The regional architecture identified key elements that were necessary in order to better support Member States and to leverage the United Nations System. Those elements were informed by consultation with Member States, civil society partners, United Nations agencies and UN Women staff. UN Women commissioned an external study of options for its regional architecture including lessons from other organizations both within and outside the United Nations. Among the three options presented, UN Women chose to develop a new regional architecture that maximizes the organization’s ability to deliver on its mandate. The new institutional arrangement shifted decision-making and policy, programmatic and operational support to six regional centers and a selection of multi-country, as well as country offices that would continue to be strengthened and report directly to regional centers. Five guiding principles were identified to strengthen the empowerment of countries by delegating responsibility to the field and operational support to increase efficiency. These included: (1) decentralize authority to the field with the required operational support functions; (2) get the maximum impact from existing resources and synergies with other organizations; (3) best serve the coordination function of UN Women in the United Nations system; (4) ensure quality and accountability across all levels of the organization; and (5) ensure coherence for the role, messaging and mandate for UN Women.
The new regional architecture consisted of (1) the establishment of six regional offices and six multi-country offices; (2) the transformation of the existing sub-regional offices into one of the regional offices, a multi-country office or a country office; (3) the decentralization of day-to-day managerial oversight functions for UN Women country presence from headquarters to regional offices; (4) the transfer of some technical and operational functions from headquarters to the regional level; (5) accompanying changes at headquarters to support higher-level oversight and global technical and policy knowledge and support to the field, providing greater support to country and regionally focused inter-agency processes as well as UN Women normative role.
The evaluation has following objectives:
- Assess the relevance of regional architecture, particularly, whether it meets the needs of key UN Women stakeholders at global, regional and country levels.
- Assess the organizational effectiveness of regional architecture to deliver UN Women’s mandate across all roles – advocacy, normative, policy, UN Coordination and programmatic at global, regional and country levels.
- Assess the efficiency of regional architecture’s administrative systems, structure and processes, including mechanisms to ensure efficient communication linkages between HQ and the field.
- Analyze how effective and efficient was the regional architecture in promoting gender responsive and human rights based approaches in programme management and administrative systems.
- Provide forward looking recommendations for strengthening the effectiveness and efficiency of regional architecture.