UN Women Regional Office for the Arab States (ROAS) adopted its strategic plan for 2022-2025 in March 2022. In the strategic plan, it is highlighted that one of the key priorities to achieve gender equality in the Arab States is the speedy acceleration of women’s employment throughout the region, which has hovered around 21% since the 1990s. UN Women is embarking on a large-scale multi-country program to surge women’s employment in 7 countries (3 in North Africa, in the Levante and 2 in the Gulf).
The initial phase of this work was concluded in May 2022. It was dedicated to the analysis of the factors behind the stagnated levels of women’s employment in the Arab States, with a focus on not only challenges but, more specifically, on distinct opportunities that could accelerate women’s employment in the region. The analysis established the need for a multi-disciplinary approach, bringing together efforts to shift social norms, reduce the burden of care work, improve laws and policies, and strategically use social and mass media to bring about these changes. The strategy has a strong emphasis on the role of the private sector, focusing on three sectors, with distinct business cases in each. Lastly, the approach seeks to guarantee sustainable finance to deliver on this agenda through a shift to gender-responsive budgeting and blended finance.
The regional programme will be implemented across several countries, with Lebanon being one of them. To this end, the UN Women Lebanon Country Office will engage national stakeholders to contextualize the programme to national priorities and local context. This will be done through national consultations and analytical work on relevant themes and economic sectors. ROAS will be engaging the services of a Business Case Consultant and Access to Finance Consultant to further advance and inform strategic planning for acceleration of women’s employment in the region, including in Lebanon. The Business Case Consultant will formulate an investment case for each of the (1) green jobs, (2) STEM, and (3) care economy sectors in the selected countries, including in Lebanon. The Access to Finance Consultant will support the development of national financing for advancing women’s employment in the four countries (including Lebanon) through identification of private sector and financial institution partners and documentation of national experience on sustainable finance interventions.
The consultant will work under the overall guidance of the Deputy Regional Director of the Regional Office for Arab States (ROAS) and report directly to the UN Women Lebanon Country Representative and the ROAS Women’s Economic Empowerment Advisor. The consultant’s role will complement the work of the ROAS hired consultants developing country level business cases towards surging women’s employment in the Arab States. Duties and Responsibilities
The objective of the assignment is to:
Support stakeholder mapping consultations and facilitate co-creation of the national women’s employment programme.
Develop the Lebanon profile on women’s economic empowerment and contribute to employment projections.
Support work on creating an enabling environment for women’s employment (policy and legal reforms and a shift in social norms)
Contribute to economic sector assessments to support women’s employment.
Support the development of a sustainable finance component to advance women’s employment.
Provide continuous technical inputs and support to the ROAS consultants who will undertake a mission to Lebanon.
Upon awarding of the contract, the consultant will meet with the UN Women ROAS and Lebanon CO team which will provide a briefing on the background and intent of the assignment. Based on this discussion and the scope of this Terms of Reference, the consultant will submit to UN Women for its review, an Inception Report that outlines the work plans, methods and structure of the expected report, including timeframes.
Desk review: In line with the objectives of the assignment, the consultant will conduct a thorough desk review of existing literature and data and provide an analysis in a desk review report which includes:
An analysis on the current state of the economy, labour market, entrepreneurship, and access to financing in Lebanon, highlighting key challenges specific to Lebanon in comparison to other countries in the region,
An analysis of the growth and employment potential for the STEM, green jobs, and care economy sectors and any other sectors with high growth potential, including identification of specific sub-sectors/value chains,
Analysis of labour force trends in various sectors of the economy identified under the analysis above, profiling participation and challenges for women’s participation in these sectors, incorporating analysis on actions needed to promote women’s participation based on women’s different backgrounds (rural, urban, levels of education) and skills (low-skilled, semi-skilled, skilled),
Mapping of key stakeholders in each sector, including an analysis of any public, private or international entities that are providing programmes, services, finance and investment in these sectors, in particular women’s participation in these sectors, identify approaches that have worked, that have not worked, and identify gaps in assistance, and
Stakeholder consultations and development of programme document on accelerating women’s employment in Lebanon:
The consultant will engage with key stakeholders including but not limited to government institutions, private sector corporations, financial institutions, cooperatives, business organizations, entrepreneurs, trade unions and syndicates, chambers of commerce and industry, think tanks, incubators/investment funds, international financial institutions, and international organizations in the sectors identified, through Key Informant Interviews and Focus Group Discussions to validate findings from the desk review and shape recommendations for a strategy to accelerate women’s economic participation. Memorandum on the meetings, that include the person met and contact information, and summary of discussions, should be attached as an annex to the report.
Technical and logistical support to ROAS consultants:
The consultant will establish communication with the ROAS consultants engaged by the UN Women Regional Office for Arab States to provide technical assistance (e.g. drafting documents, coordination with national stakeholders) in advance of and throughout their planned mission to Lebanon, including providing briefings on the Lebanon context, on deliverables, and providing recommendations on key stakeholders to meet and with scheduling these meetings. The consultant will support the ROAS consultants to arrange meetings and/or workshops with key stakeholders for their mission to Lebanon, currently scheduled in early February 2024.
Required Skills and Experience:
Education and Certification:
Master’s Degree (or equivalent) in Economics, Business Administration and Management, Social Sciences, or related field.
A first-level university degree in combination with five additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
At least 7 years of strong research background and demonstrated experience contributing to and producing high profile reports on economic empowerment and employment generation in Lebanon and the Arab Region.
Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) and spreadsheet and database packages.
Excellent and verbal written communication skills.
Experience in programme development for UN agencies or other international institutions is highly desirable.
Fluency in English and Arabic is required. French is an asset.