Management Response

: Nepal
: 2022 - 2022 , Nepal (CO)
: Country Portfolio Evaluation
:
: Nepal
:

UN Women Nepal Country Office (NCO) welcomes the overall recommendations from the Country Portfolio Evaluation (CPE). The CPE has brought the following key lessons into focus which along with the key recommendations will be used by UN Women NCO to inform the design and implementation of its next Strategic Note 2023 – 2027: • To reach the most marginalized groups, it is key for organizations to provide avenues for engaging grass-roots organizations in meaningful ways to allow for capacity-building and co-creation of project design. • During times of crisis, convening and listening to voices across the spectrum of different stakeholders is essential for an effective and relevant response. • Identifying synergies, geographical focus and layering efforts maximizes progress. • Embedding a scale-up strategy or plan from the design stage can provide clear avenues for sustainability. • Diversity and inclusion must start internally to support work externally. • Investing internally can have dividends for organizational credibility. • Unearmarked funding (such as Strategic Note funding) has the potential to support adaptive management and provide space for innovation.

: Approved
Recommendation: The new Strategic Note should define how the Country Office will continue strengthening its approach to supporting the federalization process through a layered approach in partnership with the United Nations system, while maintaining and strengthening the gender equality and social inclusion and intersectionality focus in practical terms. Engage with Country Office partners in defining the next Strategic Note and continue developing products that help communicate the vision of UN Women to partners.
Management Response: UN Women NCO welcomes the recommendation and will continue supporting the federalization process with focus on GESI and intersectionality during its new SN 2023-2027 by engaging with its key stakeholders.
Description:
Management Response Category: Accepted
Thematic Area: Leadership and participation in governance systems (SP 2018-2021)
Operating Principles: National ownership, Advocacy, Knowledge management
Organizational Priorities: Partnership, Normative Support, UN Coordination
UNEG Criteria: Human Rights, Gender equality, Relevance
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
1. Continue focusing on priority thematic areas with a view of how to translate this into a local-level governance approach. UN Women Nepal NCO 2027/12 Initiated The NCO’s Strategic Note 2023 – 2027 prioritizes local governments among others as key implementing partners across its four outcome areas. NCO also aims to ensure strong coordination with all three tiers of government by establishing effective linkages with wards, municipalities, the provincial Ministry of Social Development and relevant provincial government ministries and relevant federal government agencies. Further coordination structure of the ongoing the Provincial and Local Governance Support Programme will also be utilized.
2. Develop knowledge and communication products to better communicate the vision of UN Women to its key partners. UN Women NCO 2027/12 Initiated As of December 2023, a total of 15 knowledge products (7 publications and 8 videos) were developed and disseminated in support of communicating with key stakeholders about UN Women’s work. These knowledge products were focused on several thematic areas including gender-based violence, access to justice, social norms, diversity and inclusion, humanitarian response and financing for gender equality.
3. In line with the Developmental Evaluation, leverage inter-agency coordination, joint programmes and technical and strategic partnerships with the government that allow NCO to expand its reach at the provincial, local and community levels to promote gender equality and social inclusion and intersectionality focus in practical terms. UN Women NCO 2027/12 Initiated NCO has been leveraging on its coordination with UN agencies through joint programmes. As of December 2023, a total of six joint programmes are being implemented with UNDP, UNCDF, UNICEF, ILO, UNFPA, FAO, IFAD, WFP and WHO. NCO has also been investing its efforts to foster strategic partnerships with both provincial and local governments to promote gender equality and social inclusion while integrating intersectionality lens to it. NCO has also been prioritizing joint monitoring visits together with UN agencies and government partners to expand its reach to local and community level while ensuring their ownership of the programme interventions.
Recommendation: Continue proactive engagement with United Nations and development partners to further leadership and advocacy for gender equality and social inclusion in practical ways through key platforms. In line with recommendations from the draft Nepal UNDAF evaluation, with the aim of enhancing coherence, UN Women should work with its United Nations system partners to identify ways to strengthen joint programme management, while ensuring equal visibility of each agency within these efforts.
Management Response: UN Women NCO welcomes the recommendation and will continue its proactive engagement with UN Country Team and its development partners in mainstreaming development efforts from GESI lens while ensuring greater coherence and UN Women’s visibility.
Description:
Management Response Category: Accepted
Thematic Area: Not applicable
Operating Principles: Advocacy, Knowledge management, Internal coordination and communication
Organizational Priorities: UN Coordination, Partnership
UNEG Criteria: Efficiency, Gender equality, Human Rights
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
1. Ensure action-oriented coordination meetings and follow-up (e.g. GiHA, IDPG GESI WG, LNOB GESI WG, PSEA WG and UNSDCF Outcome 4). UN Women NCO 2027/12 Initiated NCO has been leveraging its substantive coordination efforts to mobilize key stakeholders in the UN system for GEWE in Nepal. In 2023, NCO continued to co-chair the UNCT LNOB GESI WG (the reformed UNCT Gender Theme Group in line with the revised inter-agency coordination architecture), to ensure effective inter-agency coordination and support the UNCT’s internal and external efforts on GESI in Nepal.
2. Continue tracking the progress related to inter-agency coordination on GEWE in line with the NCO SN 2023 – 2027 OEE results. UN Women NCO 2027/12 Initiated NCO’s SN 2023 – 2027 includes a dedicated output area along with four results indicators to track the progress related to efforts on UN system coordination on GEWE. NCO has been consistently tracking the progress on this output and its corresponding indicators.
3. Develop practical tools to operationalize LNOB and GESI principles. UN Women NCO 2024/12 Initiated Gender has been mainstreamed across UNSDCF 2023 – 2027 and its joint work plan. Gender Equality Marker has been applied across the joint work plan including for all joint programmes. As co-chair to the LNOB GESI WG, UN Women has presented the results of the UNCTs GEM application to the PMT and the UNCT and is working on defining a structure to ensure for better quality assurance.
4. Continue to maintain/update roster of thematic gender experts and resource persons with lived experiences on areas related to LNOB, in collaboration with UN agencies and IDPG GESI WG. UN Women NCO 2027/12 Not Initiated No progress
5. Explore the possibility of assigning/hiring a focal point for coordination efforts. UN Women NCO 2023/12 Completed Recruitment of the Coordination Officer has been completed.
6. Develop and implement risk mitigation strategies for all joint programmes. UN Women NCO 2027/12 Initiated All joint programmes include risk matrix including potential risks and mitigation measures. These risk matrixes are being reviewed and updated on a regular basis.
7. Develop and implement visibility strategies for all joint programmes to ensure UN Women’s visibility at different levels and stakeholders. UN Women NCO 2027/12 Initiated Communication and visibility plan have been/are being developed for two out of six joint programmes. These joint programmes are (a) joint programme on Accelerating Progress towards Rural Women’s Economic Empowerment; and (b) Empowered Women, Prosperous Nepal.
Recommendation: Continue building an integrated approach to implementation of UN Women’s triple mandate, layering efforts across different thematic areas and focusing on priority provinces to avoid being spread too thin, while maintaining a view to scale-up with the Government, the United Nations system and development partners. Clearly communicate to partners UN Women’s models with potential for scale-up and value added within the different thematic areas.
Management Response: UN Women NCO welcomes the recommendation and will strengthen synergies between its partners across thematic areas for greater effectiveness of the programmatic interventions and identification of entry points for scalability and replication.
Description:
Management Response Category: Accepted
Thematic Area: Women economic empowerment (SPs before 2018), Leadership and participation in governance systems (SP 2018-2021)
Operating Principles: Capacity development, Advocacy, National ownership, Promoting inclusiveness/Leaving no one behind, Knowledge management
Organizational Priorities: Partnership, Operational activities, UN Coordination
UNEG Criteria: Effectiveness, Human Rights, Gender equality, Sustainability
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
1. Improve synergies between NCO’s partners based on key thematic focus areas with a layered approach. Reflect this approach in the design and implementation of programming interventions. UN Women NCO 2027/12 Initiated An integrated approach has been adopted to programmatic interventions. This includes working with consortium partners to ensure that holistic approach and layered efforts are implemented with the same project participants for longer period. Further, NCO has been focusing on partnerships with grassroots women’s organizations who brings better understanding of the issues in the ground and how to address them.
2. Develop a standard module on GESI concepts to inform capacity development initiatives by UN Women and its partners. UN Women NCO 2024/12 Not Initiated No progress
3. Continue addressing the social norms at household, community, market institutions and policy level through programming interventions. UN Women NCO 2027/12 Initiated NCO has been implementing a five-year programme “storytelling initiative” which adopts a comprehensive approach for using storytelling for the identification and measurement of gender discriminatory social norm change in development interventions. Its programming component aims to support collective mobilization of women and excluded groups for leadership, movement building and advocacy for social norm change at household and community level. The social norms change component has been placed at the center of several other interventions and programmes. A joint programme on rural women’s economic empowerment focuses on men engagement for social norms change at both household and community level.
4. Organize annual reflection workshop with implementing partners to identify and document key lessons learned and entry points for scalability and replication of effective programme strategies/interventions. UN Women NCO 2027/12 Not Initiated No progress
5. Continue to build strong partnerships with key stakeholders at all levels and nurture linkages between these as a means to influence the normative space and scale up efforts. UN Women NCO 2027/12 Initiated NCO has initiated/signed MoUs with key government institutions that plays critical role in taking forward the normative agenda. These includes the federal Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizen, National Human Rights Commission and National Women’s Commission. In 2023, CEDAW monitoring status report was submitted by the Government of Nepal with UN Women’s technical and financial support.
Recommendation: Continue evolving and strengthening the focus on diversity and inclusion both internally and externally, including by routinizing the disaggregation of all monitoring data by social group, and by periodically revisiting the discussion on who are the most marginalized and the rationale for targeting these or other groups. Draw on the detailed experience of programme partners to develop, in collaboration with sister agencies, guidance tools on how to operationalize an intersectional approach.
Management Response: UN Women NCO welcomes the recommendation and will continue promoting enabling environment for diversity and inclusion both internally and externally.
Description:
Management Response Category: Accepted
Thematic Area: Women economic empowerment (SPs before 2018), Leadership and participation in governance systems (SP 2018-2021)
Operating Principles: Promoting inclusiveness/Leaving no one behind, Internal coordination and communication
Organizational Priorities: Organizational efficiency, Operational activities
UNEG Criteria: Effectiveness, Gender equality, Human Rights
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
1. Develop a supplementary workforce diversity strategy to increase internal diversity in recruitment at all levels. UN Women NCO 2024/06 Overdue-Initiated UN Women NCO is currently following UNDP’s Workforce Diversity Policy which is being reviewed by the HR Taskforce. However, NCO’s specific action to develop a supplementary workforce diversity strategy is still pending. A separate task force consisting of personnel representing different sections was formed to take this initiative forward. However, it was delayed as several taskforce members left NCO. NCO has now reformed the taskforce and plans to take it forward by the third quarter of 2024. Hence, a new timeline has been proposed accordingly. Besides, NCO has led various activities to promote diversity in UN Country Team (UNCT) Nepal. These includes collecting and analyzing the gender parity and workforce diversity data of all UN agencies and presenting them to Operations Management Team and UNCT for advocacy. UN Women NCO is also leading the project “Women on Wheels” which focuses on bringing female drivers in the UN system. UN Women NCO has been participating in the UN Traineeship Programme, a unique programme implemented by UNCT Nepal to provide opportunities for young graduates from socially excluded groups. As of March 2023, UN Women NCO is one of the four UN agencies meeting gender parity out of 21 agencies operating in Nepal.
2. Review and revise the NCO’s Diversity Strategy’s section on gender-responsive procurement from the lens of disability inclusion. UN Women NCO 2024/06 Overdue-Initiated NCO has led various activities to promote gender-responsive procurement processes and practices such as UN Open House for all suppliers including Women Owned Businesses and liaised on how to bid for procurement calls announced by UN agencies. This is an initiative to create a diverse base of suppliers in UN agencies. UN Women NCO has also been continuously advocating for gender responsive procurement in the inter-agency task force meetings. However, the proposed action to revise NCO’s Diversity Strategy’s procurement section has been delayed due to other pressing priorities caused by internal system transition (quantum). This action point is being implemented along with previous activity related to workforce diversity strategy. Hence, the same timeline will be followed.
3. Ensure standard level disaggregation of monitoring data across all programming interventions and collect and analyze additional levels of diversity data as required. UN Women NCO 2023/12 Completed A minimum standard disaggregation level of monitoring data has been set and agreed among the programme team. These includes gender, age, disability and caste/ethnic group. The performance monitoring frameworks of all implementing partners has been aligned with the NCO’s SN 2023 – 2027 results framework so that the required disaggregated data are collected by all implementing partners on a regular basis.
4. Periodically convene diverse CSOs with expertise in integrating an intersectional approach to programming and sister agencies to co-create guidance on good practices for identifying, targeting and reaching very marginalized groups. UN Women NCO 2027/12 Initiated NCO has been consistently engaging the diverse groups of expertise including the grassroot women’s organizations in support of integrating intersectional lens into its programming efforts. An interaction session with diverse CSOs was conducted in Q3 of 2023.
Recommendation: Document and share lessons learned through investment in adaptive management and innovation to facilitate learning both internally with other UN Women offices and externally with partners as a resource mobilization tool. Continue advocating for Strategic Note funding and joint programme funding and explore opportunities to engage with other donors for Strategic Note funding.
Management Response: UN Women NCO welcomes the recommendation and will continue investing resources in adaptive management and innovation.
Description:
Management Response Category: Accepted
Thematic Area: Women economic empowerment (SPs before 2018), Leadership and participation in governance systems (SP 2018-2021)
Operating Principles: Knowledge management, Innovation and technology, Resource mobilization
Organizational Priorities: Partnership, Organizational efficiency
UNEG Criteria: Efficiency, Gender equality
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
1. Develop a risk appetite statement that establishes the intention of NCO to test new or unknown approaches in the spirit of innovation while managing risk. UN Women NCO 2024/06 Overdue-Not Initiated This action point will be implemented in line with the mid-year review of existing risk and mitigation plan in July 2024 to avoid duplication. Hence, the new timeline has been proposed accordingly.
2. Through the Innovation Task Team, continue supporting innovation in the office including brainstorming new ideas, finding innovative solutions as well as finding and sharing examples of innovation. Document this process including the rationale behind decisions, expected benefit, mechanisms to monitor whether successful, and monitor risk. UN Women NCO 2027/12 Not Initiated No progress.
3. Continue conducting workshop series to help define social norms that the NCO seeks to influence both internally and externally and engage partners in this process at key points to ensure relevance, ownership and commitment. Ensure this input feeds into a coherent approach for measuring social norms change in line with the Strategic Note. UN Women NCO 2027/12 Initiated NCO’s SN 2023 – 2027 has been informed by the key findings and lessons learned from both Country Portfolio Evaluation and Developmental Evaluation (DE) – phase II. Key findings from two social norms workshops conducted as part of DE, have been taken into consideration into the SN 2023 – 2027 which includes a dedicate output area on social norms change aligned with UNSDCF’s outcome area on human development. Additionally, NCO has been selected as case study country for the global feminist collaborative evaluation (FCE) which aims to support UN Women’s work on social norms change. To this end, NCO decided to merge its third phase of DE with this global evaluation. NCO participated in the FCE as one of the seven case study countries. NCO’s case study report was finalized in the second quarter of 2024.
Recommendation: Share the internal capacity-building approach internally and continue investing in capacities of personnel and explore pathways for retention and career development within UN Women.
Management Response:
Description:
Management Response Category: Accepted
Thematic Area: Women economic empowerment (SPs before 2018), Leadership and participation in governance systems (SP 2018-2021)
Operating Principles: Capacity development, Promoting inclusiveness/Leaving no one behind, Internal coordination and communication
Organizational Priorities: Organizational efficiency
UNEG Criteria: Efficiency, Gender equality
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
1. As recommended by the Developmental Evaluation, work with the Regional Office (and headquarters) to share the internal capacity-building efforts of NCO by organizing learning sessions for the region (and open to others) on specific topics such as cognitive coaching and adaptive leadership, and a community of practice in teams. UN Women NCO 2027/12 Initiated A two days in-person training on Democratization of Leadership, was conducted by NCO in April 2023. Invitation was extended to other country offices in the Asia-Pacific region and UN agencies working in Nepal. UN Women personnel from Bangladesh and Pakistan country offices attended the training. Additionally, a regional learning session (virtual) on findings of the NCO’s country portfolio evaluation has been scheduled in 3rd quarter of 2023. Further, NCO has been engaging in cross-country learning exchanges through community of practices, including on results-based management, social norms and other thematic areas.
2. Ensure periodic assessment of workload of all personnel through regular check-ins by supervisors. UN Women NCO 2027/12 Initiated NCO has prioritized that all performance management and development plans are completed within the corporate deadline. NCO as part of Global Staff Survey Action plan 2022 selected Professional Development and Growth as a focus theme for Nepal for 2023. Action plan has been mutually developed by NCO team in form of dedicated learning hour and more support in terms of Career Development opportunities. Also, three milestones date has been agreed to discuss progress, share wins, and course correction if needed.
3. With a view to reducing risk of burnout amongst staff, reassess current assignments, encourage creation of safe space/cohort of colleagues for sharing and identifying possibility of additional human resource support. UN Women NCO 2027/12 Initiated Recruitment of the vacant positions is being prioritized. A total of 15 personnel (SC -1, UNV – 2 and SSA – 12) were timely recruited in the past two quarters. With a view to provide additional support to Programme team on administrative functions, an additional position as Programme Assistant have been added in the structure to support all programme teams. Additionally, NCO continued to invest in its efforts towards duty of care, including distribution of COVID-19 kits, making counselling sessions available and providing COVID-19 vaccination to all personnel and dependents. In September 2023, NCO has conducted a fit for purpose exercise with an objective of alignment of our organizational structure, functions, and teams with the strategic goals outlined in our Strategic Note and the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF), while also considering forthcoming opportunities. This exercise was intended to measure factors such as time management, the dynamics of teamwork, and engagement within coordination spaces and management structures. The action points based on recommendations from this exercise is being implemented.
Recommendation: Continue investing in evaluation as a means to provide a space for reflection, learning and accountability. Moving forward, monitoring can be strengthened through dedicated capacity-building of CSOs and the establishment of a third-party monitoring mechanism to ensure coverage in the field and during crises.
Management Response:
Description:
Management Response Category: Accepted
Thematic Area: Not applicable
Operating Principles: Promoting inclusiveness/Leaving no one behind, Knowledge management, Innovation and technology
Organizational Priorities: Organizational efficiency
UNEG Criteria: Effectiveness, Efficiency, Gender equality
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
1. Continue the Developmental Evaluation approach allowing for adaptive learning and mid-term review of the Strategic Note. UN Women NCO 2025/12 Initiated A global feminist collaborative evaluation (FCE) is being conducted by UN Women Independent Evaluation Service to support the production of real-time insights to feed into the development of the UN Women’s outcome area on social norms change and facilitate learning about approaches aimed at changing social norms to achieve GEWE. NCO has been selected as one of the case study countries for this FCE based on its interest and recognizing the efforts around social norms change. With this, third phase of Developmental Evaluation has been merged with this case study. The global level report of the FCE is expected to be finalized by the end of 2024.
2. Continue combining project-level evaluations with thematic evaluations to ensure better use of resources. UN Women NCO 2027/12 Initiated A Thematic Evaluation of Gender Responsive and Inclusive Governance Programming has been planned for 2027.
3. Conduct third-party monitoring as a pilot, in particular for work implemented in hard-to-reach areas. UN Women NCO 2024/12 Not Initiated No progress till date. NCO is exploring the possibility of piloting a third-party monitoring through the joint programme on Rural Women’s Economic Empowerment.