Call for Consultants: OAS/UNIDIR Research Project

Gender Analysis of the Framework of Responsible State Behaviour in Cyberspace

Type of contract: Remote research consultant

Position Title:  Gender Analysis of the Framework of Responsible State Behaviour in Cyberspace: Perspectives from Latin America and the Caribbean

Duration: 6 (six) months.

Deadline for Application: 30 April 2024

Remuneration: USD $ 12,000.00

Duty station/location: Home-based (telework) and/or UNIDIR headquarters (Geneva, Switzerland).

Background

Within the Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation Between the General Secretariat of the Organization of the American States and the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, CICTE Cybersecurity Program and UNIDIR’s Gender and Disarmament Programme are announcing an opening for an individual consultant specialized in research to conduct an in-depth gender analysis of the Framework of Responsible State Behaviour in Cyberspace and its application in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region.

About the OAS/CICTE Cybersecurity Program

With over 20 years of experience, CICTE’s Cybersecurity Program is the regional leader in aiding the OAS’ member states in building technical and policy-level cybersecurity capacities. Its initiatives and activities aim to ensure an open, secure, and resilient cyberspace throughout the Western Hemisphere.

In 2022, with the support of the Government of Canada, the Cybersecurity Program launched the three-year initiative “Addressing the Gender Gap in the Cybersecurity Agenda in the Americas and the Caribbean Region,” focused on conducting cutting-edge research that examines the relationship between cybersecurity and gender, alongside other crucial objectives.

About UNIDIR’s Gender and Disarmament Programme

The Gender and Disarmament Programme of the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) contributes to the strategic goals of achieving gender equality in disarmament forums and effectively applying gender perspectives in disarmament processes. It encompasses original research, outreach activities and resource tools to support disarmament stakeholders in translating gender awareness into practical action.

Description of the consultancy opportunity

In recent times, the intersection of gender and cybersecurity has gained significant attention. Various studies have examined how gender norms impact this field, including the underrepresentation of women in cybersecurity, the differentiated impacts of cyber operations, the prevalence of online gender-based violence, gendered cyber-related design, defense and response activities, gender-responsive cybersecurity policies, and the relationship between the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda and cyber threats.

Although progress has been made in the field, there is still a significant lack of comprehensive and in-depth studies on how gender influences the norms, rules, and principles of responsible state behavior in cyberspace, as well as cybersecurity confidence-building measures, cybersecurity capacity-building, and the application of international law in cyberspace.

In order to bridge this knowledge gap, CICTE’s Cybersecurity Program and UNIDIR are seeking an individual consultant who will conduct research to identify entry-points to ensure that the operationalization of the 11 Norms of Responsible State Behaviour in Cyberspace is gender-sensitive. The research should be policy-oriented and provide recommendations for gender equality, equity and mainstreaming in the implementation of the normative framework at the regional and global levels to promote gender-sensitive international peace, security, and stability, and with a specific application in the Latin American and Caribbean region.

Moreover, the research will seek to contribute to advancing gender considerations in the discussions of the UN Open-Ended Working Group on developments in the field of ICTs in the context of international security (OEWG), the implementation of the Programme of Action to advance responsible State behaviour in the use of information and communications technologies in the context of international security (Cyber PoA) and the application of the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda in international and regional policy on cybersecurity.

Activities and expected milestones

The selected expert will be responsible to conduct the “Gender Analysis of the Framework of Responsible State Behaviour in Cyberspace. Perspectives from Latin America and the Caribbean” in accordance with the terms and deadlines set out in the proposal submitted to and selected by the OAS/CICTE Cybersecurity Program and UNIDIR.

The consultant will:

  • Conduct a comprehensive desk review of existing literature, articles, and available resources pertinent to the gender dimensions of the Framework of Responsible State Behaviour in Cyberspace, addressing the relevance of these issues to the Latin America and the Caribbean region.
  • Submit a research plan including research methodology and timeline.
  • Draft a report with preliminary findings based on the gender analysis of the Framework of Responsible State Behavior in Cyberspace according to the agreed-upon outline with UNIDIR and the OAS Cybersecurity Program.
  • Prepare the final report incorporating the comments received from UNIDIR and the OAS Cybersecurity Program.
  • Participate in a workshop organized by the OAS Cybersecurity Program and UNIDIR’s Gender and Disarmament Programme in order to discuss findings and receive feedback.

Duration and conditions of the consultancy

The assignment will be implemented over a period of six (6) months, starting from the signing of the contract with the selected individual consultant. If needed, a no-cost extension could be granted in writing and/or amending the contract.

The selected research consultant will work under the technical supervision of the Head of the Gender and Disarmament Programme of UNIDIR and the OAS/CICTE Cybersecurity Program.

If based in Geneva, UNIDIR can also provide working space to the consultant. In order to support the development of research objectives or the dissemination of its results, UNIDIR could also provide funding for a short research stay or participation at an event at its headquarters in Geneva.

Skills and qualifications

The consultant is expected to have:

  • Advanced university degree (PhD or Master’s degree) in a field relevant to the assignment, for example, in cybersecurity, gender studies, international law, social sciences or political science.
  • Knowledge of cybersecurity debates at the global and regional levels, and gender-perspectives of international human rights.
  • Strong understanding of gender and demonstrated experience in applying gender tools and conceptual frameworks.
  • Above 3-year experience with demonstrable capability in research activities, including analysis of literature, articles, and reports relevant to the assigned topics.
  • Excellent English writing and editing skills; ability to write about complex issues in an engaging way. Spanish is highly desirable.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with OAS and UNIDIR’s staff and other stakeholders in the coordination and execution of the study.

Desirable

  • Familiarity with the work of the OAS, UN and multilateral institutions.
  • Familiarity with relevant international protocols, policies, and standards related to the Cybersecurity Program of the OAS.

 Submission for applications and eligibility

Qualified candidates are encouraged to submit their application to Valentina Name at  VName@oas.org cc: gender-unidir@un.org by 30 April, 2024 (midnight, US Eastern Time).

The application should consist of the following documents:

  • Personal Curriculum Vitae outlining relevant expertise for this assignment.
  • A proposal (max. two A4 pages) on how the research will be undertaken, including: main research question, objective(s), methodology, expected contribution, preliminary schedule for the project (i.e., how the 6 months will be used to cover the tasks/phases of the research).
  • List of Publications (if applicable).

We welcome applications from individuals of any nationality affiliated with universities, think tanks, and non-governmental organizations.