Evaluation of UN Women’s normative support work and its operational linkages
In intergovernmental forums at the United Nations, Member States come together to debate and seek agreement on global gender equality norms and standards. These commitments offer the basis for action by governments and other stakeholders to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment at the global, regional and national levels, through laws, policies and programmes.
UN Women plays a leading role in supporting improvements in global norms and standards that accelerate the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of women. The entity provides substantive expertise and policy analysis, works to strengthen the knowledge base on gender equality and incorporates good practices and lessons learned from regional and national experiences in its normative support work. It also engages with Member States through awareness-raising and advocacy, and facilitates alliance-building and partnerships. The normative work of UN Women has taken on additional importance at a time when a number of global intergovernmental processes provide unprecedented opportunities for an accelerated realization of gender equality and the empowerment of women.
In 2014, the Inspection and Evaluation Division of the Office of Internal Oversight Services undertook an evaluation of UN Women’s normative work. The objective of the evaluation was to determine, as systematically and objectively as possible, the relevance and effectiveness of UN Women in achieving its mandate in support of gender equality through normative support work and its link with operational activities. Given the need for UN Women to strengthen the linkages between intergovernmental decisions and implementation of these decisions on the ground, its normative support work is critical to the achievement of its overall objectives and mandate.
For this evaluation, normative work is defined as “the support to the development of norms and standards in conventions, declarations, regulatory frameworks, agreements, guidelines, codes of practice and other standard setting instruments at global, regional and national level. Normative work also includes the support to the implementation of these instruments at the policy level, i.e., their integration into legislation, policies and development plans, and to their implementation at the programme level.”