Management Response

: Policy Division
: 2012 - 2014 , Policy Division (HQ)
: Action to Promote the Legal Empowerment of Women in the Context of HIV and AIDS
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: Policy Division
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The final evaluation of UN Women's programme 'Action to Promote the Legal Empowerment of Women in the Context of HIV' has resulted in a report, which analyzes the achievements of the programme in the nine countries where it was implemented - Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. The findings provided in the report focus on the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability of the evaluated programme and with the recommendations the report suggests how achievements and lessons learned can feed into future programming and work of UN Women in the field of women's rights to land and property in the context of HIV and AIDS. The recommendations are especially concerned with the need for a continuation and expansion of the work in this field incl. securing the training and work of paralegals and ensuring advocacy and lobbying for women's land rights at local as well as national (institutional) level; the importance of consolidating and documenting the new knowledge created as part of this programme; and the expansion of empowerment strategies to a more holistic process which links women's legal empowerment to the fulfillment of women's political, social and economic rights. UN Women appreciates the guidance given by this evaluation. It must also be stated here, though, that the final report is a result of a prolonged process in which UN Women has had to invest substantially more time and human resources than usually necessary to guide the implementation of the evaluation and ensure its quality. The report includes inputs from government agencies such as the national AIDS authorities in the different countries and other duty bearers, as well as implementing partners and stakeholders. In its final version, the report presents recommendations that are sufficiently relevant and actionable. However, UN Women would have liked one area dealt with in more detail: a more elaborate assessment of the small grants mechanism as an instrument of targeting community and grass-roots organizations and for responding to priorities and needs of women living with HIV or affected by HIV and AIDS. This management response addresses the five recommendations of the evaluation report and presents key actions for implementing these recommendations. It incorporates the feedback, input and actions of HQ, regional and country offices. In certain cases, where the key actions are similar or the same, they have been consolidated, without articulating country-specific actions.

: Approved
Recommendation: Evaluation Recommendation 1: It is recommended to fund a new programme providing financial and technical support to the nine countries; and also to start the programme in other countries in the Africa region. The evaluation has highlighted: (1) the challenges faced by women who are excluded and victimized due to stigmatization in the context of the HIV epidemic; and (2) the readiness of grassroots civil society to address the problem of the structural and cultural inequalities concerning women?s property and inheritance rights, often on a volunteer basis. The evaluation recommends that another programme is developed, financed for a minimum of five years, to achieve a more sustained and empirically demonstrable impact, and with a budget of at least USD 5 million with support to grantees with adequate attention to logistical and administrative factors which will allow grantees to outreach to remote and rural areas. The recommendation also indicates the need to expand to other countries in Africa. It is furthermore recommended in the suggested future programme to (1) include 1-2 year pilot activities in all countries to begin the move towards officially recognized formalization and standardization with regards to the curriculum and length of the training for paralegals on this specific issue; (2) make a more substantial financial provision for permitting monitoring and evaluation activities, necessary for measuring progress against targets; and (3) include before and after statistically robust baselines, so that it is possible to extract learning related to changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviour data that is collected at the end of the programme.
Management Response: UN Women agrees with this recommendation. Strong support for women's access to property and inheritance rights must be sustained. Multi-year designed and funded programming would certainly be ideal and with this current documentation of achievements and lessons learned UN Women is now better positioned to move ahead with the continuation and expansion of the programme as well as mobilizing resources to support efforts at country, regional and global level. Furthermore, it is also the opinion of UN Women that such future intervention would benefit from a approach which to a higher extent provides a multi-sectoral response which addresses the overlapping legal, health and socio-economic needs and rights of women living with HIV (see also response to recommendation 5). Such a multi-sectoral approach also demands, in UN Women's own strategic planning and programme structure, a flexibility to work and design programmes across strategic areas: women's property and inheritance rights within the context of HIV and AIDS can be linked, to various degrees, to violence against women, women's economic empowerment, governance and leadership and/ or to other strategic areas depending on the country situation. Country offices may thus choose different programmatic approaches in which to address women's property and inheritance rights in the context of HIV and AIDS: for instance, in Kenya further work on the issue may be combined with work on women's economic empowerment whereas in Zimbabwe and Cameroon resource mobilization for work on property and inheritance rights will be carried out within the context of ending violence against women. In Rwanda UN Women collaborates with USAID on the steering committee of a new programme to advocate for the implementation of a land law ensuring equal ownership of land for husbands and wives.
Description:
Management Response Category:
Thematic Area: Governance and planning (SPs before 2018), Women economic empowerment (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles:
Organizational Priorities: Culture of results/RBM
UNEG Criteria: Effectiveness, Efficiency, Not applicable
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
The HIV Team at HQ has developed a multi-country programme for Africa and the Caribbean that intends to address violations of the rights of women living with HIV, that includes but is not limited to property and inheritance rights has been developed (7-country programme in the amount of $15 million for 5 years). The HIV team will work with ROs and COs and provide technical assistance and guidance for further tailoring this HIV programme based on the findings and assist in resource mobilization. In this process, country offices are committed to consult with key stakeholders to identify country-specific strategies leading to needs-based programming with realistic timeframes, appropriate targeting and level of engagement of duty bearers, building of partnerships with related key players while assuring a strong and influential voice among grassroots organizations. HIV Team HQ 2014/12 Overdue-Initiated A framework and draft programme document is already prepared. The tailoring with relevant and interested countries will need to take place. Resource mobilization efforts were undertaken - and were unfortunately unsuccessful due to the change at CIDA Canada.
In Cameroon: Strategic Plan includes action on HIV (result 1.2 Cameroon SP; to integrate Action on SP 5.3.); will work with the grantee to brainstorm on ideas for a new programme in Cameroon Cameroon CO: Representative and GBV/HIV Programme Officer 2014/12 Overdue-Initiated Developing a comprehensive joint programme GBV and HIV and need support to mobilize funds
In Kenya support will be provided to the prioritization of land and property rights initiatives within the National AIDS Strategic Framework and the Global Fund for TB, HIV and Malaria country proposal towards allocating resources. HIV team with support from Economic Empowerment team in the region and Kenya CO 2014/12 Overdue-Initiated
Zimbabwe: UN Women Zimbabwe will integrate the property and inheritance rights in the context of HIV into the existing program focusing on addressing gender based violence against women and adolescent girls. Zimbabwe CO (link to elimination of violence against women thematic area) 2016/12 Overdue-Initiated A focus for the GBV program is on enhancing access to justice for women and girls hence issues of property and inheritance rights will be addressed in this programme.
Recommendation: Evaluation Recommendation 2: It is recommended that UN Women in future programmes work directly with sub-Saharan African governments to advocate for, and assist in, helping to identify costs and setting up of national spending and institutional categories for paralegal services for women living with HIV. This recommendation is responding to the need to ensure sustainability of the efforts and to promote the provision of para-legal services as part of the government's responsibility to provide to women living with HIV so that they can get the legal assistance necessary to claim their rights. By continuing activities of the paralegals it will assist in helping women living with HIV to obtain their legal rights to inheritance and property. It is recommended that this effort entails advocacy, support to governments to identify costs to provide this service, as well as technical assistance in setting up national spending categories in the national budgets to ensure these services are available for paralegal services for women living with HIV.
Management Response: UN Women agrees with this recommendation. Taking into consideration the context and needs of the individual country and building on earlier experiences in protecting and promoting women's rights by setting up and supporting paralegal services, UN Women will at both HQ and country level explore how to advocate to ensure that paralegal services can be sustained as part of the HIV response as well as linking to and/or integrated with initiatives broadly related to women's access to justice.
Description:
Management Response Category:
Thematic Area: Women economic empowerment (SPs before 2018), Governance and planning (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles: Not applicable
Organizational Priorities: Culture of results/RBM
UNEG Criteria: Effectiveness, Efficiency, Relevance
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
The HIV team at HQ will ensure linkages with colleagues in Leadership and Governance (especially Rule of Law and Gender Responsive Budgeting) in future programme design to support institutionalization of paralegals. HIV-HQ with colleagues in Leadership and Governance 2014/12 Overdue-Not Initiated
Kenya: Building the capacity of networks of WLHIV to advocate for resource allocation for paralegals. Kenya CO 2014/12 Overdue-Not Initiated
Uganda: Explore ways of linking to the ongoing work on gender-responsive budgeting. Uganda CO (Gender and HIV focal point with other colleagues) 2014/12 Overdue-Not Initiated
Zimbabwe: The Law Society of Zimbabwe is working on new regulations for training of paralegals so it adheres to internationally recognized standards. Once this process is completed, UN Women will work with the approved and accredited training institution to increase the pool of qualified paralegals to provide legal aid assistance to women. In the meantime, UN Women, through its EVAW programme, will utilize fully qualified lawyers in the provision of legal assistance in selected locations. Zimbabwe CO (EVAW focal point) 2016/12 Overdue-Initiated
Recommendation: Evaluation Recommendation 3: UN Women is recommended to take the lead in consolidating the new knowledge acquired during the WPIR-HIV programme, via peer-reviewed, social scientific publications that have women's rights, and women's property and inheritance rights as primary areas of their concern. The evaluation states that the new information on women's property and inheritance rights obtained by the outcomes of the programme and from research conducted by the grantees themselves, needs to be synthesized and shared amongst partners, via peer-reviewed, social-scientific publications that have women's rights and women's property and inheritance as primary areas of concern. As examples of such journals, or institutions, that have already published works on women's property and inheritance rights, the evaluation mentions: International Centre For Research on Women (ICRW); World Development; and Human Rights Watch.
Management Response: UN Women partially agrees with this recommendation. Whereas there is definitely a need for academic research and analysis on the issue of women's rights and access to land and property in the context of HIV and AIDS, and the findings from the work of the grantees is a significant achievement, the first priority for UN Women has been to share the achievements and good practices of this programme with a larger audience, and to disseminate widely. Therefore, a micro web-site (http://www.genderandaids.org/wpir) has been created and was launched in April 2014. The website documents the programme and its achievements, along with details on the work of the grantees as well as tools they have developed as part of the programme. It also includes a 2-minute advocacy video that provides another avenue to share the message of the programme. New information and data are still being added to the site and depending on the final body of data, the HIV Team will consider how this information can be used and analyzed in more in-depth research, as well as follow-up research which could be part of the new programme that is developed. At that stage, the submission to a peer-reviewed social science journal may be a possibility.
Description:
Management Response Category:
Thematic Area: Governance and planning (SPs before 2018), Women economic empowerment (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles: Not applicable
Organizational Priorities: Partnership
UNEG Criteria: Relevance, Sustainability
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
Global: A micro web-site (http://www.genderandaids.org/wpir) presenting the programme, its achievement, partners, grantees, tools etc. has been developed. HIV-HQ with inputs from all nine programme countries. Professionally maintained (costs covered by HIV-HQ) Completed 2014/04 Completed The micro-site can be used for sharing new information as new activities/ programmes are implemented
Global: Poster Presentation at the 20th International AIDS Conference HIV HQ 2014/07 Completed Programme was selected for presentation for a Poster Session at the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia (20-25 July 2014)
Global: UN Women will present the outcomes and lessons of this programme at an Expert Group Meeting on Plural Legal Systems, Gender and HIV being convened by UNDP in Ethiopia 16-18 July; and UN Women will be involved in follow-up to develop a set of tools on the same topic. HIV HQ and UN Women Representative Rwanda 2014/07 Completed UN Women's Representative from Rwanda will present the programme and participate at the meeting
Recommendation: Evaluation Recommendation 4: Small grant portfolios in similar future programmes should be diversified to provide separate funding for grantees willing to lobby and advocate for national-level changes in laws, to repeal those which discriminate, and to enforce those that support women's legal empowerment. The evaluation found that most grantees had experience working at grassroots level, supporting communities and often working with and through local traditional courts and traditional cultural leaders. The traditional courts at grassroots level have proven effective in avoiding long, drawn-out court cases but there is always the risk that national-level policies and legal statutes can override them. There are significant gaps in the nine African countries with respect to developing, clarifying and repealing laws and national laws may also contradict those at community level. The evaluation thus found a need to diversify future portfolios to bring in a mix of grantees working at both the national (formal) level and grassroots (informal) level in a given country in order to change formal laws and strengthen links to and coherence with sub-national level implementation for an overall improvement of the legal protection of women.
Management Response: UN Women agrees with this recommendation. UN Women finds that informal justice mechanisms at community level are often the preferred and most accessible point of justice for many women, including women living with or affected by HIV. Therefore, national laws, policies and programmes should seek to bring greater coherence and coordination between the formal, customary and religious systems and to ensure the protection and implementation of women's rights that are in line with national, regional and international norms. For instance, UN Women Zimbabwe is currently working with women's organizations to ensure that laws, incl. inheritance laws, and policies across all sectors are aligned to the new constitution, and in Cameroon a new UN joint programme will address the need for better legal protection of women's rights. Moreover, informal justice mechanisms should be integrated into broader legal reform and development initiatives, and as such be supported with adequate human, financial, and technical assistance.
Description:
Management Response Category:
Thematic Area: Governance and planning (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles: Not applicable
Organizational Priorities: Partnership
UNEG Criteria: Effectiveness, Human Rights
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
At HQ the HIV team will link to other ongoing work in the areas of Rule of Law, access to justice, and national planning to inform guidance and future programme design in order to strengthen women?s legal protection through better coherence between formal and informal justice systems. HIV HQ 2014/12 Overdue-Not Initiated Very initial discussions have taken place, need to build on this effort.
HQ and COs will work together to identify strategic points of entry at the country level to work with ministries of justice and other legal entities and to support women?s rights organizations and their advocacy work (for example in Kenya), at both local and national level HIV HQ team (to lead) with CO 2014/12 Overdue-Not Initiated
Recommendation: Evaluation Recommendation 5: Expand empowerment strategies by expanding, developing and fine-tuning project strategies to cover all aspects of empowerment (legal, political, social and economic), paralegal training and support and conduct TOT courses so that empowerment can continue after the programme has come to an end.
Management Response: UN Women agrees with this recommendation in the sense that it fully recognizes that the principle of empowerment is inherently holistic and that women's legal empowerment is intrinsically linked to their political, social and economic empowerment. It would have been important for the evaluation team to articulate further thinking in this regard in their report. There are no additional details provided in the report. In the absence of specifics, it is assumed that the report is suggesting that as much as possible, UN Women should continue its efforts at empowering women living with or affected by HIV in a variety of ways - understanding the intersectionality of the lived experience, where women need to be politically, economically, and socially empowered, along with legally empowered. As such, UN Women would consider the following response: - The way UN Women programming happens along the Strategic Plan goals/impact areas, UN Women will make an effort in the work on HIV to approach efforts from a coordinated, multi-sectoral approaches to providing services for women and to protecting their rights. This can be done through inter-linkages and integration between different programmes and initiatives. - UN Women also strives to strengthen partnerships not only within communities and with the local leaders, but also between communities and national stakeholders, including different line ministries (i.e. health, gender , justice, local planning, etc.) to build gender responsive legal frameworks and to enhance women's access to the justice system as well as to other services. This will continue in the work on HIV and AIDS.
Description:
Management Response Category:
Thematic Area: Governance and planning (SPs before 2018), Global norms and standards (SPs before 2018)
Operating Principles: Not applicable
Organizational Priorities: UN Coordination, Not applicable
UNEG Criteria: Gender equality
Key Actions
Responsible Deadline Status Comments
HIV-HQ: UN Women's efforts on HIV includes a specific pillar or area of work that is dedicated to promoting and supporting the leadership and participation of women living with HIV and those affected in key decision-making processes at local, national, regional, and global levels. This effort often includes actions to provide training and skills building, that results in the empowerment of women (in varying degrees depending on the context). The HIV team will support regional effort in Sub-Saharan Africa on developing a module on leadership for women living with HIV within the regional transformational leadership institute developed by the regional office in Eastern and Southern Africa. HIV HQ 2014/12 Overdue-Initiated Initial discussions have taken place with the Governance and Leadership Advisor in the Regional Office (Eastern and Southern Africa) and funds have been allocated.
Cameroon: Integrate a component on strategic partnership in the programme document and support grantees to build strong partnership with targeted ministries. Cameroon CO 2014/12 Overdue-Not Initiated
Kenya: Support capacity building of networks of WLHIV at county level Kenya CO HIV team (with UN Joint team on AIDS) 2014/07 Overdue-Initiated This is a key component of the UNDAF and JT work plan for 2014 ? 2015 and UN Women will advocate for the focus on land and property rights across the legal, social and political areas.
Rwanda: A land coalition on women's rights has been established to advocate for the implementation of land law 2005 on equal ownership of land for husbands and wives. Rwanda CO (with Avega, RCN, Haguruka, Reseau des Fammes, the National Land Commission) 2014/05 Overdue-Initiated The coalition was established as a result of funding from the UN Women Fund for Gender Equality (FGE) implemented by Haguruka and RCN Democratic Governance The launch of the land coalition and funding for the next 3 years is from USAID?s land project. UN Women participates in its steering committee.
Zimbabwe: To integrate political, economic and legal empowerment to enhance sustainability. Zimbabwe CO (Governance and Leadership; EVAW and Women?s Economic Empowerment thematic areas) 2014/07 Completed During the just ended functional analysis UN Women agreed to integrate EVAW, Governance and Leadership and Women?s Economic Empowerment initiatives and this will continue to be done during program implementation.
Zimbabwe: To provide technical and financial support to organizations that train community peer educators and traditional leaders. Zimbabwe CO (EVAW thematic area) 2014/12 Overdue-Initiated UN Women Zimbabwe has already started supporting women?s organizations that train peer educators and this work will continue.