Evaluation of UNFPA's support to the HIV response, 2016-2019

EHG successfully completed the Evaluation of UNFPA's support to the HIV response, 2016-2019. The final evaluation report is now available on UNFPA's website.

The purpose of the evaluation was to assess the performance of UNFPA in integrating its support to the HIV response within the broader context of SRHR, population dynamics, gender equality and human rights. The evaluation covered the period 2016-2019 and all types of interventions and responses to HIV supported by UNFPA at global, regional and national levels. The data collection was structured around two regional and five country case studies and supported by a wide range of methods: key informant interviews, a review of all relevant documents and data sets at global, regional and country level, and an on-line survey of key informants in 59 countries.

The evaluation concludes that:

1. UNFPA has been able to utilize the UNAIDS Division of Labour to guide its support to the HIV response in a manner consistent with its comparative advantages. However, UNFPA strategic plan 2018-2021 does not explicitly recognize the central role UNFPA should play in preventing sexual transmission of HIV and realizing the rights and meeting the needs of key populations. As a result, there is an imbalance between the outward-facing ambition of UNFPA to fill a leadership role in the global HIV response and the inward-facing attention and priority paid to this responsibility.

2. UNFPA has made important contributions to realizing the rights and meeting the needs of the most vulnerable, including adolescent girls and young women and key populations. However, a number of factors inhibit the capacity of UNFPA to play its expected role in championing their rights and the ability of country offices to engage on sensitive issues in order to reform the broader legal and policy framework. The absence (at corporate level) of a transformative result conveying a strong priority for realizing the rights of, in particular, key populations, and the lack of an explicit strategy for UNFPA support to the HIV response, diminish the focus required for more effective action on rights.

3. UNFPA support has demonstrated that linking and integrating SRHR, HIV and SGBV programmes and services is an effective approach to meeting the needs of adolescent girls and young women, other vulnerable groups and key populations. UNFPA has responded effectively to the proven link between sexual and gender-based violence and HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women by extending the integration agenda to include SGBV. 

4.  UNFPA has effectively forged partnerships and worked with networks at regional and country level to promote the meaningful participation of adolescent girls and young women, key populations and other vulnerable groups in the policy process. UNFPA has also contributed to the effectiveness of networks and civil society organizations (CSOs) led by adolescents, youth and key populations. However, empowering these partners requires adequate and sustained investment over time in order to build their capacity to engage in advocacy and policy-making to improve the HIV response, broader SRHR policies and the overall legal framework.

5. UNFPA participates actively in platforms and mechanisms for coordinating actions in support of the HIV response at global, regional and national levels. These platforms have successfully avoided duplication of efforts and conflicting messages from the United Nations country teams in host countries. UNFPA participation in coordinating mechanisms does, however, require a significant investment of time and resources. In addition, coordination among partners with a view to increasing and sustaining investments in HIV prevention, testing and treatment has been limited. 

The report and other evaluation documents are available on the UNFPA independent Evaluation Office's webpage at https://www.unfpa.org/admin-resource/evaluation-unfpa-support-hiv-response-2016-2019