International Consultant: Regional Spotlight Programme Coordination & FGM Policy & Advocacy Specialist, AUC-DHHASD

Contract Type: Consultancy
Closing date: 11 May 2021 - 5:00pm(Johannesburg time)
Duty station: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Purpose of the Consultancy:

The Spotlight Initiative Africa Regional Programme (SIARP) formally started in October 2020 at a high level inception meeting co-chaired by SRSG-AU and the AU Commissioner for Social Affairs. In the joint programme architecture, UNFPA leads overall programmatic coordination (managed by UNFPA ESARO) and also leads the FGM component under Stream 2 (managed by the FGM Joint Programme team, Gender and Human Rights Branch).


During the programme negotiation process between the UN, AU and EU, which came after the workplan and budget development, the AU identified the Department of Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development (DHHASD) - previously known as Department of Social Affairs - as the focal department leading the AUC’s engagement in the programme under the leadership of the Commissioner of Social Affairs. DHHASD is also the focal department for engagement in Stream 2 which covers Child Marriage and FGM.


In the first 6 months of the SIARP, it has become clear that AUC-DHHASD requires additional capacity to fulfil its dual role as focal point for programme coordination and FGM. This has been formally communicated to the UNFPA Executive Director by the AU Commissioner for Social Affairs.  Due to limited funds, a single consultant will cover both the programme coordination and FGM policy and advocacy support functions. The delivery of the Child Marriage and Stream 1 components already benefit from the additional capacity funded by the SIARP.


Within the broader scope of efforts to eliminate gender-based violence, address gender inequalities and empower girls and women – ending the practice of female genital mutilation is an urgent priority for the African Union. The continent boasts an increasingly young population and is anticipating reaping associated demographic dividends. However, millions of young girls are at risk of being subjected to this harmful practice. Estimates suggest that more than 50 million girls would undergo female genital mutilation by 2030 in Africa if current trends are not reversed. Recent studies also suggest that the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic will add million further to this estimate, causing further stress to ongoing efforts. With stronger accountability, Africa can be on a path where girls and women are empowered to realize their full potential.

With the commencement of the SIARP – a highly political and visible programme led by the office of the SG, where UNFPA is receiving about $100 million from the European Union and has committed to deliver sound results. Ensuring timely delivery of the FGM activities under the SIARP requires close coordination with and substantial engagement from the AUC-DSA. Alongside the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation: Accelerating Change, this role will respond to the need for support by the African Union Commission to strategically position Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the implementation of Africa’s Transformative Agenda 2063 on the “Africa We Want”, as well as other key strategies and initiatives, including the African Union Campaign to End Early Child Marriage. With such a consultancy, the FGM programme of the Spotlight Initiative will get full support of AUC due to provision of extra human resources by UNFPA.

Scope of Work:

This consultancy responds to a need for additional programmatic and technical capacity within the AUC-DHHASD to fulfil their leadership role on behalf of the AUC in the implementation of the SIARPO. The role provides direct support to the African Union Commission (AUC) on the implementation of its agenda to eliminate Gender Based Violence, including harmful practices. With the support of UNFPA, this role’s previous placement brought about a successful International Conference in 2018, which led to the launching of the AU Saleema Initiative on Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation; 2 strong Heads of State and Government Decisions (resolutions); 2 Head of State Reports on action to eliminate FGM on the continent delivered to the AU Summits in 2020 and 2021; and subsequently, a 5-year strategy of the Saleema Initiative. With this role in place, the AUC-DHHASD Department was able engage more consistently and provide greater policy clarity and guidance to its Member States to end GBV and harmful practices. In this way, the proposed consultancy will make a critical contribution to the achievement of the SIARP’s overall objectives.

Furthermore, this role was important in facilitating the development and signing of the Spotlight Initiative Africa Regional Programme, representing the AUC in the development of joint workplans and budgets and working closely with the UNFPA SIARP coordination team to move the programme forward. The reintroduction of this role will support the successful implementation of the acceleration workplans and ensure smooth coordination between the DHHASD and the UNFPA-PCU which is the main coordination point at the programmatic level.

  • Fast track and support the implementation of the Spotlight Initiative Africa Regional Programme results within the AUC, where there is clearly a human resource capacity deficiency, particularly on Gender within the HHASD Department.
  • Strengthen the agenda and work of AUC HHASD Department on harmful practices, bringing about consistent action from the regional body to accelerate elimination of FGM across the continent. This contributes to addressing the ICPD unfinished business and on UNFPA’s transformative results areas, particularly on ending gender-based violence and all harmful practices, including child marriage and female genital mutilation. 
  • Work towards strengthening the role and capacity of the AUC HHASD Department to advance continental action on eliminating GBV and harmful practices, leading to well-resourced mandate and agenda by the regional organization, which also reflects stronger results and resilience of UNFPA on the continent.
  • Be the programmatic coordination point for the UNFPA SIARP coordinator and support the organization of all joint meetings and events between the AUC and the UN.

The role will continue to service the areas below, coordinating closely with SIARP Team (HQ and ESARO) as well as the UNFPA-UNCIEF Joint Programme on FGM team based in Addis Ababa.  

These areas will include:

A.    Outcome 1 -  Support to the Africa Union:

  • Support the implementation and popularization of the African Union’s Saleema Initiative on Eliminating Female Genital Mutilation 5-year strategy, and mobilize support, partners, implementation and accountability at regional and Member States level.
  • Support the Harmful Practices Accountability Framework process and facilitate engagement of all key AU human rights organs in the process, including the Africa Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC), the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR), the African Court on Human and People’s Rights, the Pan-African Parliament among others

B.     Outcome 2 - Data and Research:

  • Support the use of data and evidence to strengthen policy and political action by the AU, with the installation of a databank on Female Genital Mutilation, engaging Member States to institutionalize an information, data and evidence sharing process as a critical first step.

C.   Outcome 3:  CSOs Engagement:

  • Support the implementation of the regional CSOs movement of AU to eliminate Female Genital Mutilation in collaboration with the Gender and GBV Technical Specialist and FGM Team in Addis Ababa.

D.   Perform any other related assignment as requested by respective supervisors.


Contract Duration and Location of Services to be Delivered:

  • 24 May 2021 –  23 April 2022 (11 months).
  • The consultant will be based at the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa.

Monitoring/Progress Control and Supervisory Arrangements:

  • A monthly report of completed and planned activities will be submitted to the Head of Social Welfare, DSA, the UNFPA Spotlight Programme Coordinator and the Global FGM Joint Programme Coordinator. All three parties must clear the report before payment is made.
  • A quarterly planning meeting of all three supervisors and the consultant to agree on work priorities will be scheduled every 3 months.

Supervisory Arrangements:

  • The work of the consultant will be managed on a day-to-day basis by the Head of Social Welfare, DSA, AUC. 
  • The UNFPA Spotlight Programme Coordinator and Global FGM Joint Programme Coordinator will meet with the consultant monthly to review work progress as well as requesting brief quarterly performance updates from the Head of Social Welfare, DSA.

Qualifications and Experience:



  • Post-graduate university degree in gender, public health, or other related social science field.

Knowledge and Experience:

  • Minimum of 10 years of relevant professional experience in programme focusing on social sciences, particularly gender issues. A focus on Female Genital Mutilation is an asset.
  • Strong experience in programme and/or technical assistance with the UN System and the AUC.
  • Experience of coordinating engagement with the UN across multiple agencies on behalf of the AU.
  • Field experience in programmes on Female Genital Mutilation and other related areas is an asset.
  • Experience in coordination and organizing advocacy initiatives at different levels.
  • Strong interpersonal, communications and negotiation skills.


  • Fluency in written and spoken English is a requirement.
  • Fluency in one (1) or more UN languages is an asset.

How to Apply:

  • The deadline for applications is 11 May 2021, 5pm South African time.
  • Submit your application with a detailed Curriculum Vitae (CV) and motivational letter to:
  • Please specify in the email subject “International Consultant- Spotlight Coordinator”. 
  • UNFPA will only respond to those applicants in whom the Regional Office has further interest. In the event that UNFPA does not contact you by 31 May 2021, please consider your application unsuccessful..


  • UNFPA does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, processing, training) or other fee, or request information on applicants’ bank accounts.

We are no longer accepting applications for this position.

Population : 117.9 mil
Fertility rate
Maternal Mortality Ratio
Contraceptives prevalence rate
Population aged 10-24
Youth secondary school enrollment
Boys 53%
Girls 0.91%

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