1963-2018 - 55 years of Research for Social Change

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Gender and Development Consultant

  • Closing date: 2 Jun 2019
  • Vacancy number: GD 001

The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) is an autonomous research institute within the UN system that undertakes interdisciplinary research and policy analysis on the social dimensions of contemporary development issues. Through our work, we aim to ensure that social equity, inclusion and justice are central to development thinking, policy and practice.

UNRISD seeks a researcher in the field of gender and development to undertake a consultancy assignment that will scope and establish a new strategy and programme of work in this area for the Institute. The assignment will commence on 1 July 2019 at the latest, and last for up to six months.

UNRISD has long been recognized for its high-quality research on gender and development. Its research has had significant influence on academic debates in the field, and is widely used within the UN, policy making and advocacy communities. Within the context of the institutional strategy and research agenda, “Transformations to Equity and Sustainability”, the Gender and Development Programme addresses the gendered content and impacts of economic and social policies and processes, the gendered politics of policy making, including the role of women’s movements and organizations, and gender and sustainable development.

Since a period of financial instability in 2016, UNRISD has been less able to support a fully active Gender and Development Programme. However, we now intend to relaunch this programme and are taking the opportunity to scope new developments in the field, as well as exciting and progressive areas of potential research.

The Gender and Development Consultant will join an organization committed to producing high-quality research that contributes to the realization of social equity, social inclusion and social justice in the context of sustainable development. Building on prior and ongoing research, they will lead the development of a new strategy and research programme for UNRISD on Gender and Development, identifying – through consultation with leaders in the field and UNRISD’s networks – critical areas of concern within the framework of the overall research strategy of the Institute. (Visit www.unrisd.org for further information.)

The ideal candidate will have proven experience in conceptualizing, developing and implementing research strategies and programmes, with field research experience in developing countries. They will have a record of high-quality research outputs and experience in communicating research to diverse audiences, particularly in policy communities. They should be familiar with UNRISD research, and some knowledge of the UN system would be an advantage.


Under the general supervision of the Director of UNRISD, and with the support of the Communications and Outreach Team, the Gender and Development Consultant will be responsible for the following outputs:
  • A process of consultation with gender and development experts, as well as UNRISD’s broader research network, on areas of new research to which UNRISD could make a contribution.
  • The identification of research organizations and other potential partners who are already active on the identified priorities.
  • The identification of opportunities for funding, and the development of project proposals.
  • Other tasks as assigned by the Director.

These outputs will be documented in a series of short reports for the Director, in preparation for a second phase of work that would take place in 2020.

The consultancy would suit someone who wishes to make a strategic contribution to a progressive research agenda on gender and development. The selected consultant should have a broad overview of the field of gender and development research, but need not be a specialist in any particular topic. They should have an overview of the institutions engaged in research and development, whether as producers or users, and good professional networks. The selected candidate would not necessarily need to be based in Geneva, but occasional travel to Geneva (and possibly New York) will be required.

  • Professionalism: Demonstrates professional competence as a researcher in the field of gender and development;
  • Communication: Excellent oral communication and writing skills. Ability to communicate effectively with different target audiences regarding substantive issues;
  • Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational and project goals. Builds consensus for project objectives with colleagues;
  • Leadership: Takes intellectual leadership in substantive areas of work and demonstrates good management skills;
  • Judgement/Decision-Making: Identifies critical issues for research relevant to the work of the UN; develops appropriate research methods and analyses data, drawing policy recommendations in accordance with the norms and objectives of the United Nations.


  • A Master’s Degree in social science, with a focus on gender and development. A PhD is desirable.

  • A minimum of eight years of experience in development research at an academic or research institution;
  • A proven publication record in the field of gender and development;
  • Research experience in developing countries;
  • Experience in fundraising for research projects, and in the management and supervision of projects.

  • Fluent English with proven writing and editing skills; ability to work in other UN languages highly desirable.

Terms and conditions
  • Remuneration to be discussed with the candidate based on a proposed schedule of working days, location, travel, and outputs.
  • Start date: No later than 1 July 2019
  • Duration: Up to 6 months
  • UNRISD is not responsible for medical insurance, which is mandatory if the selected candidate is to be based in Geneva.

Application process
  • If you have the required qualifications and are interested in this consultancy assignment, please apply online by clicking the button below.
  • The "Cover Letter" section should include your motivation and skills. The "Statement" section should include a discussion of how you would approach the assignment.
  • The deadline for applications is Sunday, 2 June 2019 (23:59 Central European Time).
  • Kindly note that, due to limited staff resources, only those candidates who are short-listed will be contacted.

UNRISD vacancies are posted at www.unrisd.org/vacancies. We encourage you to sign up for MyUNRISD to be informed promptly of any openings.