National Consultant-Conduct an assessment on the situation of women in the informal sector and SMEs affected by COVID- 19 and provide training based on identified training needs

  • Location: Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)y
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Women’s Empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Sustainable trade and development
    • Malaria, Tuberculosis and other infectious diseases
    • Ebola
  • Closing Date: 2021-10-10

The Global COVID 19 Pandemic has caused an unprecedented multi-sectoral crisis including in the economic, social, health and financial fields. Similarly, in Ethiopia, after the first case of Corona Virus was announced in March 2020, its impact has been felt nationally. Women, in particular, were disproportionately affected by the virus due to their existing vulnerability and social standing. The impact of COVID-19 in Ethiopia has altered the political and economic climate due to global travel restrictions, social distancing laws, and partial lockdowns, among other measures.  In a major development, it has led to a decision by government to postpone general elections scheduled for August 2020 and declare a state of emergency.  As of 14 August 2021, there were 288.788 confirmed cases and 4,471 deaths in Ethiopia.

The negative impact of COVID-19 on Ethiopian economy is mediated by the structure of the economy and pre-existing socio-economic conditions and challenges. For instance, the service sector is the leading sector in terms of its contribution to GDP and employment creation; being mainly informal, it is highly vulnerable to the pandemic.  According to the ILO, the pandemic is devastating labour markets across the world, creating a disproportionate impact on certain segments of the population. While it creates a massive public health emergency, the COVID-19 pandemic also constitutes an unprecedented socio-economic challenge which threatens development progress and the livelihoods of people, with women, youth, and migrant workers affected disproportionately, concentrated spatially in urban areas, often in the informal economy, although large-scale community transmission means that rural areas are not being spared either.

The COVID-19 crisis is now shedding light on the harsh consequences of an informal economy cut-off from formal institutional arrangements, regulatory frameworks, and access to public and private sector-based services and resources.  Moreover, a large informal economy is usually correlated with poor access to social protection schemes and higher barriers to accessing relief and assistance packages designed to mitigate the adverse impact of COVID-19.  Control measures such as lockdown, while driven by public health considerations, risk worsening the wellbeing and future prospects of millions of already vulnerable workers and their families.  Even where – as in Ethiopia – there is no generalized, country-wide lockdown, the consequences of slowing economic activity, disrupted supply chains and lower consumer confidence (and, thus, consumption), mean that the scale and depth of adverse impacts can be crippling.  There are now growing reports on the economic losses being faced by the workers in the informal economy such waste recyclers, street vendors, small restaurants and hotels , transport workers, construction workers, domestic workers and many more including small peasants farmers in rural or peri-urban areas that were producing for the urban market, contributing to a growing sense of urgent in government for action to stabilize the situation as quickly as possible whilst laying the foundations for a speedy recovery to a more promising ‘new normal’.

Studies both globally and at national level have shown the gendered impacts of the pandemic in the health, social and economic sectors. In the health realm, women have been disproportionately affected by the reallocation of health services to COVID-19 response and as a result of their role as frontline workers and primary care givers. The health services have also been heavily affected as resources have to be reallocated to COVID 19 responses. As a result of the challenge faced, there has been cases where women have given birth at home.  In the social sector, impacts have ranged from heightened risks to GBV, increased unpaid care work and girls’ being out of school which exposed them to vulnerabilities such as early marriage. Economically, the COVID-19 pandemic meant reduced employment and household incomes, particularly for female headed households. Surveys have indicated that women in urban and semi-urban areas, were the hardest hit with women in previously paid employment more likely to transition into unemployment.

With this background, the UNCT in Ethiopia and relevant Ethiopian Government authorities designed a project that aimed at sustaining business and protecting jobs in the informal economy of Ethiopia that will run between 2021-2022. As implementing partner to this project, UN Women Ethiopia Country Office, aims to ensure the mainstreaming of gender in all activities implemented under the project. Thus, UN Women is planning to conduct an assessment on the situation of women in the informal sector and Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs) affected by COVID-19 that will inform the project interventions. Furthermore, UN Women plans to build the capacity of the UNCT gender focal points on mainstreaming gender issues in project design and implementation with a particular focus on addressing the need of women in the informal sector and SMEs affected by COVID 19.

In this context, UN Women is seeking to hire national consultants to support the conduct of an assessment on the situation of women in the informal sector and SMEs affected by COVID- 19 to inform interventions of the Joint project run by UN Agencies and to provide training based on the findings of the assessment.



The national consultants will be responsible to undertake a gender analysis on the different needs, vulnerabilities and impacts of the pandemic on women both in the informal sector and SMEs sector and to provide capacity building trainings based on identified training needs. Overall, the consultants will be responsible for the following tasks:

  • Prepare an inception report with an action plan to complete the tasks assigned.
  • Design a methodological approach for data collection for the assessment including qualitative and quantitative data collection tools.
  • Undertake review of background documents on the situation of COVID 19 and humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia, the differential impact of COVID 19 on women and men, and on the situation of women in the informal sector and SMEs and undertake stakeholder analysis for the data collection.
  • Analyze the qualitative and quantitative data collected and prepare a draft assessment report on the situation of women in the informal sector and SMEs affected by COVID 19.
  • Present findings of the assessment on a validation meeting and finalize the assessment report with concrete action plans and practical recommendation to address the challenges identified.
  • Identify training needs based on the assessment to ensure gender responsiveness of interventions under the joint project and for the women affected by COVID 19.
  • Provide two rounds of training for gender focal points in the UNCT, including the Gender Review Team established to support and monitor the Joint project on Sustaining Business and Protecting Jobs in the Informal Economy of Ethiopia, and women in the informal sector and SMEs in collaboration with UN Women ECO.


  • Inception report which will guide the conduct of the assessment and provide an action plan for tasks under this assignment.
  • A well-developed qualitative and quantitative methodology and data collection tools.
  • A draft assessment report on the situation of women in the informal sector and SMEs affected by COVID 19.
  • Validation meeting outcome report including feedbacks from stakeholders on the draft report.
  • Final assessment report on the situation of women in the informal sector and SMEs affected by COVID 19 including an executive summary of key findings, recommendations and costed action plan.
  • A comprehensive training program, training material on Mainstreaming Gender in implementation and monitoring of projects to respond to needs of women in the informal sector and SMEs affected by COVID 19 based on identified training needs which will guide the conduct of training to gender focal points and women in SMEs and informal sector.
  • A pre and post training report after the completion of two rounds of trainings with a summary of main issues raised under each session, the challenges faced, and lessons learnt with a view to improve future training delivery.



Compliance to the UN Core Values:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UN Women
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
  • Treats all people fairly without favouritism and discrimination
  • Fulfils all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment.




  • An advanced university degree or equivalent in Economics, Law, Gender Studies, Sociology, Development Studies, or relevant Social Science fields.


  • At least 10 years of professional experience in gender analysis, development work and gender mainstreaming in emergency context or 8 years of experience for PhD holders.
  • Experience in conducting quantitative and qualitative data analysis and synthesizing information into concise, analytical written documents.
  • Ability to carry out gender focused research and analysis that are able to contribute to the formulation of policies, procedures, guidelines and programmes/projects on gender equality and the empowerment of women.
  • Demonstrated ability to produce well written, well researched and high-quality reports is essential.
  • Experience in the preparation of training materials and facilitation of training on gender mainstreaming and conducting trainings.

Language and other skills

  • Language: Excellent knowledge of written and communication in English and Amharic is required.
  • Computer skills: full command and experience in Microsoft applications, statistical software applications and electronic data collection software such as SPSS, STATA, CSPro, Survey Solution, etc.

Please note that applications without a completed and signed UN Women P-11 form will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment. UN Women Personal History form (P-11) can be downloaded from .

UNWOMEN is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.


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