Challenges to Gender Equality Integration in National Evaluations

I come from India. I would like to share some thought on some of my thoughts on barriers to integrating gender equality within national evaluation systems in my context When a government scheme is formulated by a Ministry, it is appraised by the Project Appraisal and Management Division of the Planning Commission. There is a standard guideline for Appraisal which looks at target group and area, scheme relevance, cost-effectiveness, budget available, institutional capacity, monitoring and evaluation systems, planning for sustainability. Depending on the sensitivity of the person heading the unit, gender and equity concerns get assessed. Most Ministries have to form a Results Framework Document (RFD) which outlines vision, mission, objectives, output, outcome and impact indicators, means of verification and assumptions. A study in process by Atmavilas (forthcoming) shows that gender specific RFDs refer to women, girls, education, cycles, income etc but rarely address strategic gender identities. Interlocking identities and exclusions are not accounted for. The non gender specific ones do not even do that. Another mechanism for evaluation is through the Independent Office of Evaluation. The guidelines of Independent office of Evaluations make no referenece to gender issues in evaluation design and analysis (Atmavilas, forthcoming). My own review of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme suggests a partial integration of gender and equality issues into evaluation. The focus of the evaluation included one criterion assessing participation of women and marginalised groups, receipt of equal wages and this was equated with women's empowerment. However the remaining 11 criteria of evaluation werre gender-social blind (Murthy, 2014). So what are the barriers? The barriers include: I) Need to strengthen gender and equity capacity within bureaucracy and organisations commissioned for evaluations or supporting forming RFDs ii) The presence of trained gender and equity focal point varies, and they are not placed high enough in Departments iii) People aware of gender and equity concerns are not necessarily experts on evaluations and quantitative methods, and the other way around iv) Gender and equity criteria need to be better integrated into evaluation guidelines- evaluation criteria, evaluation team, evaluation stakeholder, methodology, analysis and dissemination of findings Iv) Lack of a checklist of gender and equity indicators across sectors and schemes v) Lack of consultancies to engendering evaluation guidelines of Independent Office of Evaluations. vi) Courses on gender do not much emphasise M and E, and courses on evaluations do not emphasise gender and equity vii) Need for gender and equity expertise in designing RFDs is limited. Need to put gender and equity indicators there Source: Atmavilas, Y, forthcoming, State Evaluation and Accountability Mechanisms:Where do Gender and Equity Criteria Figure?, Indian Social Studies Trust, New Delhi Murthy, R.K, Meta-Evaluation of Government’s Evaluation Studies on Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act from a Gender lens, ISST, New Delhi


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Comment by Ranjani K.Murthy on January 16, 2015 at 8:32

Dear Rituu

Thanks so much. An unedited version was posted in unteamworks first!



Comment by Rituu B Nanda on January 15, 2015 at 17:14

Thanks Ranjani. I have also shared this link in response to the discussion on challenges to gender and equity focused evaluation

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