Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality, IANWGE
Inter-Agency Network on IANWGE/2002/7
Women and Gender Equality February 2002
New York, 26 February - 1 March 2002

Gender mainstreaming in the CCA/UNDAF process

Task Manager: UNIFEM

(i) Background

The United Nations Development Group (UNDG) decided at the end of 1999 to discontinue the UNDG Sub-group on Gender. This created a serious gap in the inter-agency work on strengthening the mainstreaming of gender concerns into the Common Country Assessment (CCA) and United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). As highlighted in a number of recent reports and assessment workshops, gender is still not systematically and effectively mainstreamed into the UN reform process. As a result, the Inter-Agency Meeting on Women and Gender Equality (IAMWGE) recommended the establishment of a Task Force on Gender Mainstreaming in the CCA/UNDAF process to address the continuing need expressed by UN country teams for expertise and technical advice on how to systematically and effectively address gender issues both in the analysis and assessment of national development challenges and in strategic planning processes.

Some progress, however, has been made as highlighted in the global review of the 2000 Annual Resident Coordinator Reports. The review notes that UN agencies are increasingly collaborating on gender issues. The most frequently used strategies for cooperation include advocacy, joint reviews, national action plans and capacity-building of government and civil society. In this process, Gender Theme Groups have served as a key instrument for dialogue and the development of common strategies and action plans in over 90 countries. The UNDGO review also positively notes that a number of countries have set good examples of innovative strategies to integrate gender into the CCA/UNDAF process (e.g. CCA/UNDAF of India and CCA of Namibia).

(ii) Terms of Reference

The Task Force on Gender Mainstreaming in the CCA/UNDAF is chaired by UNIFEM and acts as a technical working group to bring together critical thinking on the CCA/UNDAF process from a gender perspective and to create a common understanding of gender mainstreaming. Its members include representatives from UNDGO, DAW, OSAGI, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and UNIFEM. In 2001, the Task Force was expanded to include representatives from the World Bank and the UN Statistical Division.

As per its terms of reference, the Task Force's main objective is the development of a common and coherent UN agency approach to gender mainstreaming in the CCA/UNDFAF process, through:

-analyzing and reviewing existing CCA/UNDAFs from a gender perspective as part of the current DGO focus on learning.

-developing a conceptual paper to identify common ways for UN agencies to work on gender mainstreaming in the CCA/UNDAF context and to ensure that technical advice to the field is consistent;

-providing a gender perspective to the Millennium Declaration and road map development and processes;
-facilitating the development of modules (with good practice examples and case studies) for inclusion in the training programme and provide briefing for all trainers;

 -monitoring the development and use of the CCA indicator framework in CCAs and UNDAFs;

-developing a collection of best practices of CCA/UNDAFs and guidelines for use by the field; and

-supporting the inclusion of information on the location of UN gender specialists in the field and general information on gender mainstreaming at both analytical and operational levels on Dev Link for access by HQ and the field.

(iii) Progress Report: 2001

The Task Force on Gender Mainstreaming in the CCA/UNDAF process met five times in 2001 (timed to coincide with UNDG meetings). It provided inputs and guidance to countries identified for roll-out in 2001, including Botswana, Cameroon, Comoros, Lesotho, Mali, Mauritania, Bolivia, India, Maldives, PNG, Djibouti and Jordan.

Analyzing and reviewing draft CCA/UNDAFs

In 2001, the Task Force provided inputs to six draft CCAs and UNDAFs, including the Botswana UNDAF, the Uganda UNDAF, the Mongolia UNDAF, the Kenya CCA, the Lebanon CCA and the Mozambique UNDAF. Comments were compiled by the Group's task manager and sent to UNDGO for feedback through the UNDG Leaning Network.

Facilitating the development of modules

After consultations with the Turin Staff College, the Task Force agreed to focus in 2001 on ensuring the mainstreaming of gender concerns into the design of the training modules developed by UNDG working groups on poverty, HIV/AIDS and human rights. The development of a specific training module on gender for senior UN staff in the field was retained as a longer-term strategy.

Developing a collection of good practices of CCA/UNDAFs and guidelines for use by the field

The Task Force commissioned an external consultant to undertake a desk review of CCAs and UNDAFs to assess the extent to which gender perspectives were included in both final documents and processes. The fifteen countries chosen for the review include Barbados, China, Ecuador, India, Kenya, Lebanon, Mali, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Yemen and Zimbabwe. The selection was made to reflect a diverse range of country experiences with a representation of different regions and degrees of gender mainstreaming. The consultant started work on the desk review in December 2001. As part of the information gathering process, a questionnaire was developed and sent to UN Resident Coordinators in late January 2002.

The review will provide a comprehensive assessment of the status of gender mainstreaming in the selected CCA/UNDAF case studies and map out different approaches and gaps in mainstreaming gender into these UN reform tools (to be presented in a matrix and brief analytical paper). The review will also develop a set of guidelines for stakeholders working on gender mainstreaming in the CCA/UNDAF process to capture the qualitative aspects of the process (i.e. programming outcomes, influence on governmental ministries etc). Preliminary findings will be presented at the IANWGE Annual Meeting.

Supporting the inclusion of information on the location of UN gender specialists in the field and general information on gender mainstreaming at both analytical and operational levels on Dev Link
The design and compilation of the Resource Map of Gender Expertise was initiated in 2000 by the now disbanded UNDG Inter-agency Sub-Group on Gender. In 2001 the Task Force on Gender in the CCA/UNDAF Process took on this task and the Resource Map was launched on the DevLink website ( It provides UN Country Teams with easy access to UN system gender expertise, especially in the area of mainstreaming gender concerns into the CCA/UNDAF process.

Strengthening Links with UNDG Groups

Task Force members noted the importance of further strengthening internal links in agencies between staff to ensure systematic mainstreaming of gender concerns into all UNDG groups and ad hoc working groups. At its June meeting, the Task Force requested UNIFEM's representative at the UNDG Programme Group to also represent the Task Force at these meetings in order to ensure an effective coordination process between the two inter-agency mechanisms.

(iv) Future Activities and Directions

The Task Force will discuss its future activities and directions at a special working session during the IANWGE Annual Meeting from 26 February to 1 March 2002.

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