Terms of Reference

Gender Focal Point – Project Implementation Unit



Despite the commitment of the Government of The Gambia towards gender equality women still make up the majority of the poor and extremely poor and are faced with many disparities including in access to education, healthcare, and salaried employment. In addition, women have limited access to resources such as land and financing and their rate of participation in the labor force is only 37.8 percent as compared to 53.2 for men. The following gender gaps have been identified:


Education: Gender disparities exist  in literacy, access to education (especially post-secondary), and employment and this disparity is larger is rural areas. In The Gambia, 65.9 percent of the male population aged 15 years or above is literate compared to 45.0 percent of females. Over the last years, women in urban areas have been closing the gap in terms of literacy as shown by literacy rates of younger cohorts (15-19 year old) 72.2% and 78.3% for women and men respectively. With the abolition of informal school levies in 2014 and the introduction of School Improvement Grants, significant gains have been made in education for both sexes. Primary Net Enrollment Rates increased from 68% in 200, 70.1% in 2014 to 81.1% in 2018. The Gambia has achieved gender parity in access to education at all levels, except higher education. However, regional disparities exist. Whereas the urban areas are registering nearly universal access to lower basic education, the most deprived rural region (Central River Region) has a GER of 63%. Despite this national track record, overall completion rates still favor boys: the primary completion rate for boys stands at 82% compared to 66% for girls in 2015. Data from the Integrated Household Survey (IHS) 2015/16 show that a third of primary school-age children (7-12 years) have never attended school, and the incidence is higher in rural areas compared to urban areas. The situation is further exacerbated among children from the poorest quintile, and the regions farthest away from the capital. Major challenges remain, especially in improving quality, relevance and retention.


The challenges that adolescent girls face in the Gambia are as varied as their backgrounds, and their situation is often exacerbated by their economic status, social support systems, socio-cultural practices such as early marriage, teenage pregnancy, domestic workload, and gender-based violence and discrimination.  As such, the ratio of girls’ to boys’ attendance of secondary school does not yet match that of primary school enrolment. Only 87 girls out of every 100 boys attend secondary school – that indicates a 13% gap in gender parity (UNICEF).


Poverty and wealth: The Human Development Report derives the GNI/capita of male and female members of the population based on the ratio of female to male wages, and female and male shares of economically active population. In The Gambia, the estimated female GNI per capita is 800, in 2011 PPP $, which is only 37 percent of the male GNI per capita (2,190 PPP US$).


Labor and occupation: as noted above, men are more likely to participate in the labor force. Furthermore, the rate of unemployment for females doubles that of males 12.6 versus 6.7 percent respectively. Most women (59 percent) work in service, 37 percent in agriculture, and only 4 percent in industry. In comparison, 51 percent of males work in service, 24 percent in agriculture, and 25 percent in industry. In particular, there is a significant gap in women’s employment in sectors where a higher level of education is required, including also the energy sector where men’s share is 74% share versus 26% for women.  For example, at NAWEC only 4 women engineers and 9 technicians are employed, which altogether accounts for less than 1 percent of the staff or less than 0.5% of new hires. Some other structures such as the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MoPE), Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) or REAGAM have no women employed as engineers. Despite skills training being more accessible to the wider population as secondary education is required to access skill training, women nevertheless represent less than 2% of the technicians at the utility, magnifying the disparities in access to secondary education for women. Other specific gaps within the sector are outlined in Table 1.

Gender equality: The Constitution accords both men and women full and equal rights however, gender discrimination remains in the areas of adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law. There are various institutional structures promoting gender equality in the Gambia, which include the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, a cross-sectoral National Women’s Council and Women’s Bureau, a National Policy for the Advancement of Gambian Women, and a 2010-2020 National Gender and Women Empowerment Policy which focuses on the critical areas of concern as outlined by the Beijing Platform for Action[1], including poverty reduction, women’s empowerment, education, and human rights and governance . The Government allocates a budget to the women’s affairs. The Government of the Gambia has ratified several International Declarations, and Conventions including the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. It has not ratified the Optional Protocol on violence against women. The effects of these inequalities are evident in key statistics related to women. For example, according to the 2013 Gambian Demographic and Health Survey 20% of women reported experiencing physical or sexual violence at least once during their lifetime, child marriage is estimated to be at 30%, and female genital mutilation/cutting currently hovers around 75%, one of the highest rates in the world.


The objective of this consultancy is to provide technical support to the Gambia Electricity Restoration and Modernization (GERMP) with regards to the commitments made under the project to close gender gaps related (i.e. women’s employment and skills development and build on the ongoing activities). Entry points in relation to which the consultant is expected to support are components 2 and 3 under the project. This includes:


  • Scaling up training to women to provide enhanced technical skills development to enable their employment in the energy and water sector
  • Scaling up the recruitment of female staff in electricity restoration and modernization activities and as frontline service providers within the renewable energy sector for installation and maintenance of solar equipment
  • Continuing to collect sex-disaggregated data to monitor progress and assess the impact of the gender-targeted interventions and enable iterations if needed for an impactful implementation.
  • Overseeing risk monitoring to ensure that risks and interventions are identified to prevent, mitigate, and respond to cases of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) and Sexual Harassment (SH) in the project activities[2].


Components 2 and 3: The restoration and modernization of the energy sector includes project related to  activities such as construction of transmission lines, generation and distribution of electricity, along with the construction and installation of the solar PV plants in urban and rural areas. These activities presents great employment opportunities potential for  women, especially in skilled/technical roles.   (This can contribute to meaningful employment with potential for upward mobility and labor inclusiveness in the energy sector in The Gambia. The project will assess the existing barriers and challenges to employment including the pathway of school-to-work transition to ensure that women can access the training and support needed to join the energy and water sectors. NAWEC will address the recruitment, retention, and promotion for women, by focusing on, among other things: (i) gender stereotypes and norms; (ii) mobility and workplace safety issues; (iii) lack of mentors; (iv) limited networks due to small numbers of women working in the sector; (v) issues maintaining work life balance and care burden; (vi) gender wage gaps; and (vii) sexual harassment, sexual exploitation and abuse,and other safety concerns.

The project will place the focus on actions such as (i) provision of scholarships for academic energy-related education to improve the representation of women engineers and technicians in the sector; and (ii) actions to support capacity building for women in solar isolation, installation and maintenance. The project will contribute to foster and scale up women’s empowerment through Renewable Energy Access Model, based on the model provided by the Mbolo Women Training Center in The Gambia. Women who graduate from the center are qualified for solar installation and maintenance and could be recruited by private sector companies, including those participating in the project. Table 1 below  provides an overview of the main topics and potential activities in the Gender Action Plan.

Table 1. Potential Activities within the Gender Action Plan

Identified Gap Proposed Action Proposed Indicator
a) Barriers for women to be employed in the energy and water sectors

b) Lack of inclusion of gender dimensions of energy and water service delivery


a)      Baseline assessment of barriers for women to being hired and employed in the energy and water sectors (hiring practices, school-to-work transition, workplace policies, work environment, etc.) as well as on gender dimensions within the sector

b)      Consultations and trainings on gender for management/staff of key institutions (NAWEC, PURA, MoPE, GNPC, etc.), including HR focal points

c)      Inclusion of gender in all strategic studies under the project, further stratified by geographic location and other markers

a) The existence of gender strategies and policies in place

b) Number of staff trained on gender disparities, the importance of women in the water/energy sector, etc.

c) Number of studies

Low number of women engineers and limited career opportunities for women in NAWEC


a)      Internship program and preferential hiring

b)      Training, stipends and mentorship opportunities for female staff to boost internal promotion

c)      Reserved places for female staff in any training offered under the project

d)      Women trained in supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) energy management system

a) 15 or more percent of women among NAWEC engineers

b) Number of women benefitting from training on core aspects

Weak pipeline of technical female staff joining NAWEC and other institutions a)      Outreach activities to high schools, universities and career fairs including promotional campaigns to enhance the interest and awareness in STEM subjects/energy sector employment, and to inform about scholarship opportunities

b)      Scholarship fund

a) Number of scholarships given to women


Limited number of women working in skilled positions in the renewable energy sector


a)      Training program for installation and maintenance of solar equipment

b)      Partnerships with firms under the project committed to hiring women trained

a) Number of firms with explicit commitment to hire women trained


b) Number of firms who hire at least 5% of more

women technicians in firms participating in the project



Scope of Work:

As a part of efforts to address gender gaps in the energy sector in The Gambia, a Gender Assessment and Action Plan needs to be developed to enhance attention and focus on the issue of gender equality and inequities and the contributions the energy sector can make toward this national and sector goals, as well as contribute to working towards global goals  to achieve gender equality and empowerment as committed to in the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs).”. The Gender Assessment and Action plan will be developed using the following methods: desk literature review, key informant interviews (including university and high school professors/teachers/administrators across different regions) and client consultations, where possible, to better understand what good practices could be implemented in the sector. The activity aims to ultimately design interventions to be implemented with counterparts in public-sector entities, such as Ministries, as well as relevant other donors, private sector entities and NGOs. The focus of this assignment will be to design the programs and initiatives as part of the GERMP activities in The Gambia with the client counterparts. The goal is not to duplicate similar efforts, but rather to fill gaps where they exist and point to areas where there are the greatest opportunity for impact on gender equality in the energy and water sector. The consultant will be expected to engage very closely with the World Bank project team members as the project components are implemented so priorities and delivery modalities align.

Table 1: Detailed Tasks, Approaches and Outputs

Task Approach/Methodology Output


1.1 Stocktaking
Take stock of relevant documents, data points and other information related to gender gaps relevant to the energy sector and GERMP activities. Identified areas of interest include gender disparities in education in particular within STEM, relevant policies, female leadership, labor-force participation rates, etc. within the energy- and water sectors.


Identify and conduct a stocktaking in the form of a written assessment of initiatives in the Gambia focused on gender equality and inequity that are relevant to the GERMP project, with a focus on approaches that could work for WB clients and operations.


Identify areas of where discrimination including social and workplace attitudes, biases (both unconscious or overt biases) may contribute to barriers and examples of how other sectors/organizations have dealt with them to help create a safe, inclusive and supportive working environment for all, free from Sexual Harassment (SH) and Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.


Ensure that gendered risks including Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) and Sexual Harassment (SH) are adequately identified, analyzed, and addressed in project safeguards documents by ensuring the identification and oversight of a consultant with technical expertise in SEA/SH issues.


Desk review and outreach to relevant internal and external networks.  Use of primary and secondary research. Gender gap assessment report and PPT slide deck key findings and recommendations.
1.2  Key Informant Interviews
The consultant will interview a selection of key informants, with an eye to different types of interventions as well as a range of relevant institutions.   In-person or virtual  interviews (phone, video conferencing, etc) Summary of key points in interviews (full transcripts to be kept confidentially by PIU) noting key concerns, suggestions, and input into gender gap assessment.



      2.1  Draft Action Plan
Draft an action plan based on the gaps and opportunities that have been identified to enhance gender equality and meaningful gender inclusion in the energy sector. The plan needs to focus on the components of the GERMP outlined above and provide practical recommendations for each component. The document will outline delivery modalities, possible partnerships (e.g. educational institutions, women’s associations, donors etc.) and budget implications.  Collation and synthesis, with a focus on distilling practical and good approaches in a draft action plan for client counterparts (the energy sector more broadly in the absence of a sector strategy). Draft action plan
2.2 Consultation on Action Plan    
Host half-day workshop focused on consultation and agreement for the gender action plan for GERMP with relevant counterparts.


Submission of final action plan expected after workshop.



Invite list to be drafted by consultant and draft agenda to be delivered including organization of logistics etc., proposal for venue, etc. to be submitted to PIU Workshop summary and final gender action plan. One media / communications output expected after the event.


3.1          Action Plan Implementation
Based on the action plan and consultation should lead design of tailored interventions for GERMP e.g. deliver of a behaviors, norms, bias awareness training for energy sector stakeholders, design of women’s scholarship program, assist in the development of internship- and skills development programs, etc. Consult labor/HR unit in NAWEC to discuss and assess current policies and trainings and how these can be adapted, gaps, opportunities for gender inclusion.


Provide program design support to NAWEC. To be defined after delivery of action plan.
3.2 Advisory Support    
Provide advisory support to the stakeholders on operationalizing the action plan for GERMP Additional Financing project. Consultation with NAWEC as needed. When asked, provide briefing and advisory notes/recommendations, participate in calls/meetings, etc.


Activities and deliverables

The consultant will lead the in-country gender equality work within the GERMP Project Implementation Unit (PIU).  Key tasks will include:

  • Design a detailed action plan for the gender actions to be supported through the GERMP, and to develop and monitor the various training and coordination activities.
  • Provide analytical support to the team on entry points related to gender as outlined under the GERMP. The first key area of focus will be assisting with data collection and mapping gender gaps related to employment and technical and non-technical roles.
  • Advisory support on the development of institutional gender policies for NAWEC.
  • Mapping and delivering capacity development and trainings needed across the energy sector. A training schedule will need to be designed and delivered.
  • Collate key findings from the Gender Action Plan to suggest actions for the PIU to build engagements both internally and with clients to strengthen the project design.
  • Support all project activities with input and support to in-country supervision and/or technical missions with the project funders (World Bank, European Investment Bank etc.), client dialogue, technical advice to policy development (primarily internally within NAWEC but potentially also at government level), etc.
  • Support knowledge management by creating learning and information sharing to document impact and outcomes at the project level as opportunities arise e.g. input to reports etc. for project teams, etc.
  • Provide oversight and support to the PIU to ensure that someone with adequate technical expertise on gendered risks including SEA/SH is identified and included in social evaluations and the development of key safeguards documents (and in the Gender Action Plan), and oversee their work to ensure that a SEA/SH prevention, mitigation, and response action plan is developed as part of the project’s Environmental and Social Management Plan.


Duration of Work

The initial assignment is one year, which can be extended upon an agreement between the Consultant and NAWEC.


Reporting and Timing       

The consultant will report to the PIU Coordinator. The consultant will work within the PIU, in consultation with local NGOs, the World Bank, and local gender focal points across the energy sector.


Criteria and Qualifications:

The consultant will have:


  • An advanced degree and a minimum of 10 years of direct and relevant experience
  • Relevant experience in developing gender engagement in projects and with various institutions in the public sector
  • Knowledge and familiarity of gender in the energy, water and infrastructure sectors
  • Experience working directly with project teams and interacting with governments on gender, social issues and energy related issues at the policy and institutional level
  • Experience with on dealing with institutional, labor and social issues related to Gender Based Violence, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Exploitation and Abuse is preferred
  • Previous relevant working and/or research experience in The Gambia
  • Demonstrated ability for writing technical and analytical content in English
  • Ability to work virtually and attend meetings in offices as required
  • Availability to travel frequently into rural areas for consultations as needed

[1] See

[2] This includes but is not limited to ensuring the hiring of consultants with adequate technical expertise to support the design, implementation, and quality assurance of key identified SEA/SH prevention, mitigation, and response activities.