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International Consultant: Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting Accelerating Change

Duration            :       25 February 2021 – 24 January 2022 (11 months), full time

Hiring Office     :       East and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO), Johannesburg              

Post Location    :       Home-based.   

Closing Date     :       Applications must be submitted by 23 February 2021 (5:00 pm South African time)

Purpose of Consultancy:

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) promotes the right of every women and child to enjoy a healthy life and equal opportunity, UNFPA supports programme countries, through its Country offices, in using population data for policies and programme to reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.

UNFPA makes critical contributions to promoting the broader gender equality agenda at global, regional and country levels using ICPD as the entry point. ICPD provides UNFPA with the responsibility to address some specific aspects of gender equality and given the Fund’s comparative advantage and expertise in a number of countries, and within the context of the United Nations system collaboration and partnerships. UNFPA will continue making a significant contribution to furthering the human rights of women and girls. With specific focus on reproductive health and rights, in response to country priorities and specificities.  

The purpose of the consultancy is to support the Regional Gender Programme Specialists in implementing key interventions part of ESARO work plan on gender equality, especially the joint programme on FGM, and work on men and boy’s engagement in advancing SRHR and gender equality.

Scope of Work:

The UNFPA/UNICEF Joint Programme on Female Genital Mutilation/ Cutting: Accelerating Change launched the third phase in January 2018. The joint programme aims to build on the successes of past experience undertaken at the regional and country levels to generate additional understanding on the abandonment of the practice and to coordinate and provide support to country offices to enhance UNFPA’s response to the needs of National Programmes.

While reaffirming the human rights-based and culturally sensitive approach that stimulates changes in social norms, implementing two programmes requires the organisation to strengthen its services to prevent, protect and care for girls and women affected by FGM and to enforce laws and policies designed to end the practice. Engagement with men and boys to advance Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) as well as gender equality is at the heart of UNFPA mandate and therefore integrate throughout UNFPA programming and interventions in the East and Southern Africa Region.

As part of the acceleration of the elimination of FGM as well as of UNFPA work towards advancing gender equality, UNFPA ESARO is seeking the support from a consultant to work on the following areas, ensuring that the three strategic priorities of Phase III of the joint FGM programme, as well as the strategic priority of UNFPA ESARO to advance gender equality are adequately addressed.

Main Responsibilities and Strategic Results:   

Under the direct supervision of the Regional Gender Programme Specialist, the Consultant's main responsibilities and strategic results are as follows:

Provide technical support to the Country Offices implementing the JP on FGM and FGM and HP related interventions; including supporting the  implementation of annual work plans to ensure targets are met and the strategic priorities of the ongoing phases achieved; for FGM, a particular focus will be put on ensuring that cross border interventions aiming at preventing and addressing FGM are effectively implemented.

Engage with the EAC and EALA to revitalise the EAC bill on FGM and its implementation.

Develop and support advocacy and campaigning efforts to end FGM in East and Southern Africa; highlighting emerging trends such as cross border FGM and the medicalization of FGM.

Identify and document emerging and good practices to end FGM, and GBV in East and Southern Africa to inform programming and advocacy efforts at national and regional levels.

In partnership with the data fellow located in ESA countries (Ethiopia, Kenya), develop and implement a FGM-HP research agenda for the East and Southern Africa Region.

Work in close collaboration with the Innovation Adviser to ensure that innovation is mainstreamed into UNFPA ESARO gender work, especially on FGM and GBV.

Support the utilization of Programme indicators and indicators database and maintain the data for all platform up-to-date.

Support the implementation of the ESARO regional work plan on gender including the JP/GP on FGM, which include financial and substantive monitoring and reporting support of the JP on FGM

Develop regional research on issues related to FGM and HPs.

Support on the development of UNFPA ESARO strategy on meaningful engagement of men and boys to advance SRHR in East and Southern Africa.

Strategically positioning UNFPA ESARO work on gender equality, GBV and the joint FGM with key continental and regional partners.

Delivering results based programmes.

Internal & external communication and perform all other duties assigned by supervisor.

The consultant will dedicate half day a week to provide technical support to the implementation of the FGM programme in Tanzania.

The consultant is expected to travel to support national and regional FGM and gender meetings and fora as required (pending COVID travel restrictions).

Delivery dates and how work will be delivered:

Monthly deliverables will be agreed with the selected candidate

Place where services are to be delivered:


When COVID travel restrictions are lifted, the consultant will be expected to travel for specific missions.

Monitoring and Progress control, including reporting requirements, periodicity format and deadline:

The consultant will support the Gender Programme Specialist:

Organise quarterly teleconference with the FGM countries on progress and challenges.

Provide feedback on COs on monitoring of the 2020 work plan implementation

Monitor programme implementation

Monitor and support the collation of good practices for documentation

Draft input to the ESARO quarterly reports

Support the implementation of ESARO gender work plan, including regional WP on the JPs on FGM.

Support the development of regional research on FGM and harmful practices in East and Southern Africa.

Support on the development of an UNFPA ESARO strategy on meaningful engagement with men and boys to advance SRHR and gender equality.

Required Qualifications:


Postgraduate university degree or equivalent in public health, social science, gender and human rights.


At least 5 years of professional experience in gender / GBV, FGM and engagement with men and boys, international development or social sciences.

Proven experience in conducting research and developing strategies related to advancing gender equality and preventing GBV and HP, including FGM.

Knowledge and experience working in addressing FGM in the East and Southern Africa region is required.

Field/country experience is essential.

Experience on advocacy and communication is an asset.


Strong verbal and written communication skills in English.

How to Apply:

The deadline for applications is 23 February 2021, 5:00 pm South African time.

Submit your application with a detailed Curriculum Vitae (CV) and motivational letter to

Please specify in the email subject:  International Consultant - FGM.

UNFPA does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, processing, training) or other fee, or request information on applicants’ bank accounts.

UNFPA will only respond to those applicants in whom the Regional Office has further interest. In the event that UNFPA does not contact you by 5 March 2021, please consider your application unsuccessful.