Learning about the principles of feminist evaluation. The experience of community rural development projects (Colombia).

By Alexandra Santillana (Global Affairs Canada), Fabiola Amariles & Ana Isabel Arenas (Learning for Impact).


With our best wishes for 2021 with health and well-being, we would like to share with the Gender and Evaluation community, our recent publication for the initiative "Significant Learning in Participatory Evaluation", about a pilot experience in which we applied some feminist evaluation principles and participatory data collection methods in community development projects in rural Colombia.

This experience is part of the Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) of the Canadian Cooperation, which aims to eradicate poverty and build a more peaceful, inclusive, and prosperous world. Canada strongly believes that promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is the most effective approach to achieving this goal.

According to an article by the International Center for Women's Studies "Defining Feminist Foreign Policy" (2019), there are currently only three countries that have explicit feminist foreign policies: Sweden (2014), Canada (2017), and France (as of March 2019 ).

We trust that these experiences of reflection on feminist principles in evaluation processes contribute to a better understanding of the local gender contexts where development interventions are practiced, and therefore to better evaluation results. We also hope that we have contributed to strengthening FIAP in the Canadian government's development assessments.

We invite you to read the full article at the following link:

ENGLISH VERSION:  https://evalparticipativa.net/en/2020/10/29/we-never-stop-learning-...

Your feedback will be highly appreciated. Thank you. 

Alexandra, Fabiola and Ana Isabel


Aprendizajes sobre los principios de la evaluación feminista. La experiencia de proyectos comunitarios de desarrollo rural (Colombia).

Por Alexandra Santillana (Global Affairs Canada), Fabiola Amariles y Ana Isabel Arenas (Learning for Impact).

Con nuestros mejores augurios por un 2021 con salud y bienestar, queremos compartir con la comunidad de Gender and Evaluation nuestro artículo reciente publicado por la iniciativa “Aprendizajes Significativos en Evaluación Participativa”.

Se trata de una experiencia piloto en la que aplicamos algunos de los principios de la evaluación feminista, así como métodos participativos de recolección de datos, en proyectos comunitarios de desarrollo rural en Colombia.

Esta experiencia se enmarca en la Política Feminista de Asistencia Internacional (FIAP, su sigla en inglés) de la Cooperación Canadiense, la cual tiene por objeto erradicar la pobreza y construir un mundo más pacífico, más inclusivo y próspero. Canadá cree firmemente que la promoción de la igualdad entre los géneros y el empoderamiento de las mujeres y las niñas es el enfoque más eficaz para lograr ese objetivo.

Según un artículo del Centro Internacional para Estudios de la Mujer “Definiendo la Política Exterior Feminista” (2019), actualmente existen solo tres países que poseen políticas exteriores explícitamente feministas: Suecia (2014), Canadá (2017) y Francia (desde marzo de 2019).

Confiamos en que estas experiencias de reflexión sobre los principios feministas en los procesos evaluativos contribuyan a una mejor comprensión de los contextos locales de género donde se practican las intervenciones del desarrollo, y por ende a unos mejores resultados de las evaluaciones.

También esperamos haber contribuido a afianzar la FIAP en las evaluaciones del desarrollo del gobierno canadiense.

Les invitamos a leer el artículo completo en el siguiente enlace:

VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL:  https://evalparticipativa.net/2020/10/29/seguimos-aprendiendo-princ...  

Apreciaremos mucho sus comentarios. 

Alexandra, Fabiola y Ana Isabel  


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Comment by Rituu B Nanda on January 21, 2021 at 19:23

Thanks Fabiola! Great application of MSC and use of evaluation findings.

Comment by Fabiola Amariles on January 21, 2021 at 8:52

Dear Rituu, thank you for reading the blog. I would also recommend downloading the booklet produced for the project in collaboration with participants in the exercise, it explains the process in a more detailed way. You will find it at the link provided in the referred article:  https://evalparticipativa.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SGDE-EDRMS...

With regard to your specific questions:

1. The question "Specify the most significant change or transformation with regard to gender" was asked to two of the groups participating in the evaluation: (i) women and men of the target group, in separate sub-groups each; (ii) members of the executing agency team. 

2. It may be a translation mistake, we did not mean that it was not participatory but that it was not an evaluation per se, i.e. it did not comply with the components of an evaluation. We built this exercise to contribute to data collection for an evaluation already in place, using a feminist participatory approach. That's why we decided to call it a "reflection process" within an evaluation. 

By the way, I must say that not calling it an "evaluation" during the data collection process helped people give their answers in a more honest way and without hiding the possible problems that the project could have in terms of biases or other gender issues. You usually find this resistance in "standard" evaluations.  

Comment by Rituu B Nanda on January 20, 2021 at 13:46

Hi dear Fabiola, what a pleasure it was to read your blog. Thank you! I have two queries:

1. Loved your question on MSC "Specify the most significant change or transformation with regard to gender " whom did you ask this question? NGO or community

2. You mention that  "This experience, which took place between May and November 2018, was not strictly speaking a participatory evaluation" what would you do next time to make it participatory?

I look forward to your responses as Participation is where my heart is:-) 

Comment by Fabiola Amariles on January 19, 2021 at 10:34
I am glad that you enjoyed reading it. This experience fits within our common interest of working on “how” to operationalize the gender transformative approach. Hugs and take care!
Comment by SONAL ZAVERI on January 19, 2021 at 10:14

Thanks for sharing Fabiola! Very interesting read!

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