UN Women regularly evaluates its own work to enhance accountability, inform decision-making and contribute to learning on the best ways to achieve women’s empowerment and gender equality. We do this by supporting normative processes related to gender equality, implementing operational work at the field level and leading gender equality coordination work within the United Nations.
The evaluation function in UN Women focuses on achieving results in four areas:
- Implementation of effective corporate evaluation systems
- Implementation of effective decentralized evaluation systems
- Promotion of UN coordination on gender-responsive evaluation
- Strengthening of national evaluation capacities for gender-responsive monitoring and evaluation systems
The Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) is the custodian of UN Women’s evaluation function, which is governed by an Evaluation Policy. The IEO reports directly to the UN Women Executive Director and presents an Annual Report on Evaluation during Executive Board sessions. The UN Women Evaluation Advisory Committee acts as a forum for the Executive Director and the IEO to further ensure the independence, relevance and quality of its evaluation function and promote their use within UN Women. The IEO also develops a Strategic Evaluation Plan that is approved by the Executive Director.
UN Women carries out corporate and decentralized evaluations. Corporate evaluations are undertaken by the IEO with the support of external evaluators. They assess issues of strategic significance concerning effectiveness, organizational performance and normative and operational coherence. Decentralized evaluations are conducted by external evaluators but managed by programme offices. All decentralized evaluations are quality-assured through the Global Evaluation Reports Assessment and Analysis System (GERAAS) and results are presented at the annual session of the Executive Board through the Annual Report on Evaluation.
All evaluations are publicly available on the Global Accountability and Tracking of Evaluation (GATE) system along with their management responses. The IEO also develops guidelines and methodologies to mainstream gender equality and human rights perspectives in evaluation and manages a Gender and Evaluation Consultant Roster.
The IEO contributes to coherence on gender equality evaluation in the UN system by coordinating the reporting on the Evaluation Indicator of the UN’s System-Wide Action Plan (UN-SWAP), providing a repository of gender-related evaluations and ensuring the inclusion of a gender equality perspective in the work of the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG).
The IEO promotes the use of a gender-responsive evaluation approach and capacity development by co-leading the global partnership “EvalPartners,” a national evaluation capacity development initiative, jointly with the International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation (IOCE) and other relevant associations. UN Women is the leading entity on gender-responsive evaluation and will work to ensure that gender is a focus of the 2015 International Year of Evaluation.