Socio-Economic Livelihoods Specialist
Organisational Values and Principles:
UNIFEM is dedicated to advancing gender equality and women's human rights in Afghanistan. Staff and consultants of UNIFEM Afghanistan 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.
UNIFEM's umbrella programme in Afghanistan has the main objective to build Afghan women's capacity and leadership to enable them to effectively participate in the social, economic and political processes in the country. An extension to this mandate is UNIFEM's duty to engage in research, advocacy and policy development activities. This not only helps to inform and strengthen the programmes, but also contributes to our task of mainstreaming gender into government strategies, policies and laws. UNIFEM operates within the frameworks of UN SCR 1325, CEDAW, and the National Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan (NAPWA) and the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS).
Women currently play an active and important role in supporting family livelihoods in rural Afghanistan. They do this is a number of ways, including through paid work in off farm and/or non farm enterprises, through agricultural labor, through rearing livestock, and through maintaining the family through cooking, cleaning and child bearing and rearing. Many of women's contributions to rural livelihoods are not well documented or valued, and social structures and relations tend to limit the ways in which women can contribute, particularly in relation to their access to paid work.
The CEED Unit is in the process of reviewing its previous strategies focused on building Afghan women's capacity to effectively participate in the socio-economic and political processes in the country in order to define a clear sectoral strategy for promoting women's socio-economic and political development through sustainable livelihood strategies. At the same time, the Unit fosters evidence-based data and information to inform appropriate policies and measures that will ensure women's access to jobs and employment.
Duties and Responsibilities:
Under the direct supervision of the Unit's Deputy/National Programme Officer (NPO), The Socio-Economic Livelihoods Specialist will provide leadership expertise on the development and implementation of CEED's livelihoods component "to improve the livelihoods of rural women in Afghanistan through the development of sustainable livelihood economic activities that will provide increased income and job opportunities for poor women in selected rural areas". Reporting directly to the Deputy/NPO, the specialist will also work closely with and under the guidance of the Unit Manager in areas of programme design and resource mobilization as needed. He/she will be responsible for the overall design and management of the livelihoods component, including follow up research, assessment, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation and report writing.
Areas of responsibility include:
- Programme design and management: provides strategic direction to the development of the CEED Unit's livelihoods component. Building on the initial gender sensitive village analysis of the local economy and women's current livelihood contributions,
- Identifies potential economic interventions for women to improve their economic opportunities and household livelihoods.
- He/she takes the lead in providing substantive technical inputs into the livelihoods component through design and piloting of livelihood sectoral strategies (in partnership with local stakeholders) to expand women's economic potential as entrepreneurs, producers and home based workers in rural areas.
- Resource mobilization: advises the Unit Manager and Deputy/NPO in mobilizing resources for the livelihoods component. Based on the information generated from the gender sensitive research,
- He/she formulates proposals in consultation with the Deputy/NPO for piloting of livelihoods projects aiming to strengthen and diversify the livelihoods of women and their families.
- Capacity building: provides technical support to field staff as needed and provides technical and managerial skills training, particularly in relation to sustainable livelihood activities, to local government and NGO partners.
- He/she will be responsible for building the technical capacity of the programme staff, local government counterparts, and CSO/NGO implementing partners on use of gender focused PRA/PLA techniques for project design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
- Partnership and networking: in consultation with the Deputy/NPO, he/she will be responsible for developing strategic partnerships in the area of sustainable livelihoods and strengthening linkages with NGOs, UN agencies, local government institutions, and private sector for the implementation of the livelihoods component.
- Monitoring and evaluation: responsible for developing a monitoring and evaluation plan that incorporates gender disaggregated base line data and which can be use to measure progress and impact over time.
- He/she will develop gender participatory monitoring and evaluation tools and train CEED Unit staff and other partners in their use.
- Planning and reporting: in consultation with the Deputy/NPO, responsible for the preparation of annual work plans, budgets and progress reports on the Unit's livelihood activities with realistic and achievable timelines.
- Other responsibilities include the preparation of annual and donor reports. He/she will also be responsible for managing and monitoring the livelihoods budget.
- Knowledge Products: develops livelihoods tool kits that can be used by different stakeholders wanting to develop and implement programmes for women's socio-economic and livelihoods development.
- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
- Powerful analytical skills.
- Commitment to capacity development.
- Excellent teamwork skills, cross-cultural and gender sensitivity.
- Ability to set priorities and manage time effectively.
Required Skills and Experience:
- Masters Degree or equivalent in development studies, development economics, or relevant post-graduate qualification (preferably with specialisation in agricultural economics, micro-finance, natural resource management, community or rural development, urban policy & planning).
- Minimum of 5 years progressively relevant experience in the design and implementation of livelihoods projects, with the UN and/or non-governmental and/or public sector.
- Demonstrated technical expertise in at least one of the following sectors: small and medium enterprise development; income generation; micro-finance; skills and vocational training; employment services; food security including agricultural production, livestock, and/or fisheries.
- Solid skills in research and analysis (using and presenting quantitative and qualitative data), project reporting against outcomes/outputs, and budget management.
- Demonstrated experience in conducting assessments for planning and/or evaluation purposes. Familiarity with established assessment and analytical tools is desirable (household economy approach; sustainable livelihoods framework; market analysis; socio-economic profiling).
- Field experience in sustainable rural livelihood projects in isolated areas using gender analysis community-based approach and methodology.
- Familiar with use of gender focused PRA/PLA techniques for project design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
- A proven ability to liaise with a myriad of stakeholders and partners, including government, civil society, International organisations and grassroots organisations;
- Demonstrated sensitivity, discretion, tact, and courtesy in relation to gender equality and women's rights, development principles and projects, implementing partners, and national and international personnel of varied nationalities and backgrounds;
- Commitment to upholding the organisational values and principles of UNIFEM Afghanistan;
- Broad knowledge of key actors involved in developing policies and programmes related to livelihoods.
- Strong communication and individual organisational skills.
- An understanding of the social, cultural, and political context of Afghanistan and its relation to gender;
- Experience working in issues related to socio-economic and political empowerment of women in Afghanistan.
- Excellent written and spoken English and knowledge of another UN language desirable.