Management Response

: Independent Evaluation Office(IEO)
: 2018 - 2018 , Independent Evaluation Office(IEO) (EO)
: Corporate Thematic Evaluation: UN Women's Contribution to Humanitarian Action
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: Independent Evaluation Office(IEO)
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Overall Management Response: UN Women welcomes the findings and recommendations of the Corporate Evaluation of UN Women’s Contribution to Humanitarian Action. The evaluation assessed UN Women’s contribution to humanitarian action from 2014-2018 at global, regional and country levels. Based on an extensive desk and portfolio review, country visits, online survey and meetings with key stakeholders in Geneva and New York. The evaluation assessed the relevance and effectiveness of UN Women’s contribution in line with rights-based approaches and gender equality principles. UN Women appreciated the evidence generated from the evaluation which will inform organizational learning and future direction within the framework of organizational-wide efforts to optimize and align presence and engagement, specifically in the context of UN Development System Reform. The evaluation highlights the centrality of gender equality and women’s empowerment considerations to an effective and responsive humanitarian action. It highlights the strong recognition and appreciation of external partners of the relevant and positive contribution of UN Women in ensuring that gender equality and the empowerment of women remain central to Humanitarian action. UN Women welcomes the recognition of the evaluation, UN and donor organizations interviewed of its pioneering and highly effective normative and coordination role at the global level and key regional foras which resulted in the integration of gender equality and women empowerment into framework and policies that guide humanitarian action despite UN Women’s lack of membership in the IASC. UN Women agrees with the assessment of the evaluation team that these efforts provide a foundation for stronger engagement and links between UN Women’s global normative work and humanitarian coordination mechanisms, and efforts at country level. UN Women recognizes the opportunities outlined by the evaluation to increase UN Women’s effectiveness and impact at the country level by building on UN Women’s strengths in the development side of the nexus, sustaining catalytic transformative programming, and better linking its work to system-wide responses while minimizing small scale humanitarian programming that is not done in partnership or that does not have broader strategic importance. The evaluation notes that UN Women’s contributions to humanitarian action have been growing at a fast pace in influence and in budget, with a 700% growth in the past 6 years. UN Women appreciates the recognition of this growth and agrees with the evaluation that the heavy reliance on non-core funding for humanitarian assistance-(currently at 95%) poses significant challenges to UN Women’s staffing capacities and render it reactive and supply driven at times. UN Women recognizes that it has risen to a point where a more strategic and consistent approach is required to strengthen its contributions to humanitarian action, from emergency response to longer-term transformative change. This will require more resources and investment in UN Women’s humanitarian and nexus capacity to fully implement the recommendations of the evaluation.

: Approved
Recommendation: Develop a response-level strategy to complement UN Women’s global humanitarian strategy. Recommendation 1.1: UN Women to review HACRO Humanitarian Strategy and develop a complementary and detailed resource mobilisation strategy that can leverage opportunities at the country level (Humanitarian Needs Overview/Humanitarian Response Plans) and with key donors. Recommendation 1.2: UN Women to conduct internal annual reviews of Gender in Humanitarian Action/Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women in humanitarian action to see how strategies are contributing to demonstrable results.
Management Response: UN Women accepts this recommendation. UN Women’s established the Humanitarian Action and Crisis Response Office (HACRO) in 2017 to strengthen its global normative and coordination engagement for greater accountability for gender equality and women’s empowerment in crisis settings and to extend support to its regional and field offices.
Description:
Management Response Category: Accepted
Thematic Area: Not applicable
Operating Principles: Alignment with strategy
Organizational Priorities: Humanitarian action
UNEG Criteria: Effectiveness
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Develop a resource mobilization strategy in consultation with regional and country offices HACRO , regional and country offices 2020/03 Overdue-Not Initiated
Finalize the UNW Humanitarian Strategy, RM strategy and an accompanying detailed response level guidance, including UNW coordination role HACRO 2020/01 Overdue-Initiated
UN Women to conduct internal annual reviews of Gender in Humanitarian Action through its internal annual reporting, and IASC accountability framework reporting. HACRO 2020/06 Ongoing UNW to continue its function as IASC Gender Desk, UN Women annual reports. on the Grand Bargain and Agenda for Humanity. UNW/UNFPA GiHA Funding study underway. The action will be implemented annually end of the first semester. First UNW led IASC Gender Accountability Framework report published in June 2019
Recommendation: Identify the necessary leadership, minimum levels of staffing and office structures for a response-level strategy in humanitarian settings to ensure UN Women can maximize its influence at the country level.
Management Response: UN Women partially accepts this recommendation. UN Women is in the process of reviewing its overall human resources, management structures and country typology to be more fit for purpose in the broader efforts of UN system reform. The reality of limited core resources, limited humanitarian and unearmarked funding and heavy reliance on non-core funding to cover core humanitarian capacity pose significant challenges to UN Women in securing the needed human resources in crisis countries or sustaining core normative, coordination and country support functions at the global level. UN Women HACRO has launched a number of initiatives to strengthen UN Women’s humanitarian capacity with the launch of a number of regional and country level GiHA trainings and IASC gender handbook training targeting UN Women management and practitioner level in the field. Additional guidance and practical tools will be developed, finalized and disseminated in various areas recommended by the evaluation including but not limited to humanitarian coordination, Accountability to Affected Populations and Protection against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse
Description:
Management Response Category: Partially Accepted
Thematic Area: Leadership and participation in governance systems (SP 2018-2021)
Operating Principles: Capacity development
Organizational Priorities: Humanitarian action
UNEG Criteria: Efficiency, Relevance, Sustainability, Effectiveness
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Capacity development and in-person trainings and thematic webinars convened to address capacity needs, facilitate peer-to-peer learning and promote a coordinated, corporate approach to Humanitarian Action HACRO 2020/06 Ongoing GiHA trainings in WCARO, ESARO, APRO, ASRO. Country level trainings provided in Turkey, oPt
Finalize UNWs Crisis Management Protocols and Fast Track processes HACRO, DMA, Legal 2019/12 Overdue-Initiated
Development of technical guidance notes on gender responsive localization, cash transfers, participation revolution and harmonized needs assessment, rollout of PSEA guidance HACRO 2019/12 Overdue-Initiated
Populate UN Women’s global Knowledge Management Platform (sharepoint) with guidance notes, programmatic and country case studies, research and reports HACRO 2020/03 Ongoing
Strengthen UN Women internal expert deployment systems at global and regional level leverage existing partnerships with emergency standby partners HACRO 2019/12 Ongoing
Recommendation: Develop global partnership frameworks with OCHA, UNHCR and UNFPA building on experience in partnerships in different contexts
Management Response: UN Women’s accepts this recommendation. UN Women supports and welcome the focus of the evaluation on partnerships. This focus is in line with UN Women’s commitment to the new way of working. Since the establishment of HACRO, significant efforts have been placed on building partnerships to maximize impact and reach at normative, policy and programmatic levels. As highlighted in the evaluation report, in 2018, UN Women partnered with 14 UN agencies and 9 international NGOs and Red Cross/Crescent Societies in 30 of crisis country contexts. UN Women recognizes the needed for executive leadership engagement to forge global framework for partnerships against the backdrop of competition over limited resources while noting the decentralized nature of some of the entities listed affects global agreements impact on country level joint efforts.
Description:
Management Response Category: Accepted
Thematic Area: Not applicable
Operating Principles: Not applicable
Organizational Priorities: UN Coordination, Partnership, Normative Support, Humanitarian action
UNEG Criteria: Effectiveness, Efficiency
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
SMT engagement with UN OCHA, UNFPA and UNHCR to clarify roles and mandates and elements of framework agreements Senior Management 2020/06 Overdue-Not Initiated
Engage with AAP and PSEA lead agencies (OCHA, UNHCR, UNICEF) to ensure guidance provides specifics on W&Gs accessing AAP/PSEA in country level strategies. HACRO 2020/06 Ongoing Ongoing through the IASC Results Group on Inclusion and Accountability
Recommendation: Increase effectiveness and impact in humanitarian action by better linking UN Women’s work to system-wide responses while minimizing programming that is not done in partnership or that does not have broader strategic importance.
Management Response: UN Women accepts this recommendation with a reservation that this shift will be contingent on backing and availability of funding by donors to UN Women’s normative and coordination work in HA. UN Women appreciates that the evaluation highlights the centrality of gender equality and women empowerment considerations to an effective humanitarian action, and the strong recognition of the relevant and positive contribution of UN Women in ensuring that gender equality and the empowerment of women remain central to Humanitarian action. UN Women also welcomes the recognition of the evaluation of UN Women’s effective normative and coordination role at the global and regional level and opportunities to strengthen these functions further at the country level. Despite challenges resulting from UN Women’s lack of membership in the IASC, UN Women has been establishing itself over the past years to strengthen accountability for Humanitarian action through its normative and coordination mandate while directly responding to humanitarian needs with catalytic and joint programming. Going forward, UN Women will consolidate its strength with a focus on bridging the gaps between commitments and implementation, strengthening CO capacities for the rollout of the IASC Accountability Framework on Gender; integrating gender responsive programming throughout the humanitarian programme cycle; developing gender profiles and alerts; promoting women and girl’s participation from the initial assessment stage to management, implementation, and assessment. To make such shift, this will require the backing and funding of an accountability and coordination mechanism for UN Women in Humanitarian Action and to reduce dependence on non-core short term project-based resources for key coordination functions.
Description:
Management Response Category: Accepted
Thematic Area: Not applicable
Operating Principles: Alignment with strategy
Organizational Priorities: Humanitarian action
UNEG Criteria: Effectiveness
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Develop field level coordination SOPs so that UNW’s contributions to official humanitarian coordination and response planning are consistent and anticipated HACRO 2020/03 Overdue-Initiated UNW COs part of the GiHA AF monitoring process; SOPs backed with a funding mechanism for core GIHA and coordination capacities
Finalize Humanitarian strategy and programme guidance with a clear criteria and checklist for prioritization of programmatic engagement HACRO 2020/03 Overdue-Initiated Mid term review of UN Women strategic plan will be an opportunity to make adjustment at SP level