Recommendations to ensure that VOPEs are gender responsive and promote gender responsive evaluation

Dear colleagues,

In preparation for several global and regional VOPE events this fall, we are doing a needs assessment of how to ensure that VOPEs (Volunteer Organizations for Professional Evaluation) are gender responsive and promote gender responsive evaluation. 

1) What can be done to ensure that VOPEs (Volunteer Organizations for Professional Evaluation) are gender responsive and promote gender responsive evaluation?

2) How can individual VOPE members, VOPE leadership contribute, or what are the necessary changes in the enabling environment in which VOPEs operate?.

We  envision that compiled findings can be incorporated into VOPE strategy and action planing. We would appreciate your timely feedback by Friday October 20, 2017.

Thank you,

Svetana Negroustoueva

EvalGender+ Co-Chair  

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Hi Ms. Negroustoueva, thanks for enhancing constructive dialogue on how to ensure that VOPEs are gender responsive and promote gender responsive evaluations (OVERALL GOAL). In this regards, I am going to provide my insights below:

OBJECTIVE 1: Participation and Inclusion

1.1 Agreement upon methods for measuring the criteria

1.2 Attention to qualitative indicators of participation and inclusion (age groups, logistic constraints, exposure to positive models, and others)

1.3 Focus on group participation with special attention to vulnerable people (disabled, and others)

OBJECTIVE 2: Equality and Non-discrimination

2.1 Mapping of opportunities for empowerment

2.2 Analysis of challenges for women and men to access such opportunities and relationships (cultural beliefs, stereotypes, logistic constraints, and others)

2.3 Attention to who the agents of change are or might be (role models, testimonials, social networks and media, and others)

OBJECTIVE 3: Social Transformation

3.1 Mapping of stakeholders involved

3.2 Qualitative and quantitative indicators on behavior changes, mentality changes, social changes, and social transformation

3.3 Attention to transformation sustainability.

With the hope that it helps, I wish a pleasant week.

Warm regards, Laura Gagliardone

Dear Laura,

Thank you for such a detailed and action-oriented response. I was wondering, if it is it based on your work, engagements within VOPE?  I am sure others may be interested in how to operationalize some of the suggested elements.



Dear Svetlana,

Glad that you have found some interesting elements in my response.

The inputs I have provided are the result of my personal elaboration of the knowledge I have acquired through the EvalPartners/EVALSDGs ( group which I am a member of and several trainings conducted by USAID and affiliated networks. You have asked for what is important to make sure that VOPEs (I assume across regions and countries) are gender responsive and promote gender responsive evaluations and, to me, those are the key points not to forget.

Last but not least, I like elaborating on what I know and I learn and I thank you for having offered the possibility to share some insights.

Have a nice day,

Laura Gagliardone

Dear Svetlana, 

This is a great initiative, and it is so difficult to attain some consistency in gender-responsive policies/evaluation.  I've found in some of my own work that it is useful to return back to remind myself of some core research methods principles, and especially to be aware of how to consider and where the fluctuating power dynamics in any situation.  In particular, Joey Sprague's 'Feminist Methodologies for Critical Researchers' offers clear cut descriptions of consideration of standpoint with quite clear examples which could be useful for VOPE members. Power dynamics are created/adjust in gender/response, but they can also be sustained against our intentions if we miss something.  

Warm Regards, 


Thank you Sabrina. So if we were to look at your response in terms of level of interventions, would it be at "enabling environment and organizational level" for policies and methods/principles for individuals?


Dear Svetlana, 

Yes, enabling for individuals, but the importance of understanding your standpoint in gender-responsive policies is also about enabling the populations you aim to serve, and this requires people who are aware of power-dynamics, sensitive to them, and able to apply them in what they do. 

Hall Svetlana,

Thank you for this conversation. I have a few points to contribute to this. VOPEs first need to start with self assessments of where they stand at present in relation to their gender responsiveness. The areas of assessment could be on a VOPE's membership, leadership, projects/initiatives and trainings..the list can be longer than this.

The lessons from the assessment will inform the next steps. But my observation as lessons from a VOPE leader would be on the following:

1. Deliberately providing for a gender responsive organisational structure both board/executive level and technical level. We could start by balancing numbers of all genders and take it higher to their contribution.

2. Engage a gender responsive approach to planning and budgeting by financing projects that are gender responsive.

3.Capacity building at all times should be geared towards gender responsiveness to facilitate meaningful participation including professionalisation.

Individual members need to identify gender responsive initiatives and support their VOPEs to implement them.

Dear Josephine,

It was great to meet you at IDEAS conference. Believe it or not, I would like to pick the topic we discussed in 2017. In fact, EvalGender+ has conducted a survey of VOPEs on the topic of their responsiveness. Happy to share results and discuss 


Dear Svetana,

In 2014 the European Evaluation Society Gender and Evaluation Thematic Working Group and the Gender Equality and Human Rights TWG of the Latin American and the Caribbean Network for Monitoring, Evaluation and Systematization (ReLAC) were selected by EvalPartners to develop “Guidelines for including a gender+ perspective in VOPEs: innovating to improve institutional capacities” under the ‘EvalPartners’ Equity-Focused and Gender-Responsive Evaluation Innovation Challenge competition’.

Julia Espinosa and myself from the EES and Alejandra Faúndez and Marisa Weinstein fro ReLAC worked on a participatory consultation process and the Guidelines saw the light in 2015 both in English and Spanish. We are very proud and happy with the results and already know that its application has been useful (for ex. the Iberian Association of Evaluation Professionals -APROEVAL- applied them).

I think they can be useful to you, as we tried to answer to the questions in your post!

Looking for the link to provide you with it, I have just discovered that they are not uploaded anymore in the Evalpartners or Evalgender+ website! Which I think is a pity! Or at least I could not easily found them...

So I provide here the link to download them from the EES website

I hope they can be useful to you, and we will be very happy to have some feedback on that.

Best regards, María Bustelo

Thank you Maria. I have indeed used the document that you a referring to. It was written before EvalGender+ was launched and the official adoption of SDGs. Based on the description and my discussion with Julia was based on European and South-Central America experiences. We are hoping to expand the knowledge base and develop strategies on how to operationalize it recognizing SDGs and the convening power of EG+




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