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Glossary of terms

Results terminology


An indicator is a unit of measurement that specifies what is to be measured along a scale or dimension but does not indicate the direction or change. Performance indicators are a qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of UN-Women against the results it set to achieve.


Information gathered at the beginning of a project or programme, in this case UN Women’s Strategic Plan, against which variations that occur in are measured.


Specifies a particular value that an indicator should reach by the end of a specific year of the Strategic Plan. It is an “intermediate” target.


Specifies the particular value that an indicator should reach by the end of the Strategic Plan (2025)


Results are changes in a state or condition that derive from a cause-and-effect relationship. There are three types of such changes - outputs, outcomes and impact - that can be set in motion by a development intervention.

Results-Based Management (RBM)

RBM is a management strategy by which all actors, contributing directly or indirectly to achieving a set of results, ensure that their processes, products and services contribute to the achievement of desired results (outputs, outcomes and higher level goals or impact). The actors in turn use information and evidence on actual results to inform decision making on the design, resourcing and delivery of programmes and activities as well as for accountability and reporting.

Indicator terminology

Common and complimentary indicators

Together with key UN partners, UN-Women has identified key common and complementary indicators that contribute to inter-agency results and processes and highlight a more joined-up approach to the achievement of global goals. Common and complementary indicators help clarify how UN-Women is achieving results in a coherent manner with other UN entities from across the system, including in response to the QCPR.

  • Common indicators are those that appear verbatim the same in at least two entities’ results frameworks and are drawn, where possible, directly from other globally agreed frameworks.
  • Complementary indicators are identified as those in the results framework that are not repeated verbatim in the results framework of another United Nations entity, but are related or provide different but complementary lenses or insights into the same issue, high-level result and/or area of complementary work, such as a Sustainable Development Goal target.
Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR)

The Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR) is the mechanism through which the General Assembly (GA) assesses the effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and impact of UN operational activities for development and establishes system-wide policy orientations for the UN development system. UN Women’s Integrated Results and Resources Framework includes 11 indicators from the QCPR monitoring and reporting framework 2021-2024 as common indicators

Strategic planning terminology

Integrated Results and Resources Framework (IRRF)

UN Women's IRRF outlines the specific results that UN Women aims to achieve and their respective set of indicators, capturing:

  • development results at the impact, outcome and output levels, and
  • organizational effectiveness and efficiency (OEE) outputs.
Strategic Note (SN)

UN Women’s Strategic Note (SN) is one of the main strategic planning documents for UN Women country, multi-country and regional offices to articulate their strategy, programmes and main results in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF, formerly known as UNDAF) and UN Women’s Strategic Plan (SP). 

Financial terminology

Other Resources (non-core)

Earmarked contributions for programmes; these are supplementary to the contributions in unearmarked Regular Resources and are made for a specific purpose such as an emergency response or a specific programme in a country/region.

Regular Resources (core)

Unearmarked funds that are foundational to deliver results across the Strategic Plan.