This report is part of a three-year formative evaluation commissioned by UNHCR’s Evaluation Service to assess and support the implementation of the 2018 Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD) policy. The evaluation explores how key staff understand the policy, and aims to generate evidence to guide and enhance UNHCR’s approach to improving AGD practice and mainstreaming the policy throughout the organisation. This is primarily a forward-looking transformative evaluation designed to promote learning from the strategies adopted by country offices to implement the AGD policy, to identify lessons learnt and innovative practices, and ultimately to make practical recommendations that can support the implementation of the policy. In each of the case study countries the evaluation examined the implementation of the policy across the POC population groups including refugees and asylum seekers, internally displaced and stateless persons.

Methods

The evaluation team compared similarities and differences between the five country case studies, interviewing 237 UNHCR staff, donors, government and NGO partners, and 251 interviews with Persons of Concern. Additionally, the evaluation team conducted and administered a survey completed by 119 staff. The Greece case study included a document review as well as a two-week mission in February 2020, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic; the other four country case studies were carried out remotely due to Covid-related travel restrictions. The team conducted interviews with UNHCR staff, partners in government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and (where feasible) focus group discussions (FGDs) with persons of concern (POCs). Interviews were based on a set of standardised evaluation tools designed to explore six key evaluation questions (KEQs) on: (1) understanding and operationalisation of the AGD policy; (2) systematic collection and use of disaggregated data; (3) systems and processes to support AGD implementation; (4) engagement and dialogue with partners; (5) likelihood of achieving AGD policy objectives; and (6) lessons learnt and good practices identified. The four country case studies conducted remotely also included questions about (7) programming adaptations and lessons learned in response to the pandemic.

Purpose of the AGD Policy

The purpose of this Policy is to reinforce UNHCR’s longstanding commitment to ensuring that people are at the centre of all that we do. This requires that UNHCR apply an age, gender, and diversity (AGD) approach to all aspects of our work. Through this Policy, UNHCR aims to ensure that persons of concern can enjoy their rights on an equal footing and participate meaningfully in the decisions that affect their lives, families, and communities.

The Policy describes six areas of engagement and ten corresponding obligatory Core Actions which are the minimum expected of UNHCR in delivering the Policy.

1. AGD-INCLUSIVE PROGRAMMING

2. PARTICIPATION AND INCLUSION

3. COMMUNICATION AND TRANSPARENCY

4. FEEDBACK AND RESPONSE

5. ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING AND ADAPTATION

6. GENDER EQUALITY AND COMMITMENTS TO WOMEN AND GIRLS

Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees

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