Meta-analysis of the engagement of UNFPA in highly vulnerable contexts

Resource date: 2018

The UNFPA Evaluation Office conducted a meta-analysis on the engagement of UNFPA in highly vulnerable contexts based on a cluster of six country programme evaluations (Bangladesh, Haiti, DRC, Liberia, Myanmar, and Nepal) with two standard evaluation questions on relevance and effectiveness. The document review, interviews and surveys extended to other 25 countries that UNFPA considers as priorities for humanitarian work.

The objectives of this exercise are, namely, to (1) draw lessons on the performance of UNFPA engagement in highly vulnerable settings, and (2) validate and complement this country-based body of findings and lessons learned through additional data collection and analysis work, with a view to reaching generalizable conclusions.

From a methodological standpoint, it is important to note that this meta-analysis is a lighter than a full-fledged evaluation. Its main purpose is learning as opposed to accountability. It intends to establish the degree to which UNFPA is in a position to provide efficient and effective emergency support in future; not to provide a comprehensive assessment of the extent to which UNFPA interventions have resulted in particular country-level outputs. Hence, the meta-analysis presents suggestions and conclusions, and not evaluation-related recommendations.

This exercise concluded that,

  1. A fair basis has been laid for UNFPA to position itself strategically and programmatically within the humanitarian-development nexus
  2. UNFPA’s humanitarian programming has grown, but funding is not commensurate with population needs, stakeholder expectations and corporate commitments in highly-vulnerable contexts
  3. UNFPA staff in highly-vulnerable contexts are frequently thinly-stretched, which impacts on their well-being and performance and the Fund’s reputation as a humanitarian actor
  4. The roles of UNFPA as leader of SRH and GBV humanitarian coordination are meaningful and appreciated but lack a solid footing
  5. UNFPA is at a crossroads whether to invest in becoming a go-to agency for humanitarian data or to accept a more modest role
  6. UNFPA systems and processes for procuring and delivering humanitarian supplies are in need of a revamp



  • Meta-analysis report


    Meta-analysis executive summary


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