Regional Gender and Good Governance Specialist

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • Location
    Brussels, Belgium
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Jan 24

Position description

UN Women, grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of gender equality, considering women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security. Placing women’s rights at the center of all its efforts, UN Women leads and coordinates the United Nations system’s efforts to ensure that commitments on gender equality and gender mainstreaming translate into action throughout the world. It provides strong and coherent leadership in support of Member States’ priorities and efforts, building effective partnerships with civil society and other relevant actors.

UN Women works in Europe and Central Asia across the development, peace, humanitarian and refugee response and recovery nexus to ensure gender-transformative results for women and girls. Its programmatic, normative and coordination work is grounded in the mandate operationalized by the corporate Strategic Plan and the Humanitarian Strategy launched in 2022. These strategic documents provide guidance for programme development, advise on norms, policies, and strategies for achieving the internationally and regionally agreed goals related to gender equality and women’s empowerment (GEWE) issues, deliver policy and technical advisory services and quality assurance support to partners. 

UN Women has pioneered an innovative programmatic approach - Gender Equality Facility (GEF) to support member states which are EU candidate countries to leverage EU approximation process for increased GEWE. The GEF is designed to support EU candidate countries in the Western Balkans and Eastern Europe in ensuring that through the EU accession process, gender equality is mainstreamed across sectors, and gender equality mechanisms are strengthened on institutional and normative levels to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 2030. UN Women GEF has been applied in the Western Balkans for close to a decade, and it is now being rolled out in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine - following the December 2023 decision by the European Council to open accession negotiations with Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova and to grant candidate status to Georgia.

Supported by the government of Denmark, in 2024 UN Women is starting a new multi-year programme in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to build sustainable peace, resilience, and economic transformation by upholding women’s rights and promoting inclusive decision-making processes. Entitled “Women Increased Leadership for Resilient and Peaceful Societies,” the programme will also have a regional component implemented by the Europe and Central Asia Regional Office (ECARO) which is concentrated on knowledge generation and mobilisation of partners to build alliances and create communities of practice in the region. Working within the framework of the country-level UN Women Strategic Notes, the programme will support gender mainstreaming in EU accession as a shared goal across the three countries. The program will support candidate countries in accelerating progress on gender equality by specifically strengthening those institutional structures, processes and procedures that are responsible for transposing the EU gender equality acquis and integrating gender responsiveness into laws and policies. While each country will have its own needs and advance at its own pace in the candidacy process, the regional component will in particular support the development of a set of EU-aligned, standardized approaches and tools, which clearly respond to the needs and challenges of the countries, and is expected to result in a consistent approach to gender mainstreaming, strong alignment with EU GAP III, and enhanced and accelerated harmonization with the EU Gender Equality acquis.

The Regional Gender and Good Governance Specialist is expected to provide overall programmatic guidance and oversight, as well as to lead technical, advocacy and knowledge management efforts. The Regional Specialist is expected to guide UN Women offices and partners on the standards and requirements for policy making and implementation associated with a new status of three countries in the EU accession process, and in compliance with the existing international commitments and norms (UN Treaty Bodies’ ones, CEDAW, BPfA, Istanbul Convention, SDGs, UNSCRs on WPS, etc.). She/he will be based in UN Women Liaison Office in Brussels, Belgium, and will liaise with EU institutions, EU and gender experts, member states and representatives of EU candidate countries from the Eastern neighborhood.

Under the direct supervision of the Europe and Central Asia Regional Office (ECARO) Deputy Regional Director, and matrixed supervision to the Director of the UN Women Liaison Office in Brussels, and in close cooperation with the Country Representatives of the UN Women offices in Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia, the Regional Gender and Good Governance Specialist will lead the regional component and support the country level implementation by providing technical and advisory support to UN Women COs and partners to support candidate countries align their legislation, strategies, programmes, and plans with the EU Gender Equality acquis, to consistently reflect gender responsiveness in line with global norms and standards on gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls . The Regional Gender and Good Governance Specialist will also serve as the overall focal point with the donor to facilitate a “one entry point” for the Danish MFA regarding planning and reporting.

The Regional Gender and Good Governance Specialist will work in close relations with UN Women ECARO and HQ staff to ensure efficient implementation of the planned programmatic interventions. The Regional Gender and Good Governance Specialist will supervise a Programme Analyst (NOA).


Duties and Responsibilities

1. Management of the regional component of the programme and communication with the donor for overall planning and reporting

  • Support regional aspects of annual planning of programmatic interventions in line with the Strategic Note’s goals and results in the assigned areas of work;
  • Design and implement the regional component in line with the Regional Strategic Note;
  • Support and attend the Regional Steering Committee (UN Women ECARO and COs, Denmark MFA, key partners) to review progress and endorse the next actions on an annual basis;
  • Review and recommend the monitoring standards, criteria, and other indicators for measuring and assessing progress/results;
  • Oversee the monitoring of progress against the agreed results frameworks and performance indicators for overall programme reporting;
  • Compile relevant information from the Country Offices (among others relying on entries into UN Women Results Monitoring System (RMS)) and prepare results-based reports on program implementation for the donor as well as UN Women annual and monitoring reports;
  • Serve as the regional focal point - “one entry point” - for communication and reporting with the donor;
  • Support the development of communication and visibility materials for the programme.

2. Provide strategic advisory support to UN Women COs and partners to mainstream gender into EU accession process and to align their legislation, strategies, programmes, and plans with the EU Gender Equality acquis (the GEF approach)

  • Provide expert advice and coaching on EU aligned gender mainstreaming and the EU gender equality acquis;
  • Support the COs to develop their programmatic interventions to mainstream gender equality in EU accession processes i.e., contextualizing GEF to Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova;
  • Conduct visits to CO as requested and needed;
  • Organize at least one general meeting of UN Women COs and partners per year to share programming and policy related experiences on gender mainstreaming in relation to EU approximation process;
  • Support the offices and partners in documenting the implementation challenges, methodological approaches, lessons learnt, and strategies adopted to overcome the barriers, as well as risk mitigation measures for timely and efficient implementation of programmatic work as assigned by the strategic notes and their implementation plans relevant for the “Women Increased Leadership for Resilient and Peaceful Societies” programme;
  • Provide advice on contextualizing the GEF approach to Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova with UN Women corporate Gender Equality Accelerators.

3.  Establish and strengthen strategic partnerships with stakeholders, regional/ international actors and development partners 

  • Build and maintain alliances and strategic partnerships for the advancement of gender responsive policy making and implementation in a frame of EU accession process;
  • Manage the external relations and partnership with the EU respective stakeholders including the European Commission, the European Council, the External Action Service, the European Parliament, and EU member state representations to the EU;
  • Identify, develop and implement partnership opportunities for policy dialogue and joint advocacy between the EU structures and stakeholders from the target countries, UN Women offices;
  • Represent UN Women in policy dialogue, joint advocacy and substantive exchanges with civil society, think tanks and universities engaged on gender equality and EU accession issues;
  • Produce periodic updates and briefs on regional/country development situation to be used by country offices and national and regional stakeholders for dialogues and processes linked with the EU accession;
  • Support country offices in the organization of study and advocacy visits to Brussels and to EU member states (if required);
  • Manage a roster of experts on EU policies/sectors and gender equality for quick deployment to support country offices; 
  • Maintain close contacts and interactions with relevant staff in UN Women COs, ECARO and HQ.

4. Facilitate knowledge management (KM) around GEF 

  • Lead the process of identifying and synthesizing of best practices and lessons learned and contribute to their wide dissemination through a community of practice;
  • Create and manage a database of knowledge on the EU gender acquis – especially as relevant to candidate countries; 
  • Lead/Commission research, analytical reports, briefing notes, background papers, summaries, correspondence, knowledge products and technical guidance on gender mainstreaming in the policies and reforms linked to EU accession requirements; 
  • Provide policy recommendations and guidance to strategic planning process based on knowledge generated and systematized through programmatic work;
  • Undertake knowledge and capacity needs assessment and develop, implement and monitor capacity building initiatives;
  • Provide inputs to advocacy, knowledge building and communication efforts such as advocacy campaigns/events and development of knowledge products.

5. The incumbent performs other duties within their functional profile as deemed necessary for the efficient functioning of the Office and the Organisation.

Supervisory/Managerial Responsibilities:

The incumbent will directly supervise 1 NOA staff and international consultants to be hired.



Core Values

  • Respect for Diversity
  • Integrity
  • Professionalism

Core Competencies

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


  • Substantive knowledge and experience related to gender equality, good governance and gender mainstreaming.
  • Expertise on requirements and standards for EU operations and EU accession policies.
  • Ability to advocate and provide policy advice.
  • Excellent analytical skills.
  • Strong knowledge of the region.
  • Excellent networking skills.
  • Ability to interact with donors, identify and analyze trends, opportunities and threats to fundraising.
  • Ability to perform qualitative and quantitative policy research.
  • Ability to write policy papers, speeches, briefings.
  • Strong knowledge of programme development, implementation, results-based management and reporting


Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s degree or equivalent in gender equality, human rights, international relations, international development, law or other social science fields is required.


  • At least 7 years progressively responsible experience, including experience working in gender equality and women’s empowerment is required.
  • At least 5 years of substantive and technical expertise and experience in EU acquis, law and/or EU accession processes is required.
  • Demonstrated experience engaging diverse stakeholders, including governments, civil society and international development and humanitarian actors is required.
  • Experience working with the UN is an asset.
  • Experience working in EU accession countries is an asset.


  • Fluency in English is required.
  • Knowledge of another official UN language is desirable (Arabic, French, Russian or Spanish).

Application instructions

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