UN Women

Spotlight Programme Specialist

UN Women

Job Description

The European Union and the United Nations have launched the Spotlight Initiative, an ambitious and innovative multi-year global programme aimed at addressing all forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG), and harmful practices. It will follow a transformative and evidence-based approach, addressing unequal power relations between men and women and focusing on gender equality and women’s empowerment, as well as ending impunity for VAWG.

In line with the principles of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Initiative will follow a human rights-based approach and take into consideration the specific needs of women and girls who experience multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and uphold the principle of “leaving no one behind.”

The Spotlight Initiative aims to support transformative change on the ground to end violence against women and girls (EVAWG), in numerous countries globally, including Tajikistan. The initiative comes with the highest level of commitment globally and will be governed by the UN Deputy Secretary General and the Vice President of the EU Commission.

The Spotlight Tajikistan Programme will be implemented through four Recipient UN Organizations – RUNOS (UN Women, UNFPA, UNDP and UNICEF) with a focus on addressing Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV), notably violence within the family. In line with the impact expected from the Spotlight Initiative in the region, the interventions from the Spotlight Tajikistan Programme will contribute to ensuring that women and girls, particularly those most vulnerable, live a life free of violence and harmful practices.

This will be achieved through a comprehensive multi-sectoral, survivor-centred and do-no-harm approach to the implementation of interventions across the six Outcome Areas/Pillars, to bring positive and meaningful change to the lives of women and girls subject to all types of violence and harmful practices in Tajikistan, ensuring that women and girls, particularly those most vulnerable, live a life free of violence and harmful practices. These six pillars include: 1) Laws and Policies, 2) Institutional Strengthening, 3) Prevention of Violence, 4) Available, accessible, and acceptable, quality services, 5) Quality and reliable data, 6) Supporting women’s movements and relevant Civil Society Organizations.

The interventions across the six Pillars will complement each other to engage a range of actors and institutions at the national and sub-national levels, ensuring that actions at the national level are influencing change at the sub-national levels and that local actions and voices are informing decisions at the national level.

The Spotlight Tajikistan Programme aims to effect change at the individual and inter-personal level, while shifting institutional practices and social norms which are more gender equitable and supporting legal and policy improvements and enforcement of existing legislation on VAWG, in line with International Human Rights standards, accelerating Tajikistan’s achievement of SDG 5 on Gender Equality and the broader 2030 Agenda.

The programme will generate new connections and facilitate creativity in seeking solutions to difficult challenges. It will listen and build on the priorities of key stakeholders and recognize that empowerment and change must start from within. The UN system will model this change in its investment and approach to partnership, striving to ‘walk the talk’ in EVAWG and building the momentum for wider fight for equality in Tajikistan.

This post is in line with the new generation of Resident Coordinator offices, with the new skillset and competencies required to deliver on the 2030 Agenda, as well as the EU/UN Spotlight Initiative.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Programme Specialist will be part of a Coordination Team that will exercise overall responsibility for facilitating the planning and coordination of the Spotlight Tajikistan Program, monitoring and reporting on the implementation and programme results, overseeing joint programme implementation and providing Technical Support and mentoring to the implementing Agencies as needed. This role will be carried out under the guidance and direct management of an experienced Spotlight Initiative Coordinator (SI Coordinator).

This requires carrying out the work required to engage with various high-level stakeholders, the Resident Coordinator’s Office, RUNOS and the technical task-forces (on Monitoring and Evaluation, Communications and Finance and Administration), the EU Delegation technical focal point as well as other stakeholders – such as the National Multi-stakeholder Steering Committee and the Civil Society Reference Group.

The Programme Specialist will therefore need to have experience and understanding of gender equality, women's empowerment and EVAW, as well as programme implementation, coordination and communication skills.

The Programme Specialist will report directly to the SI Coordinator and, as a coordination team, they will be ultimately accountable to the UN Resident Coordinator, working closely with the Resident Coordinator’s Office (RCO) on technical issues as required. However, in the spirit of collaboration, engagement and transparency, the Coordination team will report regularly to an Oversight Committee chaired by the RC and comprised of all the Heads of RUNOs. On a daily basis the Coordination team will work in close coordination and under the technical guidance of UN Women as Technical Coherence Agency and Chair of the Tajikistan Gender Thematic Group.

Description of tasks

The Programme Specialist, working under the direction of the SI Coordinator, supports the planning, coordination and reporting of the Spotlight Initiative. This includes:

  1. Support the implementation of the Spotlight programme in Tajikistan

  • contribute to the timely coordination and management of the Spotlight Programme, notably by supporting the technical work of consolidating joint annual work plans and budgets and following-up on agreed deliverables and schedules;

  • support the regular reporting to the Spotlight Oversight Committee on programme performance and results (gathering information, preparing minutes, drafting notes);

  • support the consolidation of programme guidance, updates and information for the Steering Committee, implementing partners and other stakeholders (doing research, collecting data, organizing meetings);

  • support the effective programme implementation and achievement of programme deliverables, organizing meetings, researching global practices, recording lessons learned.

  1. Support the monitoring and reporting of the programme

  • Provide advanced administrative support and inputs in the preparation of programme work plans, budgets, and proposals on programme implementation arrangements following SI guidelines and tools;

  • Provide technical guidance to the RUNOs on routine delivery and reporting of programme supported activities and finances, notably monitoring budget preparation and compiling periodic reports;

  • contribute to the development or update of standard operating procedures, guidelines, checklists, templates and business processes in programme and project management, supporting the preparation of analytical reviews and capturing lessons learnt and main findings from the programme implementation, ensuring recommendations are recorded and disseminated.

  • coordinate the collection of information for the audit of programmes/ projects and support implementation of audit recommendations;

  • review programme data from programmes/ projects for Spotlight Initiative website;

  • identify sources, and gather and compile data and information for documents, guidelines, speeches and position papers.

  1. Support the coordination between the different UN agencies

  • support inter-agency coordination related activities by organizing meetings and events, recording results and supporting their dissemination;

  • support the facilitation of the Spotlight Implementation Hub (SI Hub) where focal points from implementing Agencies and thematic task forces will coordinate interventions and discuss and plan joint programming;

  • assist the Spotlight Coordinator in the mentoring and coaching of implementing staff as needed (preparing materials, recording results, following up on action plans);

  • support recruitment processes, as necessary.

  1. Support advocacy, knowledge building and communication efforts

  • support the implementation team in preparing briefs, policy dialogue and other documents related to the Spotlight Initiative;

  • support the organization of periodic consultations with key stakeholders, women leaders, human rights experts and UN partners to gather inputs on interventions, as necessary (including invitations, logistic arrangements, recording of results and follow-up engagement);

  • support the implementation of knowledge management strategies and methodologies under the guidance of the Spotlight Coordinator and in collaboration with the SI Hub and the relevant task forces

  • support the dissemination of knowledge products on the Spotlight programme targeting relevant stakeholders at the state, national and international levels.

  1. Support administrative and logistics efforts

  • provide administrative and logistical support to consultants engaged in the programme implementation and to the external activities of the civil society reference group;

  • provide administrative, drafting and coordination support to preparing communication, contracts, agendas, visas, hotels;

  • provide administrative support to monitoring visits;

  • provide administrative support to the resource mobilization efforts from the programme, as needed;

  • prepare assistance to draft cost-sharing and other agreements as required;

  • organize, compile and process information from donors, Spotlight initiative and programme team, as inputs to various databases and documents.

Key performance indicators

  • Timely and quality of programme delivery in line with budget, workplans and the Programme Document

  • Timely and accurate support to events, workshops, and missions

  • Full compliance of administrative activities with UN rules, regulations, policies and procedures

  • Timely support to recording of overall Spotlight Initiative finances

  • Timely and accurate tracking of data for Spotlight Initiative management and donor purposes

  • Quality maintenance of internal systems, including effective knowledge Management Systems

  • Quality reports and timely submission, including quality background and presentation materials

  • Performance of implementation team

  • Partners and other stakeholder provide positive feedback on technical services


Core Values:

  • Professionalism - demonstrated understanding of operations relevant to the Resident Coordinator Office; technical capabilities or knowledge relevant or transferrable to the UN RCO procedures and rules; discretion, political sensitivity, diplomacy and tact to deal with clients; ability to apply good judgement; ability to liaise and coordinate with a range of different actors, especially in senior positions; where appropriate, autonomy, personal initiative and ability to take ownership; resourcefulness and willingness to accept responsibilities and ability to work independently under established procedures; ability to manage information objectively, accurately and confidentially; responsive and client-oriented

  • Integrity - demonstrate the values and ethical standards of the UN and UN RCO in daily activities and behaviours while acting without consideration of personal gains; resist undue political pressure in decision-making; stand by decisions that are in the organization’s interest even if they are unpopular; take prompt action in cases of unprofessional or unethical behaviour; does not abuse power or authority;

  • Respect for Diversity - ability to operate effectively across organizational boundaries; excellent interpersonal skills; ability to establish and maintain effective partnerships and harmonious working relations in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, mixed-gender environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity; sensitivity and adaptability to culture, gender, religion, nationality and age; commitment to implementing the goal of gender equality by ensuring the equal participation and full involvement of women and men in all aspects of UN operations; ability to achieve common goals and provide guidance or training to colleagues;

Core Competencies

  • Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues

  • Accountability

  • Creative Problem Solving

  • Effective Communication

  • Inclusive Collaboration

  • Stakeholder Engagement

Functional Competencies

  • Demonstrated experience and capacity on programme implementation, monitoring and evaluation skills, with ability to research and present program performance data

  • Ability to support development of detailed operational plans, budgets

  • Knowledge of Results Based Management

  • Excellent oral and written skills

  • Accuracy and professionalism in document production and editing

  • Excellent interpersonal skills; culturally and socially sensitive; ability to work inclusively and collaboratively with a range of partners

  • Ability to work and adapt professionally and effectively in a challenging environment; ability to work effectively in a multicultural team of international and national personnel

  • Commitment to continuous learning - initiative and willingness to learn new skills and stay abreast of new developments in area of expertise; ability to adapt to changes in work environment.

  • Ability to work autonomously and with tight deadlines

Required Skills and Experience

Education and certification

  • University Degree in social sciences, gender/women’s studies, law, international development, or related field is required.

  • A project/programme management certification would be an added advantage


  • Minimum 5 years of professional experience in support of implementation, as well as support to the coordination, monitoring and evaluation of projects, preferably in international organizations;

  • Experience in Gender Equality, EVAWG or prevention and response to SGBV is a strong asset;

  • Experience of UN (interagency) coordination and liaising with government agencies and/or donors is an asset;

  • Experience working in the field of knowledge management is an asset;

  • Experience working in the UN System is an asset.

Language Requirements

  • Fluency in English and Tajik is required.

  • Fluency in Russian is an asset.


Important applicant information

All posts in the SC categories are subject to local recruitment.

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