Increasing evidence suggests that humanitarian crises have unequal effects on different portions of the population, requiring differentiated responses. Some of these unequal effects can be rooted in pre-existing gender inequalities. How can humanitarian agencies further mainstream gender equality and the empowerment of girls and women into humanitarian action? This blog provides eight lessons from a recent evaluation.
The first thematic Inter-Agency Humanitarian Evaluation (IAHE) on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls has been released.
As a member of the Evaluation Management Group, consisting of OCHA, CARE, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF and the UN World Food Programme, WFP is delighted to share, through the EvalForward network, eight generalizable lessons that emerged from the evaluation. These lessons can support humanitarian agencies in crafting collective responses during future crises. They are to:
- Strengthen gender equality expertise in the sudden onset of emergency response – during initial front-line humanitarian responses, agencies and all clusters should immediately deploy gender equality expertise to assist with analyses, project activity design, sectoral plans and humanitarian response plan strategy development
- Strengthen meaningful participation of women in humanitarian decision-making – humanitarian country teams and humanitarian coordinators should receive on-going support to strengthen meaningful participation of women in humanitarian decision-making
- Increase humanitarian country teams’ access to strategic and technical expertise on gender equality and the empowerment of girls – country teams should have access to a dedicated inter-agency strategic gender capacity, complemented by embedded technical-level cluster expertise
- Improve inter-agency strategic planning and monitoring of gender results outcomes – systematic planning and monitoring of gender-related results at global and country levels should be ensured
- Strengthen the opportunities for global leadership and capacity for gender – in the case of this evaluation, it was recommended that the inter-agency standing committee (IASC), the longest-standing and highest-level humanitarian coordination forum in the UN, should integrate the Gender Reference Group within the core structure of the IASC, improve the use of external IASC gender capacity, and increase the emphasis on gender equality themes in leadership discussions
- Enhance management response to Gender Accountability Framework report – the IASC should also strengthen mechanisms for follow-up to the recommendations from the IASC Gender Accountability Framework
- Enhance accountability for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls action – the emergency relief coordinator or humanitarian coordinator annual compacts should include specific actions for the empowerment of women and girls, with clearly defined roles and responsibilities for humanitarian country teams, as set out by the IASC gender policy
- Improve the tracking of resources and expertise related to women and girls empowerment – the linkages between programmatic and financial tracking mechanisms to enhance implementation and compliance, including allocation of resources for gender equality expertise, should be improved for better mainstreaming of gender equality during humanitarian crises
The evaluation assessed the progress on the operationalization of the inter-agency standing committee (IASC)’s agenda relative to women and girls empowerment since 2017. It included an analysis of humanitarian responses in ten countries: Bangladesh, Colombia, Iraq, Nigeria, Chad, Myanmar, Palestine, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.
Based on in-depth data collection and analysis for Bangladesh, Colombia, Iraq and Nigeria, the evaluation produced four case study briefs in addition to the full evaluation report. The Executive Summary, full reports and case studies (Bangladesh, Colombia, Iraq and Nigeria) can be found at this link.