||RECOMMENDATION 1 (pp.74-75): Initiate a new phase of GRB programming (Based on Conclusion 1 and 6)
Gender-responsive budgeting and the promotion of gender equality principles in financing is an important topic in the broader context of efforts designed to promote and support the improvement of women’s lives around the world. This is clearly indicated in the stated strategic priorities of donor governments, especially the EC/EU, and the trend towards an increase in gender-earmarked funding.
Across the entire portfolio of 16 countries, and especially in the four case study countries, elements for a successful continuity exist. Indeed, as noted in the evaluation’s findings and conclusions, sustaining effort, maintaining momentum and building upon past achievements is a critical success factor. As such, UNW should design a new and updated phase of F4GE to incorporate both GRB and AE goals. This design should engage with the concept of financing for GE, based on the feminist macroeconomics of development and ODA and ensure that a future programme design adjusts the current logical framework and TOC to reflect more clearly the ultimate and higher development goal of women’s access to resources and services and GE.
In the design of a new programme, UNW should bring together key actors to help assess the institutional and political components of the programme’s change logic for its work in GRB and develop a nationally specific road map. This will ensure that future programming is appropriate to the particular social and political environment, and identifies the strategic route required to adopt meaningful GRB. This will include a clearer focus on achievable outcomes and articulation of risks, assumptions and mitigating actions. Such routes might include:
• When designing future GRB- and FfD-related programming, fund the initial deployment of a gender-and-statistics mission to explore the data capacity and instruments of the national statistics office and design capacity building responses where necessary.
• Assessment of country-level capacity for expenditure tracking and assessing the impact of expenditure on poor women and their families.
• Review of national accounting processes from local to central level to ensure that quality information is available and to gauge the relationship between allocation and expenditure.
• Devising strategies to pursue engagement with the higher management levels of Government, particularly with Ministries of Finance, Planning and high leadership offices.
• Identify where the well supported ongoing programming lies for leveraging support for GRB e.g. linking GRB to the major reform processes in public financial management.
UNW should also design programming that continues to support capacity development measures and focus in areas identified as country relevant:
• In partnership where possible, assist national partners/government in strengthening capacity and accountability for effective monitoring and tracking systems on public spending, to ensure programmes and projects actually benefit women and men, girls and boys equitably.
• Capacity development on GE/GRB should be continued with stakeholders and the scope of training expanded for broader coverage to include staff from ministries and more Budget Analysts from gender budgeting departments or units. This would help build a strong and competent core group of staff who can provide technical support on GRB to ministries and local government (if expansion of the programme to take place at local government level). In this regard a capacity development strategy including a ToT plan should be designed for the various training activities involving participation of higher management in the ministries.
• A series of short courses on data literacy could then be designed and built into future programmes.
• Capacity development activities should be put in place or continued for MPs to strengthen their capacity on gender sensitive policies, GE/GRB and to enhance their important role in the passing of gender sensitive legislation and budget laws.
Finally, GRB tends to be focused on the central levels of government but significant opportunities exist where governments are engaged in decentralization. It is at the local level that national policies, plans and budgets get translated to improving women and men’s access to resources and services. These levels may be more amenable to introducing GRP and GRB, and they may have greater numbers of women active in public office – who could become champions of GRB at their local level.
||UN Women agrees with parts of this recommendation. UN Women is developing a new Flagship Programme Initiative (FPI) on “Transformative Financing for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment” that draws upon the evaluation findings, in particular the identified enabling factors, challenges, good practices and lessons learned. The Synthesis Report finds that an efficient use of UN Women’s funding requires “engaging in F4GE programming with countries in which leadership is committed to the program” (cf. Finding 17, pp. 55-54) The FPI under development will continue the participatory and consultative process identified as a good practice of the F4GE programme to ensure national ownership and leadership of the work. Additionally, it will employ a design modality, similar to that used under the F4GE, that allows for sufficient flexibility for adaptation at country level.
In response to the critique of the programme’s Theory of Change (ToC), the FPI uses a ToC that draws on the F4GE programme experience and evaluation findings. This ToC was developed by UN Women (2015) and it includes explicit articulation of the high-level development goal to which the FPI aims to contribute. It will be peer reviewed by national and global UN Women staff through a Programme Assessment Committee (PAC) process when the FPI commences. This ToC and corresponding logical framework will be reviewed and adapted to the specific country context in full consultation with national partners. It is necessary to mention that UN Women requested that the evaluation team develop a reconstructed ToC as an evaluation deliverable. The evaluation team produced, in our view, a partial and incomplete ToC based upon its own evaluation findings.
While UN Women agrees that an assessment of national statistical capacity is important, other FPIs are working towards this end. Accordingly, the Governance and National Planning (GNP) team will work with the Flagship Programme on gender responsive statistics to support their efforts in this area. Further, as UN Women commences programme implementation in countries adopting the FPI, it will work with decentralization and/or public finance management reform processes, on a case-by-case basis.
In regard to the second part of the recommendation, under the new FPI, UN Women will continue to focus on strengthening capacity for government, gender advocates and civil society. Specific capacity strengthening efforts are included in the FPI plan, including a focus on building capacities of government and non-government partners in gender analysis, costing, impact assessments and monitoring and tracking. Additionally, the FPI indicative activities include the production of guidance on tracking gender-responsive revenue raising and allocations. The FPI will continue to support work, in partnership with the OECD and UNDP, on global monitoring of the establishment and implementation of tracking systems. UN Women will focus attention on expanding capacity strengthening to include more government stakeholders, including MPs and parliamentarians, to strengthen gender responsive policy and legal efforts as well as monitoring.