International Consultant to conduct Gender and Diversity Analysis, Pakistan Country Office

Contract Type: Consultancy
Closing date: 29 October 2020 - 8:00am(New York time)
Duty station: Islamabad

Duration: 42 days spread over 3 months. 

Hiring Office: Islamabad, Pakistan

Location: Consultations will be based in Islamabad with travel to provinces (Sindh and Baluchistan) and Gilgit Baltistan as needed.

Closing date: 29 October 2020 (5 pm Islamabad time which is 8 am New York time)


Purpose of consultancy:

Conduct a gender and diversity analysis, including in-depth analysis of existing social, cultural, economic, environmental, institutional and political structures, as well as gender and social barriers to Sexual and Reproductive Health services and their influence on the target beneficiaries (both direct and indirect) of the Healthy Families/Sihat Mand Khaandaan (SMK) project

Consultations will be based in Islamabad with travel to provinces (Sindh and Baluchistan) and Gilgit Baltistan as needed.

The Consultant will work closely with UNFPA to complete the required tasks.

The consultant will report directly to the Technical Advisor, Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.

Expected travel:    Travel may be included to provinces (Sindh and Baluchistan) and Gilgit Baltistan.


Pakistan is signatory to international agreements on improving reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child health (RMNCH), including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ICPD Programme of Action and Family Planning 2020 (FP2020). While efforts have been made toward keeping up with global commitments, Pakistan lags behind most countries in the region. According to the Pakistan Demographic Health Survey (PDHS) 2017-18, contraceptive prevalence rate for modern methods is 25%, significantly lower than other South Asian and Muslim-majority countries. Contraceptives discontinuation rate is high (approximately 30%), largely due to method failure and concerns about side effects on the use of contraceptives. Other barriers to contraceptive use include physical distances from delivery points, costs, social barriers, poor quality of services and infrastructure, and associated misperceptions. 

About two thirds of the population is under the age of 30, with a median age of 22, one of the lowest in the world. Pakistan is therefore experiencing a significant demographic transition, often referred to as a “youth bulge. While the proportion of deliveries taking place in health facilities has increased from about 48% in 2013 to 66% in 2017, the Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) as of 2019 is 186 per 100,000 live births, with wide variation between provinces, ranging from 157 per 100,000 live births in Punjab to 298 per 100,000 live births in Balochistan. Lack of recognition of the important role family planning (FP) plays in lowering infant and maternal mortality has delayed progress on MMR. As well, currently adolescents and youth face challenges in crucial areas, such as lack of education and employment opportunities and poor access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information and services. Young couples are mostly neglected from the design and implementation of FP programs and services.

A qualitative gender assessment carried out by AKF with funding from Global Affairs Canada (GAC) Central Asia Health Systems Strengthening Project (2018) found that social barriers are particularly acute for adolescent girls and young women. Recent evidence from a study using the Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement Survey indicates that a woman’s ability to make decisions has a significant positive correlation with the utilization of reproductive health care services including FP services. Compounding the problem, domestic violence is high. More than one third (34%) of ever married women have ever experienced spousal violence, whether physical, sexual, or emotional. Only three in ten ever-married women who have experienced physical or sexual violence sought help to stop the violence. This highlights a need to take into account underlying issues of women’s disempowerment at the household and societal level and include young women and men as a key focus for behavior change interventions. A reduction in unmet need, along with addressing social and gender barriers to utilization of FP/SRH services would empower women and girls and reduce maternal morbidity and mortality.

In this context, with funding from GAC, UNFPA and Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) have started the implementation of the Healthy Families/“Sihat Mand Khandan” (SMK) Project. The overall aim of the project is to support Pakistan achieve universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services, including for FP, information and education (SDG 3.7).  This aim aligns closely with Government of Pakistan commitments to FP2020 – most crucially to dramatically improve contraceptive prevalence rate – and the SDGs, centered on SDG 3.7 but also supporting SDG 5, to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Within this larger framework, UNFPA will lead efforts to ensure that national and provincial policies provide the enabling environment for inclusive, gender-sensitive FP and sexual and reproductive health. 

UNFPA in Pakistan prioritizes and supports data generation and analysis on women’s access to health/reproductive health care, women’s education attainment, economic participation, access to resources, community life and decision-making, as well as gender-based violence. In the context of its mandate and aligned to the deliverables under the SMK project, UNFPA is seeking services of individual consultants (one lead international consultant and national consultant) to conduct a gender and diversity analysis with the aim to broaden the focus and give attention to equality issues such as limited access to SRH services, social/cultural barriers to realizing reproductive rights, child marriage, nutrition of women and girls, institutional and policy dimensions versus a merely medical approach to SRH that can only partly address complex problems surrounding access to and use of SRH services.


Use available technical resources and adopt/adapt a tool for gender and diversity analysis (e.g., Government of Canada Policy on Gender Equality, Gender Based Analysis Guidelines, Harvard Analytical Framework (also known as Gender Roles Framework), UNFPA’s Culture Lens Source/Culture Matters, the 10 Key Questions Tool) to:
•    analyze existing social, cultural, economic, environmental, institutional and political structures and their influence on the target beneficiaries (both direct and indirect) of the SMK project;
•    gain an in-depth understanding of gender relations (who does what work), and who has access to, and control over, resources based on the 2017-18 PDHS, Punjab Economic and Social Well-Being Survey and other sources of data;
•    gain an in-depth understanding of reproductive, productive and community roles, as well as women’s practical needs and strategic interests, identifying opportunities to support both;
•    analyze the relationship between the SMK interventions and other actions and organizations at the community, provincial and federal levels, including opportunities for change and existing entry points based on consultations with federal and provincial government stakeholders, civils society/community constituents, development partners and donors;
•    analyze social, economic, legal, political, and cultural barriers to Sexual and Reproductive Health services based on literature review;
•    analyze the SMK project strategies and interventions concerned with engaging women, men, girls and boys in developing solutions to gender and social barriers to utilization and uptake of SRH services in the project target areas (Sindh, Baluchistan, Gilgal Baltistan and Swat district in KP);
•    analyze specific ways for encouraging and enabling women and girls (as well as transgender persons and persons with disabilities) to participate in the project oversight and further prioritization.
•    analyze the differential impact of the SMK Project on women, men, boys and girls, and identify subsequent issues to be addressed, and identify potential risks;
•    develop a context/project-specific gender checklist and action plan based on findings and recommendations of the gender and diversity analysis.

The assignment is expected to involve desk research, review and analysis of key documents including programme documents, and consultation/interview with relevant federal and provincial gender machineries and other relevant stakeholders including government, civil society, UN and communities/beneficiaries of concern. The consultants will be responsible to create a gender and diversity analysis tool, use this tool to analyze the potential for equity impact of policies and programs and create a monitoring plan for following up on the recommendations associated with the gender and diversity analysis.



    Advanced university degree in Public Health, Social Sciences, Development/Gender Studies or related field. 

Knowledge and Experience:

•    At least 10 years of experience conducting gender assessments and gender related research; understanding of and familiarity with gender and diversity analysis is required.
•    Excellent research and report writing skills as identified by published outputs.
•    Experience on impact assessments and impact evaluations using gender transformative lens highly desirable. 
•    Ability to work in a team.
•    Effective communications skills and steer conversations with relevant stakeholders. 


 Fluency in English is required: Working knowledge of other UN languages is desirable.

The applicant (lead consultant) is expected to submit a technical concept note (not more than three pages) and financial proposal together with application. The lead consultant will be working with a local consultant as a team. The overall responsibility for the deliverables will lie with the lead consultant.

Consultant will work remotely and in-person as and if needed. Consultants will use their own technology. Transport cost and DSA will be provided by UNFPA separately when the consultants are on travel. Travel needs to be security cleared and approved by UNFPA. 

Applicants with the required qualifications and experience should submit a written cover letter of application, a copy of curriculum vitae (CV), relevant education certificates and the names and contact information of three references to the following email address and clearly mentioning the consultancy title as the subject of the email BY CLOSING DATE OF 29 October 2020.
Note: The International consultancy is OPEN to International only. Furthermore, only those candidates who meet all qualifications and experience will be contacted for further consideration


We are no longer accepting applications for this position.

Population : 220.9 mil
Fertility rate
Maternal Mortality Ratio
Contraceptives prevalence rate
Population aged 10-24
Youth secondary school enrollment
Boys 40%
Girls 34%

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