Timely and gender-responsive evaluations in 2015

Date: 03 February 2015

What works and what doesn't? As the international community marks the International Year of Evaluation, UN Women will be working with UN system and partners to focus attention on ensuring that evaluations of our work include and reflect gender concerns.

With support from UN Women's Independent Evaluation Office, a landmark United Nations General Assembly resolution, entitled “Capacity building for the evaluation of development activities at country level” was approved through general consensus and cross-regional support of 42 countries and adopted by the General Assembly in a plenary session on 19 December 2014.

Holding the torch (in the centre, from left to right), Deborah Rugg (UNEG Chair and Director IED OIOS), Marco Segone (UNEG Vice-Chair, Co-Chair EvalPartners, and Director UN Women Independent Evaluation Office) and Ambassador Peter Thomson of Fiji (sponsor of the resolution), lit the International Year Evaluation Torch and passed it on to other EvalPartners at an event hosted by UNEG and the Mission of Fiji to the UN on 17 December 2014. Photo: UNEG.

Through this resolution, Member States agreed that evaluation is an important component of development processes, and recognized evaluation as a country-level tool that can help strengthen and support development results.

The resolution's approval kick-started celebrations of the International Year of Evaluation, including the lighting of the Evaluation Torch on 17 December during an event at the UN Secretariat Building. The torch will be symbolically passed on to other international and national evaluation partners during more than 27 evaluation events in 2015, linking discussions from one event to the next around the following themes:

  • Bridging the gap between the evaluation community and policymakers, including parliamentarians, to ensure good quality, equity-focused and gender-responsive evaluations are demanded and used in policymaking;
  • Mainstreaming equity-focused and gender-responsive evaluations in the UN Sustainable Development Goals and in national development strategies;
  • Identifying the key future priorities for the global evaluation community to launch the 2016-2020 Global Evaluation Agenda.

The International Year of Evaluation will culminate with the Global Evaluation Week organized by EvalPartners at the Parliament of Nepal in November 2015. There, EvalGender+, a new global partnership to strengthen the demand, supply and use of equity-focused and gender-responsive evaluation, will be launched. UN Women is among the 16 UN agencies and international organizations that have already committed under this partnership to make an impact through social mobilization, innovation in practice and learning, and online knowledge-sharing.