National Consultancy to develop a Gender Action Plan for the UNICEF Sri Lanka Country Office (Sri Lankan nationals only)

This opening expired 7 days ago.

UNICEF - United Nations Children's Fund

Open positions at UNICEF
Logo of UNICEF

Application deadline 7 days ago: Monday 25 Sep 2023 at 18:25 UTC

Open application form


This is a Consultancy contract. More about Consultancy contracts.

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.

For every child, Care

Sri Lanka, a lower-middle-income country, is facing an acute crisis following the impact of the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the economic crisis, jeopardizing progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Despite important progress made for children over the past decades across most dimensions, many children do not have an adequate standard of living, and significant inequalities have been aggravated by the current crisis, which has disproportionally affected urban daily wage earners, and families from poor households in the estate sector and rural areas. Price increases in basic food items have accelerated food insecurity for vulnerable families. Economic stressors and livelihood losses continue to increase protection concerns, including Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and negative coping mechanisms, especially among women and girls.

Sri Lanka has made progress towards achieving gender equality and closing sustainable development gaps in recent years. Women’s literacy rates exceed those of men – an estimated 91.7 per cent of women are literate as compared to 90.8 per cent of men. However, gaps remain in terms of achieving gender equality across the country. Sri Lanka dropped 14 places in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report in 2021, ranking 116 out of 156 countries. This same decline is reflected in the Gender Inequality Index developed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with Sri Lanka ranking among the lowest in South Asia. Although gender parity has been achieved across many social indicators for children, including in the health and education sectors, disparities emerge during adolescence and adulthood. Gender-based violence and sexual harassment remain significant concerns that directly affect girls and boys. Further, COVID-19 has worsened disparities in learning and skills development. The digital divide in connectivity (50.8 per cent penetration), access to electronic devices and digital skills have resulted in vulnerable groups, including in rural and estate areas, being deprived of continuous learning. The economic crisis further threatens access to schools, which may result in increasing learning losses and school dropouts. The quality of education needs to be enhanced to address unequal learning outcomes and skills development for girls and boys based on their background and location.

UNICEF has entered into a new five-year country programme 2023-2027 in partnership with the Government of Sri Lanka. The Country Programme Document (CPD) underscores the need for application of a gender lens across programming areas in-line with UNICEF’s global framework and identifies gender as a cross-cutting area. Attention is drawn specifically to the disparities emerging during adolescence and adulthood. To effectively address the key gender issues across all goal areas as stipulated by UNICEF’s CPD, UNICEF Sri Lanka Country Office (SLCO) is seeking a consultant to develop a 2-year Gender Action Plan, that opertationalises the CPD to systematically apply key gender equitable approaches for transformative results for children, adolescents and all care givers in Sri Lanka.

How can you make a difference?

The purpose of this consultancy is to provide technical assistance to UNICEF SLCO in developing a Gender Action Plan for the CO, in line with the Global Gender Action Plan, the UNICEF Global and Regional Gender Strategies 2022-2025and the UNICEF Adolescent Girls Strategy, to operationalize the new Country Programme 2023 – 2027 elaborated in line with the national priorities to accelerate gender transformative results for children in Sri Lanka. The consultant will also support the capacity development on UNICEF SLCO staff on gender and mainstreaming gender in programmes.

Scope of Work:

With overall guidance from the Deputy Representative, the consultant will work under the supervision of SLCO’s gender focal person in close coordination with the gender focal points from all sections. The consultant will:

  • Review key documentation such as the Situation Analysis of Children and Adolescents in Sri Lanka, UN Development Cooperation Framework, National Gender Action Plan of the Ministry of Women, Child Affairs and Social Empowerment, Gender Programmatic Review (GPR) report, Programme Strategy Notes (PSNs), 2023-2027Country Programme Document, UNICEF Global Gender Action Plan, the UN Gender Strategy, UNICEF Adolescent Girls Strategy, UNICEF annual work plans, among other documents - to identify key gender priorities across sections to inform the SLCO Gender Action Plan.
  • Conduct consultations with UNICEF colleagues and other selected UN agencies, govt partners and CSOs on UNICEF’s on strategies and the mechanisms needed to ensure gender priorities are met.
  • Develop the Country Office Gender Action Plan with clear key actions on (i) key targeted priority interventions; (ii) integrated priorities; and (iii) governance & institutional mechanisms for implementation and how SLCO will implement this office-wide commitment to gender equality.
  • Present the draft Gender Action Plan to Sri Lanka CO and RO teams for comments and finalize it by incorporating the comments/feedback received from the Sri Lanka CO and RO teams.
  • Support the Regional Office team in facilitating a training on gender for UNICEF programme staff, including a briefing on the finalized Gender Action Plan.

Assignment Overview

  • Conduct a desk review of the above-mentioned documents and consultations with internal and external stakeholders - Draft document outlining the key proposed areas for the action plan and the available support mechanisms to implement the same -20 October 2023
  • Support/facilitate a training on gender for UNICEF programme staff, including a briefing on key areas proposed for the Gender Action Plan - Draft power point presentation. In-person facilitation at the training - 25 October 2023
  • Present the draft Gender Action Plan to Sri Lanka CO and RO teams for comments. - Draft Gender Action Plan - 05 November 2023
  • Incorporate the inputs from the Sri Lanka CO and RO teams and Sri Lanka Gender Action Plan Document, together with a ppt for orientation of staff. - Final Gender Action Plan for UNICEF Sri Lanka Country Office and the final power point presentation - 15 November 2023

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

Academic qualifications:

  • Advanced university degree in the social sciences, gender studies, law, health or relevant field.


  • Minimum of five years’ experience in gender and development programming in Sri Lanka
  • Prior knowledge in drafting and developing strategy and policy documents.
  • Work experience in gender equality program design and implementation.

Language competencies:

  • Proficiency in written and spoken English. Fluency in Sinhala/Tamil is an asset.

Personal competencies:

  • Ability to keep to tight timelines.
  • Strong drive for results.
  • Highly developed communication, networking, and interpersonal skills.
  • Working with teams of diverse capacities and backgrounds.

Duration - 01 Oct 2023 - 20 Nov 2023

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability, and Sustainability (CRITAS).

To view our competency framework, please visit here.

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants/individual contractors with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterwards in your assignment.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.


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

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.

The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts.

If you think this position might be for you, please take the time to review our Country Office Mutual Agreements before you apply.

If you believe you can team member that can uphold these every day, then we look forward to receiving and reviewing your application

Added 13 days ago - Updated 7 days ago - Source: