In December 2020, the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality (UN Women) signed a memorandum of understanding, valid from 2020 – 2023, aimed to intensify cooperation and collaboration to boost the achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment in Africa. The MOU covers critical areas such as women’s economic empowerment; promotion of women’s leadership and participation in decision making; prevention and elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls; protection of women’s rights in conflict and post conflict situations; promotion of women’s health; and the strengthening of regional and global norms, policies and standards on gender equality and women’s empowerment. The Women, Gender and Youth Directorate (WGYD) and the UN Women Liaison Office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia are identified as the lead implementing entities of the MOU for the AUC and UN Women, respectively.
1.1 UN Women Liaison Office
Since January 2022, the UN Women Liaison Office (LO) has de-linked from the UN Women Ethiopia Country Office (CO) as a separate presence to enhance UN Women’s strategic level engagement with the AU, UNECA and other key stakeholders. The LO has an upgraded leadership status, focused role/functions, strengthened capacity and a clear partnership strategy to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment at the continental level. The LO’s engagement with the AUC will be guided by the MOU. The new UN Women Liaison Office is in the process of developing a Strategic Note, multi-year planning framework for 2022-2025, with key development and operational results. The Strategic Note will be aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the global UN Women Strategic Plan (2022-2025), the AU GEWE Strategy (2018-2028), Agenda
2063 and other key GEWE, peace and development frameworks of Africa, among other relevant global and regional normative frameworks. This process provides an opportunity for strategic engagement with AUC with the view to strengthen operationalization of the MOU.
1.2 Women, Gender and Youth Directorate
The AU Assembly established the Women, Gender and Youth Directorate as one of the proposed structural changes meant to minimize duplication of efforts and enhance coordination in executing the AU’s mandate. The Directorate was created in January 2021 by integrating the Human Resources and Youth Development Division into the erstwhile Women, Gender and Development Directorate (WGDD). The merger integrates the AU’s cross-cutting agenda for gender equality as well as women and youth empowerment and development into one portfolio. The mandate of WGYD is anchored on Aspiration 6 of Agenda 2063 which seeks to unleash the potential of women and youth by achieving gender and youth parity, enabling development and fostering meaningful engagement for women and youth.
In light of these significant structural changes at both the Women, Gender and Youth Directorate and the UN Women Liaison Office, the partnership arrangements as outlined in the MOU need to be revisited to ensure a shared value partnership and mutual understanding of the obligations of each entity. It is against this background that a joint evaluation and work planning process will be undertaken in the first week of September in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
2. Purpose of the Joint Evaluation and Planning Workshop
As per requirement for the implementation and renewal of the current MOU between AU and UN Women, a midterm evaluation exercise through a WGYD-UN Women reflection retreat is proposed. The joint exercise will cover an evaluation of the period 2020 – 2022, while the planning will cover the period 2022-2023. It is envisaged that the exercise will provide clarity on the partnership’s common principles and mutual accountability mechanisms as well as joint actions and working modalities which will cover the frequency of the meetings, channels of communication and focal points.
The specific objectives of the joint workshop are as follows:
• To assess progress made towards achieving the objectives of the MoU and whether the commitments made by the parties to the MoU have been implemented
• To identify areas of improvement in the implementation of the MOU and engagement of both entities to date
• To define major priorities and cooperation areas for the period 2022 -2023
• To discuss and agree on coordination and partnership modalities in the implementation of the MOU and other identified programme and operational priorities
Duties and Responsibilities
3. Description of Responsibilities of the Moderator
1. Moderate the 2-day Evaluation and Planning Meeting on the AU and UN Women MOU for UN Women LO and Women, Gender and Youth Directorate staff
2. Facilitate all the plenary and group discussions to ensure the finalization of the evaluation process
and work plan
3. Provide guidance on agreed key next steps with regards to the programme and operational actions and responsible persons
4. Create a conducive environment for WGYD and UN Women staff to interact face-to-face to get to
know each other better and to foster good working relationships
5. Draft a meeting report capturing the key decisions taken and outcomes of the meeting
By the end of the meeting the evaluation and planning process the following should be in place:
• Evaluation report outlining progress made and recommendations for the remaining period of the
• Joint 2022 – 2023 programmatic and operational plan discussed and developed
• Agreed partnership modalities and engagement mechanisms between UN Women Africa, UN Women LO and the AUC (WGYD and other departments) defined
5.1 Core Values:
• Respect for Diversity
5.2 Core Competencies:
• Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues
• Creative Problem Solving
• Effective Communication
• Inclusive Collaboration
• Stakeholder Engagement
• Leading by Example
Please visit this link for more information on UN Women’s Core Values and Competencies: https://www.unwomen.org/sites/default/files/Headquarters/Attachments/Sections/About%20Us/Employment/UN-Women-values-and-competencies-framework-en.pdf
5.3 Functional Competencies:
• Sharing knowledge and experience
• Seeks and applies knowledge, information, and best practices from within and outside UN Women
• Demonstrates excellent written and oral communication skills. Communicates sensitively, effectively, and creatively across different constituencies
• Demonstrates very good understanding of and experience in communications and outreach/advocacy
• Focuses on results for the client and responds positively to feedback
• Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude
• Proven networking skills and ability to generate interest in UN Women’s mandate
• Identifies opportunities and builds strong partnerships with clients and partners
• Multidisciplinary skills and the ability to communicate effectively.
• Ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
• Sensitivity to regional political, gender and cultural balance.
• A high standard of professionalism.
Required Skills and Experience
Education and Experience
• Advanced university degree from an accredited academic institution preferably in Gender Studies, Public Policy, International Affairs, Law, International Development, or another related technical field.
• At least 5-8 years’ international and regional experience in working with the African Union Commission, UN Women, CSOs on gender equality and women’s empowerment, including youth empowerment.
• Demonstrated experience in leading participatory organizational development processes
• Experience in gender analysis and gender and youth mainstreaming
• Excellent analytical, oral, and written communication skills
• Experience in report writing
• Knowledge of contemporary gender and youth development and empowerment issues at global and regional level
• Displays cultural, gender, religion, race nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
• Ability to work with minimal supervision and to meet deadlines.
• Fluency in English (written and spoken) with excellent communication skills.