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UN Women: Chief, Governance and Participation Section

New York City

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: New York City
  • Grade: Senior Executive level - D-1, Director - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals
    • International Relations
    • Democratic Governance
    • Women's Empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming
    • Public Policy and Administration
    • Civil Society and Local governance
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: Closed


UN Women, grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security. Placing women’s rights at the center of all its efforts, UN Women leads and coordinates the United Nations System efforts to ensure that commitments on gender equality and gender mainstreaming translate into action throughout the world. It provides strong and coherent leadership in support of Member States’ priorities and efforts, building effective partnerships with civil society and other relevant actors.

The Policy, Programme, and Intergovernmental Division (PPID) provides global support to UN Women offices in all field locations and at Headquarters to deliver results in support of UN Women’s Strategic Plan 2022-2025 and internationally agreed goals on gender equality and women’s empowerment, including the Beijing Platform for Action and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  The Division provides intellectual and strategic leadership on normative support and delivery of integrated policy and programme advice, including through policy analysis and gender mainstreaming. The Division leverages innovation, knowledge management, and cutting-edge technical expertise to support UN Women’s operational work to build the capacity of partners to deliver results on gender equality and women’s empowerment at the country level and coordinate the contribution of the UN system.

The Chief, Governance and Participation Section reports to the Director, PPID and in collaboration with the other sections and offices across UN Women, is responsible for leading the Organization’s policy and programme work to ensure that women fully and equally participate in leadership and decision making; and women and girls benefit from gender responsive governance and access to rights. Key areas of work currently prioritized in the section and aligned with UN Women’s theory of change and action on Governance & Participation include: women’s political participation and leadership; governance, national planning and budgeting; human rights, access to justice and discriminatory laws and legal reform; and gender-responsive sectoral policies and institutions including health (i.e. sexual and reproductive health and rights and HIV). Lead and galvanize a team of experts to deliver on UN Women’s ambitious agenda to on governance and participation.

Duties and Responsibilities

Guide policy development and advisory efforts related to Governance and Participation in line with UN Women’s Strategic Plan:

  • Serve as a globally recognized thought leader on governance and participation, as well as provide strategic advice to the PPID Director and the rest of the organization on governance and participation.
  • Lead the review and development of global policy on Governance and Participation to enhance understanding of gender issues and dimensions, meet UN Women mandates and support its programmes and that of other partners.
  • Ensure that Member States and other partners are provided with high quality and timely policy support for the advancement of normative frameworks on gender responsive governance and participation including through leading preparation of Secretary General reports.
  • Provide policy guidance and advice to UN Women regional and country offices to develop and implement initiatives that promote gender-responsive governance and participation.
  • Introduce innovation and cutting-edge practices, drawing on feminist leadership and governance policy and practice, to enhance the development of policies and programmes.

Oversee the development and implementation of the Theory of Change and Theory of Action on Governance and Participation and Gender Equality Accelerators in the Section:

  • Oversee data collection, including relevant SDG indicators, and research on the linkages between global commitments on women’s equal participation in leadership and governance and their implementation at global, regional and national levels.
  • Oversee the roll-out and operationalization of the section’s Gender Equality Accelerators through country and regional Strategic Notes and programmes, in close coordination with the section leads, Regional Directors and Country Representatives and external partners.
  • Ensure that UN Women country and regional offices are provided with effective technical assistance and guidance on programming in alignment with the Gender Equality Accelerators and other areas of governance and participation within the scope of the work in the section.
  • Develop, test and roll out innovative tools, cutting edge practices and methodologies to establish standards and guidelines to enhance programming and management. Ensure that lessons learned are incorporated in innovation and the development of tools and materials.

Guide measurement of results and knowledge management, including for capturing of Strategic Plan results:

  • Co-lead SP Outcome 1 results management efforts to ensure that UN Women strategically plans and achieves SP results.
  • Oversee the development of knowledge and tools to ensure that UN Women staff can effectively report on results under the impact area of Governance and Participation of the Strategic Plan, and specifically undertake the lead in guiding efforts to measure and capture results under Outcome 1.
  • Oversee data validation and narrative reporting for results under Impact area on Governance and Participation and Outcome 1 and results achieved in governance and participation under other outcomes.
  • Provide substantive contributions to UN system wide efforts to improve reporting on common and complementary indicators.

Strengthen research, analysis and content development in the area of governance and participation:

  • Lead and manage the research, development and/or presentation of policy papers, practice notes/concepts, talking points and other knowledge-based tools to help influence/advance policy objectives and the growth of knowledge inside UN Women.
  • Strengthen and facilitate internal and external communities of practice on governance and participation including regular updating of online platforms (intranet, UN Women website, etc.)
  • Establish relationships with academia, research institutes, civil society and experts to expand and share knowledge, exchange views on current issues/trends and to incorporate cutting-edge thinking in UN/UNW work.
  • Develop strategic approaches to policy dialogue, resource mobilization, partnerships, and outreach.

Develop, maintain, and expand partnerships and lead advocacy initiatives to advance gender responsive governance and participation:

  • Represent UN Women in international fora and UN inter-agency coordination mechanisms to encourage greater commitment to and collaboration on the implementation of gender equality in the thematic areas within the section, including under the SG’s Call to Action on Human Rights and Our Common Agenda
  • Lead resource mobilization efforts of the Section to meet established targets and support regional and country office with their resource mobilization to support the implementation of the UN Women Strategic Plan.
  • Oversee partnership strengthening, and outreach including overseeing the development of program documents and reports, attending steering group meetings and cultivating new funding sources.

Oversee and guide UN Women’s convening of two Generation Equality Action (GEF) Coalitions:

  • Provide guidance to and supervise the thematic leads for the Action Coalition on Feminist Movements and Leadership and the Action Coalition on Bodily Autonomy and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.
  • Guide the implementation of the GEF programme, particularly in ensuring achievement of outcomes for the Action Coalitions, in close collaboration with the Generation Equality Coordination Hub.
  • Oversee the implementation of the vision of Generation Equality and the work of both Action Coalitions to ensure the localization, across UN Women Country and Regional Offices, monitoring of implementation, and capturing of the contribution of the Action Coalitions in meeting UN Women’s Strategic Plan goals.
  • Oversee accountability and results monitoring for the two Action Coalitions to ensure capture of results, lessons learned, and impact.
  • Contribute to resource mobilization for the Action Coalitions

Management of the Governance and Participation Section:

  • Manage and inspire a team of governance experts to engage on the pressing issues to move the UN Women theory of change and action on Governance & Participation forward, enhancing the capacity of the team and empowering their action.
  • Promote co-design, cross-functional teamwork and establish an inclusive working environment that is conducive to delivering common results at scale.
  • Provide guidance and  oversee the implementation of the bi-annual workplans and annual reports to ensure the delivery of quality results by the section.
  • Supervise and oversee the work of the different teams to ensure the delivery of quality results according to standards and goals established in the Section’s workplans.
  • Manage the section’s financial resources and take responsibility for the integrity of financial systems and consistent application of the internal control framework and UN Women and UN rules and regulations.
  • Oversee the development and implementation of strategic evaluation plans, ensure that management responses to all evaluations are completed and followed up, and that learning from evaluations is fed back into UN Women initiatives and operations.
  • Oversee post creation and hiring processes for staff and consultants, as well as the regular review of staff performance through work planning and PMDs and other approaches.

Key Performance Indicators:

The Section Chief impacts on success of the efforts to develop and implement the UN Women policy and programme strategies, including the PPID Strategic Note and UN Women’s Strategic Plan. The Section Chief is responsible for developing and implementing the organization policies in his/her thematic area of expertise to achieve gender equality and advancement of women.

Key performance Indicators include:

  • Timely and quality strategic advice to the PPID Director, the Executive Leadership Team and the rest of the organization;
  • Support for Gender Equality Accelerators rollout and implementation, ensure that the team provides timely and substantive advice to ROs / COs and external partners, such as communities of practice and knowledge guidance; support resource mobilization efforts and ensure that donor reports are of high quality and submitted in a timely fashion;
  • Initiatives to engage and build relationships with key partners.
  • Delivery of Action Coalition partnerships on Feminist Movements and Leadership and Bodily Autonomy and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
  • Quality of inputs provided to intergovernmental fora to help shape development of global and regional policies, norms, standards and implementation strategies, timely and quality production of reports and other normative processes.
  • Quality and timeliness of substantive guidance and knowledge products.
  • Drawing up and implementation of bi-annual work plan, as per organizational and divisional timelines.
  • Performance management, support, and staff development.


Core Values:

  • Respect for Diversity;
  • Integrity;
  • Professionalism.

Core Competencies:

  • Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues;
  • Accountability;
  • Creative Problem Solving;
  • Effective Communication;
  • Inclusive Collaboration;
  • Stakeholder Engagement;
  • Leading by Example.

Please visit this link for more information on UN Women’s Values and Competencies Framework: 

Functional Competencies:

  • Substantive knowledge and experience related to current policies and practices in Governance and Participation
  • Ability to establish and foster relationships with partners including government, UN agencies, donors and NGO partners, the private sector and international bodies;
  • Ability to conceptualize and convey strategic vision from the spectrum of development experience.
  • Strong communication and advocacy skills, with proven expertise in writing cogent and convincing policy materials.
  • Managerial competencies and supervisory and management experience, including proven strong team building and people management skills;
  • Proven analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent strategic planning, goal setting and prioritization skills;
  • Strong, proven commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master's degree (or equivalent) in development-related disciplines, gender issues, economics, public policy, law or other social science fields. 
  • A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


  • A minimum of 15 years of progressively responsible experience that combines strategic and managerial leadership in any of the following areas: social development and policy, law, political science, social/gender issues, governance and participation.
  • Experience in a large international organization or government, managing and implementing programme on gender issues. 
  • Experience in a managerial leadership position.
  • Experience in intergovernmental processes.
  • Proved experience in advocating for women’s empowerment and leadership and political participation.
  • Experience within the UN system and in developing countries would be an advantage.


  • Written and oral proficiency in English is required.
  • Knowledge of another UN working language is desirable.


All applications must include (as an attachment) the completed UN Women Personal History form (P-11) which can be downloaded from: Kindly note that the system will only allow one attachment. Applications without the completed UN Women P-11 form will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment.


In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The creation of UN Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact. It merges and builds on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system (DAW, OSAGI, INSTRAW and UNIFEM), which focused exclusively on gender equality and women's empowerment.

Diversity and inclusion:

At UN Women, we are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. UN Women recruits, employs, trains, compensates, and promotes regardless of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ability, national origin, or any other basis covered by appropriate law. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, competence, integrity and organizational need.

If you need any reasonable accommodation to support your participation in the recruitment and selection process, please include this information in your application.

UN Women has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UN Women, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to UN Women’s policies and procedures and the standards of conduct expected of UN Women personnel and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. (Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.

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