Consultant (Women in WASH)

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

New York, NY, US

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone. And we never give up.

Background & Rationale

UNICEF works with partners – Governments, civil society, private sector, professional and other organizations – against discrimination of all kinds, and recognizes discrimination on grounds of sex as unacceptable. We acknowledge the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, together with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which are mutually reinforcing, and central to our mandate.

UNICEF also recognizes that gender balance is a good business practice for achieving its own mission. UNICEF’s Gender Parity and Equality Policy supports an organizational and work culture where gender balance and diversity are valued and form the core of a positive work environment for women and men alike. The Policy and its accompanying Action Plan set objectives and goals for increasing women’s representation at all levels, but particularly at the senior levels where disparities are the greatest. In addition, the the Gender Action Plan 2014-2017 put in place concrete policies and measures with the goal of achieving gender parity within UNICEF. [2]

With these well-articulated policy statements, we have made important strides towards gender parity in staffing as an organisation. Within international professional staff, UNICEF achieved gender parity in recruitment by 2010 with 50.5% of all IP staff female.[1]

Despite this overall success, within the global WASH team, there has been in limited progress towards gender parity in staffing over the last decade. At the end of 2016, 75 per cent of all WASH professional staff globally were men, while only 25 per cent were women. This gender ratio was the same among nationally and internationally recruited staff. This represents only a moderate increase from 2007, when 19 per cent of WASH staff were female. At this rate, it would take over four more decades to achieve gender parity.

At the same time, there is a need for more targeted work in improving the representation of women in leadership, management and specialized technical roles. For example, in 2017, there were only four female WASH chiefs in UNICEF.

Within this context, UNICEF seeks to create a Women in WASH initiative to reach gender parity and work towards gender equality, where female WASH staff have equal leadership and management roles in UNICEF and participate fully in all processes that impact our work.

The Women in WASH initiative seeks to:

  • Understand and influence policies and practices towards achieving the goals of gender parity and gender equality within UNICEF WASH section;
  • Provide opportunities for women in WASH – at all levels – to develop, grow and contribute at the same level as men;
  • Facilitate the development and promotion of women in the WASH sector, in turn improving the quality of engagement and collaboration through WASH programming with women and communities in line with UNICEF’s mandate and goals;

 An Advisory Group is being established to provide guidance to this initiative, under the overall responsibility of the Chief of WASH.

In the first year of the initiative, funding has already been allocated for P3 women in WASH to develop the knowledge and competencies needed for career growth. It is anticipated that the funding will be used to enable P3 women to undertake stretch assignments and build their professional networks through a sponsorship/mentoring programme, and conference attendance where the candidate can shadow senior UNICEF WASH staff (i.e., SIWI World Water Week or UNC Water and Health Conference). These activities are expected to be designed and validated through this consultancy.


The objective of the consultancy is to provide technical assistance to the global WASH team to design and monitor the Women in WASH initiative.  

Expected results: (measurable results)

The consultant is expected to deliver:

  • Strategy for 2018-2021 with clear, actionable recommendations to the Chief of WASH and Advisory Group.  The Strategy shall consist of the following components and activities:
    • Identification and analysis of barriers to gender parity, focusing on the specific challenges within the WASH sector and include benchmarking with similar organizations and within other programme teams in UNICEF. Expected to include a literature review and interviews with 15-25 key informants, to be identified by the Advisory Group;
    • Short, medium, and long-term strategies to address the barriers identified through the assessment;
    • First year plan of detailed, costed activities that are immediately actionable by the Advisory Group and Chief of WASH, including activity design; 
    • Three-year plan with activities identified and costed, and recommendations for a broader ten year horizon;
    • M&E plan with key indicators of success and means of measurement.
  • Activity implementation for year one activities. These are anticipated to include a sponsorship initiative, though final identification of activities will be done through the Strategy preparation. The consultant is expected to define and manage outreach of candidates, advise selection of candidates to the Advisory Group, and provide support to selected candidates to maximize capacity development opportunities within their funded activity.
  • Support the WASH Generic Vacancy Announcementrecruitment, currently ongoing, by providing gender analysis at each step of the process as well as recommended immediate actions which can be taken towards achieving gender parity in the recruitment process.
  • Provide secretariat support to the Advisory Group:
    • Organizing meetings, develop agendas, take minutes.
    • Provide support to Advisory Group members in follow up actions as defined.
    • Summarize and report to the Advisory Group on progress.

 Duty Station

The consultancy can be carried out on a remote basis with travel as needed to NYHQ or regional offices.


Start date:   1 April 2018                         
End date:  31 December 2018 


(Estimated # of Days)


Final sponsorship / mentorship design (first year activities sub-component of Strategy)

5 days

30 April 2018

Draft Strategy and costed action plan

15 days

30 May 2018

Final Strategy including integration of feedback provided on draft

10 days

30 June 2018

Support to WASH GVA

3 days

30 June 2018

Secretariat support to 4-6 Advisory Group meetings.

5 days



Activity implementation for year one activities

22 days

8 days – 30 June 2018

8 days – 30 September

6 days – 31 December




Key competences, technical background, and experience required Deadline

  • Advanced University degree (Master’s) in a relevant field (policy, human resources, water and sanitation, gender, or other relevant discipline)
  • At least eight years of relevant work experience in HR, WASH, gender, or change management.
  • Proven record in the areas of organizational change and institutional assessments.
  • Proven professional background in gender equity initiatives and familiarity with the WASH sector.
  • Experience with UNICEF, UN, and other development partners.
  • Strong experience in management of gender issues, including gender audits.
  • Experience with HR development measurement and management support, including assessment surveys, training and support supervision.
  • Strong qualitative and quantitative research skills.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Ability to work effectively with minimal supervision, and meet tight deadlines.
  • Fluency in English (written & verbal) is required. Knowledge of an additional UN Language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish) is considered an asset.

Please indicate your ability, availability and daily/monthly rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference above (including travel and daily subsistence allowance, if applicable). Applications submitted without a daily/monthly rate will not be considered.


With the exception of the US Citizens, G4 Visa and Green Card holders, should the selected candidate and his/her household members reside in the United States under a different visa, the consultant and his/her household members are required to change their visa status to G4, and the consultant’s household members (spouse) will require an Employment Authorization Card (EAD) to be able to work, even if he/she was authorized to work under the visa held prior to switching to G4.   
At the time the contract is awarded, the selected candidate must have in place current health insurance coverage

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization
Opening Date Tue Feb 27 2018 15:00:00 GMT+0100 (CET) Eastern Standard Time
Closing Date Wed Mar 14 2018 04:55:00 GMT+0100 (CET)