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Cameroon: Gender Equality Programming in Emergencies - baseline assessment report, July 2020

Executive Summary

In May 2020, the UN Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator of Cameroon requested the IASC GenCap Project to review the functioning of the humanitarian operation on Gender Equality Programming in Emergencies (GEPiE) and develop a roadmap. This will aid the operation to improve its engagement with affected populations as well as implement the IASC Policy on Gender Equality & Empowerment of Women & Girls in Humanitarian Action.

GenCap assessed how the humanitarian operation organized around GEPiE by undertaking a desk review and interviewing 26 key informants working in the UN, NGOs and CSOs (and attempts were made to interview government actors). The structured interviews examined how GEPiE worked at Leadership, Programming (Inter-Sector, Sectors and GEPiE Coordination) and Localization levels.

Informants working in technical (sector or gender equality), coordination and management levels observed practices that hampered the operation’s efforts to manage GEPiE in ways that streamline resources according to the different needs and opportunities of females and males in different age groups. In summary, key informants shared the following:

  • • Leadership:

The HCT members who were interviewed acknowledge that gender equality programming is important to humanitarian action. Systems should clearly guide, support and govern the operation’s approach to gender equality programming. The operation would benefit from a more systematic approach to incorporating GEPiE mechanisms, including: a sector gender focal point network, a robust gender analysis and an HCT Gender Equality Strategy into their leadership. The leadership would benefit from monitoring progress through a GEPiE coordination mechanism bespoke for the humanitarian operation and the Inter-Sector Working Group. The strategies could be reviewed and adjusted to emergent needs at least every three months, if not more regularly. It may be helpful for the donors to prioritize funding where necessary to implement the Leadership’s strategies.

  • • Programming:

While OCHA talks about incorporating GEPiE in the HPC and collecting sex and age disaggregated data, humanitarians working at the technical level do not consistently incorporate gender equality into their programming. Tools for undertaking gendered needs assessments are available. Opportunities to draw sectoral analysis and responsive plans are often not taken by coordinators. The current Gender Working Group (GWG) is rated as not fit for the purpose of supporting the humanitarian architecture. The GWG offers training that humanitarians struggle to translate to their operational realities. The GWG does not sufficiently engage with humanitarians working in field locations. The GWG is not sufficiently represented in crisis affected regions. It is not clear on who is responsible for collating, reporting and mobilizing on gender issues, participation and responses (gender equality programming).

  • • Localization:

There is significant room to improve on the participation of different gender and age groups as well as partnering gender-progressive groups to work towards gender equality. The UN can use these engagements to clarify strategic Nexus documents as well as work alongside the Government to implement its policies.

The report outlines the ratings and descriptions (those provided by more than one) to give a clear picture of how the key informant view how GEPiE is dealt with in Cameroon.

More importantly, the key informants were asked to offer results that could be reasonably achieved within 2-3 years. Many of those interviewed are optimistic that the operation can make changes that will make the management and implementation of GEPiE simpler and more effective. A total of 52 results were suggested by the interviewees that cover Leadership, Programming (Inter-Sector, Sectors and GEPiE Coordination) and Localization levels (see list of desired results below). The IASC GenCap Project will work with the operation to prioritize the results and schedule work over a period of 2 to 3 years.

Operation(s)/ Webspace(s): 
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Original Publication Date: 
22 Sep 2020
Document type: 
Assessment Report
Coordination hub(s): 
Bamenda Coordination Hub
Buea Coordination Hub
Maroua Coordination (Kousséri)
Maroua Coordination Hub
OCHA Office
Yaoundé Coordination Hub
Cameroon: North West and South West Crisis 2016-2020
Cameroon: Far-North Crisis 2014-2020