United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Advisor (GBV Sensitive and Survivor - Centered Journalism)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Job Description

  Timor-Leste is a Small Island Developing State, independent since 2002, making it one of the youngest democracies in the world. In only 19 years, it has taken significant steps to rebuild the nation and redefine its future, following centuries of colonization and a violent occupation that lasted 24 years, killing approximately a third of its population, and displaced almost half a million people in 1999. Timor-Leste's current population of 1.2 million people is one of the youngest in the Pacific, with 75% of whom are under 35 years old. It is the 15th youngest nation in the world.

Despite the notable efforts in state-building and economic growth (especially between 2007-2016), Timor-Leste is one of the least developed nations in the region, with 41.8% of the population living below the poverty line. Despite having a Human Development Index (HDI) of 0.625 in 2017, when weighed against the inequality factor, the HDI drops to 0.452. This inequality is predominant in rural areas - where 70% of the population is disproportionately affected by poverty, malnutrition, unemployment, and lack of access to quality education and basic infrastructure.

Inequality particularly affects women, who face discrimination within their homes and society, and across sectors of health, education, employment, and Access to Justice. Women’s labor force participation is 24.9 percent, less than half that of men at 52.5 percent.

Women and girls with disabilities, young mothers, women in vulnerable employment, such as domestic workers, and in rural areas have even greater challenges to access their rights as enshrined under the law. Although there is insufficient data to calculate the Gender Inequality Index (GII) for Timor-Leste, the 2017 female HDI value for Timor-Leste is 0.567 in contrast with 0.663 for males. In addition, the Spotlight Country Selection Proxy composite indicator and weighting (used in lieu of the GII for the region) rates Timor-Leste as 9.75, the third-highest after Papua New Guinea and Palau.

This gender inequality fuels the high levels of violence against women and girls (VAWG), which remains one of the most widespread human rights abuses in Timor-Leste. A dedicated prevalence survey in 2015 found that 59% of Timorese women (15-49 years) reported having experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. The 2016 Timor-Leste Demographic and Health Survey Domestic Violence Module showed the diversity of prevalence across municipalities, reinforcing the need for targeted interventions that are fully owned by the affected community.

Timor-Leste recognizes women’s rights as human rights and violence against women and girls as a serious and pervasive human rights violation and an extreme form of discrimination. Telling evidence is the country’s existing strong VAWG national framework, having ratified most of the core International Human Rights treaties/conventions and development frameworks, with clear articles in its Constitution dedicated to gender equality (Article 16, 17, 18, and 26). The Strategic Development Plan (SDP) 2011-2030 also addresses gender equality and women’s empowerment. In 2016, Timor-Leste ratified ILO Core Conventions No. 111 and No. 100 on gender equality and contributed to the adoption of a new International Labour Standard concerning the elimination of violence and harassment in the world of work (Convention No. 190) in June 2019.

Project Description

To address the challenges of VAWG, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations have embarked on a new multi-year programme - the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative. The Spotlight Initiative aims to support transformative change on the ground to end violence against women and girls and harmful practices, in numerous countries globally. The Initiative comes with the highest level of commitment globally and is governed by the UN Deputy Secretary-General and the Vice President of the EU Commission.

The Spotlight Initiative in Timor-Leste is implemented through five UN agencies (UN Women, UNFPA, UNDP, UNICEF, and ILO) with a focus on addressing intimate partner violence and domestic violence. In addition to the five agencies above, the Programme involves collaboration with the International Organization for Migration, the Human Rights Advisor’s Unit, and the World Health Organization.

The overall vision of the Spotlight Initiative in Timor-Leste is that women and girls enjoy their right to a life free of violence, within an inclusive and gender-equitable Timor-Leste.

The programme, aligned to the Timor-Leste "National Action Plan on Gender-based Violence (2017-2021)" will contribute to the elimination of domestic violence/ intimate partner violence (DV/IPV) by responding to the needs of women and girls and addressing the underlying causes of violence against women and girls using a multi-sectoral and intersectional approach to implement intervention on the following six outcomes areas: Pillar 1: Legislation and Policies Pillar 2: Institutional strengthening Pillar 3: Prevention of violence Pillar 4: Available, accessible, and acceptable, quality services Pillar 5: Quality and reliable data Pillar 6: Supporting women’s movements and relevant Civil Society Organizations The Programme is grounded on the core principle of leaving no one behind and reaching the furthest behind first. The interventions have been designed to target women and girls most marginalized (rural, poor, with disabilities), at higher risk of intimate partner violence, and groups that face multiple or intersecting forms of discrimination.

To ensure the effective and meaningful impact of the Spotlight Initiative in Timor-Leste, the Programme focuses on a comprehensive set of actions at the national level, alongside community-based interventions in 3 municipalities (of the country’s 13 municipalities). Based on a preliminary Analysis of needs, gaps and opportunities, from a thematic and geographic lens and consultations with various stakeholders, the Programme focuses its community-level efforts in Ermera, Viqueque, and Bobonaro municipalities.

Timor-Leste has drafted a Country Joint Programme Document, which was developed in full consultation with and participation by the Government of Timor-Leste, the European Union, CSOs, independent institutions, and other stakeholders. The document was approved in December 2019 and implementation began in January 2020.

To support the implementation of the capacity strengthening of media actors and media outlets to ensure survivor-centered reporting under Pillar 3 – Prevention of Violence, UNDP, on behalf of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative is seeking an Advisor on GBV Sensitive and Survivor-Centered Journalism to work with the Press Council in Timor-Leste.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Consultant will work together with the Press Council to enhance and institutionalize GBV survivor-centered reporting and journalism. This will be done by:
  1. Developing National Guidelines for Journalists and Reporters on Reporting on GBV/IPV/etc.
  • Undertake initial research on how journalists in Timor-Leste currently report on GBV/IPV and gender-related topics by reviewing articles/media content generated on these topics and consulting media institutions and associations (printed and online press, TV, radio). The Press Council shall suggest institutions and organize the consultations.
  • Based on the findings of the initial research and existing material, produce a situational report explaining good practices and the current limitations and challenges in reporting on GBV/IPV and gender-related topics in Timor-Leste. The report shall also make suggestions of short-, mid-, and long-term actions to remedy these limitations in consultation with the Press Council.
  • Based on the situational report, draft national guidelines for journalists and reporters on gender-sensitive reporting on GBV/IPV and other gender-related topics. The guidelines shall be as concrete and practical as possible (for example, the inclusion of a checklist or a list of Dos and Don’ts) and specific to the country’s reporting challenges as possible. The guidelines shall be developed through a participative process to ensure ownership by the Press Council and journalists and reporters in general and validation by civil society working with survivors of GBV. Extra attention should be dedicated to ensuring the guidelines do not duplicate existing internal and external material.
  1. Disseminating, raising awareness, and socializing the guidelines with relevant stakeholders
  • In concertation with the Press Council, develop a strategy and work plan to disseminate best, raise awareness and socialize the guidelines. The strategy and work plan shall not be limited to Dili and encompass the target municipalities (Ermera, Bobonaro, and Viqueque).
  • Support the Press Council in implementing the strategy and work plan as necessary, including, but not limited to, delivering conferences on the guidelines and practical workshops to go beyond the theory and support participants in implementing the guidelines in their reporting work.
  • Support the Press Council with integrating the guidelines into the existing journalist training required for accreditation.
  • Support the Press Council with establishing a monitoring framework to track and assess the implementation of the guidelines.
  1. Establishing a mechanism at the Press Council to award best practice examples and success stories on GBV/IPV/etc. Reporting, involving GBV/IPV/etc. survivors in the process (e.g., as part of the jury)
  • Undertake preliminary research on best examples or lessons learned from around the world on similar award mechanisms.
  • Based on the findings of the preliminary research and the unique context of Timor-Leste, develop a concept note on an award mechanism (including its objective, functioning, stakeholders, collection of success stories on GBV reporting, the involvement of survivors, decision-making process, sustainability, implementation process, etc.). This mechanism shall be developed in close concertation with the Press Council and civil society organizations that work with survivors of GBV and be wary of sustainability concerns.
Support the Press Council in establishing the mechanism, from initial stages to the first award edition's successful organization.


Functional / Technical Knowledge: 

  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to consolidate and convey key information from multiple sources;
  • Excellent understanding of survivor-centered GBV/IPV/etc. reporting and language;
  • Knowledge of international best practices on GBV/IPV/etc. reporting and communication;
  • Ability to coordinate with others, work as a team, as well as work independently;
  • Excellent time management and ability to produce outputs as per the agreed deadline.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s Degree in Journalism and/or Communications
Professional Experience: 

  • Minimum of 5 years relevant work experience
  • Experience in developing journalism guidelines, specifically gender-sensitive guidelines.
  • Experience reporting on gender-based violence, intimate partner violence, etc.
  • Previous experience providing trainings, workshops, and awareness-raising and developing accompanying training materials.
  • Experience working with national press institutions, media outlets, and relevant media actors.
  • Experience establishing an award mechanism for reporting considered an asset.
  • Ability to work well in a team environment and individually with limited supervision.
  • Knowledge of the Timorese context or similar development contexts, specifically in relation to the GBV/IPV/etc. is an asset
Language Skills

  • Fluent in English with excellent writing abilities;
  • Knowledge of Tetum is an asset;
  • Knowledge of Portuguese is an asset.
Interested applicants are mandatory to apply online through https://jobs.undp.org/cj_view_job.cfm?job_id=97378. Supporting documents/filled templates to be submitted along with the applications are following, and those templates can be download from https://procurement-notices.undp.org/view_notice.cfm?notice_id=75984.

  • UN P11 Form
  • Individual Contract Offerors Letter to UNDP Confirming Interest and Availability
  • Individual Contract Reference Check (at least from two referees)
  • CV
Any request for clarification must be sent in writing to procurement.staff.tp@undp.org
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