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UNFPA-Women's and Girls Safe Spaces (WGSS) Review Specialist-P3-Home Based (with field missions)

Home Based, Home Based
Position Title: Women's and Girls Safe Spaces Review Specialist
Receiving Agency: UNFPA
P Level: P3
Location: Home Based (with field missions)
Duration: 6 months
Language: English

WGSS Review Specialist
TERMS OF REFERENCE (to be completed by Hiring Office)
Mapping of WGSS interventions and services in UNFPA humanitarian response
Hiring Office: Humanitarian Response Division
Purpose of consultancy: UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled.  UNFPA’s new strategic plan (2022-2025) aims at expanding the humanitarian response capacity to better safeguard the lives of women, adolescents and youth, especially adolescent girls, while also addressing mental health and psychosocial issues.

Creating safe spaces for women and girls is a critical part of GBV programming. A women’s and girls’ safe space (WGSS) is an intervention that GBV programme actors in humanitarian programming, have used for decades as an entry point for women and girls to report protection concerns, express their needs, receive services, engage in empowerment activities and connect with the community. For over 25 years, UNFPA has promoted Women’s and Girls Safe Spaces (WGSS) where millions of women, girls and GBV survivors could be free from harm; access care, services and information; and gain skills empowering them to make choices to advance their own safety and well-being. From supporting approximately 400 Women’s and Girls’ Safe Spaces (WGSS) in 2015, UNFPA supported over a thousand in 2022.  The establishment of and services offered in WGSS has taken different forms in different contexts, based on Country Offices (COs) capacities, and perceived needs, gaps, opportunities and resources. UNFPA is committed to sustain Women’s and Girls’ Safe Spaces (WGSS) as a core protection, empowerment, and gender-transformative intervention. UNFPA has also made a clear commitment in the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies, to invest in gender-transformative work in WGSS. 

Services and activities offered in the Women and Girls Safe Spaces (WGSS) vary depending on context, women’s and girls’ preferences, the safe space modality (static, mobile, virtual). Although specific WGSS interventions may include different services and activities, all should work towards the five standard objectives as articulated in the Inter-Agency GBViE Minimum Standards and the Women and Girls Safe Spaces: A Toolkit for Advancing Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment in Humanitarian Settings (IRC and IMC, 2020).

To this extent, UNFPA wants to assess and document the full, consistent and quality field implementation of the available global guidance on WGSS across different contexts.

For UNFPA, it is crucial to know:
  • What does a WGSS look like in practice for UNFPA in different contexts? What types of services are COs implementing in the WGSS and to what extent are they aligned with the global standards/guidance? To what extent are SRH and MHPSS integrated in the WGSS?
  • To what extent are COs using the regional guidance on WGSS, the WGSS toolkit, and other key global guidance documents?
  • What support could be provided to ensure quality and relevance? What best practices and quality enabling factors have been identified and can be applied globally?

This role aims to:
 - Map services and activities offered by UNFPA in WGSS in selected contexts, both for adult women and for adolescent girls, including case management services, structured and unstructured PSS and empowerment interventions.
- Understand the extent to which UNFPA and its implementing partners in the field are using available programmatic guidance, tools and other resources for the design, implementation and monitoring of WGSS interventions.
- Highlight and promote good and promising practices in selected contexts through the development of case studies and learning briefs, especially on how WGSS models and services are tailored to context, needs and different groups of population (adolescent girls, girls at risk of child marriage, married girls, women and girls with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ women and girls…);
- Develop a practical tool to monitor the extent to which WGSS fulfils the 5 standard objectives and meet the needs of women and girls.

Women and Girls’ Safe Spaces (WGSS) offer unique opportunities to address harmful social and gender norms; strengthen UNFPA’s integrated approaches to GBV and SRH programming; safely access psycho-social support; tailor interventions to the needs of adolescent girls.  UNFPA also implements strategies to promote local ownership and support national and local actors, including government, civil society actors and WLOs, in having the necessary knowledge, capacity, assets and human and financial resources to sustainably manage WGSS.

The mapping and analysis should include a specific focus on: 
GBV-SRH linkages, PSS, localization, partnerships with WLOs, gender transformative approaches in WGSS, adolescent girls within WGSS, and how WGSS are leveraged to create synergies with other services and programmes in a given context (e.g. addressing Child Marriage and working with married girls).

UNFPA will review and document good practices, challenges and quality enablers, standards, risks, and outcomes of gender-transformative Women’s and Girls’ Safe Spaces (WGSS).

UNFPA is looking for a Specialist to finalise the mapping exercise of UNFPA-supported WGSS.

UNFPA started the WGSS mapping in late 2022 and, due to time constraints, it was not possible to finalise it. This ToR builds upon the work initiated in 2022 which included an online survey, 1 field mission, limited KIIs.

The Specialist will work in close collaboration with the GBV in emergencies Specialists of the Programme Support Unit (PSU) at the Humanitarian Response Division (HRD).

Scope of work:

(Description of services, activities, or outputs)
Specifically, the Specialist will:

  • Set up a core internal working group for sharing the progress and addressing key questions.
  • Conduct an initial desk-based review of UNFPA’s Humanitarian Dashboard, project reports and other systems and resources available to map where UNFPA has or has not currently WGSS interventions at the field level.
The desk review should also identify if the indicators used for WGSS are aligned with the Interagency Minimum Standards´ indicators on WGSS.
  • Conduct remote Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) with GBV personnel at global, regional and country levels on UNFPA WGSS quality standards and contextualization. These will complement the dashboard review and help to fill in information gaps and ensure a precise mapping. The interview will assess in depth the quality of the services and the WGSS´ alignment with global guidance/standards.
  • Review the existing tools for field work/data collection and adjust them based on the findings of the online surveys.

Deliver 2 field missions of about 1 week each. The countries will be identified by UNFPA (probably Mali, DRC and/or Bangladesh). 
  • In the selected country/ies, conduct in-person consultations and Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) with GBV personnel, including Implementing Partners, for a “deep dive” on WGSS implementation, service delivery, good practices, gaps, challenges, and evidence-based successes.
  • In the selected country/ies observe and assess services and activities offered by UNFPA in the WGSS, both for adult women and for adolescent girls, and offer insights into why these activities / services were prioritised over others in the given contexts.
  • If appropriate in the context and respecting UNFPA´s ethical standards, facilitate FGDs with women and girls to hear their experience and how attending the WGSS impacted their life.

  • Based on field work and on KII, compile information on existing practices and approaches within WGSS, including services and activities, capacities, gaps, opportunities for leveraging WGSS for specific programmes and objectives (localization, GBV-SRH linkages, gender-transformative work, girls’ empowerment, MH, PSS, …)
  • Identify promising practices to strengthen / replicate in other contexts.
  • Draft 3 case studies based on field work on the 2 countries where the consultant travelled and, on the data, collected in Colombia field visit in 2022
  • Draft the final report, under the supervision of the GBViE Specialists. The final report should include at least the following: overview of UNFPA approach (presence, services, etc.), best practices, learning on challenges and gaps in implementing existing guidance, 3 case studies from the field, recommendations for UNFPA. 
  • Draft the Report executive summary.
  • 5 short 4-page guidance notes on good practices
  • Organise a webinar to share the main findings and suggest next steps and way forwards to improve WGSS.
Duration / working schedule The contract is full-time for 6 months, starting 1st October 2023 until the 31st of March 2024.
The total number of days is: 120 days (including travel days for the field missions), which will be divided in the following way:
From the 1st of October until the 31st of December 2023 (60 days)
From the 1st of January until the 31st of March 2024 (60 days)
Place where services are to be delivered: The role is home-based with 2 field missions in countries to be defined in collaboration with UNFPA.
Delivery dates and how work will be delivered (e.g. electronic, hard copy etc.): The Specialist will work with the GBV in Emergencies Specialists to determine specifics.
Key deliverables will include: 

Deliverables 2023
Date Deliverables
15th October Summary of 2022 survey mapping of current WGSS models and services implemented in the selected contexts. The summary should present a list of emerging issues and/or red flags and gaps identified that will be followed up and better investigated through the remote KII
30th October  Case study number 1 (Colombia Guajira)
30th November Case study number 2(Country TBC)
30th December Case study number 3 (Country TBC)

Deliverables 2024
30th January Report on WGSS based on a) the 2022 survey, b) remote KIIs and c) field work. The mapping should include a comparison table by context and a tracking table and a narrative summary with graphics/visual presentations of the current status of WGSS within UNFPA. The report should identify existing good and promising practices for the set-up, management/service delivery, and monitoring of WGSS.
10th March Draft Guidance Notes on WGSS
20th March Internal webinar or webinar series to present the key findings and discuss recommendations
30th March Final Guidance Notes with feedback incorporated

Monitoring and progress control, including reporting requirements, periodicity format and deadline:
  • Weekly meeting with supervisor to report on progress and address possible challenges.
  • Monthly reporting in writing (and shared by email with Supervisor) on progress and deliverables.
  • The acceptance of services at the end of each month will be certified through a Certification of
  • Payment to be countersigned by both parties (IC and UNFPA)
Supervisory arrangements: The Specialist works under the technical guidance of the GBViE specialist in the Humanitarian Response Divisions in Geneva.
Expected travel: Missions to selected priority countries (1 or 2 missions of about 7 days each)
Required expertise, qualifications and competencies, including language requirements: Education:
  • Advanced degree in social sciences, gender studies, research, or a related field

Knowledge and experience:
  • At least 7 years of relevant experience, including field experience working with GBV programming specifically in remote and low resource settings and/or humanitarian is a must.     
  • Experience in setting up and directly managing GBV services for women and girls is a must.
  • Experience in managing or supporting WGSS in the field (GBV Programme Manager) or delivering services / facilitating activities within WGSS (service provider / frontline responder) is desirable.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of / familiarity with WGSS guidance and resources is a must.
  • Familiarity with UNFPA’s GBV and SRH work in humanitarian contexts is a considerable advantage, especially if in the identified priority countries.
  • Previous experience participating in assessments (survey / interview tool design, data collection and analysis, visualization and / or reporting) an asset.
  • Previous experience working in multi-cultural environments / with people from diverse backgrounds is an asset.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills – friendly and warm personality, can create positive rapport with colleagues quickly – even if remotely.
  • Good planning and organizational skills
  • Good research / data management skills (collect, analyse, present and disseminate all necessary information; no advanced software knowledge or IT skills required)
  • Good analytical skills (make recommendations based on findings) 
  • Good communication skills, including oral and written. 
  • Initiative-taking and resourcefulness.

  • Professional level of English with strong writing skills
  • Other relevant languages, in particular French language is a plus.

Required competencies:
Access to the internet while on mission and a UNFPA email address will be provided.
  • Exemplifying integrity
  • Demonstrating commitment to UNFPA and the UN system
  • Embracing cultural diversity
  • Embracing change
Core Competencies:
  • Achieving results
  • Being accountable
  • Developing and applying professional expertise/ business acumen
  • Thinking analytically and strategically
  • Working in teams/ managing ourselves and our relationships
  • Communicating for impact
Functional Skill Set:
  • Results based programme development and management
  • Job knowledge, technical expertise
  • Innovation and marketing of new approaches
  • Leveraging the resources of national partners/building strategic alliances and partnerships
  • Advocacy/Advancing a policy-oriented agenda
Inputs / services to be provided by UNFPA Access to internet while on mission and a UNFPA email address will be provided
Other relevant information or special conditions Women from the Global South having set up, managed, trained and supervised teams, or directly delivered services or facilitated activities within WGSS in their own or in other communities are strongly encouraged to apply.

CANADEM and its partners have a no-tolerance policy towards Sexual Exploitation, Abuse, and Harassment (SEAH). For this reason, we adhere to all policies, procedures and training of the United Nations on The Prevention of Sexual Exploitation, Abuse, and Harassment (PSEAH). CANADEM mandates all deployees successfully complete the PSEA online course. This e-learning course is composed of a set of lessons designed to raise awareness about SEAH, become familiar with a range of measures to combat SEAH, understand the impact on victims and the consequences for UN Personnel who commit Sexual Exploitation, Abuse, and Harassment.

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