UN Women welcomes the findings of the independent evaluation “Evaluation of UN Women’s Women’s Economic Empowerment Approach through Private Sector Engagement in Asia and the Pacific”. Overall, the findings of the Evaluation:
Confirms: the increasing relevance of WEE in Asia and the Pacific, the role of private sector and has highlighted the importance of broadening WEE priorities to reflect the diverse needs of women in the region, particularly to articulate how UN Women will work with partners, especially partners within the UN system to advance WEE;
Recognizes: the work of ROAP, especially WEA MCO's (Multi Country Office) and COs (Country Offices) as having advanced and mobilized private sector engagements, where the best results achieved were through the application of holistic approaches between policymakers and the private sector;
Acknowledges: that the work with the private sector is not consistently integrating an explicit approach to identifying and engaging with marginalized groups, including persons with disabilities, in its women’s economic empowerment efforts; and
Emphasizes: that investment in governance structures and staffing that support the functions envisioned for the Regional Office with respect to supporting field offices in key thematic areas could enhance efficiency.
UN Women WEE ROAP recognises the need to better reflect the broader priorities for advancing women’s economic empowerment across the region in ROAP’s regional strategy and programmes; to focus on high potential and scalable areas such as a holistic and integrated approach to WEE; to embody the principle of leave no one behind (LNOB) and develop tools to support implementation; as well as to invest in governance structures and staffing to support field offices. It also recognises that the evaluation emphasises the need for the region to come together by including contributions from the COs towards a joint strategy that will advance WEE in APAC.
WEE ROAP accepts all the recommendations of this evaluation and will work towards taking specific actions in line with them:
UN Women WEE ROAP will engage in the global WEE strategy development process, engage regional stakeholders, and develop a guiding framework for implementation of the strategy considering the different development contexts in the Asia-Pacific, ranging from high to low-income countries. ROAP will also support the HQ-led development process of a UN Women Private Sector Engagement Strategy as a driver/lever of advancing WEE in the Asia-Pacific and engage with other UN Agencies at RO and Country levels to draft joint WEE programmatic approaches and/or programmes to strengthen cross-agency and cross-thematic collaboration.
UN Women WEE ROAP will also ensure that developed models and tools will be widely shared in fora like the Internal Community of Practice (CoP) for WEE, make these tools available on a larger scale, revise the UN Women APAC WEE landing page to better disseminate information on WEE, as well as organise donor and expert roundtables while also deepening and embracing existing tools by applying them to multi-stakeholder platforms.
UN Women WEE ROAP will also ensure all new programme designs/pro-docs have a section on LNOB, that all team members have increased capacities on LNOB programming and implementation, that UN Women’s globally developed tools will be applied to track LNOB progress in WEE programmes, and that a resource mobilization plan targeted to the migration portfolio (targeting the vulnerable groups, such as Women Migrant Workers) will be developed.
Further, to develop internal technical capacity on WEE, UN Women WEE ROAP will move from 100% Programme Management Functions at ROAP to a minimum of 50% WEE Technical Advisor Role to support Country Offices and Portfolio Development of ROAP. It will set-up a Community of Practice with a continuous improvement process in place, initiate ToT (Training of Trainers) sessions for the wider WEE APAC community, update an ROAP regional knowledge management database on SharePoint and establish a roster of WEE Consultants and Experts which will build ROAP’s capacity to fulfil its regional functions related to policy advisory, technical and capacity building support on country programming.
For full details on actions and responses for each recommendation, please refer to the full text below.