M&E and Gender Specialist – SDG Acceleration Fund

Full Time

United Nations Development Programme

As a way of operationalizing the recommendations of the 2016 Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR) of the UN system operational activities, the Government of Malawi and the United Nations Development System (UNDS) have established the Malawi SDG Acceleration Fund (onwards the Fund). Considering the UNDS Reform note of 31st May 2018, this emphasizes adequate, predictable and sustainable funding to be made available for a coherent, effective, efficient and accountable response in accordance with national needs and priorities. The Fund aims at improving the quality of non-core resources which would help the UN system support the Government of Malawi to achieve the SDGs.

The Fund’s theory of change is based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF), which is the strategic plan for the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) contributing to the Malawi Government’s national development priorities for the period 2019-2023. The UNSDCF formulation process was consultative with Government (both at central and local levels), development partners, civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations involved at all stages. The UNSDCF is evidence-based and drew on the country’s needs and the UN’s comparative advantage, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable and hard to reach populations.

The UNSDCF incorporates the goals and principles that underpin Agenda 2030 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that lie at its heart. It further guides the UN Agency programmes ensuring coherence and represents a strong collaborative link with the Government of Malawi’s development strategy expressed in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) III.

The three pillars, identified as the UN’s response to the MGDS III are:

  • Peace, Inclusion and Effective Institutions;
  • Population Management and Inclusive Human Development; and
  • Inclusive and Resilient Growth.

The objective of the Fund is to support the achievement of results consistent with the current and any future UNSDCF. It supports coherent resource mobilization, allocation and disbursement to under-funded cross-sectoral areas where the UN has a comparative advantage in implementing together.

The main focus of the Fund is the mobilization, financing coordination and co-financing of catalytic interventions in support of the SDGs. By catalytic is understood to be investments that aim at supporting strategic UNSDCF components, to fill strategic financial gaps when there are no other resources available, that unlock or allow key investments for SDGs, and /or financial resources that support innovative or high-risk approaches that other partners cannot support. The Fund supports partnerships and communications among all stakeholders involved in Malawi’s development initiatives led by the Government of Malawi. The initial duration of the Fund is five years – from December 2018 to December 2023.

The Fund is overseen by a Steering Committee, co-chaired by the Government’s Secretary to the Treasure and the United Nations Resident Coordinator. The Steering Committee defines the priorities of the Fund, depending on needs related to the SDGs agenda.

A Secretariat will be established, under the auspices of UNDP as per endorsement by the project steering committee, to facilitate the management of the Fund, entailing the following main tasks: 1) Advise the Steering Committee and the Operational Committee whenever on determining strategic priorities and program/financial allocations; 2) Follow up the formulation and development of programmes/projects, providing feedback to proponent organizations in order to ensure consistency, quality and risk management, and supervising the application of Fund’s cross-cutting approaches before they are circulated to the Operational Committee; 3) Organize or facilitate calls for proposals and appraisal processes; 4) Monitor the balance of funding between Windows and report to the Steering Committee; 5) Consolidate monitoring and evaluating information from approved programmes/projects, and periodically inform Fund stakeholders of progress in the implementation; 6) Carry out the Fund’s knowledge analysis and management, including knowledge systematization, collection of good practices, lessons learned and proposed recommendations; 7) Support resource mobilization activities; and 8) fulfilling the secretariat function to the Steering Committee.

The Secretariat falls under the supervision of the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Malawi and it sits in the RCO.

Duties and Responsibilities
Under the lead and supervision of the Coordinator of the Funds’ Secretariat, the M&E and Gender Specialist will be responsible for leading the Fund’s Gender equality strategy, supporting monitoring and evaluation of projects, and for designing and implementing a knowledge management strategy focused on gender.


The Fund will prioritize interventions that include cross-cutting approaches that empower women and youth. These approaches will be incorporated and evaluated in each Programme according to the characteristics of each intervention. In the framework of the M&E strategy of the Fund, the Specialist must:

  • Provide GE guidance during the development and implementation of programmes or pro-jects.
  • Provide GE support to inform the proponents and implementing organizations on programming consistency, quality, and appropriate risk management as it relates to gender inequalities and prejudice
  • Oversee the Fund`s approach to addressing cross-cutting themes and how these relate to addressing gender equality.
  • Support analyze and consolidate monitoring and evaluating information from approved programmes/projects, to be included in the Fund reporting mechanisms.
  • Liaise with M&E Officers of approved programmes on the M&E strategy of the Fund, to ensure that gender equality considerations are being addressed by the implementors.

Gender Equality Strategy:

Based on the programmatic alignment of the Fund with the UNSDCF, all projects supported through Fund report to the results and objectives established there as framework. Specifically, the Fund will seek to allocate at least 30 percent of the funds to projects or activities that promote women’s participation and empowerment, as well as gender equality. In the same way, the Fund will guarantee the follow-up to the incorporation of the gender approach throughout the implementation of the projects as established in the Gender Marker. In the framework of this strategy the Specialist must:

  • Guarantee that the Fund prioritizes interventions that include cross-cutting approaches that foster women’s participation and gender approach.
  • Guarantee that the projects financed by the Fund will include a cross-cutting commitment of strengthening women’s rights and participation. This approach will be overseen in the projects in accordance with the characteristics of each intervention.
  • Liaise and seek for technical advice from UN Women and other UN agencies as required, Check that interventions are developed in a participatory manner, recognizing the needs of the communities from a population perspective that strengthens the role of women, in-creasing the levels and quality of women’s participation and decision-making to empower them to exercise their agency.
  • Ensure the incorporation of gender equality and women’s rights approach in projects, including the monitoring of the effective implementation of the gender marker by the implementing entities.
  • Prepare gender equality analysis aiming at improving and promoting gender equality and participation of women in the Fund’s projects and processes.
  • Ensure that GE lessons learned, good practices and proven innovations that have been implemented by the Fund’s projects are identified, systematized, documented and socialized through innovative knowledge methodologies and products

Required Skills and Experience

  • Required: BA in Political Science, Social Sciences or subjects related to International Development Economy, Communications,
  • Required: Advanced Studies and/or MA in areas related to Gender Equality or Social Justice
  • At least 4years of relevant experience in gender studies and/or program and project analysis for international organizations and/or national institutions and/or CSOs for BA holders;
  • At least 2 years of relevant experience in gender studies and/or program and project analysis for international organizations and/or national institutions and/or CSOs for MA holders;
  • Experience with programme/project monitoring, analysis, or evaluation (planning, implementing, monitoring and reporting)
  • Experience in the usage of computers, office software packages, and handling of web-based management systems.
  • Fluency in spoken and written English with strong ability to prepare top-quality oral and written presentations

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