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Consultant - Research in technology and agriculture

Addis Ababa

  • Organization: UNECA - United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
  • Location: Addis Ababa
  • Grade: Consultancy - International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Agriculture and Forestry
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Scientist and Researcher
  • Closing Date: 2023-11-23
Result of Service
Quality and timely research, development and delivery of a national policy brief. Individual country reports where training workshops were conducted A consolidated report summarizing key findings and cross-country comparisons A clear and actionable recommendations for program enhancement
Work Location
Home based
Expected duration
3 months
Duties and Responsibilities
Background Technological inequality is widening globally with those who are digitally connected reaping benefits while many remain excluded. Africa is the region with the lowest proportion of internet users, at 33 per cent in 2021, compared with a global average of 63 per cent. Such disparities exacerbate inequalities in wealth, income, opportunity, education and health. While internet use is moving closer to gender parity across the world, internet use among the female and male population in Africa stood at 24 per cent and 35 per cent respectively. However, the digital gender divide is slowly decreasing in Africa, where the ITU internet user gender parity score moved up from 0.58 in 2018 to 0.67 in 2020. However, this score is still the lowest among all regions. ECA is placing greater emphasis on digitalization as a vehicle for transformational change across Africa. This is reflected in its policies and programmes designed to support member States. For example, its Digital Centre of Excellence has run various workshops for young girls to encourage programming skills, through coding boot camps. Building capacity for some 2000 girls across the continent on digital skills to bridge the gender digital gap, at the joint ECA Continental Hybrid Camp. Further, some 3000 participants have been capacitated in Geospatial Information Systems over the last 2 decades, most of whom have been men. However, improving digital skills and embracing digital finance goes beyond programming skills, to also making the use of ICT second nature, and services ubiquitous across platforms and countries. For this reason, the Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment subprogramme of ECA, is focusing on digitalization as a key result area in its 2022 proposed programme budget, aiming to develop advanced ICT capacity for girls, and to use ICTs to address sustainable development challenges more broadly. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased reliance on ICTs, digitalization and the use of online platforms to conduct business transactions, learning and development activities as well as everyday interactions. Many countries have taken this opportunity to explore digital solutions for women and girls and integrate them into these digital spheres. This imposed embracing of digital solutions, due to the pandemic, has altered structural inequalities causing a paradigm shift in favour of gender equality, created spaces for women and girls to participate in society and public life, and accelerated their integration into the digital revolution and addressing gender digital divides. Capacitating women and girls in the use of Remote Sensing (RS) Geospatial Information Systems (GIS), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning, will provide a range of skills to integrate women and girls into the high-tech digital revolution. This digital upskilling will help to increase the critical mass of women and girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), shape the future job skill requirements for women and girls, and empower women to address sustainable development challenges more broadly, especially in the areas of agriculture and climate resilience, disaster risk reduction and water resource management. The use of associated spatial, spectral and temporal analysis techniques associated, will move women and girls beyond technical support roles to critical data science roles, and pave the way for their integration into decision-making roles in STEM. This upskilling of women and girls, to address requirements for the jobs of tomorrow, has been presented to member States at the Fourth Session of the Committee on Social Policy, Poverty and Gender in November 2021. It catalyzed interest on capacity development among various countries and the sharing of good practices and existing initiatives. It was recognized as addressing a multitude of policy concerns including the gender digital divide, providing ICT solutions for women and girls, as well as practically integrating women into the sustainable development agenda and finding innovative digital solutions to women's economic empowerment. Aims of the project The main aims of the project are to capacitate women and girls through digital upskilling in RS/GIS, AI and machine learning, and to strengthen the capacities of governments to address policy challenges in the areas of agricultural resilience, climate resilience, disaster risk reduction and water resource management by integrating skilled women into science-based roles. Project knowledge products and capacity development The project will achieve this by developing knowledge products to address policy gaps in digitalization with a gender dimension, and through conducting capacity development workshops to develop a critical mass of women and girls skilled in data science. Project countries and sectors of focus ECA conducted National Training Workshops on “Digital Upskilling for Women and Girls in Africa”, in four countries as follows South Africa (26th – 30th June 2023), Lesotho (3rd – 7th July 2023), Tunisia (4th – 8th September 2023) and Seychelles (11th – 15th September). The trainings were conducted as part of phase one of the ECA 5-pillar strategy on capacity development for digitally upskilling women and girls focused on the first three pillars: Pillar 1 - cybersecurity, online safety and virtual etiquette to better prepare women and girls in navigating digital spaces; Pillar 2 - digital marketing, online outreach and advocacy connecting women to regional and global markets and information streams; and Pillar 3 - digital content creation, for women in arts and culture, to harness the information society and digital economy. The participants who were trained as trainers were from various Ministries, civil society organisations and women entrepreneurs to further support national dissemination of training through the support of the Ministries of Gender or equivalent, the Ministries of Science, Technology and Innovation or equivalent, Ministries of Information and Communication Technologies and Ministries of Youth. Specialists in the subject areas of digitalisation, conducted the training around the focus areas for capacity development, as described above. Context of the consultancy In this regard, ECA is seeking to recruit a national consultant, to finalise the policy briefs for editorial and publication based on research conducted on sectoral issues identified in each country identified for each country including the technology environment and STEM education context. The consultant will compile comprehensive workshop training reports for each country and outline specific recommendations emanating from the various engagements. 2. Objective of the consultancy A national consultant with research experience in technology and sustainable development is being hired to finalise national policy briefs for editorial and publication. The consultant will compile comprehensive workshop training reports for each country and outline the action plan for the program based on recommendations from the country trainings and engagements. 3. Duties and Responsibilities Under the overall supervision of the Director, Gender Poverty and Social Policy Division (GPSPD) of ECA, working closely with the Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment Section Team of ECA, the Consultant will undertake the following tasks: • Finalise the policy brief for editorial and publication highlighting the research findings and making policy recommendations on developing a critical mass of women and girls in STEM; and • Compile comprehensive training workshop reports and outline outcomes in each country • Analyse the data and information collected during the training workshops to assess the impact and effectiveness of the workshops • Provide draft recommendations for the improvement and future action plan based on the findings • Liaise with national agencies on recommendations and proposed future action plans as part of the improvement plan in each country.
Qualifications/special skills
Advanced university degree (Master's degree) in international development, social sciences, political science, humanities or a field related to STEM is required. first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree. A minimum of three years of proven experience in an international development context. Sound knowledge of technology for development is required. Knowledge of sustainable development is desirable.
English and French are the working language of the United Nations. For this consultancy assignment, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of the other language is an advantage.
Additional Information
Not available.
No Fee
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