By: Fabiola Amariles Erazo
(SPANISH VERSION POSTED ON THE SPANISH GROUP OF THIS COMMUNITY-EVALGENERO)
The monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of development projects, programs, and policies with a gender-transforming approach has become an important entry point for measuring and valuing actions that seek equal rights and opportunities for men and women.
At the same time, there is increasing recognition of the value of gender and equity analysis in the management of organizations linked to sustainable development. It has been demonstrated that institutions can have greater impact on the recipients of development programs when their own processes, structures, and programming are democratic and equitable.
This is how some M&E methodologies (qualitative and quantitative methods for collecting and analyzing data) have merged with Organizational Development (OD) tools (i.e., Appreciative Inquiry, Institutional Change Framework) to achieve a better understanding of organizations. As Campbell and McClintock1 predicted in 2002, "OD-based evaluation can be an important tool in the process of creating dynamic and self-renewable organizations".
We at redWIM, the LAC Women in Management network, have confirmed this hypothesis in each M&E experience that shows positive changes in the lives of women. Since its creation two decades ago, redWIM has been working from different fronts to help identify the changes that organizations require so that their strategies, processes, and operations are gender-equitable and contribute to the sustainability of their results.
The celebration of its 20th anniversary in Cali, Colombia was the right moment to reflect on the achievements and on how we can act to overcome the persistent gender gaps in organizations and thus contribute more to equitable development.
Among the emerging issues and the questions that we must answer in the short term are:
As our founding partner Lidia Heller discusses in her editorial article (in Spanish), despite the legal, political, social and cultural advances of women in the last 20 years, situations of inequality and injustice for women persist. Most indicators of gender gaps show us that we are not making enough effort to achieve gender equality.
Dr. Heller identifies three avenues for change: culture, organizational practices, and individual behaviors. As redWIM, we have the firm intention of working in these three areas to contribute to social change.
It is a fact that we must move from rhetoric to action, focusing on what we want to change, with participatory methods centered on people. For the work in M&E, the development of competencies is prioritized, especially the soft ones that will help to move from the technical skills of knowing “what to do and how to do it” to the “how to be” evaluators with full awareness and decision to promote and act on the transformations needed to achieve an egalitarian society.
The redWIM, together with ReLAC and the regional evaluation networks AGDEN (Africa) and CoE-SA (South Asia), as members of EvalGender+, have built a Competency Profile for evaluators and change actors that promote and apply the gender perspective with cultural sensitivity in evaluations. This tool, which is under continuous review and update, will strengthen capacity building programs and is expected to facilitate gender equity work and evaluation in other regions.
The Cali meeting also allowed us to reflect collectively on other actions that, from the field of evaluation, could contribute to moving more rapidly towards social change:
To paraphrase Campbell and McClintock, "the evaluation, as a good OD, should make both donors and managers of development programs and projects feel a little uncomfortable, introspective and possibly a bit defensive, as well as appreciative and curious".
 Campbell, M. y McClintock (2002). Shall we dance? Program Evaluation Meets OD in the Nonprofit Sector.
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