Human Rights and Gender Equality


UNODC Evaluation Policy and Handbook require mainstreaming of gender in all evaluations and in particular to consider to what extent UNODC's interventions have integrated a gender perspective and addressed issues such as power relations and social transformation, equal inclusion and participation, as well as the empowerment of women.

The Independent Evaluation Section (IES) maintains identified good practices for gender responsive evaluations at UNODC. 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. 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 achieving 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.

IES has further begun actively working on improving implementation of evaluation recommendation, including recommendations on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment. One example that can be highlighted is the implementation of recommendations from the Sustainable Livelihoods and Development in Myanmar Sub-Programme, resulting in the recruitment of both a national and international gender experts for the Country Programme.

One further best practice is the evaluation of the Global Programme against Money Laundering, Proceeds of Crime and the Financing of Terrorism (GPML) in 2017. As a direct consequence, GPML implemented the evaluation recommendation to further strengthen gender equality in its work. This includes an event on Empowering Women Leader to share best practices in the international Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism community. GPML further hired a gender expert to strengthen gender mainstreaming, assess training materials and mentor activities and related workshops.

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. See more on the UN System-wide Action Plan (UN-SWAP) on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.


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 Guidance:

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. 

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.

All evaluations further include human rights as an evaluation criterion. In some cases, when resources are available, human rights experts are part of the team. All evaluation teams should have basic human rights and gender knowledge and IES provides guidance on incorporating these criteria throughout the process.