Integrating Human Rights and Gender Equality in Evaluations

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Integrating Human Rights and Gender Equality in Evaluations

August 30, 2016

The United Nations (UN) is founded on the principles of peace, security, justice, human rights and fundamental freedoms without distinctions as to race, sex, language or religion. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) recognizes human rights (HR) as a prerequisite for peace and justice, and upholds the principles of the equal enjoyment of rights between men and women, and of non-discrimination. Over the last decades, these principles have been translated into a set of international rules through which States have committed themselves to promoting and protecting international human rights and fostering gender equality (GE). 

The UN has made significant progress in integrating HR and advancing GE in and through its policies and activities. The UN mandate to address in all its interventions human rights and gender equality (HR & GE) approaches have been established in several international agreements and reinforced through various institutional reforms, making HR && GE mutually reinforcing goals of the UN system. The human rights-based approach (HRBA) and gender equality mainstreaming (GM) are the strategies to achieve these purposes. While both approaches have distinct nature, methods and frameworks, their common agenda is one of social justice and equality. 

The United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) is a professional network that brings together the units responsible for evaluation in the UN system. In 2007, the UNEG HR & GE Task Force was created to provide direction and tools on how to integrate these dimensions in evaluations. This Guidance has been developed in response to the results of a mapping study conducted to determine the level of integration of HR & GE approaches in evaluations carried out in UN agencies, funds, programs and training institutions. 

This Guidance is aimed at increasing knowledge on the application of these two approaches in evaluation processes but also at raising awareness on their specific relevance and significance for UN work. It complements the UNEG's Handbook 'Integrating Human Rights and Gender Equality in Evaluation: Towards UNEG Guidance', an abridged version that outlines practical steps on how to prepare, conduct and use HR & GE responsive evaluations. The present document deepends each of these aspects, and provides additional theoretical and applied information, tools and suggestions. 

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