day-based, with a final payment made based on satisfactory deliverables.


Core Values:

Respect for Diversity

Core Competencies:

Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues
Creative Problem Solving
Effective Communication
Inclusive Collaboration
Stakeholder Engagement
Leading by Example

Required Skills and Experience

Education and certification:

Master’s degree or equivalent in Social Sciences, Political Science, Development, Public Administration, Gender 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 of progressively responsible experience in the area of data and research, with an emphasis on gender in humanitarian action.
Proven 3 to 5 years of experience in conducting qualitative research/surveys, developing tools for primary data collection, conducting secondary data collection, analysis and reporting.
Direct experience working on gender in humanitarian action in the context of Afghanistan;
Demonstrated ability to build relationships with diverse stakeholders.

Language Requirements:

Fluency in English and Dari, and/or Pashto is required
Working knowledge of another official UN language is an asset.