Management Response

: Regional Office for Arab States (Egypt)
: 2019 - 2019 , Regional Office for Arab States (Egypt) (RO)
: Supporting Syrian Women’s Engagement in the Syrian Political Process – Building a Homegrown Constituency for Peace Programme
: Regional Office for Arab States (Egypt)

UN Women partially agrees with the recommendations put forward by the evaluation conducted by International Alert in 2019. Some of the recommendations have already been taken on board and integrated into future phases of UN Women’s Women, Peace and Security (WPS) programming in Syria. Other recommendations are not in line with UN Women’s approach to the next phase of programming or are no longer relevant due to the rapidly evolving Syrian context. The recommendations that will not be actioned are explained below. UN Women is committed to strengthening its work on WPS to ensure it builds on emerging good practice identified in this evaluation and remains responsive to an evolving Syrian context.

: Approved
Recommendation: A. Increase the number of consultations and linkages with grassroots actors inside and outside Syria over the long term, including identifying opportunities for connection of grassroots activities, activism and opinions, with the formal peace process and other Track I and II initiatives. Utilise existing grassroots bodies, networks and platforms to avoid duplication of efforts, ensure relevance, and build relationships and trust with actors beyond the programme. B. Use consultations with participants and stakeholders to test the relevance of the topics that are intended to be tabled for dialogue in the WAB and SWIPD, and ensure that the programme assumptions are tested in these consultations and remain in line with participants’ and stakeholder priorities. C. Seek to add more young women, emerging grassroots leaders and underrepresented groups to the WAB and/or enable them to be connected to the activities of the WAB and SWIPD through developing methods for participation and consultation specifically for people who are unable to travel or officially participate in the WAB or SWIPD.
Management Response: UN Women will continue to broaden its efforts beyond the WAB by creating partnerships and linkages with civil society working inside and outside Syria (including young women and other ‘underrepresented groups’ in the political process). Consultations to test the relevance of WAB dialogue topics, as recommended in the evaluation, will not be pursued given the political and conflict sensitivities of holding consultation processes in the current Syrian context (alongside security implications for women activists at the grassroots level). Further, WAB dialogue topics are directly linked to bolstering technical capacity vis-à-vis discussion topics in the political process. Instead, UN Women will work through partners working inside Syria to identify priorities and policy options relevant to the political process that could be shuttled to the WAB via UN Women. UN Women commissioned research will also seek to capture the everyday gendered realities of the Syrian conflict. This research will help inform the policy-advocacy approach of the WAB to ensure it is rooted in contextual analysis. UN Women will also seek discreet opportunities to test programmatic assumptions and priorities with leading Syrian women, where possible, during WAB meetings and in meetings with partners.
Management Response Category: Partially Accepted
Thematic Area: Peace and security (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles: Capacity development, Promoting inclusiveness/Leaving no one behind
Organizational Priorities: Partnership
UNEG Criteria: Efficiency, Sustainability
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
UN Women will seek to broaden its partnerships with civil society working inside and outside of Syria. UN Women will actively seek out partners working in areas that are not covered by current programming. ROAS 2022/12 Completed Partnership with a Syrian led CSO that works in the NW of Syria initiated in 2020. An EOI process to explore other partnership opportunities was also launched in 2020. A CfP was launched in April 2021 to continue to strategically expand UN Women’s support to civil society. In this context, outreach efforts were made to reach local, youth and disabled persons’ organizations (also included in the ToR). Geographical reach will be a key selection criterion once the CfP process has closed.
UN Women will work with the OSE to support the WAB to broaden its approach to include consultations and information sharing with women's civil society inside and outside of Syria. Given the sensitive nature of the Syrian context, a stepwise approach will be taken to ensure that the processes led by the WAB adhere to conflict sensitivity and Do No Harm principles. ROAS 2020/03 Completed UN Women has supported the OSE to undertake virtual consultations between members of the Women’s Advisory Board and their constituencies inside and outside of Syria. So far, three consultations were organized in three different constituencies. These consultations are driven and owned by the WAB and seek to answer core questions related to women’s priorities in the political process. The first in-person WAB meeting since the COVID-19 outbreak in April 2021 included a conversation on the continuation of WAB outreach efforts.
UN Women will work through partners to reach a younger generation of women leaders. ROAS 2020/03 Completed UN Women Syria Programme is now more intersectional, including through increased reach of young Syrian women leaders. While UN Women is mainstreaming intersectionality and youth inclusion across the programme pillars (political process, civil society, research, and coordination), the increased reach of young women leaders is particularly accounted for through the civil society pillar. Since 2020, UN Women has designed and incorporated a dedicated civil society workstream to strengthen the meaningful participation of intersectionally representative Syrian civil society in the political processes. The civil society pillar has undergone a notable expansion by first, UN Women partnering with a civil society organisation (CSO) led by a young Syrian woman leader in 2020 with the overall goal of increasing the mutual understanding and cross-border collaboration between Syrian women leaders from different backgrounds, including youth, across Lebanon, Turkey, northwest and central/southern Syria, and government-controlled areas; and responding to the women’s needs and priorities across the various tracks. Second, in 2021 and 2022, UN Women increased its reach through five additional CSO partners working with Syrian women and men, including youth. UN Women has also consulted Syrian youth and youth-led organisations to inform its programmatic interventions and Calls for Proposals (CfP).
UN Women will formulate a research agenda to enhance understanding and start building an evidence-base around gender dynamics in the Syrian conflict and political process. ROAS 2022/12 Completed UN Women initiated a robust research agenda in 2020, investing in four areas of research: gender analysis of Syria’s conflict; gender analysis of Syria’s electoral framework; gender sensitive conflict analysis; and pilot research system (to directly gather inputs from inside of Syria on the status of women’s rights and gender equality). All four pieces will be launched in early-mid 2021 and will include outreach campaigns. UN Women will continue to invest in thought leadership in Phase 2 of its Syria programme and is already scoping topics for the next research pieces to be commissioned. UN Women has also further invested in outreach and communications efforts.