Policy Specialist – Human Rights

UN Women
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Mar 17

Position description

Under the general guidance and direction of the Assistant Secretary-General, Normative Support and UN System Coordination Programme Results, the Directorate of the Policy, Programme and Intergovernmental Division supports for an impact through the implementation of policies leading to systemic, transformative and irreversible change at country, regional and global levels. The Programme, Policy and Intergovernmental Division leads the identification of good practices that will inform and enhance international norms and standards on gender equality and women’s empowerment. The Division is responsible for ensuring that UN Women’s programmes deliver impact and are true catalysts for change.

Under the supervision of the Policy Advisor - Human Rights, the Policy Specialist is responsible for undertaking human rights analysis and research on priority areas and assuming substantive and administrative responsibilities on priority themes. S/He provides support to intergovernmental processes dealing with human rights development issues and prepares inputs for reports to human rights inter-governmental bodies under the guidance and oversight of the supervisor.

Duties and Responsibilities

Provide technical and programme support:

  • Provide technical support to regional and thematic programmes, country strategies and knowledge management;
  • Provide technical inputs to the development and implementation a workplan for the section (identify key deliverables, develop implementation time line, etc.);
  • Provide programmatic and operational support for the development and implementation of global programmes and related thematic initiatives.

Provide research and analysis support:

  • Conduct research and analysis of global, regional and national trends;
  • Source and carry out research on articles, books, case studies etc. to produce useful data and material for advisor on request as assistance in producing papers, speeches, or related products;
  • Provide substantive inputs to the development of flagship publications related to Human Rights;
  • Prepare select written contributions and knowledge products for various purposes, i.e. case studies, short topical papers, briefings to leadership, speeches, and related products for wider dissemination;
  • Establish and nurture relationship with academia, research institutes, civil society and experts to expand and share knowledge, exchange views on latest findings, incorporate cutting-edge thinking in UN Women work.

Provide technical and coordination support to intergovernmental processes and policy development:

  • Provide substantive inputs to the preparation of position papers and reports for presentation to intergovernmental bodies such as Commission on the Status of Women, Economic and Social Council, the General Assembly and other policy-making organs, as appropriate and prepare analytical summaries of debates, supporting negotiations and analyzing/compiling outcomes;
  • Coordinate the development of analytical reports to contribute to the Secretary-General’s mandated reporting to intergovernmental forums;
  • Liaise with UN Women colleagues and others, as relevant, to ensure coordination with intergovernmental initiatives;
  • Participate in and/or represent the Section in internal and external committees, inter-governmental, inter-agency task forces, and international technical and advocacy, as required.

Provide Knowledge management support:

  • Facilitate the effective planning and exchange of materials and knowledge products related the thematic area;
  • Contribute to the development and maintenance of a roster of gender experts who can develop/ provide technical support to UN Women offices, national partners, UNCT’s or other UN system entities in the related thematic area;
  • Develop knowledge products that meet UN Women needs and standards of quality;
  • Establish and nurture relationship with academia, research institutes, civil society and experts in Human Rights to expand and share knowledge, exchange views on latest findings, incorporate cutting-edge thinking in UN Women work.

Key Performance Indicators:

  • The key results expected will have positive impact on the overall effectiveness of UN Women’s work related to human rights, through contributing directly to achievement of the relevant Goals in UN Women’s Strategic Plan;
  • Quality and timely contributions to regional, thematic and country programmes as requested as per workplan;
  • Quality research and inputs Quality written contributions;
  • Timely coordination of meetings and events.


Core values:

  • Integrity;
  • Professionalism;
  • Respect for Diversity.

Core Competencies:

  • Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues;
  • Accountability;
  • Creative Problem Solving;
  • Effective Communication;
  • Inclusive Collaboration;
  • Stakeholder Engagement;
  • Leading by Example.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master's degree (or equivalent) in development related disciplines, gender issues, human rights, public policy/administration, or related social science;
  • A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


  • A minimum of 5 years of increasingly responsible professional experience in gender programming, policy research and gender analysis at the international level, at least 2 of which should be directly related to Human Rights;
  • Experience working with laws that promote gender equality is an advantage;
  • Experience working with inter-governmental bodies and international human rights mechanisms and processes is a distinct advantage;
  • Experience with databases and in developing research papers.


  • Written and oral proficiency in English is required;
  • Knowledge of another UN working language is desirable.

Application instructions

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