Human Rights and Gender Equality

All evaluations of the United Nations system, including UNODC, are guided by the principles of gender equality and leaving no one behind. This is fully line with UNODC’s Evaluation Policy and Handbook, Evaluation and Norms and Standards of UNEG, as well as the 2030 Agenda, where gender equality approaches are an essential aspect. 

Read more below on IES related guidance and investments in inclusive and gender-responsive evaluations and Human Rights at UNODC.


IES has developed Guidance Briefs on Gender Mainstreaming in Evaluation for Managers (infographic) and Evaluators (infographic) on concrete actions to include gender in evaluations, as well as ways to address identified challenges in moving towards transformative change for gender equality. 

In the context of COVID-19IES has developed a Guidance Note for Managers and Evaluators to mitigate potential risks when conducting evaluations, including selecting respondents in an inclusive manner and adjusting data collection to ensure under-represented groups. In addition, it addresses identified challenges in implementing gender-related evaluation recommendations. For more information, see Evaluation and COVID-19.

Click above to watch a 2-minute video on gender-responsive evaluations at UNODC.


IES has mainstreamed gender-sensitive evaluation methods into the evaluation cycle, assessing to what extent UNODC interventions addresses gender-equality and issues such as power relations, social transformation, equal inclusion and participation, as well as the empowerment of women, which is especially critical in the context of COVID-19. One best practice is further the hiring of gender and human rights experts for strategic evaluations

IES efforts over the years has also resulted in an increase of gender-related evaluation recommendations from 2% (2011-2014) to 15% (2017-2018), as demonstrated by IES most recent Meta-synthesis.

Gender parity has further been reached in the use of female evaluators/experts for strategic evaluations, and, female representation as key stakeholders has increased due to dedicated outreach and systematic recording of gender-disaggregated data.

Moreover, gender equality “meets the requirements” in all UNODC evaluations, as demonstrated by the UN Gender SWAP Evaluation Performance Indicators used in the annual External Quality Assessment of UNODC evaluation reports.  


The process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes, in all areas and at all levels. It is a strategy for making women's as well as men's concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and societal spheres, so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated. The ultimate goal is gender equality.


An overarching and long-term development goal. Gender mainstreaming is not a goal in itself but a set of context-specific, strategic approaches as well and technical and institutional processes adopted to achieve gender equality. Achieving this goal requires systematic and purposeful integration of gender at all stages of the project cycle from strategic planning, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of all UNODC programmes and projects.


In line with Evaluation Norms and Standards of UNEG, all UNODC independent evaluations contain a dedicated section on human rights and the whole evaluation process needs to fully incorporate human rights considerations. This is fully in line with the 2030 Agenda, where human rights and social justice approaches are an essential aspect, as well as being at the forefront of the Global Evaluation Agenda. Evaluation has a critical role to play in assessing human rights provisions and showing what works and why.

As a result, all evaluations at UNODC are guided by the principles of human rights and leaving no one behind, as demonstrated by the evaluation methods and data collection techniques used to address marginalized, disabled, hard-to-reach and vulnerable populations, especially important in the context of COVID-19. The Guidance Note for Managers and Evaluators during COVID-19 as developed by IES provides further details.

Evaluation teams are further required to have basic human rights knowledge and when resources are available, human rights experts are part of the evaluation team. IES ensures guidance on incorporating these criteria throughout the evaluation process, ensuring thereby that UNODC evaluations assesses to what extent interventions are guided by human rights standards and principles.