Call for Nominations: Civil Society Advisory Group (CSAG) – South Africa

1. Introduction

The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women:www.unwomen.org) was established by General Assembly resolution 64/289 of 2 July 2010 on system-wide coherence with the mandate to assist Member States and the United Nations system to progress more effectively and efficiently toward the goal of achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women.

UN Women Multi Country Office (hereafter referred to as UN Women MCO) covers five countries, all of which are members of the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU) and the Southern Africa Development Community. In South Africa, UN Women is part of the UN Agencies in South Africa and in 2013 signed the UN Strategic Cooperation Framework (UNDAF/UNSCF) with the government of South Africa. The outcomes of the Framework include decent work and inclusive growth; sustainable development; human capabilities; and governance and participation. Gender, HIV and AIDS and human rights are cross cutting issues within the Framework. This call for nominations is for the South African CSAG only.

2. Background

In order to fulfill its mandate, UN Women considers the civil society as one of the most important constituencies providing a dynamic source for ideas, policy perspectives, partnerships and support for the organisation. Closely linked is the vital political role played by civil society in advancing shared objectives in promoting women’s rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women.

UN Women is setting up Civil Society Advisory Groups (CSAG) at the global, regional and national levels to build on existing partnerships and increase strategic dialogues with civil society partners.

3. The mandate for the Advisory Groups: 

3.1. The General Assembly requested the head of the Entity to continue the existing practice of effective consultation with civil society organisations, and encourages their meaningful contribution to the work of the Entity (GA/64/289).

3.2  In her Vision and Action Plan the founding Executive Director said: “In recognition of the special   relationship I envisage between UN Women and women’s organizations, I will be forming an NGO Advisory Group to advise me as Executive Director of UN Women. This will be a body through which NGOs can share their perspectives, expertise and knowledge from the country level and a channel for our ongoing collaboration.” 

3.3. UN Women Strategic Plan 2011-2013: “UN Women will work to ensure more systematic consultations with civil society at all levels, including establishing a civil society advisory group…”(UNW/2011/9/pg 20).

The UN Women Multi Country Office in South Africa, based in Johannesburg is setting up a National  Civil Society Advisory Group for South Africa, which will provide space for enhancing collaboration between UN Women and CSOs.

4. Goals for the CSAG

  1. To foster strategic dialogue and engagement, with a view of addressing the root causes of gender inequalities and advance goals of gender equality and women’s empowerment;
  2. To provide a forum to enable mutually beneficial consultations between UN Women and civil society and draw upon the rich and diverse expertise, experience, outreach and networks, perspective and knowledge that civil society can offer on a timely and effective basis;
  3. To serve as a consultative forum to agree on national priorities and develop joint strategies to inform UN women’s programmes.

5. Role and functions of the National  CSAG

  1. Provide strategic perspectives to UN Women leadership at country level, on its current advocacy, thematic priorities and policy positions;
  2. Assist UN Women to strengthen its engagement with civil society at all levels and enhance the dialogue between UN and civil society for partnership, learning and advise on gender equality issues, practices, and policies relevant to the national context and identify contextual and systemic issues;
  3. Contribute analysis on the socio‐economic and political environment in the country and how it impacts on gender equality and women’s rights issues and advise on key strategic areas for intervention that will address existing gender inequalities;
  4. Facilitate and spearhead strategic exercises for capacity development, with particular focus on building and strengthening the second and third tier generations of the women’s movement;
  5. Provide feedback on UN Women’s work, including how to streamline  through participation at annual retreats and having a dialogue with UN Women Representative;
  6. Provide updates on political, social, economic and cultural developments and trends for consideration in UN Women’s programmatic activities;
  7. Support as necessary, UN Women’s partnership with civil society, in relevant intergovernmental processes and fora;
  8. Support UN Women to leverage civil society’s networks and their partnerships in South Africa;
  9. Provide civil society organisations with the right spaces that a United Nations entity provides and vice versa; joint partnership;
  10. Be responsible and accountable for sharing information from Advisory Group meetings to the broader civil society and women’s movement across South Africa;
  11. Members will also ensure that concerns and priorities expressed by these groups are reflected within the Advisory Group meeting agenda;
  12. Actively connect with the Regional and Global Advisory Groups set up by UN Women to ensure national concerns receive adequate focus and also ensure synergy in civil society guidance at various levels to the UN’s entity for women.

Serving in the advisory group is considered voluntary work and UN Women will only cover travel related expenses of the members for the group’s meetings.

6. Membership

The National Civil Society Advisory Group will have 12 members (women and men) who are committed to the core values of the United Nations and to the mission of UN Women. The members will be reputed individuals with proven track record in their respective fields preferably with strong credentials as gender, development, women’s rights and or human rights advocates. The membership will largely comprise of individuals representing constituents (e.g. networks, organisations) who have been nominated by their constituents.

The members will be drawn from non-governmental organisations, women’s organisation networks / coalitions, and movements, grassroots / community based organisations, academia and others working on gender equality, HIV/AIDS, women’s rights and women’s empowerment. Mostly, the members will be drawn from national institutions. The selection committee may include some members in the CSAG because of their expertise but may not represent any constituent.

The members will comprise the following:

  • 2  from gender equality, women rights and women’s empowerment networks/coalitions organizations, and movements;
  • 2 representing grassroots rural / community based organisations and women traditional leaders;
  • 5 who are experts in the following thematic areas: (1) Leadership, (2)Women’s economic empowerment; and (3) Violence against women (4), LGBTi (5), HIV and AIDS;
  • 1 from faith-based organisation;
  • 1 representing the youth;
  • 1 from the legal fraternity.

The composition will also ensure a geographical balance between provinces and  will have both men and women. 1/3 of the members should be male.

7. Nomination process:

The selection of the members of the Civil Society Advisory Group involves several steps:

  • The nominations should include the following: Name, organisation and contact details of the person nominating; Name, organisation and contact details of the nominee, a short description (less than one page) on why the nominee would be a suitable candidate for the CSAG and a detailed CV of the nominee
  • Nominations can be sent by post to UN Women at: UN WOMEN South Africa Multi-Country Office, 351 Francis Baard Street, Metro Park Building, Pretoria, 0001, E-mail:hr.southafrica@unwomen.org and copy Jabulile.makunyane@unwomen.org by Monday, 16 June 2014;
  • The selection will be done by an Independent panel, which will be nominated by UN Women and finally approved by UN Women Representative;
  • The maximum 12 selected members of the Civil Society Advisory Group will be announced by 15 July 2014;
  • The first meeting of the UN Women South Africa Civil Society Advisory Group will be held in July 2014.

8. Selection process

The selection process will be transparent and inclusive.

The finalisation of the members of the Civil Society Advisory Group will involve the following steps:

  1. The selection process will be transparent where nominations will be invited by sharing this final concept paper for the Civil Society Advisory Group with a wide range of stakeholders including all UN Women partners and as many gender advocates as possible. This includes the nomination procedure;
  2. An internal selection committee will be established by UN Women South Africa to review and finalise nominations. Members will include civil society advocates, academicians, members of the South Africa Human Rights Commission and members of the Judiciary who are not being nominated;
  3. A review grid will be used capturing the selection criteria and each nomination / CV will be marked/ reviewed against it by each selection committee member.

To read the full Terms of Reference, click here.

Call first seen on NgoPulse.org here

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