Management Response

: Nepal
: 2019 - 2019 , Nepal (CO)
: Thematic evaluation of Women’s Economic Empowerment (AWEE and FWW) programme
:
: Nepal
:

UN Women Nepal Country Office (NCO) welcomes the overall findings of the Women's Economic Empowerment (WEE) Programme Thematic Evaluation. The evaluation report highlights that the WEE Programme of UN Women is relevant in Nepal for overall gender equality and women’s empowerment (GEWE), and to the current political and social context of Nepal. Although the progress on the normative work has been slower than expected, the work in terms of sensitizing citizens on normative frameworks has gained momentum. Operationally, the programme has shown progress in achieving the outputs. The evaluation noted that the biggest undisputable impact commented by women and men and various key actors is the change in women’s attitude and self-confidence, ability to claim their rights, gain access to information and contribute to public life through their engagement in the WEE Programme. The findings and recommendations of the evaluation have been taken into consideration during the implementation of UN Women Nepal’s Strategic Note for the period 2018-2022. The recommendation will inform the finalization of NCO’s strategy for the WEE Programme (WEE Strategy) and UN Women programmes in Nepal.

: Approved
Recommendation: Embed the programme within the local structures by working more explicitly with municipalities by (a) involving municipalities in local needs assessments, the choice of activities, the target of beneficiaries and the monitoring; align WEE interventions to GESI municipal plans and budgets; and (b) find entry points such as existing government programmes. Collaborate with business organisations or local municipalities associations.
Management Response:
Description:
Management Response Category: Accepted
Thematic Area: Governance and planning (SPs before 2018), Women economic empowerment (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles: National ownership, Promoting inclusiveness/Leaving no one behind
Organizational Priorities: Partnership
UNEG Criteria: Sustainability
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
All programme ToRs will ensure close engagement with local stakeholders including province and local governments in the designing, implementation and monitoring of the programme interventions, aligning them with the municipal plans and budgets. In addition, UN Women’s collaboration with the UN sister agencies (UNDP and UNCDF) in the Provincial and Local Governance Support Programne will also ensure GESI commitments are mainstreamed in provincial and local planning and budgeting processes. Programme Unit 2020/12 Initiated
NCO’s monitoring efforts will track linkages and collaboration with province and local governments, including municipalities and rural municipalities, and private sector, contributing to ensuring sustainability and assessing risks of the programmes. This will be done through regular field visits, including meetings with province and local government representatives and other key stakeholders. Programme Unit and Programme Support Unit 2020/12 Initiated
Recommendation: Continue work along the supply chain and also invest in demand creation: many donors, federal and local government initiatives focus on skills building, but what is needed is helping women scaling up, branding, business development, quality control, and access to finance. Perhaps interventions supported by WEE should focus more on scaling up. Also invest in demand side by bringing those women have yet to establish link with income generating activities.
Management Response:
Description:
Management Response Category: Accepted
Thematic Area: Women economic empowerment (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles: Capacity development, Promoting inclusiveness/Leaving no one behind
Organizational Priorities: Partnership, Agriculture
UNEG Criteria: Effectiveness
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
The NCO’s ongoing project on “Leveraging Women’s Leadership and Empowerment in Value Chains (Women in Value Chains Project, July 2018 – June 2021)” will continue to support women for their participation and scaling up in value chains. The support will include business development, product development, greater access to finance, branding, quality control and market linkages. Future programming initiatives to promote WEE will also take into account these considerations in their design. Programme Unit 2021/06 Initiated
Recommendation: A stronger focus on migration upstream: Nepal’s explicit policy of exporting labour abroad has a huge impact (both positive and negative) on Nepali society and especially on women. Whether women are trafficked or excluded returnees, whether they have been sexually assaulted, exploited or whether they have relatives abroad, their lives are being affected. Though this was not a focus of the evaluation the theme emerged in different contexts as a factor influencing WEE: migration can lead to social exclusion for returnees, but it can also provide, financial capital, impetus for risk taking and enterprise spirit, or it can demotivate as remittances can make small scale enterprises un-competitive. All these aspects need further study, to separate myths from reality. But women also need more information and better awareness to migrate safely if they chose to do so. A comprehensive study could be recommended to unfold the issues of women migration and its effect on social dimension. This would also generate valuable insights into barriers and opportunities to WEE.
Management Response:
Description:
Management Response Category: Partially Accepted
Thematic Area: Women economic empowerment (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles: Knowledge management, Advocacy
Organizational Priorities: Normative Support, UN Coordination
UNEG Criteria: Effectiveness, Gender equality
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
A range of extensive research on the status of women migrant workers, including returnees, has already been conducted by UN agencies, development partners and civil society organizations in Nepal, including the NCO study “Returning Home: Challenges and Opportunities for Women Migrant Workers in the Nepali Labour Market” in 2017. The NCO, through its ongoing collaboration with the National Women Commission, is also supporting the monitoring report on the status of the implementation of the CEDAW Concluding Observations (COs) to GoN. In the CEDAW COs, Paragraph 36 and 37 focus on the status of women migrant workers. The monitoring report will include a status update on the issues of women migrant workers in line with the CEDAW COs. Results and findings of the existing research and knowledge products will inform NCO to better understand the issues of women migration, its effect on social dimension. In addition, as a member of UNCT’s Taskforce on Migration, the NCO will take forward key joint actions agreed by the taskforce in close collaboration with the taskforce member agencies. Programme Unit 2021/12 Initiated
Recommendation: Strengthen the programmatic approach. In a programme the whole needs to be bigger than the sum of the parts. It has to have synergies; A coordinating and facilitation between the various strands and partners are needed. Fostering a common understanding amongst partners of the overall programmatic strategy and the concept of transformational change will help partners becoming partners rather than being service providers.
Management Response:
Description:
Management Response Category: Accepted
Thematic Area: Women economic empowerment (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles: Capacity development, Advocacy
Organizational Priorities: Partnership
UNEG Criteria: Gender equality, Effectiveness, Efficiency
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
The NCO will coordinate and organize dedicated sessions/meetings among local implementing partners (Responsible Parties and service providers) working for the same programme or in the same location, to share, reflect and learn from the field experiences and also review progress of the expected results, discuss key challenges and the strategies to overcome them. This will also foster a common understanding amongst partners of overall programmatic strategies and the concept of transformational change. The NCO has identified internal focal points and alternates for the three priority provinces (2, Bagmati-3 and Sudurpashchim-7) to facilitate the above key actions. Programme Unit 2022/12 Initiated
Continue applying an integrated field monitoring tool which combines quantitative/numeric indicators and qualitative information to systematize to collect and share programmatic learnings. Programme Unit 2022/12 Initiated
Recommendation: Deepen understanding of target populations by supporting action research projects embedded within interventions to scrutinize how social differences and intersectionality affect women’s ability to fully benefit from interventions or maintain exclusion. Action research promotes reflection and provides the opportunity for live lessons learnt to be applied to change course of interventions. This would help tailoring interventions to specific categories of women more effectively and will focus partners on reflecting and learning what works for who and why/how.
Management Response:
Description:
Management Response Category: Partially Accepted
Thematic Area: Women economic empowerment (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles: Knowledge management
Organizational Priorities: Culture of results/RBM, Partnership
UNEG Criteria: Gender equality, Human Rights
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Instead of a standalone action research, NCO will take this recommendation forward by embedding qualitative monitoring methodologies directly in programme interventions in the field. The NCO and the Embassy of Finland (EoF) have recognized that traditional quantitative monitoring tools are mostly based on measuring performance against predetermined quantitative targets and tangible change, across thematic areas. In order to fill the gap, the NCO together with EoF is piloting a participatory qualitative monitoring tool to measure social norm change for GEWE through storytelling to capture lived experiences of women. The ambition is to understand how social differences and intersectionality affects women, track the changes in social norms and exclusionary practices which are not always visible and factors that maintain and reproduce discrimination in the lives of women. The findings of this initiative will inform future programming and indicators to measure transformation in gender discriminatory social norms and harmful practices. Programme Unit 2022/12 Initiated