Evaluations from the Executive Board of UNDP/UNPF/UNOPS: Plenary Meeting 6

The Executive Board of UNDP, UNFPA, and UNOPS came together to reconsider revised points to UNFPA’s policy for the prevention, response to and elimination of gender-based violence and harmful practices. Both the Director of Evaluation Office representative and the Executive Director touched upon updating policies to specify definitions, principals, and standards that have been previously established within the UNFPA. Four established areas regarding transparency highlighted within the UNFPA Evaluation Policy were discussed, with emphasis on joint evaluation (assessment of UN agency inter-relationships, i.e, UNFPA and WHO) and system-wide evaluation (assessment of UN as a whole). The Executive Director emphasized on result based management to take lessons learned from prior experiences to implement into new policies locally, regionally, governmentally, and internationally.

Delegates agreed on the necessity of UNFPA and cooperation between countries as well as sectors within the UN as a whole. The delegate from Switzerland on behalf of 20 other countries raised general concerns on resource allocation as well as the idea of system-wide joint evaluations, which was countered by the Director of Evaluation in explaining that resource allocation protects funding for the centralized evaluation core. Transparency will be combated with continued annual budget reports. More details regarding gender and human rights updates were also requested. Mexico highlighted a demand in attention for sexual and reproductive health treatment, specifically in younger people to strengthen political, economical, and social ties while Belgium voiced concerns for budgeting issues.

Meeting: Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme/United Nations Population Fund/United Nations Office for Project Services – Plenary Meeting 6

Date/Location: 23 January 2019, Economic and Social Council Chamber

Speakers: Executive Board: Director of Evaluation Office representative; Executive Director of UNDP, UNFPA, UNOPS; Burkina Faso; Switzerland (on behalf of 20 other countries); Mexico, Botswana, Belgium, Sweden

Written By: WIT Representative Jessica Shi

United Nations Population Award Ceremony

unfpa_5Established by the General Assembly in 1981, the UN Population Award is presented each year to a laureate or laureates who have made outstanding contributions in the fields of population and health.

Today at the Trusteeship Council, Father Aldo Marchesini and the organization Jhpiego were awarded the 2014 United Nations Population Award. Both award winners have dedicated more than four decades to saving the lives and preserving the health of women around the world. Targeting reproductive and maternal health care in communities, their efforts have jointly improved and expanded this healthcare sector.

Father Aldo Marchesini is devoted to treating ‘obstetric fistula’. It is a complication of childbirth occurring almost exclusively in places where basic maternal health care is unavailable. Prolonged or obstructed labour tears a hole in the birth canal, leading to chronic incontinence and, often, social isolation and marginalization. Having been the only doctor in Mozambique with the expertise to treat obstetric fistula for a long time, he lived through the countries prolonged post-independence civil war. Father Marchesini candidly commented that, “the plight of women seeking medical attention and treatment outweighed the threat he faced to his own life; having been kidnapped and imprisoned countless times during the civil war”. UNFPA supports obstetric fistula campaigns in Mozambique, including providing funds and surgical kits to Dr. Marchesini’s programme.

Jhpiego, originally known as the John Hopkins Program for International Education in Gynecology and Obstetrics, pursues the goal of reducing high rates of maternal death in low-income countries through family planning. In many parts of the world, women do not use any form of contraception due to a combination of lack of information, social stigma and, most importantly, a limited number of providers able to deliver needed services at time of need. Jhpiego’s primary campaign is to highlight the fact that the simple act of family planning has a direct baring in improving maternal, newborn and child health; HIV prevention, care and treatment and cervical cancer prevention and treatment. Over a million healthcare providers – doctors, nurses, midwives, community health workers – have been trained by Jhpiego in family planning and reproductive health.

Both Dr. Marchesini and Jhpiego have been instrumental in ensuring the long-term sustainability of maternal and reproductive health services. In conclusion Edita Hrdá remarked that, “the award serves as an expression of our joint commitment to ensure a life of dignity for all and to build a world in which every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled”.

Meeting Title: “2014 United Nations Population Award Ceremony”
Winners: Father Aldo Marchesini, a doctor and Catholic priest who treats obstetric fistula sufferers in Mozambique; Jhpiego, a maternal and child health organization.
Award Committee: Edita Hrdá, Czech Republic Ambassador to the UN; representatives of Bangladesh, Côte d’Ivoire, Denmark, Grenada, Jamaica, Qatar, the United Republic of Tanzania, Nigeria and Pakistan.
Award Presenter: Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations
Date/Location: 12 June 2014;Trusteeship Council, UN Headquarters
Written By WIT Representative: Apurv Gupta