Evaluation of the UNDP contribution to gender equality and women's empowerment

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Evaluation Plan:
2014-2017, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type:
Thematic
Planned End Date:
01/2015
Completion Date:
08/2015
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
350,000

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Title Evaluation of the UNDP contribution to gender equality and women's empowerment
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2014-2017, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type: Thematic
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 08/2015
Planned End Date: 01/2015
Management Response: Yes
Corporate Outcomes (UNDP Strategic Plan 2008-20013)
Evaluation Budget(US $): 350,000
Source of Funding:
Joint Programme: No
Mandatory Evaluation: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Chandi Kadirgamar Evaluation Advisor / UNDP IEO
Ana Rosa Soares Evaluation Advisor / UNDP IEO BRAZIL
Alexandra Pittman Consultant
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 UNDP should align its resources and programming with its corporate message on the centrality of supporting gender equality and women?s empowerment as a means to ?fast forward? development results. Gender mainstreaming should also go beyond providing sex-disaggregated data for all results areas of the strategic plan. In this connection, the merits of integrating the gender equality strategy as part of the next strategic plan (2018 onwards) should receive serious consideration.
2 Given the uneven performance in the four focus areas of the Strategic Plan, 2008?2013 in promoting gender development results, UNDP should ensure that future assessments pay specific attention to the progress, effectiveness and quality of gender development results in the seven outcome areas of the current strategic plan.
3 UNDP should focus on refining tools, instruments and processes developed during the period 2008?2013 and focus on further internalizing the centrality of gender equality and women?s empowerment to the achievement of all development goals among staff. Specific recommendations on these improvements and possible new areas of intervention are discussed below:

Gender analysis should become mandatory in all programming and be linked with justifying the gender marker rating of each UNDP intervention.

The gender marker should track allocations in a way that provides reliable aggregated data at different stages of the project cycle.

The Gender Seal requires senior management?s attention in terms of its future role as a corporate certification initiative.

Stronger attention should be placed on using the GSIC forum as a venue for organization-wide learning, problem solving and sharing of instructive practices.
The GSIC should ensure that the gender parity strategy is revised and a roll-out programme is articulated.
UNDP should strengthen capacity development processes that focus on gender mainstreaming so they are relevant and apply to staff ?s daily work and needs.

UNDP should consider exploring new frontiers for engaging in gender issues that go beyond women?s issues, for example the ?masculinity? agenda.
4 Country offices should prepare gender plans that identify gaps and needs in technical support, capacity-building, joint action and advocacy, and collective monitoring that facilitate stronger gender programming. These plans should also help to identify areas where UNDP can draw on expertise and leverage the existing capacities of other United Nations agencies active on gender issues at the country level. This process should be supported, monitored and reported upon annually by the respective regional bureaux to the GSIC.
5 UNDP currently does not have a measurement standard to systematically track the type, quality and effectiveness of its contribution to gender results that also captures the context of change and the degree of its contribution to that change. In order to address this issue, UNDP should codify the way it wishes to monitor, report, evaluate and audit its contributions to gender, and this framework should be used for rigorously tracking results for gender equality and women?s empowerment at the country, regional and global levels.
1. Recommendation: UNDP should align its resources and programming with its corporate message on the centrality of supporting gender equality and women?s empowerment as a means to ?fast forward? development results. Gender mainstreaming should also go beyond providing sex-disaggregated data for all results areas of the strategic plan. In this connection, the merits of integrating the gender equality strategy as part of the next strategic plan (2018 onwards) should receive serious consideration.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/09/01] [Last Updated: 2016/01/12]

The UNDP Strategic Plan, 2014-2017 has strongly integrated gender equality across its Integrated Results and Resource Framework (IRRF). In addition to a dedicated outcome for accelerating gender equality, it has mainstreamed gender equality across all other outcomes. The new gender equality strategy, 2014-2017 is an accompaniment to the Strategic Plan and looks at how to mainstream gender in all outcomes of the plan. The strategy, which was approved by the Executive Board, has made financial and human resource commitments to ensure that gender mainstreaming is adequately resourced. This includes as a principal objective meeting the United Nations system-wide financial target of allocating 15 per cent of the organization?s resources towards gender equality by 2017. The gender marker is tracking UNDP investments on gender and is aligned to UN-SWAP principles and standards. The gender marker is now being used as an accountability tool in the GSIC to track progress towards the 15 per cent target. UNDP will integrate the 15 per cent financial commitment into the guidelines for trust fund allocations, work with IEO to improve their evaluation of gender outcomes and draw on the gender marker findings. The merits of integrating the gender equality strategy into the next strategic plan (2018 onwards) will be considered as part of the midterm review of the current Strategic Plan, 2014-2017. Additionally, new quality assurance tools are being developed to ensure that gender analysis is integrated in all country programmes and programme documents. The text under this recommendation also suggested that UNDP strengthen its work on the crisis prevention and recovery and energy and environment focus areas. Tools and work processes will be developed (please refer to the key actions below) to address this recommendation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 UNDP will expand the GSIC forum to include all central and regional bureaux, the Human Develoment Report Office and all professional homes, and utilize tools such as the gender marker to monitor compliance with corporate mandates and resource targets. The gender marker data will be broken down by region and Strategic Plan outcomes and outputs to be a more precise monitoring tool. The gender marker data will also be incorporated into the corporate planning system. Improvements will be made to the gender marker to improve accuracy (please see key actions under recommendation 3).
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2017/02/06]
Executive Office, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS)/ Gender Team, regional bureaux No due date Initiated The GSIC continues to meet annually to review progress. The Gender Steering and Implementation Committee (GSIC) held one meeting in May 2016 during which 14 ASGs and Chiefs of Profession reported and discussed on their bureaus/units progress in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment in their work. Key recommendations included ensuring that UNDP’s investments in gender is reflected accurately in the gender marker rating for example by having the gender marker rating on the cover of all project documents and tracked as part of monitoring and evaluation processes; and to develop a more comprehensive metrics to show gender capacities that exists and is delivering results.
1.2 The merits of integrating the gender equality strategy into the strategic plan from 2018 onwards will be considered based on findings of the mid-term review of the Strategic Plan, 2014-2017.
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2017/02/06]
Executive Office 2017/12 Initiated Discussions are ongoing on how to integrate gender equality and women's empowerment in the next Strategic Plan 2018-2021.
1.3 UNDP standard operating procedures in crisis contexts, surge and express staff rosters (terms of reference, capacities, training) and crisis response tools all are being reviewed to ensure that gender equality and women?s empowerment can be addressed at the onset of crises.
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2017/02/06]
BPPS/Gender Team, Crisis Response Unit 2016/06 Completed The BPPS Gender Team has been working closely with the Crisis Response Unit on ensuring that women are empowered and fully engaged during crisis responses and gender equality is addressed systematically in crisis recovery planning and management. This included revision of the Standard Operating Procedures for crises response and Crises Response Packages with gender equality as a key principal and to include gender assessment and planning tools. All ToRs for SURGE profiles have been revised to be more gender responsive as evidenced by increasing numbers of women applicants. Thirdly, a Gender expert profile has been included in a new category of deployment called First Responders to be deployed within 24 hours of the crises onset.
1.4 To support the integration of gender in energy and environment programming, UNDP will develop: (a) a toolkit for UNDP staff on mainstreaming gender in environment programming; (b) a gender toolkit for GEF projects; and (c) tools for integrating gender into disaster preparedness and response.
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2017/02/06]
BPPS/Gender Team, BPPS/Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Team 2017/12 Initiated Two publications was launched in 2015 to support the integration of gender in energy and environment programming. These are Gender Responsive National Communications Toolkit and Gender Mainstreaming in Mitigation and Technology Development and Transfer Interventions produced in partnership with UNEP. The gender toolkit for GEF projects are in the process of being developed. A review of existing tools for integrating gender into disaster preparedness and response are being planned.
2. Recommendation: Given the uneven performance in the four focus areas of the Strategic Plan, 2008?2013 in promoting gender development results, UNDP should ensure that future assessments pay specific attention to the progress, effectiveness and quality of gender development results in the seven outcome areas of the current strategic plan.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/09/01] [Last Updated: 2016/01/12]

UNDP welcomes this recommendation and will develop guidelines for integrating gender development results in thematic assessments including reviews, and will work with IEO to improve the integration of gender in all evaluations.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 Guidelines for integrating gender in reviews, assessments, decentralized and independent evaluations (drawing on existing tools including the IRRF, gender marker, etc.,) will be developed.
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2017/02/06]
BPPS/Gender Team, IEO 2017/12 Initiated Currently in dicussions with OAI on how to develop gender-responsive auditing.
3. Recommendation: UNDP should focus on refining tools, instruments and processes developed during the period 2008?2013 and focus on further internalizing the centrality of gender equality and women?s empowerment to the achievement of all development goals among staff. Specific recommendations on these improvements and possible new areas of intervention are discussed below:

Gender analysis should become mandatory in all programming and be linked with justifying the gender marker rating of each UNDP intervention.

The gender marker should track allocations in a way that provides reliable aggregated data at different stages of the project cycle.

The Gender Seal requires senior management?s attention in terms of its future role as a corporate certification initiative.

Stronger attention should be placed on using the GSIC forum as a venue for organization-wide learning, problem solving and sharing of instructive practices.
The GSIC should ensure that the gender parity strategy is revised and a roll-out programme is articulated.
UNDP should strengthen capacity development processes that focus on gender mainstreaming so they are relevant and apply to staff ?s daily work and needs.

UNDP should consider exploring new frontiers for engaging in gender issues that go beyond women?s issues, for example the ?masculinity? agenda.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/09/01] [Last Updated: 2016/01/12]

UNDP management appreciates the recognition of past efforts, and notes that UNDP will continue to refine tools, instruments and processes with a focus on internalizing gender equality and women?s empowerment towards the achievement of development goals. 3.1. Gender analysis should become mandatory in all programming and be linked with justifying the gender marker rating of each UNDP intervention. UNDP will ensure that gender analysis is linked with the gender marker rating of every UNDP intervention by integrating this analysis in existing and upcoming mandatory programme/project planning, monitoring and assessment processes such as programme/project quality assurance, social and environmental screening and revision of the project document. 3.2 The gender marker should track allocations in a way that provides reliable aggregated data at different stages of the project cycle. It should be subject to random external checks and also be systematically assessed by internal audit exercises. UNDP welcomes this recommendation and will include in the revised gender marker guidance note provisions for random assessments and integrated into internal audit exercises. 3.3 The Gender Seal requires senior management?s attention in terms of its future role as a corporate certification initiative. To facilitate this process, the Gender Seal pilot should be assessed by a team of independent advisors to guide its application as it enters a critical post-pilot phase. Management appreciates the recognition that the Gender Equality Seal approach can be of value to national ministries. UNDP welcomes and agrees with the recommendation for independent assessments to review, document and improve upon the experiences of the Gender Equality Seal. 3.4 Stronger attention should be placed on using the GSIC forum as a venue for organization-wide learning, problem-solving and sharing of instructive practices. UNDP appreciates the recommendation for the GSIC to become a venue for learning, finding solutions and sharing of practices. UNDP has expanded the membership of the GSIC and for the first time in 2015, all UNDP bureaux reported gender equality progress and results, shared lessons learned and identified overall and bureau-specific recommendations to take forward. 3.5 UNDP should strengthen capacity development processes that focus on gender mainstreaming so they are relevant and apply to staff?s daily work and needs. UNDP agrees on the importance of capacity development for gender mainstreaming and will improve existing and upcoming training tools by including gender content. 3.6 UNDP should consider exploring new frontiers for engaging in gender issues that go beyond women?s issues, for example the ?masculinity? agenda. UNDP will consider exploring new frontiers for engaging in gender issues that go beyond women?s issues, for example the ?masculinity? agenda.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
Mandatory environmental and social screening procedures established for all projects above $500,000 to ensure they have gender equality as a key principal.
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2017/02/06]
BPPS/Gender Team, BPPS/Development Impact Team, regional bureaux and regional service centres No due date Initiated Done and ongoing
Gender analysis is a requirement of the mandatory project quality assurance process.
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2017/02/06]
BPPS/Gender Team, BPPS/Development Impact Team, regional bureaux and regional service centres No due date Initiated Done and ongoing
Quality assurance guidelines for all country programmes and global/regional programmes will address gender equality and women's empowerment.
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2017/02/06]
BPPS/Gender Team, BPPS/Development Impact Team, regional bureaux and regional service centres 2016/12 Completed All UNDP country programmes and global/regional programmes are subject to QA standards which includes key criteria on gender equality and women's empowerment. Two guidances have been produced on how to carry out gender analysis and how to integrate gender analysis in country programme and are available in 5 languages.
The gender marker guidance note will be revised to provide more specific guidance to improve gender marker accuracy.
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2017/02/06]
BPPS/Gender Team 2016/12 Completed The gender marker guidance note has been revised with specific guidance to improve gender marker accuracy and available in 5 languages.
The gender marker rating will be included in the cover note for project documents and integrated in the quality assurance guidelines.
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2017/02/06]
BPPS/Gender Team, BPPS/Development Impact Group 2016/12 Completed The gender marker rating is now included in the project document template, on the cover page for each outputs and in the results and resources framework. This corresponds with the requirements of the quality assurance guidelines and gender marker guidance.
A sample of random gender marker audits will be undertaken each year to improve accuracy (ensuring regional balance).
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2017/02/06]
BPPS/Gender Team, regional bureaux 2016/12 Completed An external random assessment on the accuracy of the gender marker was carried out in Oct-Dec 2016 on a sample of 100 projects selected from country, regional and global projects.
Guidelines for integrating gender in reviews, assessments, evaluations and audits (drawing on existing tools including IRRF, gender marker, etc.) will be developed.
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2017/02/06]
BPPS/IEO/Office of Audit and Investigations 2017/12 Initiated Currently in dicussions with OAI on how to develop gender-responsive auditing.
Independent assessment will be undertaken of the Gender Equality Seal to review, document and improve the tool.
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2017/02/06]
BPPS/Gender Team 2016/12 Completed An external review of the Gender Equality Seal was completed in December 2016
4. Recommendation: Country offices should prepare gender plans that identify gaps and needs in technical support, capacity-building, joint action and advocacy, and collective monitoring that facilitate stronger gender programming. These plans should also help to identify areas where UNDP can draw on expertise and leverage the existing capacities of other United Nations agencies active on gender issues at the country level. This process should be supported, monitored and reported upon annually by the respective regional bureaux to the GSIC.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/09/01] [Last Updated: 2016/01/12]

The Gender Equality Seal certification is the primary tool for strengthening country office capacity and ensuring collective monitoring for stronger gender programming. Currently, 29 countries have undertaken the Gender Seal certification process. This will be expanded to more countries. Regional bureaux and the GSIC will draw upon the GSIC benchmarking to measure progress.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
The Gender Equality Seal benchmarking to be completed by all country offices in Africa and utilized as a tool for monitoring gender capacity.
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2016/02/17]
BPPS/Gender Team/ Regional Bureau for Africa 2015/12 Completed Following the successful implementation if the Gender Equality Seal 2013-14 Round, the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa reinvigorated the momentum on gender mainstreaming and reaffirmed the political commitment. A regional baseline was developed?using the Seal online benchmarking and self-assessment tool?to allow RBA better identify weaknesses and strengthens of offices, and develop tailored strategies and actions for improvement towards certification in 2017. In February 2015, 30 RBA Country Offices completed the self-assessment. The baseline results showed that partnerships and results are the stronger areas of performance while capacities and enabling environment are the weakest. From these 29 offices, 11 are now participating in the 2015-16 certification round, while the rest of the offices are implementing action plan for improving their overall Gender Equality and Women?s empowerment work.
The next phase of the Gender Equality Seal certification initiative will be launched with approximately 30 country offices being certified.
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2017/02/06]
BPPS/Gender Team/ regional bureaux and country offices 2017/06 Overdue-Initiated The latest round of the Gender Equality Seal was launched by the Associate Administrator in July 2015. Presently 52 Country Offices are engaged in the Gender Equality Seal process. This includes 30 countries embarking upon the Seal and 19 countries from the previous round who would like to improve their ranking. In 2016, 37 COs participated in the Gender Equality Seal certification process. Certification will take place in early 2017
5. Recommendation: UNDP currently does not have a measurement standard to systematically track the type, quality and effectiveness of its contribution to gender results that also captures the context of change and the degree of its contribution to that change. In order to address this issue, UNDP should codify the way it wishes to monitor, report, evaluate and audit its contributions to gender, and this framework should be used for rigorously tracking results for gender equality and women?s empowerment at the country, regional and global levels.
Management Response: [Added: 2015/09/01] [Last Updated: 2016/01/12]

UNDP believes that it has a range of tools for measuring progress that are used for different purposes. These comply with a range of different inter-agency standards. Taken together, these give a good view of the gender mainstreaming taking place in a given business unit. However, management will take forward the recommendation to consider adopting measures such as the Gender@Work framework to move beyond a focus on numbers of women and men towards more transformative results is worth consideration.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
UNDP will begin an internal dialogue bringing experts from the Gender@Work network to explore how the organization can move beyond a focus on numbers of women and men towards more transformative results. This will include the development of a capacity-building strategy to support country offices and accelerate changes
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2017/02/06]
BPPS/Gender Team 2017/06 Overdue-Initiated A Global Gender Workshop is planned for May 2017 to discuss the next Gender Equality Strategy 2018-2021, during which the Gender@Work framework will be discussed.
In developing its monitoring policy, UNDP will integrate provisions for systematic tracking of the type, quality and effectiveness of its contribution to gender results.
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2017/02/06]
Executive Office, BPPS/Development Impact Group/ Gender Team, regional bureaux 2016/12 Completed At the monitoring and implementation phase, all UNDP projects are subject to quality assurance standards which includes the tracking of the type, quality and effectiveness of the project's contribution to gender.
UNDP will bring the Gender@Work framework to be discussed at the Gender Steering and Implementation Committee meetings.
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2017/02/06]
Executive Office, BPPS/Gender Team, regional bureaux 2017/12 Initiated A Global Gender Workshop is planned for May 2017 to discuss the next Gender Equality Strategy 2018-2021, during which the Gender@Work framework will be discussed.
The feasibility of the Gender@Work framework to become part of the UNDP results-based management policy and processes to be considered in the midterm review of the Strategic Plan, 2013-2017.
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2017/02/06]
Executive Office, BPPS/Development Impact Group 2017/12 Initiated Discussions are ongoing on how to integrate gender equality and women's empowerment in the next Strategic Plan 2018-2021.

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