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Policy specialist (data and research – progress of the World’s Women)

Organization: UNWOMEN


Application Deadline : 18-Mar-12

Type of Contract : TA International

Post Level : P-3

Languages Required : English

Duration of Initial Contract : 4 months


Grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, UN Women will work 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, 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.

Progress of the World’s Women is UN Women’s biennial publication. It aims to inspire bold action by Governments and civil society to accelerate their efforts to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment around the world. It was launched to capture and convey successful strategies that can be replicated by programme and donor countries, by UN partners, by international and local NGOs and by women’s rights advocates and networks. Progress supports advocacy at global, regional and national levels and contributes to more coherent programming within UN Women and among our partners.

The next edition of the report will be published in 2013.

The Progress of the World’s Women team is in the Research and Data section of UN Women. The team researches, writes, produces and disseminates UN Women’s flagship biennial report. Under the direct supervision of the Progress of the World’s Women Report Manager, this temporary assignment (TA) post is to provide maternity cover for the Policy Specialist (Data and Research) and will work with the team to complete high quality data research and analysis for the report.

This role entails undertaking a wide range of research, data collection and analysis work to input directly into the report. This in-house research is conducted in conjunction with background paper authors, the project’s internal and external advisory groups, the report manager and lead/chapter author(s).

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of key functions:

  • With the other Policy Specialist (Data and Statistics), lead on developing the data analysis for Progress of the World’s Women
  • Work with the Progress team to carry out extensive policy relevant research on the report theme, both to inform the report directly, but also to inform the process of commissioning background papers and other statistical research.
  • Work with the Progress team to contribute to the production of Progress of the World’s Women 2013/14.
  • Work with the Progress team to contribute to communication and outreach activities.
  • Contribute to the work of the Research and Data section where appropriate and possible.

Develop research and data analysis for Progress of the World Women, with the aim that Progress becomes a key reference for our target audiences to access global data on progress towards gender equality and women’s rights, focusing on the achievement of the following results:

  • Development of partnerships with UN agencies and other data collecting organizations in order to present a wide range of relevant data on gender equality and women’s empowerment in the Progress report and other associated communications materials.
  • Sources of relevant data are researched, collected and assessed.
  • Background research and analysis is conducted, including using statistical modeling and other quantitative techniques.
  • Research and data relevant to the different chapters of the report is compiled, including on the substantive theme, the MDG tracking section (if relevant) and the statistical annexes (including technical notes, statistical references, definitions and so on).
  • Working with the Manager, designers and translators, data is presented in ways that are accessible and attractive to non-technical audiences.
  • Options for presenting more in-depth technical data for specialist audiences, which may include web-based formats, are scoped.

Contribute to the production of Progress of the World’s Women, with the following results:

  • Thematic analysis on gender equality and women’s empowerment, as identified by the Manager, is undertaken.
  • Participation in brainstorming meetings and in-house discussions on various aspects of the report production, including honing of the theme and structure of the report, with particular reference to research and data.
  • Background cross-national and country specific research is carried out, including literature reviews related to the report’s theme.
  • Contribution of draft text, including case studies, for inclusion in chapters of Progress.
  • Identification of potential authors of background papers and other research materials for the analytical parts of the report; assist in commissioning and coordinating their work where requested and comment on their draft papers.
  • Participation in proof-reading, data-checking and providing comments on draft chapters and sections of the report as required, including, if possible, proof-reading of translated text in languages other than English.

Impact of Results

Since statistical data and research are a key component of the Progress of the World’s Women report, the key results will contribute substantially to the timely production of the report and to its impact.

These results will specifically contribute to the following deliverables in the UN Women 2011-2013 Strategic Plan:

Development Results Framework:

  • Global policy and normative framework for gender equality and women’s empowerment is reaffirmed, strengthened and deepened.
  • Increase in the extent to which sectoral global policy and normative frameworks reflect gender equality and women’s empowerment perspectives.

Management Results Framework:

  • UN-Women programming practices reflect SMART and systematic results orientation.
  • UN-Women HQ and field-based systems support evidence-based knowledge generation on gender equality and women’s empowerment.


Functional Competencies:

  • Proven excellent research skills.
  • Proven experience in gathering and presenting data and statistics.
  • Very strong analytical skills.
  • Creativity in performing quantitative and qualitative analysis in areas where such quantitative data is limited and scarce.
  • Familiarity with the internet and the use of web based information systems.
  • Excellent understanding of gender equality and women’s empowerment and its policy implications
  • Ample knowledge and use of computer office tools (word, database, spreadsheets, web content production, filing)

Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling UN/UN Women values and ethical standards;
  • Demonstrates commitment to UN Women’s mission, vision and values;
  • Displays cultural and gender sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly and without favoritism.

Behavioral Competencies:

  • Excellent organizational skills;
  • High levels of initiative and motivation;
  • Works well under pressure;
  • Communicates effectively, clearly, sensitively and persuasively across different constituencies;
  • Plans, prioritizes, and delivers quality outputs effectively and on time;
  • Accepts additional responsibilities as required by the demands of service;
  • Highly effective team player;
  • Ability to deal with confidential matters in a discreet and reliable manner;
  • Willingness to combine research and writing tasks with coordination and administrative tasks.

Required Skills and Experience:

  • Understanding of statistical research and data analysis is necessary. Experience working with international data and actual knowledge of quantitative analysis and related software (i.e. spss, stata) is required.
  • Mastery of excel is a strong asset.
  • Outstanding writing skills and excellent research skills. Ability to conduct literature reviews, compile analytical bibliographies, and write cogent summaries of reports or analytical documents.
  • Capacity to self-organize research work and to plan, prioritize and deliver tasks on time.  Ability to set priorities; work under pressure with colleagues at all levels.

Required Skills and Experience


  • A Master’s degree (or equivalent) in economics, social sciences, human rights, gender/women’s studies, international development or a related field with a strong quantitative focus.
  •  Background in statistical analysis and econometrics is required.


  • At least five years of relevant work experience, with a demonstrable ability to conduct high quality statistical research.
  • Previous experience working on gender issues and/or major institutional reports an asset.

Language Requirements:

  • Written and oral proficiency in English is required.
  • Knowledge of another of the UN working languages highly desirable.


In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The creation of UN Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact. It merges and builds on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system (DAW, OSAGI, INSTRAW and UNIFEM), which focused exclusively on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

All applications must include (as an attachment) the completed UN Women Personal History form (P-11) which can be downloaded from http://www.unwomen.org/about-us/employment

Kindly note that the system will only allow one attachment. Applications without the completed UN Women P-11 form will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment.

UN Women Personal History Form (P11) – Required when applying for allvacancies and must be attached as part of online application in place of CV/resume.

Click here for important information for US Permanent Residents (‘Green Card’ holders).

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.

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