Management Response

: Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (Thailand)
: 2022 - 2022 , Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (Thailand) (RO)
: IES-led Evaluation of UN Women's contributions to women's economic empowerment through private sector engagement
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: Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (Thailand)
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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.

: Approved
Recommendation: RECOMMENDATION 1 Recognizing the ongoing ROAP Strategic Note process, finalize the draft long-term regional women’s economic empowerment strategy with a corresponding partnership and resource mobilization plan. The regional strategy should clearly articulate how UN Women will work with partners (particularly partners in the United Nations system) to advance women’s economic empowerment. The strategy needs to reflect core UN Women values (leave no one behind) and define how informal and formal sector linkages will be supported, the roles and specific niche expertise in women’s economic empowerment, and how interlinkages between thematic areas will be integrated.
Management Response: In the absence of a global WEE Strategy, ROAP sees the importance of continuing to draft a regional WEE strategy. This process has already been initiated, including a survey and CO consultation which has been conducted by WEE ROAP. Ideally, this strategy development is envisioned as part of an HQ-supported process to ensure consistency across regions and to better position UN Women in the WEE space and to increase resource mobilisation. WEE ROAP also recognizes the importance of a multi-stakeholder approach to such a strategy and reaffirms the need to build partnerships with the private sector, our government partners and CSOs (Civil Society organisations). Such a strategy should further include a clear resource plan, including details on the right team structure (capacity and skill requirements), and resource mobilization needs. Finally, it recognizes the need to strongly align with HQ on the development of its Private Sector Engagement strategy.
Description:
Management Response Category: Accepted
Thematic Area: Women economic empowerment (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles: Alignment with strategy
Organizational Priorities: Not applicable
UNEG Criteria: Effectiveness
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Engage in the global WEE strategy development process, engage regional stakeholders, and develop a guiding framework for Asia-Pacific implementation of the strategy considering the different development context settings in Asia-Pacific, ranging from high to low-income countries. ROAP WEE + in coordination with WEE HQ Unit 2023/12 Initiated This process has been initiated. In 2022, WEE ROAP identified all WEE focal points and engaged them in a strategic exercise to amend the drafted Asia Pacific strategy in line with the global WEE strategy. This process will continue into 2023.
Support the HQ-led Process to develop a Private Sector Engagement Strategy as key enabler for WEE in Asia-Pacific resulting in a finalized Private Sector Engagement Sector Strategy for ROAP. ROAP WEE and Partnerships Unit in coordination with HQ MPAS 2023/08 Completed A consultation has been planned for Q4 2022 and continued inputs will be gathered throughout 2023. Update as of November 2023: ROAP provided inputs to the PS strategy which has now been finalised by HQ.
Engage with other UN Agencies at RO and Country levels to draft joint WEE programmatic complementary approaches and/or programmes to further strengthen cross-agency and cross-thematic collaboration. ROAP WEE 2023/06 Overdue-Initiated As of June 2023: WEE and the Humanitarian Climate DRR teams are a planning a joint retreat with shared cross-thematic sessions e.g. on WEE in humanitarian settings where the newly set up WEE Asia Pacific Community of Practice will attend, plan is to hold it in September 2023 subject to budget availability. WEE and Humanitarian Climate DRR also submitted a joint proposal for a climate accelerator for women entrepreneurs in ASEAN which has been granted by MOGEF. The full Project Document is currently under development. WEE and EVAW teams together collaborated with UNICEF to organize a joint event on Preventing Gender Stereotypes in Advertising and Marketing held on May 2023. UN Women also provided extensive input and review to a brief on the same topic which was launched at the Roundtable and attended by industry professionals from media, advertising and marketing from Asia Pacific countries. WEE units in UN Women ROAP and Myanmar are providing ongoing inputs to UNDP joint proposal on WEE in conflict settings. Previous update: WEE ROAP has already undertaken this action since the evaluation findings were shared. For example, WEE ROAP has started engaging with UNDP/UNCDF/ UNEP for drafting joint concept notes on WEE & climate change, innovative financing and inclusive procurement.
Recommendation: RECOMMENDATION 2 As part of the new regional women’s economic empowerment strategy, codify UN Women programming models along the informal/formal private sector spectrum, emphasizing linkages between private sector engagement and policy change, establishing partnerships, and facilitating exchange on available knowledge products and lessons learned to catalyse women’s economic empowerment.
Management Response: UN Women has created at both regional and the field level, many new and innovative collaborations, programme approaches, and developed tools and knowledge products with a private sector focus. We acknowledge the benefits of making sure that internal and external stakeholders are aware of these and the role that ROAP can play to help recognise field level models and to facilitate exchange on them. However, it is worth pointing out that increased dissemination is dependent on the local context and available resources. Therefore, steps will be taken to ensure these tools are made available to a wider audience and that learning, exchange and sharing of these models takes place across UN Women MCO'S and COs and among stakeholders in the WEE space.
Description:
Management Response Category: Accepted
Thematic Area: Women economic empowerment (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles: Alignment with strategy
Organizational Priorities: Culture of results/RBM
UNEG Criteria: Effectiveness
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
The role of ROAP will be to ensure that the developed models and tools will be widely shared in fora such as the Internal Community of Practice (CoP) for WEE WEE ROAP 2023/12 Initiated The CoP has been initiated across WEE offices in the Asia Pacific but will end in 12/2023 if there are no additional resources available.
Organise external multi-stakeholder platforms (Donor/Expert Roundtables) to increase awareness on UN Women’s work on WEE in AP WEE ROAP & Partnerships Team 2023/10 Overdue-Initiated ROAP has started planning for these roundtables in December 2022 with the aim of organising at least one session in 2023.
Apply the recommendation of driving multi-stakeholder approaches to the global priority area of the Care Economy. WEE ROAP 2023/12 Initiated WEE ROAP has established a collaboration platform through the implementation of Global Alliance for Care as one concrete example of how WEE ROAP has embraced previously developed tools and knowledge products and applied them to an important priority area for WEE, namely, the Care Economy.
Continue making progress with ASEAN on aligning their workplan for Business Transformation with the WEPS, influence ASEAN policy making and mobilize member states to implement key recommendations. WEE and ASEAN Liason ROAP 2023/12 Initiated ROAP has launched the ASEAN Policy Brief in October 2022 to drive WEPs implementation among member states and will continue advocacy efforts throughout 2023.
Establish an updated WEE landing page on UN Women’s Asia Pacific website showcasing different models WEE ROAP + Communications Team ROAP 2023/10 Overdue-Initiated The WEE landing page will be updated to include WEE specific models including those developed during WeEmpower Asia. Update as of November 2023 During the WEE CoP retreat, different models were mapped across the region in a mapping exercise and an output report of the exercise is being prepared. The WEE Entrepreneurship Hub showcasing different models of entrepreneurship in the region along with tools has been developed and was launched during the WEPs Forum November 7-8. This will continue to be populated together with the country offices throughout 2023 and 2024.
Make practical tools available at larger scale at weps.org (i.e., Gender-Responsive Procurement (GRP) Assessment Tool) WEE ROAP/HQ WEPs Team 2023/03 Overdue-Initiated Programming of the GRP Assessment Tool onto weps.org has been initiated since October 2022.
Recommendation: RECOMMENDATION 3: Develop an integrated approach to leaving no one behind by ensuring internal capacity to apply this lens in the programmatic cycle, engage partners that are led by or representative of marginalized groups and develop practical tools to support these efforts.
Management Response: A integrated approach to leaving no one behind should be a conscious driver of any new programme development. WEE ROAP will put resources in place to capacitate their teams, for example, a new expert has been put in place at ROAP level. WEE ROAP will also design and implement new practical tools on LNOB, but this will depend on HQ support and should be supported across all thematic areas beyond WEE. ROAP will also invest further in strengthening the Migration Portfolio under WEE (i.e., labor migration) to target vulnerable, marginalized groups, such as Women Migrant Workers (WMW).
Description:
Management Response Category: Accepted
Thematic Area: Women economic empowerment (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles: Promoting inclusiveness/Leaving no one behind
Organizational Priorities: Culture of results/RBM
UNEG Criteria: Human Rights
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Organize a capacity-building session on leave no one behind for all WEE ROAP Team, and, subject to resource availability, to all WEE Country Focal Points WEE ROAP + Support from Focal Point (Disabilities/LGTBIQ+) 2023/08 Overdue-Initiated WEE ROAP will liase with the disabilities/LGBTIQ+ focal point to organise at least one capacity-building session on LNOB for the WEE ROAP team. Update as of November 2023: WEE ROAP coorganised an introductory session with the LNOB focal point as part of the joint CoP retreat with the Resilence team. The team will continue to follow up with the LNOB focal point for resources and support to integrate this approach into programming and proposal writing.
Ensure all New Programme Designs/Pro-Docs have a section on LNOB WEE ROAP 2023/12 Initiated All Prodocs will contain a section on LNOB and how the proposed programme will address it.
Apply UN Women globally developed tools to track LNOB progress at the regional level WEE ROAP 2024/06 Not Initiated UN Women’s globally developed tools will be applied to track LNOB progress in WEE programmes.
Develop resource mobilization plan / proposal development targeted to the Migration portfolio WEE ROAP 2023/06 Overdue-Initiated Update as of June 2023: Work on a Migration Strategy for South Asia is ongoing across UN agencies between UN Women, ILO and IOM. The WEE Migration unit is currently finalising the recruitment to the Migration secondment role which will provide space and opportunity for Resource Mobilisation as part of the wider Migration strategy which is currently being developed. Previous update: As part of LNOB efforts, ROAP will also invest further in strengthening the Migration Portfolio under WEE (i.e. labor migration) to target vulnerable, marginalized groups, such as Women Migrant Workers (WMW). ROAP will develop a targeted resource mobilisation plan for 2023 with a focus on migration. Project proposals for migration portfolio will incorporate a section on LNOB with a focus on how to support WMWs.
Recommendation: RECOMMENDATION 4: Invest core and other resources in building ROAP’s technical capacity on Women’s Economic Empowerment to fulfil its regional functions related to policy advisory, technical and capacity building support on country programming
Management Response: The importance of strengthening the WEE ROAP Team is seen as essential to the delivery of WEE interventions and to enable further cross-thematic programming. There is a need for establishing different mechanisms, tools, and engagements to strengthen the overall WEE capacity in the region. It will be crucial to establish a capacity building programme at HQ level for WEE Technical Advisors. In addition, as part of the WEE strategy process, clear capacity and expertise needs will be identified, a broad roster of WEE consultants/experts (including Gender Economists) will be developed to respond to the diverse needs of the COs, and a WEE Community of Practice (COP) has been established straight after the WEE Evaluation which will be continuously assessed and improved to meet its member's needs.
Description:
Management Response Category: Accepted
Thematic Area: Women economic empowerment (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles: Capacity development
Organizational Priorities: Organizational efficiency
UNEG Criteria: Effectiveness, Efficiency
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Move from 100% Programme Management Functions at ROAP to a minimum 50% WEE Technical Advisor Role to support Country Offices and Portfolio Development of ROAP. ROAP Leadership (RD) 2023/06 Overdue-Initiated As of June 2023, the WEE Technical Advisor function is now 50 per cent core funded and not linked to the programmes put formally in place and is identifying key priorities next to the regional programmes together with country offices to move in this direction. There were also in transitions in Programme Managers leaving the regional team which required the technical advisor to step in in this function– however 50 per cent is still quite limited capacity for a portfolio as large as WEE. The technical advisor role is in alignment with RO’s comprehensive approach to technical assistance.
Set-up a WEE Community of Practice with a continuous improvement process in place. WEE ROAP 2023/12 Initiated The CoP has been set up since September 2022 and two sessions including the kickoff and a first thematic exchange have been held with participation from several WEE APAC countries. A CoP SharePoint and MS Teams channel has been set up and quarterly regular sessions are planned along with ad hoc thematic sessions. The CoP will end in 12/2023 if there are no additional resources available.
Update an ROAP regional knowledge management database on SharePoint with regional and country-specific information and documents WEE ROAP 2023/06 Overdue-Initiated A regional WEE Sharepoint database has been created in December 2023 and will be continuously updated to reflect regional and country specific information and document.
Initiate ToT Sessions for specific thematic areas (i.e., gender-responsive procurement (GRP) etc.) WEE ROAP 2023/12 Initiated A first ToT session was held on GRP in August 2022 and future such sessions are planned e.g., a GRP refresher, a WEPs approvals training for COs, among others which will take place throughout the year until December 2023.
Establish a roster of regional WEE consultants / experts. WEE ROAP 2023/03 Overdue-Initiated A roster has been initiated and is being populated with information. This will be updated and completed by March 2023.