The IASC Gender Accountability Framework Report, 2020



The 2020 Gender Accountability Framework (AF) report marks the third monitoring cycle of the IASC’s 2017 Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls in Humanitarian Action Policy. It provides a snapshot of the IASC’s output in the calendar year 2020 and allows for cross comparison with the baseline established with the 2018 AF report and the subsequent 2019 report. This report also captures the ways in which the IASC adapted its efforts in humanitarian settings as COVID-19 swept across countries and to what extent these efforts corresponded to the compounded impact of the pandemic and pre-existing humanitarian crises on women and girls.

2020 saw humanitarian actors rapidly mobilize themselves to respond to the pandemic that aggravated humanitarian needs in protracted crisis settings. Significant effort went towards attempts to understand the impact of the pandemic on crisis-affected communities. This is reflected in the large number of guidance materials on COVID-19 and its impact as well as localized needs assessments and analysis across settings. For instance, in 2020, the IASC Principals Group released 22 outputs (compared to six in 2019). Notably, close to 80 percent of these outputs in 2020 reflected the standards and commitments of the IASC Gender Policy – a marked improvement from 33 percent in 2019. However, this improvement was not observed across other parts of the IASC structure. There was a drop in the attention to gender priorities in the work of the subsidiary bodies and associated entities and the percentage of OPAG Results Groups complying with the IASC Gender Policy remained at 20 percent.

Similarly, support from the global structure of the IASC to its field representation in implementing the IASC’s Gender Policy was also mixed. Half of the Peer-to-Peer missions in 2020 integrated gender priorities (while an improvement compared to 2018, this figure remains at the same level as 2019). The review observed a drop in the attention to gender among outputs endorsed by the OPAG. As the self-assessment surveys were not released in 2020, the Gender Desk was unable to ascertain the progress made by global clusters in implementing the Gender Policy.

Despite mixed progress at the global level, there was improvement across most priority areas in the implementation of the Gender Policy at the field level in 2020. For the first time, more than half of the HNOs (55 percent) reviewed demonstrated use of SADD and gender analysis. Over 90 percent of HRPs included provisions for sexual and reproductive health and to mitigate and respond to GBV. However, only 63 percent of HRPs included provisions for women’s livelihoods, similar to previous years.

68 percent of crisis contexts reported having consulted at least one local women’s rights organization in the humanitarian planning process reflecting another area of gradual improvement. Significantly, over 80 percent of settings reported having active gender working groups in place. a cross-analysis revealed that while 68 percent of all responding contexts reporting having consulted with at least oneWRO to contribute to the HPC, in contexts with active gender working groups, 82 percent had consulted with WROs.

The availability of sustained gender capacity for HCT remained limited with less than 20 percent benefitting from appointed senior gender capacity for at least six months in 2020. In 36 percent of all IASC contexts, HCTs relied on the expertise extended by UN agencies (including UN Women, UNFPA) and INGOs. There was a drop in the percentage of HCTs reporting efforts to implement a GEEWG plan with only 11 percent doing so in 2020.

A significantly higher proportion of crisis settings – almost 80 percent – reported having conducted joint gender analysis in 2020. 60 percent of all gender analysis was dedicated to understanding the impact of COVID-19 or included such a component in 2020. It is clear that – based on findings at the global level and field level – those efforts to understand the impact of the pandemic largely did strive to understand the specific impact on women and girls. It is vital that this focus and the findings pointing to the specific and often disproportionate needs of women and girls is translated to targeted provisions to meet these needs