Management Response

: Malawi
: 2014 - 2016 , Malawi (CO)
: Gender and Agriculture Program Mid Term Evaluation
:
: Malawi
:

UN Women welcomes the findings of the Mid-Term Evaluation of the Gender and Agriculture Programme. The overall purpose of the Mid-term Evaluation was to assess progress towards achieving programme outputs, outcomes and goal, and to consider the validity of assumptions made in the logical framework. In terms of methodology, the evaluation used a mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods to assess the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of the programme. An external evaluator conducted the evaluation. The evaluation found that implementation of the Gender and Agriculture Programme is on track despite the encountered challenges. Several recommendations were made to inform future programme design. The recommendations from the evaluation focused on four key areas: Balance of inputs and outputs in the Programme development results framework; Direction of the programme – defining strategic entry points; Implementation arrangements; and Regular reviews and learning. UN Women Malawi accepted eight of the twelve specific recommendations. Two specific recommendations are partially accepted and the rest are not accepted. The detailed management response is presented in the table below.

: Approved
Recommendation: Support review of systems, procedures, etc. with a view of making them gender responsive. UN Women through this programme can support strategic reviews in order to help transform the status quo, and provide conducive environment in which the gender mainstreaming capacities built through this programme can find useful application.
Management Response: The first phase of the Gender and Agriculture Programme focused on the provision of technical support towards the establishment of gender responsive systems and procedures in the agricultural sector. The second phase will focus on capacity building in gender mainstreaming at all levels in the Ministry of Agriculture.
Description:
Management Response Category:
Thematic Area: Governance and planning (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles: Not applicable, Capacity development
Organizational Priorities: Operational activities, Culture of results/RBM
UNEG Criteria: Relevance, Gender equality
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Provide technical expertise on gender integration into the National Agriculture Policy. Programme officer Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) 2016/06 Completed
Conduct a gender analysis of the Fertiliser Input Subsidy Program (FISP) and SAP programmes. Programme officer Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) 2016/06 Completed
Review and Strengthen the Agricultural Sector Wide Approach (ASWAp) Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) Programme officer Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) 2016/06 Completed
Develop a mentorship program in gender mainstreaming for the departments within the Ministry of Agriculture Irrigation and Water Development (MoAIWD) Programme officer Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) 2016/06 Completed
Rolling out the mentorship program Programme officer Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) 2016/06 Completed In the third phase of the Gender and Agriculture programme that commenced in July 2016, mentorship plan has been incorporated. Emphasis is on hands on and practical capacity building activities other than training workshops.
Recommendation: In the next phase, an innovative approach could be tried in which a department (e.g. Research or Planning Division) or a farmer organization (e.g. FUM) is helped to build gender programming capacity and to apply the skills (and reviewing systems etc) until desired gender outcomes are achieved before moving on to another department.
Management Response: UN Women will use different Innovative approaches to build capacity in gender mainstreaming in all the departments in the MoAIWD.
Description:
Management Response Category:
Thematic Area: Not applicable
Operating Principles: Not applicable, Promoting inclusiveness/Leaving no one behind, Capacity development
Organizational Priorities: Operational activities, Partnership
UNEG Criteria: Gender equality, Relevance
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Structuring and rolling-out of coaching and mentorship strategy targeting key staff in the MoAIWD. Programme officer WEE DAES 2016/02 Completed Plans to continue are in place
Recommendation: In terms of the second objective to increase women’s voices to influence policy, effort in the next phase should be directed to supporting farmer organizations that are already doing the agriculture policy advocacy roles. Effort in the first phase has gone into community gender Participatory Rural Appraisals (PRAs) which may not directly contribute to this strategic objective.
Management Response: Phase 2 of the program will focus on reviewing and integrating gender into the existing cooperative strategy. UN Women will work with partners in sensitisation, implementation and monitoring of the strategy to increase women’s participation in the Cooperatives.
Description:
Management Response Category:
Thematic Area: Leadership and political participation (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles: Advocacy, Capacity development
Organizational Priorities: Partnership, Operational activities
UNEG Criteria: Relevance
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Review and development of a Cooperative strategy Programme Assistant WEE and DAES 2017/12 Completed Concept note developed to be continued
Selection of partner organisation to pilot implementation of the strategy. Programme Assistant WEE and DAES 2017/12 Completed
Pilot and implement a Cooperative strategy with the following organisations- National Association of Smallholder Farmers in Malawi (NASFAM), and Farmers Union of Malawi. Programme Assistant WEE and DAES 2017/12 Completed
Recommendation: We have noted salient different stakeholder stances in this programme in which DAES emphasis is on gender and HIV & AIDS issues while the emphasis for UN Women and the farmer organizations is on women economic empowerment. The programme should focus the emphasis on women economic empowerment because combining the two developmental themes has a potential risk of relegating the women economic issues to the peripheral in favour of HIV and AIDS issues.
Management Response: The program’s focus is economic empowerment of women and HIV and AIDS Is a cross cutting issue. HIV/AIDS is fundamentally a gender-based issue and can only be conquered when the effort to achieve gender equality is successful.
Description:
Management Response Category:
Thematic Area: Women economic empowerment (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles: Not applicable
Organizational Priorities: Operational activities
UNEG Criteria: Relevance
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Programme will continue to contribute to engendering the agriculture sector, while ensuring that HIV and AIDS issues are being tackled in the processes, to ensure that no one is left behind. Programme Assistant WEE 2017/12 Completed The current ASWAp aligned project does that
Recommendation: Gender training, and gender assessments (gender audits, baselines, and profiles) are good intentions but can also be very costly with limited impacts if not carefully implemented. Training can only be useful if offered to achieve well assessed capacity gaps. Four types of training can be offered (gender awareness, gender programming, gender advocacy, gender training of trainers) and which can achieve different outcomes. It is should be clear regarding the purpose, content, audience, language, etc of a given training.
Management Response: UN Women recognises the importance of gender responsive capacity building. In phase 2, UN Women will use a mixture of capacity building initiatives including mentorship. UN Women will ensure it carries out capacity/training/skills needs assessment before every capacity building activity is undertaken.
Description:
Management Response Category:
Thematic Area: Women economic empowerment (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles: Advocacy, Capacity development
Organizational Priorities: Operational activities
UNEG Criteria: Relevance, Efficiency
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Develop and roll out a mentorship program in the MoAIWD. Programme officer WEE and DAES 2016/12 Completed In place
Conduct a needs assessment to define capacity gaps before designing any capacity building activity. Programme officer WEE and DAES 2016/12 Completed
Recommendation: Turning to baseline studies, their conceptual role is to help challenge/improve programme design and to set out bench mark values for monitoring and evaluation indicators. We have noted limited linkage between the programme objectives and the scope of the baseline studies and the gender audits.
Management Response: Evaluation and research studies of the program are conducted to address the research gaps identified.
Description:
Management Response Category:
Thematic Area: Not applicable
Operating Principles: Knowledge management, Not applicable
Organizational Priorities: Culture of results/RBM
UNEG Criteria: Effectiveness
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Review and Identify research gaps for action. M and E Officer 2016/06 Completed Research gaps are presented in the MERP
Develop a research plan M and E Officer 2016/06 Completed MERP in place with all research plans
Identify the gaps within the baseline report and conduct desk reviews to address the gaps. M and E Officer 2016/06 No Longer Applicable The Gender and Agriculture Project has been redesigned in its third phase which started in July 2016. The new Gender and Agriculture has a new results framework. Focus is now on updating the baseline figures of the new Gender and Agriculture.
Recommendation: Significant effort in the next phase should be placed on attracting the interest and commitment of decision makers and senior staff not only to support the programme but to take lead in contextualizing and institutionalizing the spirit of gender mainstreaming in their areas of responsibilities and control.
Management Response: UN Women will engage with Senior Management Team (SMT) of the MoAIWD to fast track implementation of the gender audit recommendations
Description:
Management Response Category:
Thematic Area: Not applicable
Operating Principles: Internal coordination and communication
Organizational Priorities: Partnership, UN Coordination
UNEG Criteria: Gender equality
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Develop and Implement an action plan focusing on gender audit issues using. Programme Officer WEE 2017/01 Ongoing Gender Audit recommendations have been incorporated into the New Gender and Agriculture Programme
The score card on gender integration in the agriculture sector. Programme Officer WEE 2017/01 Completed
Use of the award system to recognise the efforts of different departments on gender integration. Programme Officer WEE 2017/01 Completed
Recommendation: It is apparent that the positioning of gender programmes within DAES is the major reason to why gender in the agriculture sector is registering limited progress. Significant effort should be placed on engagements to define appropriate arrangement for coordinating gender mainstreaming effort in the agriculture sector.
Management Response: It is the mandate of the ministry to identify and assign gender roles and responsibilities to the appropriate authorities within the ministries. UN Women will continue to provide technical assistance to SMT and build the capacity of the MoAIWD to implement the Gender Audit recommendations.
Description:
Management Response Category:
Thematic Area: Governance and planning (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles: Not applicable, Capacity development
Organizational Priorities: Partnership, Not applicable
UNEG Criteria: Gender equality
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Implement an action plan focusing on gender audit issues using. Programme Officer WEE 2017/12 Completed
The score card on gendering the agriculture sector. Programme Officer WEE 2017/12 Completed
Use of the award system to recognise the efforts of different departments on gender integration. Programme Officer WEE 2017/12 Completed This activity was slightly changed by Ministry of agriculture. Instead the Ministry approved for UN Women to award organizations that are doing well in gender integration. Thus Two organization Kapiri, and Champhira producer groups were given awards during the African union day
Recommendation: Careful thinking should go into identifying strategic partners that if their capacities were strengthened, would provide greater leverage in terms of achieving and sustaining the desired programme results. In particular, we noted the varied institutional participation in the first phase – e.g. FUM, NASFAM, and Civil Society Agricultural Network (CISANET).
Management Response: UN Women utilises key strategic partnerships to achieve substantial results. In the second phase, UN Women will partner with Farmers Union of Malawi and National Small Holder Farmers Association of Malawi (NASFAM) to implement Cooperative strategy to increase women’s participation.
Description:
Management Response Category:
Thematic Area: Governance and planning (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles: Not applicable
Organizational Priorities: Partnership, Not applicable
UNEG Criteria: Sustainability
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Strengthen the capacity of partners around gendered advocacy, access to agricultural resources, and support the increase in leadership development opportunities for women in policy development and implementation. Programme Assistant WEE 2017/12 Ongoing Incorporated into the New Gender and Agriculture Programme
Recommendation: This being a very big programme, a Programme Advisory Committee comprising all the 8 directors of the ministry and heads of the farmer organizations and chaired by Secretary for Agriculture can represent an innovative way of implementing and owning this programme. The role of DAES could be secretariat while UN Women would focus on managing the funds. Agriculture technical support could come from the respective directors and heads of institution based on their line of responsibilities as advised by respective technical experts.
Management Response: UN Women welcomes the establishment of a Program Advisory Committee which will serve as advisory body in the implementation of the program
Description:
Management Response Category:
Thematic Area: Governance and planning (SPs before 2018), Women economic empowerment (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles: Not applicable, Internal coordination and communication
Organizational Priorities: Partnership, Operational activities, Not applicable
UNEG Criteria: Efficiency, Effectiveness
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Develop and socialize a proposal for the establishment of a Programme Advisory Committee. Programme Officer WEE 2016/08 No Longer Applicable We already have ASWAp secretariat under the Multi Donor Trust Fund
Recommendation: Effort in the next phase should be placed on supervision and follow-ups to ensure staff are doing right things and helping them where necessary. Regular programme reviews are also important for reflections and learning and changing course where necessary. This aspect has not been given priority in the first phase.
Management Response: The programme will have a formal monitoring schedule to ensure effective reporting, both relating to progress and impact. UN Women will ensure that robust results tracking and monitoring is in place.
Description:
Management Response Category:
Thematic Area: Governance and planning (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles: Internal coordination and communication, Not applicable
Organizational Priorities: Culture of results/RBM
UNEG Criteria: Sustainability, Relevance
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Develop a Gender and Agriculture Programme monitoring and results tracking system is developed and in place. M and E officer 2016/02 Completed A monitoring and results system has been developed. results are tracked using POINT.