Last year the global community marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995). In the context of this milestone and the asymmetrical gendered impact of the COVID-19 pandemic- the virtual “Dialogue on Good Practices in Gender Responsive Evaluation was organised by the Asia Pacific Evaluation association, Eval Gender+ and UN Women. to learn about the latest contributions applying a gender equality lens to evaluation
The webinar was well-received and saw the participation of more than 100 evaluation practitioners and individuals from development organisations and academia. The dialogue presented an overview of gender-responsive and feminist evaluation frameworks, while also sharing real-time experiences of experts in the field of evaluation on the application of these frameworks in the region. The challenges, lessons learnt and recommendations on how to best apply gender responsive evaluation were also shared in a lively discussion.
- The keynote speech was given by Sabrina Evangelista (Regional Evaluation Specialist, UN Women) who shared with the participants, the fundamentals of GRE, followed by highlighting good practices (IFAD, UNFPA and UN Women) in the field. The presentation was based on the Good Practices in Gender-Responsive document produced by UN Women Independent Evaluation Service with the generous support of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.
- Rose Thompson Coon (Evaluation Specialist, UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia) elaborated on the aspects of adaptation of a feminist evaluation framework in the evaluation on the gender effectiveness of the UNICEF South Asia COVID response. An unbiased review of what has and has not worked for the organization in using a feminist approach and in operationalizing a gender scale was presented, along with the acquired experiences of what was learnt from this process.
- Dolgion Aldar (Coordinator, Mongolian Evaluation Network and Consultant, UNDP Timor-Leste) shared her recent experience in conducting the socio-economic impact assessment of COVID-19 in Timor-Leste using a gender lens. It was evident from her presentation that the conduct of the study provided an assessment of the state of affairs in the country with respect to its response to COVID-19, with a focus on the analysis of gender differences at the individual and the household level.
- Sushila C Nepali (Life member for Community of Evaluator Nepal, Member of South Asia) spoke on the challenges, gaps and ways forward of employing GRE in the context of Nepal. She gave vital insight into the need for conceptual clarity on this theme and emphasized the need for gender responsive approaches in the plans, projects and policies of a nation, whilst also underscoring the importance of institutionalizing this approach.
- Akiko Yuge (Japan Evaluation Society, Professor, Hosei University, Japan) discussed the issues and challenges in gender responsive evaluations, speaking from a management perspective and from that of a development practitioner. She elaborated on the approaches employed by her in the past, as well as recommendations for the future, to counter the multiplicity of issues in incorporating a gender responsive approach in organizations and what interventions are necessary at the staff level to ensure this approach is followed and its positive results are sustained overtime.
Considering only 27% of the audience responded in the affirmative to an in-meeting poll asking them if they have applied a Gender Responsive Framework for an evaluation in the past 2 years; the webinar, through the informed wisdom of the speakers, provided important insight on how to use gender analytical frameworks, the resources that can provide valuable learning on this theme as well as the issues, challenges and recommendations for implementation of GRE on the field. The webinar concluded with a participatory Q&A session with the speakers, ensuring that the attendees get the opportunity to engage in a one-on-one dialogue with pioneers in the field of evaluation.
The webinar was brief yet comprehensive, covering a variety of topics- from taking a closer look at granular data for employing GRE frameworks in nations to advocating for changes needed at the institutional and policy-making level for a more gender integrative approach in the evaluation process. The first in a series of such webinars, its aim was to inspire practitioners to use a feminist evaluation lens, with the endeavour to produce transformative change as envisioned in the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development.