Asela Kalugampitiya of IOCE presents at EvalConclave Thimpu

 

Asela Kalugampitiya of IOCE presents goals and challenges of Evalgender+ at Thimphu

Photo courtesy: 


Events

E-discussion: Evaluating SDGs with an equity-focused & gender responsive lens (no one left behind)

The purpose of the consultations (18th Jan-18th Feb 2016)

Following the approval of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the UN General Assembly and by the international development community in 2015, EvalPartners (including EvalGender+) and United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG)’s members have begun to form working groups to strengthen monitoring and evaluation systems to assess these different goals.  The purpose of the present consultations, organized by EvalGender+, UNEG and the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) of UN Women, is to provide guidance to strengthen M&E systems to assess all SDGs with an equity-focused and gender-responsive lens, in addition to Goal 5 (Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls) and Goal 10 (Reduce inequality within and among countries).  The above mentioned agencies and network, in collaboration with other strategic stakeholders, are planning to prepare a guidance note that will assist both actors directly involved in social equity and gender equality, as well as all actors involved with the evaluation of the SDGs, in ensuring that social equity and gender equality are adequately addressed in all of the SDG evaluations. It is intended to produce a first version of this Guidance note by June 2016.  The SDG strategy is to work through, and to help strengthen existing M&E systems at the national and local levels and consequently the focus of the present consultations is on indicators and approaches that can be implemented through existing M&E structures – many of which may have limited experience and resources to address social equity and gender equality issues.

In addition to their importance as stand-alone sustainable development goals, both of these are cross-cutting themes that must be integrated into the assessment of all of the other goals.  For example, the achievement of Goal 2 (end hunger), Goal 3 (ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages), Goal 7 (ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable modern energy) and Goal 13 (take urgent action to combat climate change) – to mention only four, all have important gender dimensions that affect the achievement of these goals.  Similarly, there are social equity dimensions to all goals. To read more on SDGs visit the link "Transforming our world:  The 2030 agenda for sustainable development.https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld

The consultations identify four important themes that must be addressed in the M&E systems to assess SDGs with an equity-focused and gender-equality lens, in addition to goals 5 and 10:

  • Theme 1:  The relevance of “new metrics” (measurement tools and indicators) for the evaluation of SDGs from an equity-focused and gender-responsive perspective.
  • Theme 2:  Evaluation and complexity – Dealing with the increasing complexity of development and interconnectedness of SDGs to ensure “no one is left behind”
  • Theme 3:  Towards equity-focused and gender-responsive national evaluation systems – Multi-stakeholder partnerships to strengthen national evaluation capacities
  • Theme 4:  Demand for and use of evidence from equity-focused and gender responsive evaluation to inform equitable development

Each of these themes has different implications in different countries, regions, sectors and according to the type of organization.  Consequently we invite you to share your experiences and perspectives to assist the EvalGender+, UNEG, UN Women IEO teams in ensuring that the Guidance Note will reflect the diversity of experiences and perspectives in different countries, regions and types of organization.

 

Theme 1:  The relevance of “new metrics” (measurement tools and indicators) for the evaluation of SDGs from an equity-focused and gender-responsive perspective.

In recent years a number of “new metrics” have evolved which can potentially widen the range of indicators and measures available for the monitoring and evaluation of development results from equity and gender responsive perspectives. These include:

  • Data that can now be collected through mobile phones, tablets, internet, GPS mapping and other new information technologies
  • Big Data collected from satellites and drones, remote sensors, analysis of twitter and social media, mobile phone records, digital electronic transfers including purchase of mobile-phone air time and ATM withdrawals and crowdsourcing
  • Participatory consultations (e.g. Most Significant Change, Outcome Harvesting, PRA)
  • Concept mapping
  • Mixed methods evaluations and
  • Feminist research methods (e.g. oral history, feminist ethnography and content analysis, power relations, social justice and empowerment approaches)

Participants are invited to share their thoughts and experiences on the following questions (as well as others they propose)as they relate to equity-focused and gender responsive evaluation.

  • In your experience what are some of the limitations of current data collection methods and the kinds of indicators they produce?
  • What are the most difficult issues to measure with respect to social equity? and with respect to gender equality?
  • What are the new challenges for assessing sustainable social equity and gender equality?
  • What have proved some of the most effective methods?
  • In addition to those mentioned above, what other new metrics are you familiar with?
  • Which of the new metrics show the greatest promise?

Theme 2: Evaluation and complexity – Dealing with the increasing complexity of development and interconnectedness of SDGs to ensure “no one is left behind”

As SDGs are interconnected, national policies and programme to implement them will be complex. As programs grow in size and scope, the number of partners and stakeholders and in terms of the kinds of social and behavioral changes they seek to produce, they become more complex – both in terms of how they are designed and implemented, but also in terms of how they must be evaluated.  Complexity is defined in terms of: (a) the nature of the programme, (b) the number of partners and stakeholders and the patterns of interaction among them (including the level of consensus or disagreement among them on the goals of the programs), (c) the number of external (contextual) factors that influence how the programme is implemented and its outcomes and (d) the complexity of the causal chains through which outcomes are to be achieved.  A number of additional factors are particularly important for the evaluation of social equity and gender equality, including: (i) social and cultural constraints and pressures, (ii) the power relationships and social definition of gender relations and social equity, (iii) multiple influences on processes of behavioral change, (iv) the role of social media, and (v) the long, non-linear causal chains through which changes are produced.

Participants are invited to share their thoughts and experiences on the following questions (as well as others they propose) as they relate to equity-focused and gender responsive evaluation.

  • Which dimensions of complexity are most important in your work on social equity and gender equality?
  • How does complexity affect our understanding of the effectiveness of different interventions on the production of changes in social equity and gender equality?
  • What methods and approaches have you found most effective for understanding the outcomes of complex programs on social equity and gender equality?
  • The processes of change are long, involving many actors and contextual factors.  Also the processes are not linear as advances on one front often involve set-backs on others.  What kinds of evaluation strategies have you found most effective in these complex scenarios?
  • What are the special challenges for understanding the impacts of different interventions on the most vulnerable populations?  What evaluation methods are most effective for studying these very sensitive processes of change?

Theme 3: Towards equity-focused and gender-responsive national evaluation systems – Multi-stakeholder partnerships to strengthen national evaluation capacities

 

The SDGs pose challenges for national evaluation systems as the SDGs require the involvement of a broader range of stakeholders, a broadening of the range of indicators to be measured and the methodological and organizational problems required to assess sustainability which requires collecting data over a much longer period of time.  Many programmes are intended to produce benefits that continue over five or even ten years and the evaluation must (ideally) continue over all of this period.  So instead of conventional evaluations that often only cover the 3-5 years of project implementation, the SDG evaluations may be required to continue for twice as long.  The application of a social equity and gender equality lens will often present additional challenges for national evaluation systems, including the fact that the evaluation of gender outcomes and impacts is often the weakest part of many national evaluation systemsand the methodologies for evaluating social equity are also not well developed in many countries (or in the evaluation literature in general).  Given resource constraints of many evaluation agencies, it will often not be possible to consider specialized evaluations that focus exclusively on equity and gender, and it will be necessary to adapt standard M&E methodologies to address these issues.  It will be important to consider the extent to which some of the multi-shareholder partnerships can bring in agencies with expertise in these areas and with additional resources that may permit the selective application of gender and equity focused data collection and analysis methodologies

 

Participants are invited to share their thoughts and experiences on the following questions (as well as others they propose) as they relate to equity focused and gender-responsive evaluation.

  • In your experience what will be the main challenges that national evaluation systems will face when evaluating social equity and gender equality?
  • In the countries with which you are familiar, how well established are the methodologies for evaluating these two areas.
  • Which kinds of organization have the most experience in the evaluation of these two areas?  Are these organizations already part of the national evaluation systems?  If not, what will be required to ensure their active involvement?
  • What kinds of evaluation capacity development will be required to strengthen the capacity of the national evaluation systems to address these issues?
  • What are the example of successful partnership in your country or in your area of work to strengthen M&E systems in general, and equity-focused and gender-responsive systems in particular?
  • What are the opportunities and challenges for such partnerships?

Theme 4:  Demand for and use of evidence from equity-focused and gender responsive evaluation to inform equitable development

 

Experience from all regions and sectors shows that one of the biggest challenges facing evaluation systems is the very low rate of utilization of evaluations.  In many cases evaluation findings do not reach many of the key organizations and groups (including community and women’s organizations), in other cases they are not presented in a form which is easily accessible to some groups, particularly the most vulnerable.  Even when evaluations are reviewed, action is often not taken on many of the recommendations.  These challenges are likely to be even more serious for social equity and gender equality as these themes are less familiar to many organizations and the mechanisms to review and action are often less developed.

 

Participants are invited to share their thoughts and experiences on the following questions (as well as others they propose) as they relate to equity focused and gender-responsive evaluation.

  • In your experience what are the factors affecting the demand for and use of evaluation?
  • Are there additional factors affecting the demand and utilization of social equity and gender equality evaluations?
  • How could the demand and utilization of these evaluations be increased?
  • What types of evaluation presentations would you propose to make evaluation more accessible to stakeholders?

 

 

 

Views: 4279

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

AGDEN is currently busy with a study in Benin, South Africa and Uganda looking at the gender-responsiveness of the National M&E systems. Although the data is only being collected at present some learnings of South Africa is relevant for this discussion.

The Government Wide M&E System (National M&E System) has transformed from what focused more on monitoring to evaluation. This has significant implications when looking at evaluation (and evaluation systems) in isolation. For one it brings a temporal aspect to the diagnosis and moves away from a "perfect system" to look at the system at present and how the system (whether it is well developed and evolved) are responsive to gender and equality. 

Although the monitoring and evaluation (and planning) functions can be regarded on their own, they form one system and looking only at one aspect gives a simplistic picture (e.g. having gender responsive indicators for evaluations are removed from making all performance monitoring indicators gender responsive). It is systemic changes that are needed for both. Enabling factors seem to vary and include legislative compliance (especially for performance monitoring) and demand (for evaluations focusing on a specific gender theme). Partnerships and relationships between different role players from public (Departments in general, Department of Women and Department of Planning Monitoring and Evaluation specifically), civil society and private sectors (and in South African context the constitutional commissions) are critical.  

When it comes to our health systems data collection and M&E systems are mostly implemented in donor funded health projects. I am yet to see a project that has no funding ties calling for a baseline or midterm surveys or even asking for support to strengthen M&E system. Therefore the culture of M&E has not been completely sustained.

The challenge that I have faced when conducting Evaluations is the limited understanding for the need of carrying out and Evaluation. This is mostly by the team members in projects. There is a feeling that this is almost like auditing of accounts and the attitude expressed is that the Evaluator has been brought in to “check if work has been done”. There is therefore a need to aggressively build capacity in M&E to all members and empower one another on the need to collect quality data and use it for various decisions.

What you have said is very true that has been my experience also Evaluations are feared as like auditing of accounts. In both ways there is so much tension all round that the data collected might not reflect the true position of the situation.

In the capacity building I believe there is need to emphasis on the approach. To major on the strengths and bring out the weakness as a way of corrections

Theme 1:

  • In your experience what are some of the limitations of current data collection methods and the kinds of indicators they produce?

Some systems do not have data about gender, making it difficult to do analysis about equity. 

  • What are the most difficult issues to measure with respect to social equity? and with respect to gender equality?

the most difficult issues to measure are those that are related to the "why" - why are/are not measures of equity changing - and context - whether changes in those measures have a meaningful impact on the lives of women and/or other marginalized groups.

Here is an example: income equality. We may see gains in income equality in the years ahead. But why - is it because women are working more hours, so their aggregate incomes are higher than men's, even if men are working less? If a woman's income goes up, is her quality of life also improving, or it getting worse/staying the same because of issues like long hours and/or control over family finances?

My thinking is that we have to search for more user focused evaluation strategies. Some of these concepts SDGs are interested with e.g. inclusion, equity are in the hands of the beholder. To assess the impact of SDGs we have to ask the citizens, use tools like citizen report cards in a systematic and consistent manner. The easiest way is for countries to conduct baselines on quantitative indicators and put in place a mechanism to capture lessons learnt on locally agreed qualitative indicators. Again to me process evaluation approach is critical to utilize in implementing the SDGs, because it will trigger and sustain the learning aspect

 Luisa Belli, FAO, Rome

Thank you Rituu for this wonderful initiative you launched, and I understand is being finalized in these last few hours.

 Theme 1

I would like to address the issue of metrics in field work and usefulness of evaluations.

I wish to highlight that when we decide to ask questions and to liaise with an informant, we are becoming part of the entire picture, of that analysis. We will necessarily affect the results that will emerge from that consultation and interview.

 

As evaluators we are surely very aware of the importance of neutrality and independence, however we are never neutral, never fully independent. The eyes that are looking an object, the mind and the heart, our eyes, heart and mind are not neutral, since we are human beings.

 

We could honestly assume thoughts can lead the discussion in one direction or the other and that prejudgments are reducing opportunities for getting the “reality” of what we are observing.

 

Our thoughts, our intentions, can these affect the results of the discussion? The hypothesis, which seems plausible, is that our presence and our intention determine the results of our investigations.

 

Thinking to be able to collect information without affecting the results is pure illusions. Now, it would be better to ask ourselves, what type of results do I really want to collect? And what type of change would I like to affect, since in any case I’m affecting the reality with my presence, with my questions.

 

This is particularly evident when we are consulting people to ask about their lives, about changes in their lives, about problems and solutions and about facts, in other words what we actually do when we conduct consultations through interviews, focus group discussions etc. etc.  

 

Are we really open to listen to what is coming from the informants?

What kind of mind, heart should we have in order to listen and understand?

 

Is it plausible to think that an open mind, can determine an open discussion and no agenda, neither from the evaluator nor from the informants. That an open mind can lead to discussions that are closer to solutions or that are themselves solutions.

 

We need a lot of courage, as human beings to accept that changes are happening in the present moment. It doesn’t make any sense to reduce that 

moment to an “information gathering” process.

This strongly links the methodology and the evaluation process to the usefulness of the evaluation itself.

Such a process has a direct usefulness. After a similar process, all participants (even the evaluators) are enriched, empowered.

The privilege of being evaluators and conducting filed level analysis in my view should be systematically used to empower people, simply by listening to them with an open mind and an open heart and no judgement. This I think cannot be forgotten when we talk about tools, when we talk about professionalization of the evaluation function (since we need to develop different skills!) and about usefulness of the evaluations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Infant to 14 years and  Missing in the SDGs Goals and Indicators 

1. No indicators on children from  infant to 14 years in  Goal 5   or any other Goal

2. Missing Goal for children only.

 Example Goal 5
Target: 5.2 eliminate all forms of violence against all women and
girls in public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual
and other types of exploitation.

Proposed Indicators:

38. Prevalence of girls and women 15-49 who have experienced physical
or sexual violence [by an intimate partner] in the last 12 months.

It is evidence  that in all most every country  infant to 14 too faced
similar ? How do you measure this ?   Still troubles me .

Best regards
isha

Dear all,

At the NILERD ECOI ISST consultation and workshop held on 9th of March 2016, our group (Beryl Leach, Rajib Nandi, Sunita Palita and I) discussed Theme 4 of the query i.e. Demand for and use of evidence from equity-focused and gender responsive evaluation to inform equitable development.

We took a holistic approach to discussing the factors affecting the demand for and use of evaluations, factors for demand and utilization of social equity and gender equality evaluations, and the types of evaluation presentations that can be proposed to make evaluation more accessible to stakeholders. We felt that within the government a number of factors affect demand for evaluation including lack of incentives, complacency, high staff turnover (leading to change in focus and lack of incentive), and above all a lack of understanding about the intention and technique of evaluation. These concerns can be addressed by providing performance and career incentives, providing understanding on values of evaluation, on improving performance of the project (such that learnings/ best practices of a project can be replicated).

At the level of the implementing agency, conception of the program should take into account a credible and capable agency which would be gender responsive. At the level of the evaluators/researchers, demand and use depend on how theory based, mixed method, multi-disciplinary have been used in the evaluations, subject to availability of time and budget.

Overall, there is demand for evaluations if there is a suitable political economy and culture in the country; subject of course to the availability of time and budget. The evaluation is used if there is ownership of and participation in the study. (This is true for all stakeholders – including the community).

The evaluator or the evaluating agency should be engaged from the very conception of the project, so that

a)      it has clarity on the objectives of the project resulting to ownership of the project and evaluation is not reduced to a routine activity or as an activity on the check list, or even a fault finding exercise.

b)      the implementing agency has communication from the very beginning on the need for evaluations.

There is need to recognize the importance of mid-term evaluation – as a space for participation with scope for learning.

Theme one

 If we are looking at power relations, let us not forget those with other sexual identities.

 Last April 2014, The Supreme Court of India passed a judgement on issues of transgender , giving them the right to choose their gender identity and a whole range of development measures including status under Other backward class. Sadly, a recent study in Punjab indicates that school drop rate is high in transgender children http://www.hindustantimes.com/punjab/school-dropout-rate-among-tran...
 

Systemic participatory Action research, Participatory statistics India and Nepal

Funded by the Freedom Fund,  IDS has been directing  a systemic participatory action research process which involves working across 18 NGOs of Geneva Global  across UP and Bihar states in India. The process so far has involved a participatory story analysis with 8 NGOs.

To overcome challenges of estimating changes in the magnitude of various forms of slavery introduced participatory statistics has been facilitated across 60 villages. The aim was to  combining participatory approaches with statistical principles to generate robust data for assessing impact of slavery eradication. The work is currently being extended to Nepal.

Read Navigating Complexity in International Development: Facilitating sustainable change at scale
Danny Burns and Stuart Worsley - 2015

 

RSS

© 2017   Created by Rituu B Nanda.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service