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 Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
Evaluation Budget(US $): 350,000
Source of Funding:
Joint Programme: 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
1.

Chapter 4 ASSESSMENT OF INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE RESULTS IN UNDP 

The Gender Equality Strategy contains a section covering institutional results that details outputs, indicators and targets. This chapter assesses the initiatives developed by UNDP during the period 2008–2013 to promote gender mainstreaming efforts within the organization.  

As noted in section 1.3, the  theory of change of the GES builds on the basic assumption that implementing a series of institutional measures will bolster and enhance UNDP’s contribution to development results in the four focus areas. The assumed pathway of results moves from internal change (institutional changes), in which UNDP has more control and influence over what is implemented, to the arena of development results, in which UNDP only contributes to gender results. This is seen in changes in policies, laws, attitudes and behaviours. UNDP has less influence and/or direct control in this area because it works with national and regional partners and stakeholders. In line with this theory of change, this chapter seeks to answer the following evaluation question: Did UNDP integrate gender equality across the institution at the programme, policy, technical and cultural levels during the period 2008–2013?

The chapter assesses institutional change results through UNDP’s contributions in these areas:

- Planning and resources; - Innovations to promote gender mainstreaming; - Mechanisms for tracking gender investments and reporting on results; - Gender parity and organizational culture; -  Accountability and oversight; - Knowledge management and communication;  -UN system collaboration on gender.

4.1 PLANNING AND RESOURCES

This section evaluates UNDP progress in terms of planning, strategy and allocation of human and financial resources to promote GEWE.

4.1.1 GENDER EQUALITY STRATEGY (2008–2013)

Finding 1: UNDP’s first Gender Equality Strategy was a significant step forward with regard to providing guidance on gender mainstreaming and programming. The GES included programmatic and institutional guidance and a results framework, which are essential ingredients for strong gender mainstreaming. However, it was not endorsed by the Executive Board, which made its guidance voluntary. This weakened its potential impact and integration. In a context of multiple competing priorities, staff reported that they do not prioritize an area unless a guidance document has been endorsed by the Executive Board, the area is considered mandatory or an urgent directive has been issued by the Administrator.


Tag: Effectiveness Impact Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Communication Human and Financial resources Policies & Procedures

2.

4.1.2 HUMAN AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES FOR GENDER

This section assesses the financial allocations and gender architecture (human resources) available to UNDP at global, regional and country office levels during the evaluation period. It also assesses the extent to which UNDP has responded to the Strategic Plan indicators in this area.

Finding 2: UNDP did not establish clear, steady financial benchmarks and mechanisms in support of core Global Gender Team activities during 2008–2013. There was a promising increase in resources from $4.20 million in 2008 to an average of $6.13 million in 2012, but in 2013 expenditures fell significantly, to $4.16 million.70 In 2014 they were further reduced to $3.37 million. In addition the share of non-core resources in Gender Team expenditures grew from 23 percent in 2008 to 39 percent in 2013. 


Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Change Management Human and Financial resources Operational Efficiency Partnership UN Agencies Policy Advisory Technical Support

3.

Finding 3: At the regional level, gender practice leaders consistently had a position of seniority (P5 level). Evidence suggests that the majority of country offices have received support from gender practice leaders and that this guidance was valued. 


Tag: Effectiveness Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Human and Financial resources Programme/Project Design Country Government UNDP Regional Bureaux Technical Support

4.

Finding 4: Country offices had insufficient gender staff throughout the evaluation period. Only 45 percent of country offices had gender focal team structures in place in 2013, indicating a relatively weak response to the indicators established in the Strategic Plan and GES. Previous evaluations and reports suggested the optimal arrangement is a cross-unit gender focal team led by a senior gender adviser. The evaluation found that gender focal points covered gender issues in 80 percent of country offices, and only 20 percent of them worked full time on the issue. Moreover, these staff were at junior levels with little specialized gender training.


Tag: Effectiveness Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Human and Financial resources Policies & Procedures Capacity Building

5.

4.2 INNOVATIONS TO PROMOTE GENDER MAINSTREAMING

This section assesses two innovations introduced as part of the GES, the GSIC and the Gender Equality Seal. The GSIC was designed to ensure systematic monitoring of implementation of the GES by senior management and to facilitate coherent annual reporting to the Executive Board. The Gender Seal was a certification initiative to motivate country offices and reward strong performance on gender mainstreaming.

4.2.1 GENDER STEERING AND IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE

Finding 5: The GSIC mechanism has evolved from a pro forma exercise to a key instrument for reporting on accountability for promoting gender equality by senior managers at headquarters level. It has functioned mainly as a forum for sharing cross-bureau experience. Regional GSICs, which were an explicit target in the GES, have yet to become a uniform feature.   


Tag: Effectiveness Resource mobilization Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Gender Parity Women's Empowerment Innovation Knowledge management Monitoring and Evaluation Results-Based Management Capacity Building

6.

4.2.2 GENDER EQUALITY SEAL PILOT

Finding 6: The Gender Equality Seal pilot is a unique initiative developed by UNDP’s Global Gender Team and applied in around 30 country offices since 2010. The certification process has motivated country offices and tapped a competitive vein among those volunteering to be part of the pilot process. While it is too soon to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the seal’s impact on results in GEWE, it clearly is motivating change and promoting appreciation that gender mainstreaming is tangible and achievable.


Tag: Effectiveness Impact Resource mobilization Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Change Management Country Support Platform Human and Financial resources Innovation Integration Knowledge management Policies & Procedures Programme/Project Design Quality Assurance Results-Based Management UNDP Regional Bureaux Capacity Building Advocacy

7.

4.3 MECHANISMS FOR TRACKING GENDER INVESTMENTS AND REPORTING ON RESULTS

This section focuses on the assessment of gender equality and tracking mechanisms as seen in the gender marker and the ROAR.

4.3.1 GENDER MARKER

Finding 7: Making the gender marker mandatory during budget submission has served to heighten awareness of the need to consider gender during budget allocation. Nevertheless, evidence suggests that it is not being used effectively as a planning tool and is disconnected from the workflow of the programme cycle, particularly during the appraisal, approval, monitoring and closure stages. Furthermore, there are variations in the way the gender marker codes are awarded, which has compromised the accuracy of the information being produced by this tool. 


Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Sustainability Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Knowledge management Monitoring and Evaluation Policies & Procedures Programme/Project Design Project and Programme management Quality Assurance Theory of Change Capacity Building

8.

4.3.2 RESULTS-BASED REPORTING: RESULTS-ORIENTED ANNUAL REPORTING

Finding 8: The ROAR, an annual requirement, has become an important driver of reporting on GEWE. However, this corporate reporting does not systematically track the quality or type of gender results and has not explored trends in how change happens in GEWE work. 


Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Monitoring and Evaluation Policies & Procedures Results-Based Management Theory of Change Capacity Building

9.

4.4 GENDER PARITY AND ORGANIZATONAL CULTURE

The evaluation focused on assessing the gender parity profile as well as key messages from the global staff survey, which has been an annual exercise since 1999.

4.4.1 GENDER PARITY

Finding 9: UNDP has been working on gender parity internally since 1995 and has achieved it at the aggregate level. However, the organization lags behind in parity at the senior (D1/D2) and middle (P4/P5) management levels, which is a serious concern. The institutionalization of policies intended to promote more female candidates has not yielded tangible results. Furthermore, no explicit steps are being taken to address male employees’ concerns about the effects of pro-female policies on men’s career prospects.  

 


Tag: Effectiveness Gender Equality Gender Parity Women's Empowerment Human and Financial resources Policies & Procedures

10.

4.4.2 ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE

Finding 10: While UNDP has instituted policies and mandatory mechanisms to promote GEWE and to sensitize staff on gender issues, its organizational culture in this regard remains weak. Trends from the annual global staff survey indicate consistent differences in how female and male staff members score issues dealing with empowerment, professional growth, fairness/respect, work-life balance and conflict management. Women generally score UNDP less favourably on these aspects than do men. 


Tag: Effectiveness Gender Equality Gender-Based Violence Women's Empowerment Human and Financial resources Policies & Procedures Capacity Building

11.

4.5 ACCOUNTABILITY AND OVERSIGHT

This section assesses the extent to which UNDP’s evaluation and audit functions have approached evaluation and auditing of UNDP’s GEWE initiative, programming and institutional change efforts.

4.5.1 EVALUATION

Finding 11: The UNDP handbook on planning, monitoring and evaluating for results (published in 2009 and updated in 2011) does not provide adequate guidance on how to undertake gender-related evaluations. It is limited to highlighting the need for gender targeting inputs, such as sex-disaggregated data. Furthermore, decentralized evaluations have not paid sufficient attention to ensuring that the GEWE dimensions of UNDP programmes are consistently covered in depth. 


Tag: Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Human and Financial resources Monitoring and Evaluation Policies & Procedures

12.

4.5.2 GENDER-RESPONSIVE AUDITING

Finding 12: Office of Audits and Investigations practice conforms to international standards based on risk assessment. The focus has been limited to assessing gender-parity levels in country offices, and audits have not generally addressed GEWE. Moreover, there has been no systematic practice of undertaking gender audits.  


Tag: Effectiveness Relevance Gender Equality Gender Parity Women's Empowerment Policies & Procedures Risk Management UN Agencies

13.

4.6 KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT AND COMMUNICATION

Finding 13: UNDP developed a set of global and regional knowledge platforms and communities of practice on gender during the evaluation period, but by and large these have not been sustained. The use of knowledge products was not systematically tracked or monitored. Cybermetric analysis also revealed that the UNDP network of websites is highly complex and potentially difficult to navigate. Interviews at regional and country level revealed that the lack of gender materials in languages other than English also posed a problem.


Tag: Sustainability Gender Equality Women's Empowerment Communication Human and Financial resources Knowledge management MDGs Civil Societies and NGOs UN Agencies Technology

14.

4.7 UN SYSTEM COLLABORATION ON GENDER

Finding 14: UNDP country offices are members of UN country gender theme groups and participate in joint gender programmes. However, the evaluative evidence indicates that joint programming with UN-Women is still at a nascent stage, and UNDP’s relationships with UN-Women are central to such coordination. As UN-Women establishes a firmer global footprint, the partnership between the two agencies is maturing, reflecting comparative advantages that address country-specific contexts and needs. 


Tag: Coherence Effectiveness Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Human and Financial resources Joint UN Programme Partnership Programme/Project Design Strategic Positioning UN Agencies UN Country Team UNDP Management UNDP Regional Bureaux Promotion of dialogue Coordination Technical Support

15.

Finding 15:  The UN-SWAP reporting platform represents an advance in terms of systemwide accountability and coherence for gender mainstreaming. While the framework relies on self-reported data and is susceptible to ‘overrating’, the SWAP still provides a means for systematic data collection on common performance indicators within UNDP and across the UN system. UNDP has been recognized by UN-Women as “spearheading initiatives that propel progress on gender mainstreaming and gender equality”.


Tag: Coherence Effectiveness Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Knowledge management Partnership Policies & Procedures Quality Assurance UN Agencies Data and Statistics

16.

Chapter 5 ASSESSMENT OF UNDP’S CONTRIBUTION TO GENDER EQUITY AND WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT DEVELOPMENT RESULTS 

The Gender Equality Strategy contains a section covering development results that details outcomes and gender-explicit indicators that link to the Strategic Plan. This chapter assesses UNDP’s contribution to results in GEWE in the four focus areas and seeks to answer the following evaluation question: “Has UNDP contributed to development results in gender equality and women’s empowerment?

Reliable GEWE data for all 136 country offices were limited due to lack of sex-disaggregated data and consistent indicators, so the evaluation team created a dataset consisting of data from the ADRs and gender results collected in the country visits. As such, the evaluation assessed UNDP’s contribution to development results by creating a database of 260 gender results from 62 ADR reports and 13 country visits, and then by assessing these results based on two scales or frameworks:

- Level of effectiveness of gender results, using the Gender Results Effectiveness Scale; -Type of change in gender results, using the Gender@Work Framework

In this evaluation, ‘gender results’ are defined as outputs or outcomes that have been found to be contributing (positively or negatively) to GEWE in UNDP interventions. Qualitative thematic coding techniques were applied to gender results according to the two frameworks identified above, which were used to show UNDP’s progress in moving towards gender-responsive and transformative results.

The GRES provides a five-point scale showing different levels of effectiveness, both positive and negative, moving towards transformation, and the Gender@Work framework identifies the areas of change that must occur to achieve transformative change. Taken together, the results produced by the two frameworks helped create a more comprehensive perspective on the quality of gender results, their level of effectiveness and the type of change to which UNDP contributed. The team experimented with this approach to establish meaningful aggregate-level trends of UNDP’s contributions to GEWE results.

The frameworks have been used in this evaluation to provide an analytical framework to assess the gender results in the four development focus areas. They reflect the fact that working towards GEWE requires more than simply targeting women (or men) or ensuring that a certain number of women benefit from a programme. The frameworks aim at making visible the quality and content issues that are too often absent in accountability and reporting systems and also to capture the level of effectiveness of gender results as well as the type of gender change.

In terms of the level of effectiveness of gender results, GRES rates results as gender negative, gender blind, gender targeted, gender responsive or gender transformative (Table 3).112 (To see how the GRES interacts with political contexts and approaches, see the text box in Annex 5, which presents five different results from a political participation programme.) 

Results may evolve over time. Gender-targeted or gender-responsive results have the potential to become transformative and induce transformative shifts. Because underlying power structures are being tackled, there is also the possibility of reversal or backlash. (Instances of backlash were coded from the ADR gender results, and that analysis appears below.) 

In terms of the type of gender change, the Gender@Work framework enables a deeper analysis of the types of changes that occur when trying to achieve gender awareness and transformation. It was originally developed for programming and planning purposes based on the premise that effective GEWE programming requires four types of change: individual change, formal change, systemic change and informal change (Table 4). For this evaluation, each result was categorized into one of these four areas of change. In terms of interpreting the results, the assumption is that if UNDP is conducting transformative GEWE programming, a similar number and concentration of changes would be present in each quadrant. This chapter contains text boxes that describe programmes with multiple dimensions of the Gender@Work change quadrants.  

5.1 OVERVIEW ASSESSMENT OF UNDP’S CONTRIBUTION TO GENDER RESULTS

This section examines gender results in the focus areas of the 2008–2013 Strategic Plan, drawing on evidence collected during country visits and from ADRs and other independent regional, global and thematic evaluation reports. It is important to note that the focus area findings are illustrative of UNDP’s gender results but do not represent a comprehensive assessment of all gender-oriented activities undertaken during the period, which is beyond the scope of this exercise.

5.1.1 EFFECTIVENESS AND TYPE OF GENDER RESULTS

Finding 16: Gender results from all focus areas except democratic governance were overwhelmingly ‘gender targeted’, meaning they were limited to counting the number of women and men involved. Democratic governance was the only area that consistently delivered on ‘gender responsive’ results (over 62 percent of its results), demonstrating more meaningful results by addressing the different needs and priorities of women and men.


Tag: Energy Environment Policy Effectiveness Impact Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Gender transformation Gender-Based Violence Women's Empowerment Election Human rights Justice system HIV / AIDS MDGs Policies & Procedures Results-Based Management Theory of Change Crisis prevention Capacity Building Data and Statistics

17.

5.1.2 QUALITY OF GENDER RESULTS

To explore the type of gender results to which UNDP contributed, the ADRs and country visit results were combined and categorized according to the four Gender@Work categories (Figure 10).

Finding 17: With respect to outcomes, UNDP is contributing most in terms of improving access to resources and opportunities; changing policies, laws and institutional arrangements; and strengthening consciousness and awareness raising. A few results signal that UNDP has contributed to systemic changes in internal culture and deep structure, which are needed for transformative change. 


Tag: Impact Sustainability Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Gender transformation Women's Empowerment Justice system Parliament Public administration reform Rule of law Results-Based Management Theory of Change Inclusive economic growth Poverty Reduction Advocacy

18.

Finding 18: UNDP faces many barriers to taking a strategic and longer term approach that would stimulate transformative change. Many project and programme cycles are short, lasting only two years. Furthermore, UNDP tends to engage in programming that addresses women’s practical needs; it has not consistently leveraged the value addition of its long-term presence incountry to tackle deeper structural change. Uniform categorization to capture and document gender-responsive and gender-transformative change has also been challenging. 


Tag: Effectiveness Efficiency Impact Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Gender transformation Women's Empowerment Donor relations Knowledge management Policies & Procedures Programme/Project Design Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Theory of Change Conflict Capacity Building Advocacy Technical Support Data and Statistics

19.

Finding 19: Instances of backlash (barriers to or reversals of progress) were reported across all thematic areas. Backlash raises the issue of sustainability of results. Gender analysis and monitoring and evaluation of gender results have been inconsistent in tracking gender reversals.


Tag: Sustainability Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Gender Parity Gender transformation Gender-Based Violence Women's Empowerment Election Local Governance Parliament MDGs Monitoring and Evaluation Results-Based Management Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods

20.

Finding 20: The lack of gender analysis as a central component of programme design was evident in all focus areas. Dedicated funds are not regularly set aside to perform gender assessment at the design stage or to monitor and evaluate outcomes. Despite efforts to institutionalize gender thinking and the perception that the organization is now ‘gender aware’, the evaluation found a lack of deeper understanding of what gender means in development programming. In practice, ‘doing gender’ in UNDP often comes down to a targeting perspective. Women are often framed in a context of vulnerability rather than as key actors in a process of transformative social and development change.


Tag: Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Gender transformation Women's Empowerment HIV / AIDS Integration Programme/Project Design Quality Assurance Results-Based Management Theory of Change Jobs and Livelihoods

21.

Finding 21: UNDP is recognized for its ground-breaking and innovative contribution to human development through its Human Development Report and Gender Inequality Index. However, the evaluation found little evidence that UNDP has succeeded in integrating such thinking in programming at country and regional levels. UNDP is not recognized as a ‘thought leader’ in GEWE, and it is more commonly described as a facilitator, enabler and useful reference point on UN commitments. 


Tag: Effectiveness Impact Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Gender-Based Violence Women's Empowerment Human rights Justice system Innovation Integration Results-Based Management Strategic Positioning Theory of Change Civil Societies and NGOs Conflict resolution Crisis prevention Peace Building Security Advocacy

22.

5.2 GENDER RESULTS IN THE FOUR FOCUS AREAS

This section examines gender results in the focus areas of the 2008–2013 Strategic Plan. Each subsection has two parts. First is key data, which describes the resources allocated to gender, gender results reported and the areas of work that characterize UNDP’s contribution to gender in that focus. Second is the focus area findings based on the Gender@Work analysis applied to the four quadrants of change. These are supplemented by additional findings illustrative of significant gender programming. As noted at the start of this chapter, these sections do not present a comprehensive accounting of gender results in the four areas.

5.2.1 POVERTY REDUCTION AND ACHIEVEMENT OF THE MDGS

Key data

Resources: Between 2008 and 2013, total UNDP expenditure for poverty reduction and achievement of the MDGs was approximately $7.667 billion, averaging $1.277 billion annually. Since 2010, it has been consistently the largest area of programme intervention by expenditure, distributing an average of 29 percent of total UNDP resources. In the period 2010–2013, roughly one half (49 percent, $2,549 billion) of these expenditures made ‘significant’ or greater contributions to GEWE, according to the gender marker tracking system

Gender results: According to the ROAR, the poverty reduction focus area averaged 232 self-reported gender results per year (696 outcomes through all three years) across UNDP’s country operations. This represented an average of 75 percent of the total number of country outcomes reported over the period. The highest proportion of gender results was reported in the Africa region (78 percent) and the lowest in the Asia Pacific region (69 percent). 

Areas of work: Overall, country offices reported that most of the gender results in the poverty reduction and MDG portfolio were related to promoting women’s economic rights and opportunities, followed by designing public services that benefit poor women and men equitably, and addressing the gender dimensions of HIV/AIDS (Figure 12).

Finding 22: The majority of changes in the poverty reduction and MDG portfolio occurred in ‘increased access to resources and opportunities’ (Figure 13). Targeting women as the main beneficiaries in poverty reduction, often through microcredit and inclusive growth programmes, has brought short-term results in GEWE. In many cases, UNDP’s approach has lacked a comprehensive analysis incorporating attention to gender factors and dynamics that go beyond access to resources and opportunities. Success was more evident in programmes that had adopted a long-term perspective.


Tag: Effectiveness Impact Sustainability Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Gender transformation Women's Empowerment Human rights Local Governance HIV / AIDS MDGs Capacity Building Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods Micro-credit Poverty Reduction Social Protection Urbanization

23.

Finding 23: In terms of ‘increased knowledge and skills,’ UNDP’s Global Gender and Economic Policy Management Initiative (GEPMI) has provided capacity development and advisory services to planning and policy experts in governments. Data suggest that the GEPMI approach is relevant and potentially sustainable. However, further evidence is needed to assess its overall effectiveness and longer term impacts. 


Tag: Relevance Sustainability Communication Knowledge management Policies & Procedures Civil Societies and NGOs Country Government UN Agencies Capacity Building Policy Advisory

24.

Finding 24: In terms of ‘policy advice’, UNDP developed and is currently implementing the MDG Acceleration Framework (MAF). This global initiative aims to help countries overcome slow and uneven progress towards achievement of the MDGs, including MDG 3 on GEWE and MDG 5 on maternal health. The MAF is present in over 50 countries, promoting gender equality not only in national action plans but also in MAF planning processes.


Tag: Drinking water supply Sanitation Effectiveness Impact Sustainability Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Local Governance Health Sector Reproductive Health MDGs Ownership Partnership Policies & Procedures Programme Synergy Country Government Poverty Reduction Social Protection Policy Advisory Data and Statistics

25.

Finding 25: UNDP programming in HIV and AIDS has consistently advocated for a human development and human rights approach, which strives to address ‘deep change’ in cultural values and norms. It has also helped move the HIV and AIDS paradigm away from a biomedical focus to a broader development focus. 


Tag: Global Fund Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Gender transformation Women's Empowerment Human rights HIV / AIDS Pandemic Integration Knowledge management MDGs Programme Synergy Capacity Building

26.

5.2.2 DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE

Key data

Resources: During the evaluation period, total UNDP expenditure for democratic governance was approximately $7.407 billion, averaging$1.234 billion annually. Democratic governance was the second largest area of programme intervention by expenditure across the four focus areas, distributing nearly a third of total UNDP resources. In the period 2010–2013, just over a quarter of these expenditures (28 percent) were categorized in the gender marker tracking system as making a ‘significant’ contribution to GEWE.

Gender results: An average of 210 gender outcomes were reported annually in democratic governance across UNDP’s country operations for the period, a total of 631 ROAR outcomes for the three years. This represented 72 percent of the total number of outcomes reported for the period. On average, the Asia Pacific region reported the highest proportion of gender results (77 percent) and the Arab States region the lowest (66 percent).

Areas of work: Results focused mostly on promotion of women’s political participation in governance institutions, followed by integration of gender equality in national development policies and budget frameworks (Figure 14).

Finding 26: The most change occurred in the outcome areas of ‘policies and laws and arrangements’, in which UNDP helped strengthen national legal and institutional frameworks to advance women’s rights, placing women and men on a more even footing (Figure 15). Compared to other focus areas, democratic governance had the most coverage in the four Gender@Work categories, supporting the potential for more gender-transformative results. Results in this area were also more often gender responsive.


Tag: Effectiveness Impact Sustainability Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Gender transformation Gender-Based Violence Women's Empowerment Civic Engagement Election Human rights Justice system Local Governance Parliament Public administration reform Rule of law Integration

27.

Finding 27: Shifts in rates of ‘consciousness and awareness of rights’ were also a common result across UNDP programming. A significant number of changes were recorded with respect to ‘changes in consciousness’. 


Tag: Impact Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Gender transformation Gender-Based Violence Women's Empowerment Civic Engagement Human rights Justice system Local Governance Rule of law Communication Innovation Advocacy

28.

Finding 28: Gender results were prominent in the outcome area of ‘access to resources and opportunities’. By supporting women in political caucuses, providing access to civic education and establishing safe and secure electoral spaces, UNDP helped open doors for women in the political realm. However, deeper shifts in attitudes and norms are needed to institutionalize women’s participation in the political process and achieve equitable power distribution at a transformative level. 


Tag: Impact Sustainability Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Gender transformation Women's Empowerment Civic Engagement Election Local Governance Promotion of dialogue Security Social cohesion Education

29.

Finding 29: One of UNDP’s success factors has been its ability to promote gender equality through the neutrality of its mandate and its role as convener, knowledge broker, advisor and enabler supporting civil society, civic oversight actors and political parties as well as governments. It has done this in situations where the stakes are high and many actors have vested interests. 


Tag: Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Civic Engagement Election Human rights Parliament Rule of law Knowledge management Oversight Strategic Positioning Country Government Conflict Capacity Building Advocacy Policy Advisory

30.

Finding 30: Not all results were positive. Some well-intended programmes had negative consequences because of failure to analyse gender roles and power relations, precluding full and equal participation by women. In other cases, despite UNDP’s contribution to creating an enabling environment, cultural norms and historical legacies of discrimination precluded good outcomes.  


Tag: Impact Sustainability Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Local Governance Parliament Rule of law

31.

5.2.3 CRISIS PREVENTION AND RECOVERY

Key data

Resources: During the evaluation period, total UNDP expenditure for crisis prevention and recovery was approximately $5.4 billion, averaging $900 million annually. It is consistently the third largest area of programme intervention by expenditure, accounting for an average of 20 percent of total UNDP resources. In the period 2010–2013, approximately one third (32 percent, totalling $1.321 billion) of these expenditures made ‘significant’ or greater contributions to GEWE according to the gender marker tracking system.

Gender results: There was an average of 76 gender results a year (a total of 229 ROAR outcomes across the three years) reported from UNDP’s country offices over the 2011–2013 period. This represented 71 percent of the total number of results reported for the period. Crisis prevention and recovery had the lowest reported number of gender results of all the thematic areas. The highest proportion of gender results was reported in the Africa region (80 percent) and the lowest in the European region (58 percent).

Areas of work: Country programme data show that most of the gender results in the crisis prevention and recovery portfolio were related to ensuring that disaster risk reduction programmes benefit women and men equally (Figure 16).

Finding 31: Results from the Gender@Work framework found that overall conflict prevention and recovery made the most contribution in the area of ‘access to resources and opportunities’ in  the field of gender-targeted economic recovery (Figure 17). Furthermore, results in ‘consciousness’ and ‘policies’ related to the role UNDP has played in raising sustainable development concerns as well as promoting income-generation activities that increased the productive role of women in sustainable development. 


Tag: Disaster Risk Reduction Vulnerable Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Local Governance Rule of law Conflict resolution Crisis prevention Humanitarian development nexus Education Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods

32.

Finding 32: In terms of promoting women’s access to justice, UNDP has had successes in rebuilding legal structures and setting up support for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. In other instances, there was gender-blind programming that had less positive results. 


Tag: Gender Equality Gender-Based Violence Women's Empowerment Human rights Justice system Local Governance Rule of law Conflict Conflict resolution Crisis prevention Social cohesion Capacity Building

33.

Finding 33: The UNDP eight-point agenda effectively formed the backbone of GEWE programming in crisis prevention and recovery and contributed to the Secretary-General’s seven-point action plan for the UN’s delivery of gender-responsive peacebuilding.  


Tag: Effectiveness Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Gender-Based Violence Women's Empowerment Conflict Conflict resolution Crisis prevention Advocacy

34.

5.2.4 ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

Key data

Resources: The environmental focal area includes natural resources management, energy-related programmes, poverty and the urban environment, climate change and what has become defined as resilience. During the evaluation period, the total UNDP expenditure for energy and environment was approximately $3.205 billion, averaging $534 million annually. It is consistently the smallest area of programme intervention by expenditure across the four UNDP focus areas. Despite the critical role women play in the environment, in the period 2010–2013, just over a quarter (27 percent, totalling $622 million) of these expenditures made a ‘significant’ or greater contribution to GEWE, according to the gender marker tracking system.

Gender results: The energy and environment area averaged 101 gender results per year, a total of 304 ROAR outcomes covering all three years, across UNDP’s country operations. This represented an average of 58 percent of the total number of country outcomes reported on energy and environment over the period. This was the second lowest number of gender results reported among the thematic areas. The highest proportion of gender results was reported in the Africa region (69 percent) and the lowest in the Arab States region (45 percent). 

Areas of work: The data indicate that most of the gender results in the portfolio were related to ‘promoting women’s participation and knowledge to protect, sustain and manage the environment and its resources’. Next were activities relating to ‘integrating gender perspectives into energy and environment planning, budgeting and policymaking’ (Figure 18).

Finding 34. Overall, gender results in energy and environment were limited in all Gender@ Work outcome areas (Figure 19). The results reported were largely gender-targeted increases in ‘access to resources and opportunities’. No change took place in terms of ‘internal culture and deep structure’, and very few changes in ‘policies, laws and arrangements’.


Tag: Agriculture Livestock Climate Change Adaptation Climate change governance Energy Environment Policy Green Economy Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Knowledge management Ownership Programme/Project Design Food Security Capacity Building Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods Poverty Reduction Urbanization Data and Statistics

35.

Finding 35: In 2012, UNDP adopted an Environmental and Social Screening Procedure that addresses gender and fully complies with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) safeguards policy. GEF standards seek to ensure that programmes and projects do not cause undue harm to people or the environment. It is too early to make a conclusive assessment on whether programming has benefited from the gender dimensions of the screening procedure.


Tag: Effectiveness Global Environment Facility fund Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Policies & Procedures Programme/Project Design Project and Programme management Capacity Building Data and Statistics

36.

Finding 36: The GEF Small Grants Programme has long reported good results in targeting gender issues. According to a recent evaluation, two thirds of the 30 country programme strategies reviewed had a relatively strong approach to addressing gender. They elaborated the concrete steps that should be taken, such as the inclusion of gender-specific measures in projects


Tag: Forestry Climate Change Adaptation Climate change governance Biodiversity Natural Resouce management Water resources Effectiveness Impact Global Environment Facility fund Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Local Governance Integration Monitoring and Evaluation Programme/Project Design Project and Programme management Quality Assurance Results-Based Management

37.

Finding 37: The 2013 evaluation of the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA) found that significant progress had been made towards delivering its intended outcomes. Gender is also now reflected well in the agreement texts of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and recognized as an official agenda item of the Conference of the Parties. Gender is also being included in the modalities for financing mechanisms. Furthermore, the foundation has been laid for delivering intended outcomes through capacity building at regional and national levels. 


Tag: Climate Change Adaptation Climate change governance Effectiveness Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Innovation Multilateral Partners Civil Societies and NGOs Country Government UN Agencies Capacity Building Advocacy Operational Services Technical Support

38.

Finding 38: A recent study concluded that women are not key stakeholders or beneficiaries of UN REDD because of their invisibility in the forest sector. It is largely viewed as a masculine domain despite the fact that women harvest and make use of multiple tree-based products. This finding is validated by an independent evaluation report of UN-REDD as well.


Tag: Forestry Effectiveness Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Gender Parity UN Agencies

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.

Given that the vision of UNDP is to achieve the simultaneous eradication of poverty and significant reduction of inequalities and exclusion, the organization should systematically undertake programming that addresses all facets of gender-based discrimination. UNDP needs to make further efforts to institutionalize a more complete understanding of gender, GEWE that goes beyond targeting so it can report accurately on financial allocations and expenditures on gender. If the gender marker is not suited for this level of specificity, it is recommended that a new tracking and benchmark system be established. Furthermore, as specific financial benchmarks have been established in the current GES, covering 2014–2017, these should be closely monitored and reported to the Executive Board. 

Moreover, UNDP should assess the merits and demerits of integrating the Strategic Plan and the GES and making key gender results mandatory. Additionally, guidance documents that promote alignment between the Strategic Plan and country programme documents should require preparation of a gender analysis for all programming developed within country programmes that set out medium-term objectives (over a 5–10 year period) along with other contextual analyses. The gender analysis prepared in the country programme context should have corresponding indicators and monitoring, assessment, and evaluation mechanisms at the programme and project levels.

Deeper attention to gender equality issues and gender mainstreaming is required, especially in the focus areas on conflict prevention and recovery and energy and environment, which saw the lowest number of gender results and the highest rates of targeting. Work in the focus areas on poverty and the MDGs and democratic governance can deepen intentions and action towards gender-responsive and gender-transformative results. All UNDP programming and policies should be attentive to framing women as agents and active citizens. If UNDP aims to contribute to transformative change, it will need to accelerate efforts in all focus areas to more strategically target the roots of inequalities, structures of unequal power, participation and relations, and address and transform unequal norms, values and policies.

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.

The upcoming midterm review of the Strategic Plan for 2014-2017 presents an opportunity to set in place a framework for such an assessment. The assessment can build on the limited data from the Integrated Results and Resources Framework report cards, which summarize UNDP progress and performance in 2014 and include a deeper, qualitative analysis of the UNDP contribution to gender results on the ground. Preliminary lessons of the Gender Equality Seal certification process, which has been completed in 28 country offices (and implemented on a non-certification basis in others), could also be a rich source of information. 

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.

Revised gender marker guidance (2014) indicates that ideally a gender analysis should be done during the project design, before the coding, to determine the most effective strategies in a particular context and to identify results that support gender equality. In addition it should be a required first step. This would contribute to more context-specific gender assessment and minimize inaccurate gender marker ratings, enhancing the credibility of this tool. Furthermore, such analysis should specify the areas of change and UNDP’s role and contribution in the change process, on the spectrum from gender blind to gender transformative;

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 be systematically assessed by internal audit exercises. The new guidance should be monitored and assessed on an annual basis to make the marker a reliable instrument for measuring progress in UNDP programming. Furthermore, if the gender marker is not suited for tracking expenditures with a credible level of specificity at the project and outcome levels, it is recommended that consideration be given to developing a new tracking and benchmark system. Such a system could also be more useful for resource mobilization, accountability, gender-responsive budgeting and gender-informed management decision-making;

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 advisers to guide its application as it enters a critical post-pilot phase. Such an assessment could be of value in documenting and assessing the pilot process, including aspects such as the methodology, the resources required and the sustainability of the Gender Seal country interventions (including recertification), and explore institutionalizing different options in addition to the standard gold, silver and bronze seals. The focus should be on lessons learned that should inform the choices, costs, opportunities and downsides the Gender Seal may encounter as it moves into post-pilot implementation. The Gender Seal approach could also be extended to national ministries and partners where opportunities, interest and needs are expressed;

Stronger attention should be placed on using the GSIC forum as a venue for organization-wide learning, problem solving and sharing of instructive practices.

All key organizational entities in UNDP should provide reports on progress in promoting GEWE and participate in discussions during annual ‘gender days’. The GSIC should play a more active role in assessing UNDP reporting to the UN-SWAP and taking stock of feedback received (from UN-Women) on UNDP performance in the UN-SWAP process. This should facilitate the review of instructive practices from other organizations that may be applied in UNDP. Additionally, there is a need to revitalize the functioning of regional GSICs as envisaged in the GES. Consideration should be given to having a regular, mandatory agenda item in regional bureau cluster meetings;
 

The GSIC should ensure that the gender parity strategy is revised and a roll-out programme is articulated.

 Attention should be paid to addressing the concerns expressed in the global staff surveys and the gaps between men’s and women’s positive experiences with respect to empowerment, professional growth, openness, fairness, respect, work-life balance and office management. Annual reports to the Executive Board should include more detailed information on problems and progress in achieving parity targets and actions. It may also help to rename the strategy to signal a ‘beyond parity’ approach to addressing staff culture and morale;

UNDP should strengthen capacity development processes that focus on gender mainstreaming so they are relevant and apply to staff 's daily work and needs.

Online training courses should be independently assessed to determine whether they are useful and should be continued. In addition, the mentorship programming implemented in the regional bureaux for Africa and Asia and the Pacific and the leadership programmes being made available are examples of targeted investments with coaching and benchmarks. The efficacy and impact of these recent initiatives should be carefully tracked, assessed and reported to the GSIC. Other initiatives for capacitybuilding and awareness development could include unit or country office training plans with focused gender sessions that encourage lively and open discussions and debates. They could include critical analysis of the portrayal of men and women in the media, discussion of current events and guest lecturers;

UNDP should consider exploring new frontiers for engaging in gender issues that go beyond women's issues, for example the masculinity agenda.

UNDP should engage more fully in working with men and other populations that suffer from gender discrimination and consider undertaking research that addresses how exclusion negatively affects progress in development.

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.

Gender-capacity benchmarks have been set by the Executive Board in terms of in-country gender expertise. This is a welcome development that should promote better gender analysis, programming and results in the 40 countries that meet the criteria. However, to ensure more even attention to all countries and because country offices are expected to prepare gender plans, it is suggested that regional bureaux take specific measures to support the preparation of these multi-year, country-specific gender plans and monitor and report on their formulation and implementation to the GSIC. This process will provide an opportunity for offices to assess their needs and gaps at the country level and to articulate expectations for support from the regional service centres in terms of promoting GEWE.  

Additionally, these plans may also provide an opportunity for UNDP to define its comparative strengths in terms of contributing to GEWE and to explore partnerships with United Nations agencies, in particular UNICEF, UNFPA and UN-Women (see Conclusion 7 for more details with reference to UN-Women).

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.

UNDP is currently using a number of different metrics, which may confuse rather than clarify future efforts for GEWE. Action should be taken to harmonize various assessment scales in a manner that is most meaningful for corporate programming, reporting, evaluation and audit. These elements should be embedded in iterative learning systems that go beyond linear performance frameworks, which are limited to reporting on indicators focusing on sex-disaggregated data. 

More attention to the quality of gender results and the context within which changes happen is required in UNDP monitoring and assessment systems. UNDP may want to reflect on the usefulness of having quality and type measures such as the gender results effectiveness scale and Gender@Work frameworks used in this evaluation. This will help in moving beyond the tendency to focus on numbers of women and men and targeting strategies to more responsive and transformative results. The practice of gender audits should also become a more standard feature throughout the organization.

While UNDP has made significant improvements in tracking gender results at the country level through the results-oriented annual report,the system has limitations in capturing diverse and non-linear change, which is often characterized as ‘two steps forward, one step back’. UNDP should start systematically tracking the types of organizations with which it partners to provide a comprehensive picture of its partnerships at global, regional and country levels. Monitoring and assessment should include tracking of backlash and efforts to maintain past gains and identify accelerators and barriers to change. This would help to better contextualize change processes and help the organization learn from what is working under different conditions and contexts. This will help UNDP to articulate its role, most importantly at the country level, which will remain the primary unit of analysis in assessing UNDP’s short-, medium- and long-term contribution to GEWE.

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.

Given that the vision of UNDP is to achieve the simultaneous eradication of poverty and significant reduction of inequalities and exclusion, the organization should systematically undertake programming that addresses all facets of gender-based discrimination. UNDP needs to make further efforts to institutionalize a more complete understanding of gender, GEWE that goes beyond targeting so it can report accurately on financial allocations and expenditures on gender. If the gender marker is not suited for this level of specificity, it is recommended that a new tracking and benchmark system be established. Furthermore, as specific financial benchmarks have been established in the current GES, covering 2014–2017, these should be closely monitored and reported to the Executive Board. 

Moreover, UNDP should assess the merits and demerits of integrating the Strategic Plan and the GES and making key gender results mandatory. Additionally, guidance documents that promote alignment between the Strategic Plan and country programme documents should require preparation of a gender analysis for all programming developed within country programmes that set out medium-term objectives (over a 5–10 year period) along with other contextual analyses. The gender analysis prepared in the country programme context should have corresponding indicators and monitoring, assessment, and evaluation mechanisms at the programme and project levels.

Deeper attention to gender equality issues and gender mainstreaming is required, especially in the focus areas on conflict prevention and recovery and energy and environment, which saw the lowest number of gender results and the highest rates of targeting. Work in the focus areas on poverty and the MDGs and democratic governance can deepen intentions and action towards gender-responsive and gender-transformative results. All UNDP programming and policies should be attentive to framing women as agents and active citizens. If UNDP aims to contribute to transformative change, it will need to accelerate efforts in all focus areas to more strategically target the roots of inequalities, structures of unequal power, participation and relations, and address and transform unequal norms, values and policies.

Management Response: [Added: 2015/09/01] [Last Updated: 2020/06/27]

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: 2017/12/20]
Executive Office, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS)/ Gender Team, regional bureaux 2017/01 Completed 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. History
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: 2017/12/20]
Executive Office 2017/12 Completed Discussions are ongoing on how to integrate gender equality and women's empowerment in the next Strategic Plan 2018-2021. History
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. History
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: 2018/09/07]
BPPS/Gender Team, BPPS/Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Team 2018/12 Completed 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. History
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.

The upcoming midterm review of the Strategic Plan for 2014-2017 presents an opportunity to set in place a framework for such an assessment. The assessment can build on the limited data from the Integrated Results and Resources Framework report cards, which summarize UNDP progress and performance in 2014 and include a deeper, qualitative analysis of the UNDP contribution to gender results on the ground. Preliminary lessons of the Gender Equality Seal certification process, which has been completed in 28 country offices (and implemented on a non-certification basis in others), could also be a rich source of information. 

Management Response: [Added: 2015/09/01] [Last Updated: 2020/06/27]

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: 2018/09/07]
BPPS/Gender Team, IEO 2018/12 Completed The updated evaluation guidelines on evaluation (decentralized and independent) contain guidance on how to integrate gender aspects into all evaluations. Discussions are also ongoing with OAI on how to develop gender-responsive auditing. History
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.

Revised gender marker guidance (2014) indicates that ideally a gender analysis should be done during the project design, before the coding, to determine the most effective strategies in a particular context and to identify results that support gender equality. In addition it should be a required first step. This would contribute to more context-specific gender assessment and minimize inaccurate gender marker ratings, enhancing the credibility of this tool. Furthermore, such analysis should specify the areas of change and UNDP’s role and contribution in the change process, on the spectrum from gender blind to gender transformative;

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 be systematically assessed by internal audit exercises. The new guidance should be monitored and assessed on an annual basis to make the marker a reliable instrument for measuring progress in UNDP programming. Furthermore, if the gender marker is not suited for tracking expenditures with a credible level of specificity at the project and outcome levels, it is recommended that consideration be given to developing a new tracking and benchmark system. Such a system could also be more useful for resource mobilization, accountability, gender-responsive budgeting and gender-informed management decision-making;

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 advisers to guide its application as it enters a critical post-pilot phase. Such an assessment could be of value in documenting and assessing the pilot process, including aspects such as the methodology, the resources required and the sustainability of the Gender Seal country interventions (including recertification), and explore institutionalizing different options in addition to the standard gold, silver and bronze seals. The focus should be on lessons learned that should inform the choices, costs, opportunities and downsides the Gender Seal may encounter as it moves into post-pilot implementation. The Gender Seal approach could also be extended to national ministries and partners where opportunities, interest and needs are expressed;

Stronger attention should be placed on using the GSIC forum as a venue for organization-wide learning, problem solving and sharing of instructive practices.

All key organizational entities in UNDP should provide reports on progress in promoting GEWE and participate in discussions during annual ‘gender days’. The GSIC should play a more active role in assessing UNDP reporting to the UN-SWAP and taking stock of feedback received (from UN-Women) on UNDP performance in the UN-SWAP process. This should facilitate the review of instructive practices from other organizations that may be applied in UNDP. Additionally, there is a need to revitalize the functioning of regional GSICs as envisaged in the GES. Consideration should be given to having a regular, mandatory agenda item in regional bureau cluster meetings;
 

The GSIC should ensure that the gender parity strategy is revised and a roll-out programme is articulated.

 Attention should be paid to addressing the concerns expressed in the global staff surveys and the gaps between men’s and women’s positive experiences with respect to empowerment, professional growth, openness, fairness, respect, work-life balance and office management. Annual reports to the Executive Board should include more detailed information on problems and progress in achieving parity targets and actions. It may also help to rename the strategy to signal a ‘beyond parity’ approach to addressing staff culture and morale;

UNDP should strengthen capacity development processes that focus on gender mainstreaming so they are relevant and apply to staff 's daily work and needs.

Online training courses should be independently assessed to determine whether they are useful and should be continued. In addition, the mentorship programming implemented in the regional bureaux for Africa and Asia and the Pacific and the leadership programmes being made available are examples of targeted investments with coaching and benchmarks. The efficacy and impact of these recent initiatives should be carefully tracked, assessed and reported to the GSIC. Other initiatives for capacitybuilding and awareness development could include unit or country office training plans with focused gender sessions that encourage lively and open discussions and debates. They could include critical analysis of the portrayal of men and women in the media, discussion of current events and guest lecturers;

UNDP should consider exploring new frontiers for engaging in gender issues that go beyond women's issues, for example the masculinity agenda.

UNDP should engage more fully in working with men and other populations that suffer from gender discrimination and consider undertaking research that addresses how exclusion negatively affects progress in development.

Management Response: [Added: 2015/09/01] [Last Updated: 2020/06/27]

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: 2017/12/20]
BPPS/Gender Team, BPPS/Development Impact Team, regional bureaux and regional service centres 2017/12 Completed Done and ongoing History
Gender analysis is a requirement of the mandatory project quality assurance process.
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2017/12/20]
BPPS/Gender Team, BPPS/Development Impact Team, regional bureaux and regional service centres 2017/12 Completed Done and ongoing History
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. History
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. History
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. History
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. History
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: 2018/09/07]
BPPS/IEO/Office of Audit and Investigations 2018/12 Completed The updated evaluation guidelines on evaluation (decentralized and independent) contain guidance on how to integrate gender aspects into all evaluations. Discussions are also ongoing with OAI on how to develop gender-responsive auditing. History
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 History
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.

Gender-capacity benchmarks have been set by the Executive Board in terms of in-country gender expertise. This is a welcome development that should promote better gender analysis, programming and results in the 40 countries that meet the criteria. However, to ensure more even attention to all countries and because country offices are expected to prepare gender plans, it is suggested that regional bureaux take specific measures to support the preparation of these multi-year, country-specific gender plans and monitor and report on their formulation and implementation to the GSIC. This process will provide an opportunity for offices to assess their needs and gaps at the country level and to articulate expectations for support from the regional service centres in terms of promoting GEWE.  

Additionally, these plans may also provide an opportunity for UNDP to define its comparative strengths in terms of contributing to GEWE and to explore partnerships with United Nations agencies, in particular UNICEF, UNFPA and UN-Women (see Conclusion 7 for more details with reference to UN-Women).

Management Response: [Added: 2015/09/01] [Last Updated: 2020/06/27]

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: 2018/09/07]
BPPS/Gender Team/ regional bureaux and country offices 2018/06 Completed 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 2017, 31 Country Offices were certified in recognition of their significant progress on gender mainstreaming in 7 key performance areas. This includes 5 offices which were awarded Gold for their excellent work on gender equality: Cote D’Ivoire, Rwanda, Uganda, Moldova and Dominican Republic. History
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.

UNDP is currently using a number of different metrics, which may confuse rather than clarify future efforts for GEWE. Action should be taken to harmonize various assessment scales in a manner that is most meaningful for corporate programming, reporting, evaluation and audit. These elements should be embedded in iterative learning systems that go beyond linear performance frameworks, which are limited to reporting on indicators focusing on sex-disaggregated data. 

More attention to the quality of gender results and the context within which changes happen is required in UNDP monitoring and assessment systems. UNDP may want to reflect on the usefulness of having quality and type measures such as the gender results effectiveness scale and Gender@Work frameworks used in this evaluation. This will help in moving beyond the tendency to focus on numbers of women and men and targeting strategies to more responsive and transformative results. The practice of gender audits should also become a more standard feature throughout the organization.

While UNDP has made significant improvements in tracking gender results at the country level through the results-oriented annual report,the system has limitations in capturing diverse and non-linear change, which is often characterized as ‘two steps forward, one step back’. UNDP should start systematically tracking the types of organizations with which it partners to provide a comprehensive picture of its partnerships at global, regional and country levels. Monitoring and assessment should include tracking of backlash and efforts to maintain past gains and identify accelerators and barriers to change. This would help to better contextualize change processes and help the organization learn from what is working under different conditions and contexts. This will help UNDP to articulate its role, most importantly at the country level, which will remain the primary unit of analysis in assessing UNDP’s short-, medium- and long-term contribution to GEWE.

Management Response: [Added: 2015/09/01] [Last Updated: 2020/06/27]

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: 2018/09/07]
BPPS/Gender Team 2018/06 Completed 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. History
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. History
UNDP will bring the Gender@Work framework to be discussed at the Gender Steering and Implementation Committee meetings.
[Added: 2016/01/12] [Last Updated: 2019/03/19]
Executive Office, BPPS/Gender Team, regional bureaux 2019/03 Completed UNDP adopted many elements of the Gender@work framework into the new Gender Equality Strategy, most particularly, the interconnections between gender equality, organizations and power dynamics. The recently approved UNDP Gender Parity Strategy, and the Executive Office strong commitment towards addressing and stopping Sexual Harassment and Sexual Exploitation are also solid examples of how UNDP leadership uses the gender@work framework, by aiming to transform individual, collective, cultural and normative changes that reproduce power dinamics. History
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: 2018/11/16]
Executive Office, BPPS/Development Impact Group 2018/12 Completed While it was discussed whether or not to use the gender@work framework for the MTR, it was finally not utilized as the MTR had a more quantitative approach (see results of performance factor analysis). However, the Gender@Work framework was included as a pilot in the Gender SEAL performance area on results. UNDP is also seeking to change the organizational culture by highlighting the interlinked dimensions of change required to make sustainable progress on gender equality and women’s empowerment through the Strategic Plan 2018-2021 and its IRRF, as well as in the UNDP Gender Equality Strategy 2018-2021 and the Gender Parity Strategy 2018-2021. History

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