Job Opening

Posting Title: National Consultant to undertake a study on resilience of women-led micro, small and medium sized enterprises in the Philippines
Department/Office: United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 28 September 2022 - 10 October 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction-190565-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The consultant will deliver:
1. Desk review of existing literature on the challenges, opportunities, and action on women-led MSMEs in Asia and the Pacific, with a focus on the Philippines.
2. A survey, to be developed and conducted through a consultation process with women either leading or participating in women-led MSMEs.
3. A short report on the findings of a desk review and the survey that outlines entry points for action, the challenges and opportunities, and makes recommendations on how best to support women either leading or participating in women-led MSMEs.
4. Collected feedback based on the piloting of women-led MSMEs on the Multi-hazard business QRE and COVID-19 business QRE tools in order to improve the tools.
5. A short training toolkit for women who own MSMEs that captures the key findings of the study, sharing the recommendations and any guidance on their implementation.

Work Location


Expected duration

The contract duration will be from 26 October 2022 – 19 December 2022.

Duties and Responsibilities

A. Background

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction outlines the inclusive, all-of-society approach that must be taken to reduce disaster risk. It acknowledges both the specific vulnerabilities that women face in disasters, due to pervasive gender inequality that exists across all societies, while recognising the indispensable role of women in risk reduction efforts. The Sendai Framework emphasises that a gender equitable and universally accessible approach is key, and it calls for the mobilisation of women’s leadership in building resilience.

As highlighted in Sendai paragraph (36c), the Private and Financial Sector, as well as its regulators, are indispensable for a resilient future. The private sector, which accounts for over 80% of investment in any given country, is well placed to foster risk-informed development by implementing more responsible and sustainable business conduct and promoting long-term preventive and resilience focused approaches to investment.

Key to building resilience in women, is their economic participation. Women-led Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) create jobs for women. Women-led MSMEs have been shown to employ more women, providing greater opportunity for women’s economic participation. This not only improves their socio-economic conditions but drives greater social inclusion through inclusive Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, which in turn leads to positive ripple effects throughout communities, such as better health and education for children, which is attributed to the increased control women have over resources.

There are a range of barriers that can prevent women from fully participating in the economy, for example social or cultural norms, family responsibilities, or a lack of access to financial services and knowledge. Such barriers limit woman’s economic potential and has resulted in fewer women-led MSMEs – in the Philippines, it is estimated that 24% of SMEs are led by women (approximately 28,000). The private sector has a large role to play, with a critical need for substantial investment in women-led MSMEs to support transitions from micro to small, and small to medium and large enterprises.

This study is being undertaken as part of UNDRR’s flagship women’s leadership programme, the Women’s International Network for Disaster Risk Reduction (WIN DRR), which is supported by the Government of Australia. WIN DRR aims to empower women and enhance their role in decision-making in disaster risk reduction in the Asia-Pacific region by promoting and supporting women’s leadership across sectors.

In line with the priorities of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, which calls for understanding risk as a prerequisite to risk management, UNDRR’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific has also developed a Quick Risk Estimation Took (QRE Tool). This tool is intended to help micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, including those in the informal sector, to develop a basic understanding of their level of risk. The QRE Tool for businesses includes an interactive questionnaire that produces a real-time dashboard that points a business and enterprise owner to their estimated general risk level. The results take into consideration the business size, type, and geographic location, along with a number of other factors. The quick risk estimation also points to corrective actions and can be undertaken at regular intervals to self-assess the changing level and type of business risk. As part of the survey and consultation process, this tool will be piloted with women-led MSMEs, and their feedback will be used to improve the tools.

The findings from this consultancy will be used as an evidence base to develop and implement interventions to promote and support women’s leadership in private sector efforts to reduce disaster risk. The research will identify recommendations of how women-led MSMEs and women leaders in informal sectors, with an explicit focus on the Philippines.

B. Duty and Responsibility

The consultant will work under the supervision of the Gender Advisor, UNDRR. They will be responsible for conducting a scoping study to review how women-led MSMEs and those working in informal sectors can best be supported; and to identify entry points for action by the private sector, as well as make recommendations on how to mitigate the specific challenges women face in the Philippines to promote women’s empowerment and full economic participation.

Guided by a desk review of existing literature on women-led MSMEs in Asia and the Pacific, the consultant will develop a survey for women participating in women-led MSMEs in the Philippines, holding consultations with them and other relevant stakeholders to identify the challenges faced, and opportunities to best support them.
The study will make recommendations on how to build on and strengthen the existing work of the private sector and other stakeholders in supporting resilient women-led MSMEs.

In addition, the consultant will work with the women-led MSMEs identified to pilot the Multi-hazard business QRE Tool and the COVID-19 business QRE with women led MSMEs and capture their feedback in order to improve the tool.

Finally, a short guide and training toolkit will be developed for women-led MSMEs that will provide guidance on strengthening their resilience.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: Advanced university degree in Gender Studies, Social Sciences, Business or any other relevant field is required. A first-level university degree in combination with a minimum of 2 additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Experience: At least 10 years of relevant experience related to women’s leadership in business, disaster risk reduction and resilience, gender equality is required.
Experience in research methodologies including developing and analysing surveys, and experience writing reports, related to women’s leadership or DRR/resilience is required.
Experience with the UN and in the Asia-Pacific region is desirable.

Language: Fluency in English and excellent written communication skills is required.

No Fee


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