Embarking on Gender Equality Seal Certification

26 Jul 2013

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The GE Seal is a quality certification process that assesses the ability of UNDP country offices to deliver on gender equality. It is designed as a strategic planning and learning exercise that will improve the efficiency and impact of the COs work on gender, and accelerate the momentum towards sustainable results.

The assessment tool is a benchmarking matrix that provides a snapshot of the “state of play” of gender mainstreaming in the country office. It is a corporate certification process, which recognizes good performance to deliver transformational gender equality results and aims to generate incentives for solid work on gender equality. It ultimately aims to improve organizational efficiency to deliver results and greater consistency of performance across the organization.

Gender Equality Seal certification is still being piloted in UNDP offices/bureaus/units on voluntary basis. The process involves four steps: (a) online self-assessment—to identify gender gaps; (b) developing and implementing an action plan for self-improvement—to get ready for the final assessment; (c) final assessment; and, (d) certification.

Ethiopia country office is one of 38 country offices, which volunteered to take part in this second round of piloting exercise, which was announced on 24/05/2013. The process has full backing of UNDP Ethiopia Senior Management Team. The Gender Focal Team, headed by Deputy Country Director (Programme) leads the country office engagement in the certification process and is responsible for coordination and oversight of the exercise. The Gender Focal Person is the contact for this exercise. Following expression of interest by the country office, the online self-assessment was completed and submitted to the gender equality seal team on 26/07/2013. The online self-assessment assisted in identifying areas that need improvement.  It is encouraging to note the high level of participation by the relevant CO staff in providing the necessary documentation during the self-assessment process. The HQ Gender Equality Seal team is currently reviewing the submission made by the country office. Once the review is completed, the Country Office will develop and implement a plan, which addresses areas that need improvement.