Research and Data Specialist

UN Women - United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

New York, United States

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provide substantive support for the development and implementation of UN Women’s research and data strategy, with a particular focus on influencing normative processes;
  • Implement the research and data strategy by amongst others consulting with key stakeholders within and outside of UN Women, preparing reports for inter-governmental bodies (e.g. Secretary General Reports for CSW, World Survey report), mapping existing work on gender research and data, etc.;
  • Provide substantive leadership in the research design (at the country level), content development and writing of Gender Equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in collaboration with the Section Chief and the statistics team;
  • Provide substantive and analytical support for UN Women’s preparation and positioning to advance the global normative framework on gender equality and women’s rights, including the preparation of reports (e.g. for intergovernmental bodies), position papers and policy briefs;
  • Develop and maintain strategic research and data partnerships, including with UN Women regional and country offices, other UN agencies, regional commissions, global development research institutes, leading global thinkers on development, civil society among others;
  • Provide substantive support to the coordination of preparations for normative processes, including preparation of Secretary General (SG) report for Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), and preparations for the High Level Political Forum, with internal and external stakeholders;
  • Lead preparation for processes such as an Expert Group Meetings, consultations and advisory group meetings to identity research and policy priorities and gaps;
  • Expand R&D’s research networks in countries in the Global South, particularly through the commissioning and coordination of country-level research on localization of the 2030 agenda;
  • Strengthen R&D’s partnerships with research institutions and sections across the UN system though concrete collaboration on areas of the 2030 agenda where interests overlap (Unicef/Innocenti, UNRISD; ILO; etc.);
  • Convene groups of key thinkers on gender to input, advise and steer UN Women’s research and data agenda;
  • Manage research, and data and policy analysis, in collaboration with Policy Division thematic sections and UN Women regional and country offices, on key areas for gender equality and women’s empowerment, including emerging and cross-cutting issues;
  • Identify and carry out pieces of research, data and policy analysis, to advance the global normative framework on gender equality and women’s rights;
  • Keep abreast of emerging development issues to galvanize UN Women’s analytical capacity to respond;
  • Commission and manage research on key cross-cutting issues and in order to help UN Women to forecast and respond to emerging research issues;
  • Contribute substantively to the development and implementation of peer review and quality assurance mechanisms for UN Women’s research products;
  • Identify synergies and linkages in relation to research and data across UN Women;
  • Contribute substantively to knowledge management and sharing of information;
  • Work with different parts of UN Women to advance gender equality and women’s rights in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with following elements;
  • Advance the normative agenda, in collaboration with the Inter-governmental Support Division;
  • Assist with the monitoring of indicators and data in partnership with statistics colleagues;
  • Support the policy/thematic elements, in particular in terms of scoping and analyzing what kinds of policies facilitate (or derail/limit) progress towards gender equality in the 2030 Agenda, working with other Policy Division sections as well as Regional and Country Offices;
  • Supervise Analysts and Consultants;
  • Supervise staff, and oversee their performance;
  • Finalize terms of reference for new staff, consultants and contractors and oversee the recruitment process, as necessary;
  • Provide any other related support to supervisor from time to time;
  • Key Performance Indicators;
  • Timely and quality implementation of research and data initiatives, in line with annual workplan and budget;
  • Timely and quality delivery on the Gender Equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
  • Timely and quality substantive contributions to normative and technical process, e.g. CSW and Expert Group Meetings;
  • Timely and quality contributions to cross-cutting issues and support to regional and country offices;
  • Substantive contributions to partnerships with other parts of UN Women.


Core Values:

  • Integrity: Demonstrate consistency in upholding and promoting the values of UN Women in actions and decisions, in line with the UN Code of Conduct;
  • Professionalism: Demonstrate professional competence and expert knowledge of the pertinent substantive areas of work;
  • Respect for Diversity: Demonstrate an appreciation of the multicultural nature of the organization and the diversity of its staff. Demonstrate an international outlook, appreciating difference in values and learning from cultural diversity.

Core Competencies:

  • Ethics and Values: Demonstrate and safeguard ethics and integrity;
  • Organizational Awareness: Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment;
  • Development and Innovation: Take charge of self-development and take initiative;
  • Work in teams: Demonstrate ability to work in a multicultural, multi ethnic environment and to maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds;
  • Communicating and Information Sharing: Facilitate and encourage open communication and strive for effective communication;
  • Self-management and Emotional Intelligence: Stay composed and positive even in difficult moments, handle tense situations with diplomacy and tact, and have a consistent behavior towards others;
  • Conflict Management: Surface conflicts and address them proactively acknowledging different feelings and views and directing energy towards a mutually acceptable solution;
  • Continuous Learning and Knowledge Sharing: Encourage learning and sharing of knowledge;
  • Appropriate and Transparent Decision Making: Demonstrate informed and transparent decision making.

Functional Competencies:

  • Substantial knowledge and expertise in gender research and policy analysis;
  • Advanced analytical skills with a firm disciplinary grounding in relevant social science disciplines;
  • Ability to conduct research and analysis and draft high quality clear and concise outputs;
  • Proven record of in-depth research using qualitative and quantitative research methods, particularly in relation to gender;
  • Familiarity with statistical analysis and indicators, especially gender-related statistics and indicators;
  • Ability to develop and maintain partnerships with government counterparts, UN agencies, donors, and NGO partners;
  • Proven excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • Proven analytical and problem solving skills;
  • Ability to leverage information technology, executive information systems, management techniques and tools for optimal office performance;
  • Excellent strategic planning, goal-setting and prioritization skills;
  • Effectiveness in establishing and fostering good relations and working collaboratively with Member States, UN agencies, UN Women regional and country offices, thematic sections of the Policy Division, Inter-Governmental Support Division and other pillars.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master's (or equivalent) in a relevant social science discipline, with a substantial gender component is required;
  • PhD is an asset.


  • A minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible work experience carrying out research and analysis in a development policy and/or research context with a strong focus on gender for a significant part;
  • Significant record of research, peer reviewed publications and writing on gender and development issues;
  • Experience in coordinating and designing cross-country comparative research projects;
  • Experience in coordinating global or regional research reports.


  • Fluency in written and oral English is required;
  • Working knowledge of another official UN language is an asset.

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