Programme Specialist, Women’s Economic Empowerment

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Last update: Mar 16, 2022 Last update: Mar 16, 2022


Deadline: Apr 5, 2022 Deadline for applications has passed
Location: Afghanistan Afghanistan
Sectors: Gender, Programme & Resource Management Gender, Programme & Resource Management
Job type: Contract, 12 months +
English English
Work experience: From 5 years
Date posted: Mar 16, 2022
Expected starting date: Jun 1, 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.

UN Women is dedicated to advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment in Afghanistan. Staff and consultants of UN Women Afghanistan Country Office (ACO) are expected to contribute to a professional working environment in which the strengthening of national capacities and human potential is prioritized. Respect for diversity and human dignity is required, as is the active pursuit of a collaborative and inclusive approach to both internal and external stakeholders, including colleagues and partners.

UN Women works in four thematic areas:

Governance and Participation;
Ending Violence Against Women (EVAW);
Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE); and,
Women Peace and Security (WPS).

In the Women’s Economic Empowerment pillar, UN Women is supporting women’s economic empowerment in the country. Specifically, the support that is provided by UN Women is tailored to contribute to increased, safer and more rights-based engagement of women in economic activities through promoting income security, decent work and economic autonomy – including support to women to improve entrepreneurial and business skills and to own and better manage small and medium and enterprises. Given the current situation in Afghanistan, the unit will also cover immediate interventions such as Cash for Work to provide shot term employment schemes for women.

Reporting directly to the WEE Programme Manager, the Programme Specialist exercises responsibility in planning, designing and implementing UN Women interventions under the WEE portfolio. The Programme Specialist works in close collaboration with the programme and operations team, as well as with the Humanitarian Unit mainly on the interventions to be implemented under the Multi-Purpose centers, multi and bi-lateral donors and civil society ensuring successful UN Women programme implementation under WEE.

Duties and Responsibilities

Design and develop programme strategies in the area of Women’s Economic Empowerment

Design and formulate programme/ project proposals and initiatives;
Draft inputs to country strategy documents, briefs, policy dialogue and other documents related to
Address the critical constraints and barriers in the respective value chains and present strategic interventions based on detailed and robust value chain financial analysis and value propositions;
Organize periodic consultations with key stakeholders, women leaders, UN partners to keep informed and to better inform the projects and interventions’ design inputs, as necessary;

Coordinate the implementation of the Women’s Economic Empowerment programme

Provide substantive inputs into the annual workplan and budget and manage their implementation;
Oversee the technical implementation of the programme/project; ensure synergies with other teams;
Coordinate the submission of implementing partner financial and narrative reports and review before sharing with the Programme Manager;
Provide inputs and guidance to staff and partners on Results Based Management tools and performance indicators;
Contribute to the Steering Committee, project review and/or evaluation meetings, as needed;
Deliver timely and quality deliverable in line with budget and workplans, and in line with UN Women operational rules and regulations, including security;
Provide timely and quality monitoring and evaluation of programmes;

Oversee the technical assistance and capacity development to project/programme partners

Oversee the technical implementation of the programme and develop technical tools and initiatives
Build and manage relationships with national partners to share technical knowledge and support implementation and expansion of the Women’s Economic Empowerment programme while responding to any potential problems;
Identify capacity building needs of partners and lead the coordination of technical assistance, mentoring, training and capacity development initiatives to partners and beneficiaries

Provide substantive inputs to the monitoring and reporting of the programme/ project

Provide substantive inputs into monitoring of programme/ project implementation and finances using results based management tools;
Undertake field missions and review reports on monitoring missions;
Contribute to quarterly reports and donor reports, focusing on results, output and outcomes;
Contribute to office donor and UN Women reports.

Contribute to people’s management and financial resources of the Women’s Economic Empowerment programme

Contribute substantively to the programme budget and draft financial reports;
Contribute to management of the team on Women’s Economic Empowerment programme; mentor and coach staff, when needed and when the Programme Manager is on leave;
Contribute to recruitment processes, as necessary.

Build partnerships and support in developing resource mobilization strategies

Develop and implement partnerships and resource mobilization strategies;
Provide relevant documentation to Programme Manager on donors and potential opportunities for resource mobilization;
Analyze and research information on donors, prepare substantive briefs on possible areas of cooperation and identify opportunities for cost sharing;
Communicate regularly with other organizations and partners on relevant matters.

Contribute to inter-agency coordination on Women’s Economic Empowerment to achieve coherence and alignment of UN Women programmes with other partners in the country

Provide technical support to the Programme Manager/ Women’s Economic Empowerment on inter-agency coordination related activities by attending meetings, events, and participating in groups and committees as needed;

Coordinate with other UN agencies, donors and NGOs to ensure the projects’ capacity development programme is harmonized and aligned with other in-country efforts.

Coordinate advocacy, knowledge building and communication efforts

Develop and review background documents, briefs and presentations related to the Women’s Economic Empowerment;
Draft advocacy strategies based on field findings and present to the Programme Manager before implementation;
Identify best practices and lessons learned by other partners to guide programme improvement and strategy planning;
Develop knowledge management strategies, products and methodologies on Women’s Economic Empowerment .

Key Performance Indicators:

Timely and quality programme design and inputs to Strategic Note
Timely and quality of programme delivery in line with budget and workplans, and in line with all UN Women operational rules and regulations, including security
Timely and quality monitoring and evaluation of programmes
Relations with partners and stakeholders
Quality reports and timely submission
Regular communication with other agencies and partners
Quality of advocacy and communication initiatives


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

Please visit https://www.unwomen.org/sites/default/files/Headquarters/Attachments/Sections/About%20Us/Employment/UN-Women-values-and-competencies-framework-en.pdf for more details on UN Women Values and Competencies Framework.

Functional Competencies

Strong programme formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation skills
Strong knowledge of Results Based Management
Ability to synthesize program performance data and produce analytical reports to inform management and strategic decision-making
Solid experience in Women’s Economic Empowerment and Financial Inclusion
Strong understanding of SMEs development
Strong analytical skills
Ability to identify and analyze trends, opportunities and threats to fundraising and develop strategies

Required Skills and Experience

Education and certification:

Master’s degree or equivalent in social sciences, human rights, gender/women's studies, international development, or a related field 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.
A project/programme management certification would be an added advantage


At least 5 years of progressively responsible work experience at the national or international level in design, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development projects;
Technical experience in Women’s income generation projects and Women’s Economic Empowerment particularly Informal Sector;
Experience coordinating and liaising with agencies and/or donors is an asset;
Experience working conflict countries is an asset;
Experience working in the UN System is an asset;
Experience in leading/managing a team is an asset.

Language Requirements:

Fluency in English is required;
Working knowledge in either Dari and/ or Pashtu) is an asset;
Working knowledge of another official UN language is an asset.