Management Response

: Bangladesh
: 2022 - 2023 , Bangladesh (CO)
: Thematic Evaluation of Humanitarian Response Programme
:
: Bangladesh
:

The thematic evaluation assessed the Humanitarian Portfolio of UN Women Bangladesh in Cox’s Bazar implemented by both UN Women Cox’s Bazar sub-office team and its Responsible Parties from October 2019 to December 2022, with a focus especially on the Means to Lead project. Bangladesh office welcomes the findings and recommendations of the evaluation and is in general agreement with the fourteen recommendations. The evaluation affirmed that UN Women’s presence in the humanitarian space in Cox’s Bazar since 2017, has been significant in enabling stakeholders to advocate gender issues in a coordinated way and addressed gender needs which were not reflected in the 2017 joint response plan. The evaluation recommendations include, among others, clarifying the theory of change of our programmes and better communicating it externally, strengthening engagement of women led organizations, strengthening our analysis of marginalized groups of women to more effectively reach them in our programmes. The Bangladesh Office will implement the actions outlined below to strengthen effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of its programmatic and coordination work in the upcoming days.

: Approved
Recommendation: In coordination with the country office and in consultation with relevant stakeholders, building on UN Women’s triple mandate, redesign UN Women’s work in Cox’s Bazar to ensure a clear focus on a nexus approach, ensuring investment in national and local capacity development to stay and deliver as well as opportunities for joint/joined up programmes. On par, ensure the sub-office is staffing is equipped to support the localization agenda and related needs and demands, also leveraging UN Women expertise and resources at country level to strengthen ‘nexus’ programming, building more systemic linkages with UN Women’s work at the country level in relevant thematic areas.
Management Response: This recommendation is accepted. The Sub-Office will redesign the work in Cox’s Bazar focusing on a nexus approach as part of the Biannual Work Plan 2024 – 2025.
Description:
Management Response Category: Accepted
Thematic Area: Not applicable
Operating Principles: Capacity development, Promoting inclusiveness/Leaving no one behind, Advocacy
Organizational Priorities: Humanitarian action
UNEG Criteria: Efficiency, Sustainability
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
1. Develop a Sustainability Strategy for UN Women’s work in the Rohingya refugee response/Cox’s Bazar. Head of Sub Office 2024/03 Completed Sustainability strategy for UN Women’s work in the Rohingya refugee response/Cox’s Bazar is developed.
2. Redesign the BWP with a clear focus on investment in national and local capacity development to stay and deliver and on triple mandate. Head of Sub Office 2024/09 Initiated The redesigned BWP has been submitted to the Regional Office and has been in principle approved by the Regional Director in the Peer Review process. This has been reflected in proposals submitted to donors (Sida, Japan); and will be reflected in Calls for Proposals for new Responsible Parties (RPs) advertised in Q4 2023 onwards.
3. Proactively pursue possibilities for Joint Programmes/Programming with sister agencies using MOUs/Letters of Collaboration Senior Management at Dhaka and Cox’s Bazar 2024/12 Initiated Building on the Letter of Collaboration with ILO and UNDP in Bangladesh signed in 2021-2022, the Cox’s Bazar office is pursuing Joint Programme/Progamming with the sister agencies. Dialogue is underway with UNHCR to update the MOU.
Recommendation: Ensure continuation of multi-year planning based on a nexus approach to allow for greater coherence, effectiveness, and a higher likelihood of sustainability, especially given the long-term process of normative and behavioral changes.
Management Response: This recommendation is partially accepted as the Government of Bangladesh is currently still pursuing annual Joint Response Plans for the Rohingya Response, and have not indicated if the next UNSDCF 2027-2031 will include the Rohingya Response. UN Women will incorporate the first stages of this transition in the BWP 2024-2025 in line with agreements with development partners that have been approved by Economic Relations Division (ERD), based on guidance from Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) in connection with the Rohingya Response, and the medium-term plans will be reflected in the next Strategic Note 2027 – 2031
Description:
Management Response Category: Partially Accepted
Thematic Area: Not applicable
Operating Principles: Promoting inclusiveness/Leaving no one behind, Capacity development, National ownership, Advocacy
Organizational Priorities: Humanitarian action
UNEG Criteria: Sustainability, Effectiveness
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
1. Preparation of project proposals focusing on nexus approach Cox’s Bazar Programme Team 2024/09 Initiated The office is in dialogue with Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) for a proposal on the nexus approach, expected to start in mid-2024. A Gender Equality Social Inclusion (GESI) indicator has been included in the ongoing SDC cost extension.
Recommendation: Leveraging UN Women’s technical expertise and its coordination mandate through GiHA WG, and in collaboration with the GBV sub-sector, map out GEWE interventions in sectors and thematic areas of common interest in the camps and host communities, to promote common standards, adaptive approaches, and joint risk-informed gender-sensitive analyses in support of joined-up humanitarian and development planning and programming. Work with the Inter-Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) to ensure that all sectors address IASC commitments to gender equality - including engaging with women leaders and local WLOs and WROs - and that gender specific programming is mutually reinforcing and adheres to international standards.
Management Response: These recommendations are accepted, subject to fund availability. UN Women will pursue a sequenced approach to carrying these forward: engaging with the GiHA WG in which the GBV-SS is also represented, to identify key gender interventions across sectors, related indicators and standards; mapping these on a pilot basis in camps where UN Women has Gender Field Officers. UN Women will continue to promote engagement with women leaders as standard, lobbying for their representation and leadership in camp management and in the GiHA WG.
Description:
Management Response Category: Accepted
Thematic Area: Not applicable
Operating Principles: Capacity development, Promoting inclusiveness/Leaving no one behind, Alignment with strategy, Advocacy, National ownership
Organizational Priorities: Humanitarian action
UNEG Criteria: Effectiveness, Relevance
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
1. Conduct a comprehensive Gender Assessment mapping out GEWE interventions to identify gaps, constraints, and emergent needs. GiHA Coordinator 2024/09 Not Initiated This activity is subject to availability of non-core funding
2. Lobby for standing membership of WLOs/WROs in the GiHA WG and reflect this in the GiHA Working Group TOR. Senior Management 2024/12 Initiated The Standing Membership has been agreed in principle. UN Women is leading discussions with the ISCG and NGO platform. The GiHA TOR adjustments will be finalized in early 2024.
3. The GiHA Coordinator will provide technical support to the GBV-SWG on GiHA standards/indicator specific to women’s leadership/WLOs/WROs to be incorporated in the JRP M&E Framework to be developed in 2024 GiHA Coordinator 2024/06 Overdue-Not Initiated This will be taken forward by the GiHA Coordinator (recruitment underway).
Recommendation: In coordination with the GiHA WG conduct a comprehensive analysis across camps to understand the contextual difficulties with which boys and men are faced and their implications on gender equality and gender relation interventions. Support design of activities according to their most pressing needs in social, educational, and economic spheres, and increase opportunities for them to interact with male champions and agents of change in collaboration with other UN agencies and organizations that work in those spaces with boys and men.
Management Response: UN Women partially accepts this recommendation. The GBV-SS sub-group on prevention has a key focus on engaging men and boys; the Protection SWG has a Technical Working Group for Gender Diverse People (TWG GDP). Internally, UN Women will review the activities of male Gender Volunteers (Rohingya) to identify an approach to behavior change to be piloted.
Description:
Management Response Category: Partially Accepted
Thematic Area: Not applicable
Operating Principles: Promoting inclusiveness/Leaving no one behind, Capacity development, Advocacy, Knowledge management
Organizational Priorities: Humanitarian action
UNEG Criteria: Relevance, Sustainability, Efficiency, Effectiveness, Impact
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
1.Carry out a study on men and boys and gender diverse persons, with a focus on safety, security, and gender norms, and share findings with the Protection and the Technical Working Group for Gender Diverse People (TWG GDP) Programme Team 2024/09 Not Initiated This activity is subject to non-core funding availability.
2. Conduct two workshops on positive masculinities to identify a programmatic approach to engage male gender volunteers and other stakeholders in the camps. Programme Team 2024/03 Completed Two workshops on "positive masculinities to identify a programmatic approach to engage male gender volunteers and other stakeholder in the camps" have been completed.
3. Develop and pilot a standardized behavior change programme focused on positive masculinities Programme Team 2024/09 Not Initiated Building on the workshops, the programme designing will be initiated subject to fund availability.
Recommendation: Consider developing a harmonized monitoring framework with outcome level statements and indicators for the Means to Lead-project (and parallel donor projects), to be able to measure the contributions of the projects to results and to provide information on project’s strategic approach, in terms of effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability, and intervention gaps to inform decision making. Furthermore, develop a joint monitoring system with UNFPA to monitor RP coordination and identify gaps, constraints, and challenges in gender-responsive programming and to improve RP communication and collaboration and increase accountability and transparency.
Management Response: UN Women partially accepts this recommendation. UN Women will strengthen its internal monitoring; a joint monitoring system with UNFPA requires inter-agency agreement. Even if agreed upon, UN Women proposes to leverage the GiHA WG and GBV-SS for more effective, cross-sectoral monitoring of the situation, to assess gaps, constraints and challenges in gender-responsive programming.
Description:
Management Response Category: Partially Accepted
Thematic Area: Not applicable
Operating Principles: Capacity development, Promoting inclusiveness/Leaving no one behind, Alignment with strategy, Knowledge management
Organizational Priorities: Humanitarian action
UNEG Criteria: Efficiency
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Training for all RPs to include standing item on M&E, including results-based management and reporting Planning and Monitoring Analyst 2024/06 Completed UN Women in Cox's Bazar organizes Partnership Meetings (3-6 hours) every 2-3 months, including for existing and new partners. These provide a key opportunity for training partners on RBM, ensuring systemic approaches to programming data collection and analysis
Review and redesign indicators for UN Women BWP 2024-2025 and develop a cross-cutting M&E framework for the Sub-Office, capturing all donor indicators and related methodologies. Planning and Monitoring Analyst 2024/09 Initiated Indicator revisions made to BWP 2024-2025. The Sub-Office is expecting 3 new donor agreements in 2024 (Japan, SDC, Sida). The cross-cutting M&E Framework to be developed by the end Q2, in line with UN Women processes and procedures, once indicators are agreed for all new agreements.
Recommendation: Actively create opportunities and continue with the empowerment interventions with the Rohingya and host community adolescent girls, to allow them to become champions of change within their communities.
Management Response: This recommendation is accepted.
Description:
Management Response Category: Accepted
Thematic Area: Not applicable
Operating Principles: Promoting inclusiveness/Leaving no one behind, Capacity development, Knowledge management, Advocacy
Organizational Priorities: Humanitarian action
UNEG Criteria: Effectiveness
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
1. Assess GFO-led activities with girls’ groups to identify effectiveness and changes needed. Informed by analysis, undertake changes in activities led by (female) gender volunteers, introducing a standardized approach to promote girls as change agents. Programme Team 2024/09 Initiated UN Women is redesigning the activities led by GFOs in the camps.
2. Ensure continued integration of activities for adolescent girls in UN Women MPWCs Programme Team 2024/12 Initiated UN Women is collaborating with UNICEF, who are implementing secondary education programme for adolescent girls in the MPWCs in camps 3, 4, 4ext, and 18. In addition, UN Women gender volunteers conduct group activities for adolescent girls in six (6) camps, which can be standardized further to incorporate a stronger focus on the agency of adolescent girls.
Recommendation: Develop a standardized model of technical support provision to local NGOs/IPs/WLOs and WROs, including capacity building strategies for scale out and institutionalization of trainings, including refresher trainings.
Management Response: UN Women accepts this recommendation
Description:
Management Response Category: Accepted
Thematic Area: Not applicable
Operating Principles: Capacity development, Promoting inclusiveness/Leaving no one behind, Knowledge management, National ownership
Organizational Priorities: Humanitarian action
UNEG Criteria: Efficiency, Sustainability
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
1. Review the capacity assessments of WLOs and WROs supported by UN Women to summarize strengths and weaknesses. Programme Team 2024/03 Overdue-Initiated UN Women has a consultant onboard to support this exercise with the programme team. Draft report on the capacity assessment of WLOs/WROs has been prepared, further review/assessment hopefully will be finalized by Q3, 2024.
2. Develop standardized training package for WLOs and women-led CBOs, with a facilitator guide. Programme Team 2024/06 Overdue-Initiated This work has been initiated and will need to be translated into Bamar (2024)
3. Conduct a TOT on regular/annual basis for WLOs/WROs and CSOs Programme Team 2024/06 Overdue-Not Initiated This will be subject to fund availability in 2024.
Recommendation: Scale-up the MPWC model and link these with the existing women/girls centers run by other UN agencies, especially UNFPA, across and within the camps to increase coverage and effectiveness, and tailor outreach activities to ensure better targeting of support to the most vulnerable individuals, including those with different kinds of disabilities, and consider scaling up and diversifying the type of income-generation activities to include more ‘non-traditional’ activities for women (such mechanics, equipment repair, and other activities traditionally reserved for men within the cultures of the Rohingya and host communities).
Management Response: This recommendation is accepted. UN Women Cox’s Bazar in the process of new project development where scaling up is being considered with diversification of livelihood and income generation included. With a special focus on most vulnerable individuals and person with different kinds of disabilities, women and men from both in Rohingya and host communities will be equipped with traditional and non-traditional trades such as mechanics, equipment repair etc.
Description:
Management Response Category: Accepted
Thematic Area: Not applicable
Operating Principles: Promoting inclusiveness/Leaving no one behind, Capacity development, National ownership, Knowledge management, Advocacy
Organizational Priorities: Humanitarian action
UNEG Criteria: Relevance, Effectiveness
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
1. Standardization of the MPWC approach, ensuring clear guidance on Accountability to Affected Population (AAP) and women and girls with disabilities; recruitment of community volunteers inclusive of WWDs; and ‘offer’ trainings in non-traditional fields at MPWCs. Programme Team 2024/04 Over due A consultant will be recruited to support this exercise by Q4 2023. Standardization of the MPWC approach is nearly final stage, final approval will be by Q2, 2024.
2. New proposals will integrate the introduction of vocational and pre-vocational training, including in non-traditional areas. Programme Team 2024/03 Completed UN Women proposals in line with the JRP to Government of Japan and Sweden have incorporated some elements. New proposals to Japan and Responsible parties integrated the introduction of vocational and pre-vocational training, including in non-traditional areas, will be continued in the upcoming Sida project.
3. Pursue a Letter of Agreement with UNFPA and others on referral pathways between UNFPA-focused SRHR and GBV services and UN Women livelihoods-focused services for greater integration and coherence Head of Sub Office 2024/12 Initiated UN Women has initiated dialogue with UNFPA on this.
Recommendation: Follow-up on support to women/girls and transgenders who have completed the skills and livelihoods training sessions so that they can continue to generate income for themselves and their households and strengthen their agency.
Management Response: This recommendation is accepted. UN Women's Responsible Parties (RPs) and GFOs are engaged to support women/girls and transgenders who have completed the skills and livelihoods training sessions so that they can continue to generate income and strengthen their agency.
Description:
Management Response Category: Accepted
Thematic Area: Not applicable
Operating Principles: Alignment with strategy, Capacity development, Knowledge management, Promoting inclusiveness/Leaving no one behind
Organizational Priorities: Humanitarian action
UNEG Criteria: Effectiveness
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
1. Ensure existing RP final reports and evaluations include related analysis. Programme Team 2024/06 Overdue-Initiated Guidance has been provided to Programme Officers and RPs to ensure the reports document the relevant analysis.
2. Conduct an analysis of economic resilience in the refugee and host community areas to better understand opportunities and challenges to livelihoods and resilience. Programme Team 2024/12 Not Initiated This is subject to fund availability and will be taken forward with a consultancy.
3. Ensure integration of related indicator(s) in future agreements with RPs and analysis in their narrative reports Senior Management 2024/12 Not Initiated Guidance will be provided to Programme Officers and RPs to ensure the reports capture the required analysis.
Recommendation: Prioritize future programmatic funding to local WLO/WROs with specialised knowledge and skills, ensuring support to their institutional capacity development, investing in learning of what works, and in promoting collective accountability across the response to women’s leadership, and catalyze the role of GFOs at the camp level, as conduits for women to bring their issues to the attention of CiCs, and to track and support camp-level progress on core gender equality commitments
Management Response: This recommendation is accepted.
Description:
Management Response Category: Accepted
Thematic Area: Not applicable
Operating Principles: Alignment with strategy, Promoting inclusiveness/Leaving no one behind, Capacity development, Advocacy
Organizational Priorities: Humanitarian action
UNEG Criteria: Efficiency, Relevance, Sustainability, Effectiveness
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Collaborate with UNHCR and UNFPA to revise the terms of reference for GFOs, restructuring their scope of work, camp coverage, and capacities and modalities, empowering the GFOs via a new TOR. Head of Sub Office 2024/12 Initiated Recruitment of GFOs following revised TOR to take place in 2024, enabling also career progression among interested GFOs.
Develop a monitoring and accountability framework led by GFOs to monitor camp-level progress on gender equality commitments. GFO Coordinator 2024/12 Not Initiated GFO Coordinator to be recruited in Q1 2024.
Introduce as standard meetings between GFOs and local WLO/WROs at camp-level on a periodic basis. Programme Team 2024/06 Overdue-Not Initiated The GFO Coordinator will develop guidance to support GFOs to organize regular camp-level interactions with local WLO/WROs and document the process. There is possibility to scale this up to other camps with the GiHA WG, with standardized methodology (to be developed).
Ensure all new CFPs are focused on local WLOs/WROs, ensuring programmatic budget is included for monitoring and learning within their budgets. Programme Team 2024/12 Initiated The new CfPs advertised in December 2023 has addressed this recommendation.
Strengthen GFO-led training sessions and workshops to amplify technical support to Camps-in-Charge (CiCs) and female APBn members. GFO Team 2024/12 Initiated Ensuring CiC and female APBn members have the necessary knowledge and tools to address gender-related issues.
Recommendation: To increase social cohesion between the Rohingya and host communities, consider engaging a local WLO/WRO to manage support to women leaders in the camps, to foster empowerment of local women and their engagement on an equal foot in dialogues.
Management Response: This recommendation is accepted, with, however, the note that Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha (BNPS) and Research, Training and Management (RTMI), which are national NGOs, are all already supporting women leaders in the camps.
Description:
Management Response Category: Accepted
Thematic Area: Not applicable
Operating Principles: Capacity development, Promoting inclusiveness/Leaving no one behind, Alignment with strategy, Knowledge management
Organizational Priorities: Humanitarian action
UNEG Criteria: Effectiveness
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
1. Call for proposal for engaging local WLO/WRO to manage support to women leaders in the camp Programme Team 2024/12 Not Initiated This is subject to fund availability.
Recommendation: Deepen engagement with the government at both the national and local levels, to ensure knowledge and lessons learned from UN Women’s support to the Rohingya refugee crisis is shared at the national level on the one hand, and on the other, to strengthen available support to local authorities beyond the camps to enhance the resilience and empowerment of women and girls in local communities.
Management Response: This recommendation is accepted. UN Women has already initiated knowledge and learning sharing with Department of Women Affairs (DWA) under Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MoWCA) through the national GiHA WG (chaired by DWA and co-chaired by UN Women). UN Women Cox’s Bazar Sub-Office are also engaging with the District Women Affairs Office to work more in collaboration in Cox’s Bazar.
Description:
Management Response Category: Accepted
Thematic Area: Not applicable
Operating Principles: Alignment with strategy, Oversight/governance, Promoting inclusiveness/Leaving no one behind, Capacity development, Evidence, Data and statistics
Organizational Priorities: Humanitarian action
UNEG Criteria: Effectiveness, Sustainability, Relevance
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
1.Advocacy with DWA to establish a local GiHA WG Chapter of the national working group in Chattogram Division, which will work closely with the Rohingya Response GiHA WG, to ensure greater coherence. DRR Specialist as co-chair of National GiHA WG 2024/12 Initiated DWA is in the process of localizing the national GiHA WG Chapters. The first chapter was established in Kurigram in 2023. Dialogue is underway to establish other chapters.
2.Recruit a ‘Gender Officer’ to be posted in District Women Affairs Office (DWAO) Head of Sub Office 2024/06 Overdue-Not Initiated The Gender Officer, once recruited, is expected to facilitate GiHA coordination linkages between Cox's Bazar and the national level.
Recommendation: Invest in harmonized M&E systems with regards to joint monitoring of GiHA commitments across the response through UN Women’s technical advice to the GiHA WG, building on IASC gender equality commitments and standards.
Management Response: This recommendation is accepted.
Description:
Management Response Category: Accepted
Thematic Area: Not applicable
Operating Principles: Promoting inclusiveness/Leaving no one behind, Alignment with strategy, Internal coordination and communication, Knowledge management
Organizational Priorities: Humanitarian action
UNEG Criteria: Relevance
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
1. Establishment of key indicators for all Sub-Working Groups (SWGs) through the GiHA WG, building on the work initiated by the Gender Hub in the past GiHA WG Coordinator 2024/12 Not Initiated This effort will be supported with a consultant on Knowledge & Information Management and shared with GiHA WG.
2. Generate camp-level gender equality data relevant to IASC commitments, through GFOs and feed this into ISCG's joint protection monitoring. Programme Team 2024/09 Not Initiated This effort will build on indicators finalized by GiHA and other working groups.
Recommendation: Ensure that lessons and good practices learned during the humanitarian response in Cox’s Bazar feed into the organization-wide crisis response strategy, policy, tools, and procedures.
Management Response: This recommendation is accepted. Lessons and good practices learned during the humanitarian response in Cox’s Bazar feed into the organization-wide crisis response strategy, policy, tools, and procedures.
Description:
Management Response Category: Accepted
Thematic Area: Not applicable
Operating Principles: Promoting inclusiveness/Leaving no one behind, Capacity development, Knowledge management, Advocacy, Evidence, Data and statistics
Organizational Priorities: Humanitarian action
UNEG Criteria: Not applicable
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
1. Ensure knowledge products on lessons learned and good practices are included in the MERP and the Cox’s Bazar ISCG Website Planning and Monitoring Analyst 2024/12 Initiated The updated BWP MERP has included this. The team is in the process of ensuring that the ISCG website includes all the relevant knowledge products developed by the Gender Hub, GiHA WG and the Cox’s Bazar Sub Office.
2.Document the best practices and lessons learnt over the six years of the Rohingya Response and share through relevant fora (GiHA WG, national and regional levels) to inform UN Women programming in onset emergencies and protracted crises. Planning and Monitoring Analyst 2024/12 Not Initiated This is subject to fund availability.