Human Rights and Gender Equality


The Independent Evaluation Section (IES) contributes to mainstreaming gender equality in UNODC through the implementation of gender responsive evaluations. Gender-responsive evaluations not only identify inequalities or areas of improvement but offer opportunities, recommendations and support to address such. Evaluation is in the position to act as an agent of change by assessing the efforts and opportunities, providing evidence based information to support transformative gender equality in the organization. 

In concrete terms, IES has fully revised its Evaluation norms and standards to ensure that universally recognized values and principles of human rights and gender equality are integrated into all stages of each evaluation. It is the responsibility of evaluators as well as evaluation managers to ensure that these values are respected, addressed and promoted. As a result, IES has mainstreamed gender equality in all evaluation processes, guidelines, templates and evaluation-based knowledge products. Gender parity has further been reached in the use of female evaluators and experts for In-depth evaluations. Female representation in the evaluation process as key stakeholders has also increased, due to systematic follow up to the recording of gender-disaggregated data as well as outreach to female stakeholders.

Moreover, IES has mainstreamed the assessment of UNODC's contribution to achievening the SDGs as well as human rights and gender into the whole evaluation cycle - starting from the ToR with a gender sensitive methodology when conducting an evaluation up to identifying recommendations, lessons learned and best practices in relation to human rights, gender and the SDGs.

To meet the UN SWAP Evaluation Requirements to ensure gender responsive evaluations and move towards transformative change, IES maintains identified good practices for gender responsive evaluations. The UN Gender SWAP Evaluation Performance Indicators are further integrated in the annual external independent quality assessments of all published UNODC evaluation reports, showing that Gender Equality " met the requirements" in all UNODC evaluations.


The most recent efforts of IES include the development of Guidance Briefs on gender mainstreaming in evaluation together with external gender experts and with input from the UNODC Gender Team. These are targeted to programme managers, evaluation team members as well as IES staff. These guidance briefs provide concrete actions to include gender in evaluations as well as ways to address identified challenges in moving towards transformative change for gender equality. 

Project/program managers: Guidance Brief; 2-page info-graphic sheet

Evaluators: Guidance Brief; 2-page info-graphic sheet

Further Resources:

UNODC Evaluation Handbook

Gender-Responsive Evaluations at UNODC Guiding Document

UNOV/UNODC's Strategy for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (2018-2021)

2-minute video on gender-responsive evaluations at UNODC


Gender Mainstreaming: 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.

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.


Human rights, social justice and gender equality approaches are not only an essential aspect of the 2030 Agenda, but also at the forefront of the Global Evaluation Agenda. Evaluation has a critical role to play in assessing these dimensions and showing what works and why. 

Evaluation has a critical role to play in assessing human rights provisions and showing what works and why. In line with Evaluation Norms and Standards of the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG), all UNODC independent evaluations contain a dedicated section on human rights and the whole evaluation process needs to fully incorporate human rights considerations. UNODC evaluations assess to what extent interventions were guided by human rights standards and principles. All evaluation teams are further required to have human rights and gender knowledge.