UN Women: Consultant - Baseline Assessment on Women in Agriculture

UN Women
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Monday, 1 October, 2012
Opportunity type: 

UN Women is the UN organisation dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. UN Women works on several fronts towards ending violence against women and girls. This includes tackling its main root: gender inequality. Efforts are multiplied through advocacy campaigns and partnerships with governments, civil society and the UN system.

UN Women seeks the service of a Consultant for a Baseline Assessment on Situation and Needs of Women in Agriculture in Kwazulu-Natal.


South Africa is a middle income country and Africa’s largest economy. Despite this, the country has high levels of unemployment and is among the most unequal societies in the world with a widening gap between the rich and the poor. According to UNDP report, 13% of the population live in poverty. Kwazulu-Natal, characterised by high proportion of rural dwellers and amongst the poorest provinces and the sixth largest of the nine provinces of South Africa. The province covers an area of 94 361 square kilometres (36 433 square miles), approximately 7.7% of land area of the country. It stretches from Port Edward in the south, along the Indian Ocean, to the borders of Mpumalanga, Mozambique and Swaziland in the north. The province shares borders with Eastern Cape in the south, The Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho and Free State in the west (Gender Profile report, UNFPA 2012). KwaZulu-Natal is administratively divided into 11 district municipalities, namely Ugu, UMgungundlovu, Uthukela, Umzinyathi, Amajuba, Zululand, Umkhanyakude, UThungulu, iLembe, Sisonke and eThekwini.

The Gender Profile report states that socio-economic conditions in KwaZulu-Natal reflect the legacies of apartheid and are pervasive particularly amongst black female-headed households in rural areas(Gender Profile Report, 2012)). The report further states that feminisation of poverty significantly defines the social conditions in rural and peri-urban KwaZulu-Natal. Women are the most impoverished group in the province and the majority of them are located in the rural areas which collectively have a 78% poverty rate compared to urban poverty, estimated as 22%. The reports points out that in KwaZulu-Natal one in four households is involved in agricultural production activity. In the context of food insecurity this is significant. The contribution of women to agriculture is a recognised phenomenon worldwide and particularly in developing countries.

The report concludes by stating that women in KwaZulu-Natal, comprising about 50% of the agricultural labour force, ought to be able to make a difference in their own lives, as well as the lives of members of their households if incentivised and existing constraints in the agricultural sector are addressed. It is against this background, that UN Women and Department of Agriculture in KwaZulu-Natal is supporting this baseline study. The Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal has a mandate to include women, including women with disabilities within the agricultural sector. Strides have been made by the Department to involve vulnerable groups in the Agricultural Mainstream Economy. This has been witnessed by a number of women who are involved in farming which has been regarded as a male dominated agricultural sector. One of the programmes that has changed women perception towards Agriculture is Female Entrepreneur in Agriculture Programme. This programme is earmarked to expose and empower women who are involved in Agriculture. This programme also seeks to create a cadre of women in agriculture entrepreneurs who are at a competitive advantage with their male counterparts. Although this programme has been running since 1999, women still experience challenges of growth and development due to:

  1. Limited access and control to land
  2. Lack of proper infrastructure this include roads ,running water and agro processing plants • Limited access to credit
  3. Lack of markets in rural areas
  4. Lack of business skills which inhibits growth and development Rural women are very rich in indigenous knowledge systems that are there in the rural communities that they reside in but these resources are not harnessed to their potential and it is diminishing.
Another challenge is Climate Change and Global Warming which affects ploughing season and derail the whole value chain. Due to vastness of the Province it is cumbersome to combine all rural women in Agriculture in one venue to discuss their challenges and needs hence this exercise of a baseline study in districts is vital.This exercise will assist the Department of Agriculture And Environmental Affairs:
A. To map and identify districts with the most need using different tools and methods of research
B. To establish baseline of needs of rural women in regard to agricultural productivity and sustainable livelihoods including access to land
C. To develop a data base of all Women in Agriculture based on commodities
D. To develop a capacity development strategy to assist women in Agriculture to grow and leverage them from subsistence to more sustainable agribusiness enterprises or commercial thus creating sustainable jobs and employment which is in line with the Millennium Development Goals

Objective of the Consultancy

UN Women Regional Office for Southern Africa and Indian Ocean Islands requires the services of a Consultant to conduct a baseline study on the situation of women in rural Kwazulu-Natal.

Under the overall guidance   and supervision of UN Women Regional Director will provide the required support as per Terms of reference objectives.

  1. To map out the situation of women in agriculture and identify districts with the most need for support;
  2. To establish baseline of needs of rural women in regard to agricultural productivity and sustainable  livelihoods including access to land;
  3. To develop a capacity development strategy to assist women in Agriculture to grow and leverage them from subsistence to more sustainable agribusiness enterprises.

Specific tasks of the National Consultant

  • Literature review on relevant documents including Department of Agriculture and Environment policy and programmeme documents;
  • Agree on the methodology and scope of the baseline;
  • Conduct baseline assessment covering all the districts in Kwa Zulu Natal on needs of rural women in regard to agricultural productivity and sustainable  livelihoods including access to land;
  • Develop a data base of all women in agriculture commodities;
  • Draft a report and present it to the reference group and incorporate comments;
  • Facilitate a Provincial Consultative meeting on the findings and the proposed strategy;
  • Produce final baseline report;
  • Make succinct recommendations on capacity development.

Output and deliverables

The following are the deliverables that will be submitted to UN Women Sub Regional Office:

  • The consultant to submit a cover letter, CV and a proposal detailing methodology (28 September 2012);
  • Project Inception reports and the work plan detailing planned activities, outputs, the number of days and time frames (within 1 week of signing the contract);
  • After completion of each deliverable a teleconference/ meeting to be convened with UN Women and Department  of Agriculture (KZN);
  • Literature review on agricultural rural development assessing all existing policy provisions (within two weeks of signing the contract);
  • Baseline assessment on situation of women and agriculture in all nine districts of KwaZulu-Natal (within four weeks of signing the contract);
  • Preliminary research report containing preliminary findings and recommendations(within 5 weeks of signing the contract;
  • One day workshop facilitated with reference group members (within 6 weeks of signing the contract);
  • Present findings and recommendations at the Provincial Consultative meeting(within seven weeks of signing the contract);
  • Produce a final report (within 8 weeks of signing the contract) to  include the following:
1. A contextual analysis of KZN detailing the situation of women and agriculture in Kwazulu-Natal and their needs;
2. Background to National, Provincial and Local policy and legislative frameworks relating to Agriculture;
3. Methodology;
4. Analysis of data;
5. Discussion on Findings;
6. Recommendations;


Preference for this position will be given to consultants who are based in KwaZulu-Natal. UN Women will not be liable for relocation costs or related. S/he will work under the overall guidance and supervision of the Regional Director for Southern Africa and Indian Ocean Islands and will work closely with Department of Agriculture and interact with other key partners as agreed.

Duration of assessment, duty station and travel details

The assignment will be conducted between October to December 2012 as per agreed work plan and schedule.


The consultant is expected to travel to all districts as necessary and agreed with UN Women. UN women will cover/reimburse all travel costs related to the project within Kwazulu-Natal.


  • Commitment to gender equality and women’s rights and strong team working skills;
  • Master’s degree in social science field/business management or related;
  • Minimum of five years working experience in the area of gender and development;
  • Proven experience on gender mainstreaming;
  • Good knowledge on gender and human rights, with a focus on international, regional and national frameworks on gender and development;
  • Good knowledge of agricultural development including policies and practices;
  • Knowledge on CEDAW, economic empowerment, coordination, monitoring and evaluation, peace and security, women in politics, capacity development, United Nations Development Assistant Funds (UNDAFs) and joint gender programmes is an asset;
  • Good knowledge and understanding of research methodologies and processes;
  • Good organisational and programming skills with a focus on monitoring of project implementation;
  • Coordination skills and UN knowledge will be an advantage;
  • Good at producing analytical reports;
  • Excellent communication in English. Knowledge of isiZulu will be an asset.

The consultancy shall be for the period between October to December 2012.

Contract and remuneration: A Special Service Agreement Contract (SSA) will be issued in accordance with UN Women rules and regulations. The consultant shall be paid a monthly remuneration as per the agreed contract. Payment will be made at the end of each month on certification of duties performed.


The material arising from the consultancy shall be the property of UN Women and cannot be used without the express consent of UN Women.

To apply, submit a CV, completed United Nations Personal History Form (P.11) and motivation letter to hr.southafrica@unwomen.org. Kindly quote the Reference – ‘Consultant / Baseline assessment on the situation and needs of women in agriculture in Kwazulu-Natal’ in the subject line of your application. We will not able to track your applications without the reference code provided.

Please quote the source of this advertisement in your application - NGO Pulse Portal.

This position only applies for national personnel or others legally authorised to work in South Africa.

Only shortlisted candidates shall be contacted.

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