The evaluation represents the second step in a three-part process. The first, also led by the Evaluation Office, was a self-assessment of UNICEF’s Gender Policy implementation in five country offices (CO) and one regional office (RO). The third step will be a consultative strategic planning process based on the evaluation results and the priorities for change that UNICEF identifies, to be led by the Division of Policy and Planning.
The purpose of this evaluation was to identify how well organization had implemented its 1994 policy for the integration of gender equality into UNICEF’s programming; and to identify good practices in gender equality upon which UNICEF can build effective future programming.
The evaluation methodology included: Document review; analysis of organizational commitment, accountability, capacity and funding; six in-depth country case studies in Jordan, Moldova, Uganda, Mali, Nicaragua, and Nepal; extensive interviews; on-line surveys for programme staff and senior managers; an intranet discussion; and a synthesis workshop to test the evaluation findings, attended by UNICEF staff from the HQ, and regional and country offices and members of the Reference Group.
The evaluation found that the 1994 UNICEF gender policy remains relevant but needs updating. UNICEF has not implemented its gender policy systematically, has significantly under-resourced the gender mainstreaming process, and has not built in effective accountability mechanisms. UNICEF has generated many good practices in gender equality programming but has no system in place to ensure they are shared throughout the organization or scaled-up. UNICEF was seen as a leader in the promotion of gender equality within the UN system but there has been considerable slippage in this leadership, in part because senior management has not communicated clearly the organization’s commitment to gender equality to managers and staff. Gender staffing levels have been reduced. UNICEF is potentially well placed to be effective in gender mainstreaming because of its credibility with partners, strong field presence, the commitment of staff to social justice, its life cycle and right-based approaches, and given that UNICEF has a core of individual leaders actively engaged in integrating gender equality into programming.
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