This 2018 Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC)
Gender Accountability Framework (AF) report marks the first monitoring cycle of the IASC’s Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls in Humanitarian Action Policy endorsed in 2017. It provides a snapshot and baseline of where the structures and representation of the IASC were at during the calendar year of 2018 with regards to fulfilling the commitments, standards and roles and responsibilities set out in the Gender Policy.
Global Level - The IASC showed inconsistency in the adoption and application of its Gender Policy. For the Principal’s output in 2018, only one-third of its published decisions reflected inclusion of the commitments to gender. For example, they were only reflected through reference to PSEA and AAP in the Strategic Priorities set for the IASC for 2018-2019.
The workplans for the Working Group and the Emergency Directors Group covering 2018 were rolled over from 2017, before the Gender Policy was adopted.
2018 saw the launch of two key IASC gender in humanitarian action tools, namely the IASC’s Gender and Age Marker and the IASC Gender Handbook for Humanitarian Action. Both these resources were developed by GenCap and the Gender Reference Group (GRG) respectively, the two mechanisms offering gender in humanitarian action capacity to the IASC. However, it should be noted that the other key outputs of the Working Group in 2018 – the Protocols on Humanitarian SystemWide Scale-Up Activation – which were developed without gender-in-humanitarian-action technical capacity input, had very limited content from the Gender Policy. This demonstrates the need for continued cooperation and dialogue across the IASC to ensure gender commitments are upheld.
Feedback from the global clusters was limited. This is likely due to a lack of knowledge of the 2017 IASC Gender Policy and their reporting obligations to the Accountability Framework. This is an issue that will need to be addressed by the Principals, the Operational Policy and Advocacy Group (OPAG) and the GRG. The former for reiterating to its constituent parts the IASC’s stated policy and reporting commitments and the latter two for socializing the policy contents and the AF’s added value to the IASC.
Feedback from the subsidiary bodies was limited due to their being dissolved in 2019 (other than the Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings and the GRG).
Field Level - It is welcoming to see 90% of the Humanitarian Needs Overviews published in 2018 had some degree of gender analysis included on the impact of the given crises on women, men, girls and boys (beyond just protection and reproductive health issues) and 55% of them demonstrated use of SADD in at least half of the clusters contained within. However, it is important to reflect that only 45% of them contained both. Furthermore, the issues identified in the gender analysis was inconsistently applied to the prioritized actions of the clusters/sectors in the HNOs and the HRPs. It is worth noting that only 5 of the reporting countries had an independent gender analysis developed as a resource to feed into the humanitarian planning process.
Looking at specific action plans that address the specific needs (though not exclusive) of women and girls, the Humanitarian Response Plans were reviewed for inclusion of action on sexual and reproductive health (70% included), women’s economic empowerment (70%), mitigation and response to GBV (65%).
70% and 95% of the HRPs included strategies and plans for PSEA and AAP, respectively. But what needs to be further developed are details on how women and girls can equally and safely access the feedback and complaints mechanisms that are central to both.
In terms of functioning gender reference/working groups at the country level, 44% of the reporting countries had them functioning in 2018. Often these gender working groups were the main-point of contact of consultation with local women’s groups. But there were other points of contact, with 56% of the reporting country contexts confirming direct consultations with local women’s organizations during the humanitarian planning process.