Commissioning Unit: Evaluation Office
Evaluation Plan: 2012-2013, Evaluation Office
Evaluation Title: Thematic Evaluation on the Contribution of UN Women to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls and Expand Access to Services
Evaluation Type: Thematic Evaluation
Unit Responsible for Providing Management Response: Policy and Programme Bureau
Overall Management Response: The first corporate evaluation on violence against women is important for UN Women. It is the first ever corporate evaluation on one of the priority areas of the entity, it reviews work supported by the preceding four entities, as well as some of the approaches developed and implemented by the newly formed entity, and it identifies relevant findings as well as a range of opportunities and challenges encountered. The findings and recommendations of the thematic evaluation of UN Women's contribution to ending violence against women (EVAW) provide valuable insight and guidance for the entity's current and future work in this area. However, UN Women notes that the evaluation was conducted some time ago, and as a result it was not possible to fully take into account some of the more recent and significant advancements with UN Women in the area EVAW. This in turn leads to some limitations in the evaluation's value to UN Women in some of the specific details, in particular in those areas where UN Women has already responded to issues identified. UN Women combines the three key functions of the four previous entities: standard setting and normative support, coordination, and operational activities, which today work together in an integrated way to achieve results on its universal mandate and all thematic areas including EVAW. As noted in the evaluation executive summary, "the creation of UN-Women enhanced the possibility of a more coordinated and coherent approach to EVAW by bringing together different types of gender and EVAW-related expertise and experience under one roof." UN Women's integrated approach to the delivery of its mandate was apparent in the success of CSW57, where UN Women demonstrated its potential and the way in which it could carry out its mandate in a coordinated and coherent way across all levels within the entity, from the field to Headquarters. CSW 57 was also an example of how UN Women can use its broader mandate on gender equality and the empowerment of women to effectively support and facilitate normative intergovernmental processes in achieving forward-looking results; engage the UN system to work together in a more coordinated and coherent way on critical issues relating to gender equality; while also acting as an enabler and facilitator for strong civil society engagement, ownership and commitment to support implementation of gender equality commitments emerging from intergovernmental agreements. UN Women's leadership and coordination on gender equality and the empowerment of women was also evidenced through the development of the Joint Statement on Ending Violence against Women and Girls that was signed by the heads of 11 UN entities during CSW 57. There have been other significant improvements in UN Women's work. These include the update of UN Women's Strategic Plan and the annual systematic reporting of results. Improvements in these areas were generously acknowledged by the Executive Board at its June 2013 session. In the process of preparing its draft Strategic Plan 2014-2017, UN Women has developed more focused and strategic results and indicators for EVAW, including through the linking of output and outcome level results. Implementing the updated results framework for EVAW will require a review of the entity's current structures which work on EVAW to ensure greater coordination. UN Women has partially agreed with a number of the recommendations. This reflects UN Women's view that the recommendations have, in some cases, been overtaken by the rapid development of internal structures and change in UN Women. This response to the evaluation also reflects some of the major initiatives and activities that will be undertaken to achieve the expected results of the revised UN Women draft Strategic Plan 2014-2017, support for implementation of the CSW 57 agreed conclusions, as well as future intergovernmental processes impacting on EVAW such as the "Beijing +20" review and appraisal, the Sustainable Development Goals and the post-2015 negotiations, as well as the work of the General Assembly and of future sessions of CSW.

Recommendations

1.
 
Recommendation: UN Women should continue its substantive inputs and evidenced-based work in support of enhanced normative frameworks. It should also provide more guidance at the regional and country level on how to translate normative work into operational work.
Management Response: UN Women agrees with this recommendation. The normative work related to gender equality, women's rights and women's empowerment is an essential component of the entity's mandate. As clearly shown with the successful conclusion of CSW 57, UN Women plays a key role in moving the international normative framework on violence against women forward. It also has the special task to ensure that this normative framework guides and informs decisions at the operational level and that the operational experiences and outcomes inform future normative processes and developments. UN Women also supports other standard-setting bodies on EVAW, in particular the General Assembly; and engages with the Human Rights Council, relevant special procedures, and the human rights treaty bodies on gender equality and the empowerment of women, such as the CEDAW Committee and does this in collaboration with OHCHR, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences and other mechanisms.
Key Actions:
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Continue to support, and engage with, intergovernmental processes to strengthen norms and standards on EVAW, including Continue to support, and engage by working together with gender-specific processes as well as with other entities and mechanisms which have a key role in this area such as OHCHR, CEDAW Committee, and the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences. Intergovernmental Support Division, Policy Division, Programme Division, Regional, Multi-country and Country offices. No deadline Initiated There is no deadline for this action as this is an ongoing function for UN Women. For example, there is a biannual resolution on the intensification of all efforts to end violence against women as well as the annual or periodical review processes of other intergovernmental fora.
Provide policy analysis and action-oriented recommendations on ending all forms of VAW in general and on particular forms of VAW, such as trafficking in women and girls and FGM, through the UN Secretary-General's reports to be submitted to the General Assembly. Policy Division, Inter-Governmental Support Division 2014/12 Not Initiated
Develop short policy and programme notes for Regional, Multi-Country and Country Offices on strategic approaches and steps to take to support implementation of CSW 57 agreed conclusions in the areas of laws and policies, prevention, services and responses, safe public spaces, harmful practices and getting the evidence and data on violence against women. Policy Division, Programme Division 2013/10 Overdue-Initiated
Work with the UN Statistical Division and other partners to build capacity for rolling out the VAW core indicators agreed by the Statistical Commission at national levels. Policy Division in partnership with UN Statistical Division, UNFPA, UNDP and other UN Partners 2015/09 Initiated
Work with partners, experts and the UN system to include indicators, baselines and targets for EVAW in the post-2015 agenda. Policy Division, Inter-Governmental Support Division, Strategic Partnerships Division, Programme Division, Coordination Division 2016/12 Initiated
Support Member States to review progress in the implementation of commitments on ending violence against women from the Beijing Platform for Action (critical area of concern D) in preparation for the 20-year review and appraisal in 2015; and the review of the CSW57 Agreed Conclusions in 2016. Policy Division, Inter-Governmental Support Division, Programme Division 2016/03 Initiated Deadline is established for March 2016 but the 20 year review of the Beijing Platform for Action will be March 2015.
2.
 
Recommendation: UN-Women's country-level activities should be more strategic. It must maximize the benefits of its limited resources, work with partners, be selective in terms of where to engage, work to maximize buy-in of others, and use the leverage and legitimacy that it has.
Management Response: UN Women partially agrees with this recommendation. While UN Women agrees that that the entity should always strive to be strategic in 'what it does' and 'how it does it', it has already made efforts to be more focused and strategic across the board in the development of the updated draft Strategic Plan 2014-2017 and in the institutionalization of strong multi-year country level annual workplans using a results-based management approach. UN Women is also taking a more strategic approach to programming on EVAW through the development of sustainable and comprehensive approaches, such as that developed by the Safe Cities programme, and actively participating in the CCA and UNDAF processes. The entity will continue to coordinate and collaborate with sister UN agencies and others to ensure the development of appropriate strategies and programmes for the prevention of and the response to violence against women at the country level which is an enormous task, covering many different sectors and agencies' mandates. The financial and technical resources required are well beyond the capacity of one agency and the multi-sectoral approach needed to adequately respond to violence against women demonstrates that long-term support is necessary over many years. This demands inter-agency collaboration and coordination in order to ensure the achievements of the envisaged results. The inter-agency relationship on EVAW which was significantly strengthened during CSW 57 and the UN heads of entities Joint Statement on ending violence against women can greatly support these efforts at regional and national levels by leveraging the UN agencies' staff working on gender equality and EVAW and actively involving the UNCTs, particularly the UN Gender Theme Groups which are usually chaired or co-chaired by UN Women.
Key Actions:
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Strengthen the results focus and chain for EVAW in the UN Women Strategic Plan 2014-2017, including reflection of agreed conclusions of CSW57 and proper alignment of outputs to outcomes. Senior Management Team, UN Women 2013/06 Completed
Recruit EVAW advisors at all Regional Offices and where possible, at Multi-country Offices as financial resources increase to ensure that regional and country offices have the required technical capacity and work in line with strategic objectives. Programme Division No deadline Initiated The finalisation of this action will depend on available funds.
Strengthen partnerships at global, regional and country levels with governments, civil society, the media, UN agencies and other stakeholders to address violence against women in a comprehensive and coordinated way, and help accelerate implementation of the global normative and policy framework on violence against women. Strategic Partnerships Division, Policy Division, Programme Division, Regional, Multi-country and Country Offices and in collaboration with UN Agencies No deadline Initiated This is an ongoing action for UN Women as partnerships are critical for the entity to fulfill its mandate.
Collaborate with existing inter-agency programmes on ending violence against women including by collaborating on social norms through the UNFPA-UNICEF joint programme on FGM; prevention through cooperation with UNFPA, UNDP and UNV on the Partners or Prevention programme, and other UN agencies such as WHO which examine prevention of VAW from a different perspective and OHCHR on access to justice; and initiate/ collaborate with new joint programmes. Policy Division, Programme Division Regional, Multi-country and Country Offices and in collaboration with UN Agencies 2017/12 Initiated
Increase and improve efforts to effectively address and promote coordinated action on EVAW at the country level, leveraging UN Women?s coordination mandate including through the UN Gender Theme Groups this action is also pertinent to Recommendation 3). Programme Division, Regional, Multi-country and Country Offices, Policy Division 2013/12 Overdue-Initiated
3.
 
Recommendation: UN Women should further clarify, operationalize and enhance its coordination mandate, including the accountability dimension, at global, regional and national levels in order to further EVAW.
Management Response: UN Women partially agrees with this recommendation. UN Women's Coordination Strategy clarifies and operationalizes its coordination mandate, including across its priority areas such as EVAW. The strengthening of Inter-agency Network on Women and Gender Equality (IANWGE) secures an effective coordination mechanism for this operationalization. UN Women already coordinates two major inter-agency initiatives on EVAW at global level: UNiTE and the UN Trust Fund; and will work to identify other opportunities. The adoption of the UN SWAP by UN entities and Secretariat departments following its CEB endorsement, and the extensive reporting on it by 55 of these entities and departments, provides a concrete instrument for clarifying, operationalizing and enhancing UN Women's interagency role in promoting the accountability of the UN System in its work on gender equality and the empowerment of women. With respect to coordination and joint action to advance gender equality at the country level, UN Resident Coordinators' Annual Reports showed 115 United Nations country teams (out of 123 which reported) had gender equality joint initiatives in 2012, up from 105 in 2010 and 43 in 2004. The RCARs also showed that 99 country teams made gender equality a key element in their workplans, up from 49 in 2004 and that the number of UNDAFs containing references to gender equality in at least one outcome statement increased to 57 in 2012, compared with 48 in 2010 and 41 in 2004. Currently, there are 113 gender theme groups around the world, of which 62 are led or co-led by UN-Women. More specifically in connection with the focus of the evaluation, the RCARs showed that among gender equality areas of action, EVAW was the area that attracted the most interagency collaboration with 114 reports showing that the country teams had provided support for advancing national gender equality priorities to end violence against women. Furthermore, in a recent evaluation, EVAW was the most common thematic area (31%) in UN joint gender programmes and accounted for a similar proportion of the overall aggregated planned budget (28%) for all joint gender programmes. The Secretary-General's UNiTE to End Violence Campaign managed by UN women has contributed to this outcome. This provides a strong platform to improve our work in relation to the coordination of work in EVAW at all levels.
Key Actions:
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Strengthen mechanisms and fora (e.g. UN System-wide inventory on VAW, IANWGE, CSW 57 inter-agency working group) to facilitate in-depth inter-agency exchange of information, ideas and experiences on VAW in order to determine which partners UNW will work with to ensure that all relevant areas of EVAW are covered adequately. Coordination Division, Policy Division 2017/12 Initiated
Continue to initiate, participate and coordinate as appropriate joint programmes and initiatives at the global and regional and country levels in areas relating to EVAW. Programme Division, Regional, Multi-country and Country offices, Strategic Partnerships Division, Coordination Division 2017/12 Initiated
4.
 
Recommendation: UN Women should develop a strategy or guidance document, for both internal and external use, outlining its EVAW mandate and, key priorities and approaches in EVAW to make its efforts more coherent.
Management Response: UN Women agrees with this recommendation as this would assist the entity to focus efforts and to clarify its comparative advantage and value-added vis--vis other UN agencies. Any strategy and guidance should be based on the entity's capacity and resources and should leverage the close relationship UN Women has with civil society and women's organizations.
Key Actions:
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Develop UN Women's internal strategy on EVAW. Senior Management Team, UN Women 2014/09 Initiated
Establish a UN Women internal mechanism of coordination between HQ, Regional and country levels in the area of EVAW. Programme Division, Regional, Multi-Country and Country Offices, Policy Division, Strategic Partnerships Division, Inter-Governmental Support Division 2013/12 Overdue-Initiated
5.
 
Recommendation: UN Women should continue to strengthen results-based management practices, encompassing improved monitoring and reporting, evaluation, and knowledge management.
Management Response: UN Women agrees with this recommendation. While UN Women believes it has already made considerable progress in these areas, it recognises the importance of continuing to increase its performance, and it particularly acknowledges the need for continued effort to effectively play its role as a broker of knowledge. UN Women has invested considerable time and resources in improving the quality of results-based management in its strategic plan and reporting, and through the development of country-level results based workplans. The most recent results presented to the Executive Board show that the outputs on EVAW for UN Women have increased between 2011 and 2012. Results-based country annual workplans are now institutionalized within the entity and in 2012 UN-Women finalized its programme and operations manual, covering all aspects of programming and operations, including results-based management guidance in line with the United Nations harmonized approach, stipulating development of a theory of change as an essential element of programme formulation. UN Women now needs to further leverage this foundation to drive continued capacity development for its staff to implement the results-based management approach.
Key Actions:
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Develop and implement capacity building programmes on results-based management for Country, Regional Office and HQ staff and provide guidance on applying the RBM principles in the daily work. Programme Division 2015/06 Initiated
Ensure that programmes are evaluated in line with the parameters outlined in UN Women's Evaluation Policy of 2012. Programme Division, Policy Division, Evaluation Office 2017/12 Initiated
6.
 
Recommendation: UN Women should not only pursue and encourage Member State contributions to core resources, but develop creative ways of tapping in to the resources of other partners so that there is a systemic approach to resourcing EVAW at the global, regional and country levels.
Management Response: UN Women agrees with this recommendation. EVAW work throughout the world is underfunded. UN Women is working to mobilise resources and funding for EVAW activities and initiatives in a variety of ways. At the country level, UN Women is working with Governments to ensure consistent and adequate national funding for EVAW. UN Women is also developing or participating in joint resource mobilisation strategies at the global and country levels. Internally, UN Women is actively pursuing a wide range of approaches to diversify its donor base for core and non-core funding including through the establishment of a dedicated private sector fund-raising team, a strategy to mobilise resources from the private sector and foundations, and strengthening its national committees to access funding for EVAW.
Key Actions:
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Develop an organizational resource mobilization strategy for EVAW. Strategic Partnership Division, Policy Division, Programme Division 2013/12 Overdue-Initiated
Develop concrete strategies and programmes for funding at all levels, including joint resource mobilization strategies with other UN entities for specific EVAW issues and approaches. Strategic Partnerships Division, Programme Division, Regional, Country and Multi-country offices, Policy Division 2014/12 Initiated
Leverage Government resources to fund national level EVAW strategies and responses. Programme Division, Regional, Multi-country and country offices, Policy Division, Strategic Partnerships Division No deadline Initiated This is ongoing action to ensure sufficient resources for national level EVAW activities.
Continue to raise funds for and leverage the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women to mobilise and deploy country level work on EVAW by Civil Society and others. UN Trust Fund, Programme Division, Strategic Partnerships Division No deadline Initiated Raising funds for the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against women is an ongoing activity and an important source of funding for CSO programmes on EVAW.