Gender Equality & Somalia Specialist

Cowater International


Job Title: Gender Equality & Somalia Specialist

Position Type: Consultancy (up to 21 days per month)

Duration: March 2024 to February 2025

Position Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Application Deadline: 22nd February 2024

Start Date: 1st April 2024

Assignment Duration: 1 year with an option to renew.


The Field Support Services Project (FSSP) is a two-year initiative (November 2023 to October 2025) funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and implemented by Cowater International. It offers administrative, financial, procurement, and logistical support, along with technical expertise, to GAC’s development programs in Kenya, Somalia, and South Africa. The project assists GAC in procuring and managing local development initiatives in Kenya (and its accredited countries which include Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi), South Africa (and its accredited countries) and Somalia.


Canada’s vision for international assistance is rooted in its Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) that seeks to eradicate poverty and build a more peaceful, more inclusive and more prosperous world by promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls. Canada focuses on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in a manner that is both targeted and crosscutting. A targeted approach to gender equality includes a focus on initiatives that fight poverty and inequality by supporting gender equality and defending the rights of women and girls. A simultaneous crosscutting approach to gender equality means that Canada’s international assistance initiatives, across all sectors, are developed and implemented in ways that improve gender equality and empower women and girls.

Following Somalia’s decades-long civil war, which eroded government structures and further entrenched a patriarchal clan-based governance system, life for women and girls in Somalia remains extremely challenging. From high rates of gender-based violence to dismally low rates of women’s political representation, Somalia faces significant obstacles to achieving gender equality. According to the latest data from the UN, an estimated 91 percent of women aged 15 to 49 have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM), which has both short-term and long-term physiological, sexual and psychological repercussions. Gender based violence (GBV) is pervasive. Physical assault and intimate partner violence (IPV) are the most commonly experienced GBV incidents (59 percent), followed by sexual assault and rape (11 percent). Women’s representation and political participation are critical to advancing gender equality in Somalia. While Somali women and girls have long proven themselves as a driving entrepreneurial force vis a vis Somalia’s micro and small enterprises, patriarchal norms and out-dated gender stereotypes remain significant barriers to women’s full participation in Somalia’s political arena, including within key state-building and peace-building processes.

Canada is supporting gender equality and women’s empowerment in Somalia in a variety of ways, including by investing in Somali youth, as well as sectors where women’s leadership is increasingly accepted. Canada is also supporting the Federal Government of Somalia’s Ministry of Women and Human Rights with technical assistance and co-chairship of a government-led working group that regularly convenes 50-100 government, donor, UN, NGO and CSO stakeholders to enable dialogue, build synergies and develop strategies in support of gender equality and human rights advancement and protection.


Global Affairs Canada (GAC) requires the services of a Gender Equality and Somalia Technical Specialist. Cowater International is supporting the Canadian High Commission in Nairobi to recruit the Gender Equality and Somalia Technical Specialist. The Specialist will provide the Canadian High Commission in Nairobi with field level advice, technical support and policy input on matters relating to gender equality and Somalia as they relate to Canada’s international assistance programs and priorities in Somalia. Specifically, the Consultant will work closely with the High Commission’s development team.


1. Monitoring Canadian-funded international assistance programmes and projects in Somalia:

  • Build, contribute to and participate in the delivery of strategic and feminist monitoring plans based on Canada’s portfolio of international assistance in Somalia, bearing in mind costs, security risks, value for money.
  • Monitor projects in Somalia against their results frameworks, with a particular focus on gender equality-related outcomes, ensuring an emphasis on participatory, inclusive and empowering tools and approaches, using both quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis.
  • Regularly assess the risks posed and challenges faced by Canadian-funded programmes and projects that are seeking to advance gender equality directly or indirectly, and propose mitigation measures.
  • Advise GAC on best practices in maximizing gender-transformative results within Canadian-funded programmes and projects.

2. Stakeholder Engagement:

  • Collaborate with GAC staff, partner organizations, likeminded donors, local communities, and government agencies to address gender-related concerns and barriers and foster inclusive and gender-transformative responses.
  • Lead on the coordination and organization of a government-led working group on gender and human rights, which Canada co-chairs with the Ministry of Women and Human Rights Development.
  • Participate in and provide guidance on consultations and engagement sessions on key gender equality issues for Somalia, including forced and early child marriage, female genital mutilation, sexual and gender-based violence, women’s meaningful representation in Somali politics, women’s economic empowerment, women and girls’ access to sexual and reproductive services and rights, and women peace and security.
  • Identify capacity gaps and opportunities for GAC, partner organizations, local communities, and government agencies’ engagement in gender-related fora.
  • Provide advice and local expertise, including through input on country strategy documents, meeting notes, key briefings, that enables Canada to effectively engage officials across the Somali government, including by leveraging the consultant’s pre-established relationships and contacts at all levels of the Somali government (note this is not limited to gender-related topics).
  • Provide advice and local expertise on how to best navigate Somalia’s socio-cultural context in building and maintaining strong relationships with key stakeholders, including by leveraging the consultant’s pre-established relationships and contacts with likeminded donors, as well as UN, NGO and CSO representatives (note this is not limited to gender-related topics).

3. Reporting and Documentation:

  • Draft, review and/or provide input on project documents, reports, and proposals, as requested.
  • Prepare and submit regular reports, including on key gender equality issues in Somalia.
  • Maintain accurate records of key contacts, reports, and other aspects as required.
  • Draft reports on findings from project site visits.

4. Capacity Building:

  • Provide gender-equality-related training, build awareness, share best practices with GAC staff, partner organizations, local communities and government agencies.
  • Stay informed about emerging gender-related issues at the global, regional and national levels, as relevant to Canada’s engagement in Somalia, and disseminate relevant information to GAC.
  • Provide assistance and capacity building support to GAC staff, government agencies, partner organizations and local communities on risks and mitigating strategies related to the advancement of gender equality.

5. Gender Equality Innovation:

  • Identify opportunities to increase Canada’s leadership in Somalia as a gender-equality donor champion.
  • Research and propose innovative solutions for Canada to work with local and national women’s groups to involve women and girls in program design, delivery and monitoring of Canadian initiatives.
  • Identify opportunities to showcase and leverage Canada-funded activities, results and innovations.



  • Master’s Degree in Gender/Women’s studies, development, social science or a related field, or a bachelor’s degree with relevant training in gender equality or equivalent experience.

Minimum Experience:

  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in providing advice and technical support on gender equality in Somalia, previous experience working with the United Nations or a country donor is preferred.


  • Thorough understanding of Somali politics and the Somali socio-cultural context is necessary.
  • Knowledge of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, as well as Canadian tools and requirements for partners to deliver gender-equality programming.
  • Experience and knowledge of gender-related resolutions, legislation and policies at the global, regional and national (Somalia) level.
  • Knowledge and experience on key gender-related issues in Somalia, including child and early forced marriage, female genital mutilation and cutting, sexual and gender-based violence, women’s political representation, women’s economic empowerment, and women, peace and security.
  • Proficiency in feminist monitoring and evaluation, gender responsive budgeting and gender integration within project design and implementation.
  • Excellent drafting and analytical skills with demonstrative ability to draft quality reports and correspondence
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work effectively in a multicultural and multidisciplinary team.
  • Proficiency in English and Somali is required. Knowledge of Swahili or other relevant local languages is an advantage.
  • Pre-established positive relationships with relevant stakeholders, including within government, likeminded donors, partner organizations and local communities.
  • Problem-solving skills and the ability to work effectively in challenging environments.
  • Ability to travel to Somalia.
  • Strong organizational and time management abilities, as well as the ability to meet tight deadlines as required

The following skills and experience will be an asset**:**

  • Experience in conducting Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA+), in women’s empowerment projects, and/or in addressing gender inequality across the sectors addressed by the FIAP action areas;
  • Experience carrying out participatory gender-based analysis;
  • Experience collecting and formulating gender-sensitive indicators and sex-age group disaggregated data and preparing gender-based project analysis; developing gender equality action plans;
  • Demonstrated understanding of the links between sustainable development, social and gender issues;
  • Experience in designing and facilitating different types of meetings and workshops on gender equality using a variety of participatory methodologies and approaches;
  • Experience in facilitating gender responsive stakeholder meetings is highly desired

Language Requirements: Excellent English language skills, as most of the reporting will be written in English.

Working arrangements:

  • The Gender Equality &Somalia specialist will attend meetings virtually and in-person. All travel expenses will be subject to prior approval by FSSP Manager.
  • The specialist will report to the Project Manager, Field Support Services Project (FSSP) and work closely with Canadian High Commission, specifically the development team.


Interested applicants must include the following documents:

  1. CV indicating past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references.
  2. Cover Letter indicating why the Candidate considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment.
  3. Financial Proposal The financial proposal should specify an all-inclusive daily rate (including taxes, time-off benefits, all statutory contributions, social contributions, and insurance). The daily rate should consider a maximum working day of 7.5 hours.
  4. Applications must be submitted by 22nd February 2024 by 5:00 p.m. Apply here: Cowater International Career Opportunities – Cowater International subject: Gender Equality & Somalia Specialist. Any applications received after this time will not be considered.

Evaluation of Applications

The proposals that achieve a minimum of 70% in the technical desk review shall be further considered for interviews and written tests. The award of the contract shall be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

a) responsive/compliant/acceptable; and

b) having received the highest score out of set of weighted technical criteria (70% – Comprising of 15% scores of desk review, 25% written test, and 30% scores of interviews) and financial criteria (30%).

The Financial score shall be computed as a ratio of the proposal being evaluated and the lowest priced proposal received by FSSP for the assignment.

Technical Score (70%)

Financial Score (30%)

1. Based on Qualification (desk review) (15%)

2. Written test (25%)

3. Interview (30%)

NB: Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70 points (70% of the desk technical review) will be considered for the Financial Evaluation.

Cowater International is an equal opportunity employer, basing employment on merit and qualifications as they relate to professional experience and position expectations. Cowater does not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, religion, sex, gender identity, disability, age, or any other basis protected by law.

We thank all applicants, however only those shortlisted will be contacted.


With more than 35 years’ experience, Cowater International is Canada’s global leader in management consulting services specializing in international development and has managed the implementation of over 800 projects in more than 80 countries around the globe. We work with governments, partner organizations, communities and civil society to design and implement sustainable solutions that generate lasting social, financial and environmental impacts. Our adaptive approach to management has led to our award-winning work and recognition as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, Cowater International also has corporate offices in Montreal, Quebec; London, United Kingdom; Nairobi, Kenya; and Brussels, Belgium, in addition to project offices in a wide variety of other locations across Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

We thank you for your interest in building a better tomorrow with Cowater International.

How to apply

Cowater International Career Opportunities – Cowater International

Deadline: 22 Feb 2024

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