Conflict Analysis is being conducted by diverse peace and development actors using different analytical frameworks and tools. Yet, these analyses do not integrate the gender dynamics of the conflict. Additionally, peace and development actors do not conduct the analyses jointly to facilitate joint planning and programming, UN mission mandate renewals, and national planning, among others. Integrating gender into conflict analysis does not only enhance the inclusiveness and effectiveness of peacebuilding interventions but also deepens the understanding of the underlying gender power relations and how they in turn influence and are affected by conflict and peacebuilding. The resolutions on sustaining peace (S/RES/2282 and A/RES/70/262) offer a comprehensive approach to peacebuilding that prioritizes supporting capacities for peace across the conflict cycle. These resolutions also recognize the importance of joint analysis and effective strategic planning across the United Nations system in its long-term engagement in conflict-affected countries while underscoring the importance of inclusivity of women, youth and CSOs as critical in all conflict resolution, prevention, and peacebuilding efforts. The ongoing reforms of the UN Development System and the UN Peace and Security Architecture call for shared analysis, collective outcome, and common strategic planning. These reforms open strategic opportunities to accelerate the implementation of Women, Peace, and Security agenda as the quality of these processes directly depends on the inclusivity and engagement of various partners and beneficiaries, therefore integrating gender into the analysis will increase the quality, credibility and sustainability of the initiative. Afghanistan has emerged as one of the world’s most Complex Emergencies. The current conflict dynamics are multi-layered and must be seen within the context of decades of hostilities. Despite some of the highest levels of aid given to any country over the past 15 years, the development and security situation in Afghanistan has continued to deteriorate. In August 2017, the UN Secretary-General declared that “Afghanistan is not in a post-conflict situation, where sufficient stability exists to focus on institution-building and development-oriented activities, but a country undergoing a conflict that shows few signs of abating.” The emergence of the Islamic State of Khorasan Province, the Afghan branch of the Islamic State, has added a new and dangerous dimension to an already complex situation. Afghanistan’s total population is approximately 36 million, with 64% of the population aged under 25 years. Major ethnic groups include the Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara and Uzbek. Economic growth was at 1.8 percent in 2018, reflecting the impacts of severe drought and intensifying insecurity. According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), in 2019 there were 10,392 civilian casualties. This is the sixth year in a row where the number of civilian casualties has exceeded 10,000. While the overall number decreased by 5% from 2018, the number of women and children increased by 4%. Civilian casualties attributed specifically to the Taliban reached the highest levels UNAMA had ever recorded in a single year (47%). The surge in returns by an estimated 2.5 million documented and undocumented Afghan refugees during 2016-2019 remains a pressure on the country’s institutions and economy. Internal displacement, large-scale return within a difficult economic and security context pose risks to welfare for the displaced and host communities, putting pressure on service delivery systems and increasing competition for already scarce public services and economic opportunities. In Afghanistan, income levels are lower than other South Asian countries, a contributory factor being decades of protracted conflict. The intersection of ongoing conflict, lack of Access to Services, poorly organized formal and informal economy, limited infrastructure and private sector investment, and increased unemployment continues to have a negative impact on Afghanistan’s economic growth. School attendance and completion rates have shown modest improvements in recent years, but still many young people remain outside the education system or drop out during the prime age for education and training. Gender inequality exacerbates these realities and impacts the potential of economic growth in Afghanistan. At the secondary and tertiary levels, there are large disparities between young men and women. Only 29 percent of women are economically active. Young women of working age also face distinct challenges around early and forced marriage, impacting the future of their rights to education and economic opportunity, as well as their ability to actively contribute to Afghanistan’s socio-economic development and civic life, due to high lifetime fertility and mounting population pressure. The impact of extreme environmental conditions, including those caused and exacerbated by Climate Change – such as the severe drought of 2018 and massive flooding in early 2019 – has also constrained the Agriculture sector, while the insurgency has disrupted basic service delivery, especially to rural and remote areas. These wide-ranging and pervasive challenges affect the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across the country, by all actors, including the United Nations. Overall, the existing gender inequalities in Afghanistan that are caused or compounded by the ongoing intersection of armed conflict and humanitarian crisis only threaten to worsen amidst Covid-19. In the latest report to the Security Council, the Secretary-General highlighted the continued impact of the conflict on women, with women and children comprising 42 percent of civilian casualties. And, despite data and lack of reporting, the prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence, including related to the conflict remains a pressing concern with “chronic instability, gender inequality, displacement, inadequate services, access constraints and discriminatory practices” fueling under-reporting of conflict-related sexual violence in Afghanistan. The United Nations continues to document cases of sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls committed by parties to the conflict. Finally, displacement of women rights defenders due to conflict and Taliban attacks, as well as continued coordinated attacks and targeted killings of women leaders and rights defenders demonstrate the harsh context in which women undertake central rights work at great risk to their own lives. These and other trends, as set out in the previous two gender alerts, all threaten to worsen amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 also arrives during critical political junctures, including the prospect of an intra-Afghan dialogue after the signing of a peace agreement between the Taliban and the United States in February. As progress hastens, including with the appointment of a negotiating team by the Government of Afghanistan, COVID-19 has also sparked worldwide calls for a ceasefire to support collective responses and solidarity to combat the virus. Today, as in the past, Afghan women leaders, activists, and civil society representatives continue to consistently and courageously advocate for their voices to be heard, their priorities to be addressed, and their agency to be recognized through inclusion and meaningful participation in processes aimed at achieving peace and stability in Afghanistan. The impact of COVID-19 on their ability to continue to influence peace and security processes, including pandemic responses, is essential to ensuring that those processes and responses protect the rights of women and respond to their evolving needs. As part of a transition planning exercise in Afghanistan initiated by the Secretary-General’s Executive Committee, UN Women is leading the UN system in Afghanistan, in partnership with the Gender Advisory Unit in UNAMA to strategically analyze and assess the position of the United Nations and partners to mainstream gender and promote women’s participation in the response. An expert consultant is required to convene and execute analysis processes in Afghanistan utilizing methodology that UN Women has developed alongside its partners as part of a joint gender-responsive conflict analysis initiative.Apply Now
Duties and ResponsibilitiesGender Responsive Conflict Analysis for UN-Planning Exercise Objective: Produce a gender-sensitive conflict analysis for the UNCT and Mission in Afghanistan to inform joint planning. Process & Preparation Deliverables
- Produce an inception report (3 to 5 pages) outlining methodology and steps to be undertaken. (3 days) home-based.
- Carry out desk-based gender-responsive conflict and peace analyses on Afghanistan (8 to 12 pages) (21 days) home-based
- Support the organization and lead the facilitation of consultation processes in Afghanistan (in coordination with the RC Office), bringing together UNCT members, civil society, women, youth, and government stakeholders (including field missions as necessary and feasible). (25 days) Kabul based
- Develop a facilitators guide, including visual materials, for the consultation process that can be replicated in later processes. (4 days) Kabul based
- Finalize gendered conflict profile and report (including, e.g., political, economic, socio-cultural context, and key issues) of Afghanistan to inform UN and national planning processes. (6 days) home-based
- Produce a final analytical assignment report (5 to 10 pages) outlining key lessons learned, good practices, stakeholder analysis, recommendations for next steps and specific aspects to be included in upcoming projects and initiatives. (2 days).home-based
- Respect for Diversity
- Excellent program formulation, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation skills
- Ability to develop detailed operational plans, budgets, and deliver on them
- Excellent knowledge of Results-based Management
- Strong writing skills and ability to synthesize program performance data and produce analytical reports to inform management and strategic decision-making
- Strong organization skills and the ability to pay close attention to detail;
- Strong policy analysis experience and knowledge of WPS;
- Ability to lead the formulation of strategies and their implementation
- Strong networking skills
Required Skills and ExperienceEducation and certification:
- Master’s degree or equivalent in conflict prevention and peacebuilding programming, gender/women's studies, international development, or a related field is required
- At least 10 years progressively responsible experience in conflict prevention and peacebuilding programming, training, and analysis with significant experience mainstreaming gender into analysis and planning processes.
- Experience working in the UN and multilateral organizations in conflict and post-conflict contexts.
- Experience working with multiple partners within the UN Country Team.
- Experience developing and monitoring programs funded by the Peacebuilding Fund highly desirable.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English. Additional official UN language considered an asset.
- Ability to work independently and deliver on tight timelines.
- Outstanding partnership skills, particularly with civil society and government stakeholders.
- Fluency in English is required
- Knowledge of Dari and/or Pashto language is an asset.