Summary: discussion on challenges to integrating gender into evaluation

Query: Challenges to integrate gender equality into evaluation (Cross posting of Gender and Evaluation community with National Evaluation Capacities NEC community, UNDP)

Query poser: Paola De Orte

List of respondents: Jolanda, Minal Mehta, Paola De Orte shared Rakotonandrasana’s response, Rajib Nandi &  Rituu B Nanda

Find query & detailed responses :

 Summary of responses

Members listed several challenges for integrating gender into evaluation. Members noted that the terminology is confusing for many- are equity focused and gender responsive evaluation different from feminist evaluation? Then these kind of evaluations are limited to a small group of practitioners. Many of those associated with evaluation feel that gender experts or those experienced in the approach can conduct equity focused and gender focused evaluation. Therefore, respondents observed that there is a lack of understanding and capacity on the evaluation approach. Many are not aware where they can avail resources to build their capacity. Additionally, most of the literature available on feminist evaluation is academic and very technical.

Respondents said that commitment at policy level is essential to ensure equity focused and gender responsive evaluations are conducted at national level. Elaborating on this, respondents noted these challenges- lack of political will, lack of appropriate program planning, monitoring and evaluation methods and weak implementation of laws. So, the main issue is the advocacy to the national government to mainstream gender equality issue in policy and interventions. Policy makers and government officials should be convinced that the gender is one of the obstacles in achieving inclusive and sustainable development. Communication on values of equity focused gender responsive evaluations to the policy makers or the agencies those commission/undertake evaluations continues to be a difficult task. However, a member was happy to share that Madagascar has established a Ministry, which promotes the gender equality.

Not many projects have gender as primary focus, members said. Further, the projects should have an M&E system, which has gender sensitive indicators. A respondent shared her experience in program evaluation of MDG-3 goal "Increase Women Political Leadership" and observed that systems are in place in many places but very little is done to learn from challenges and successes on a daily basis. Another striking element is that when equality is the core value to be evaluated; evidence based evaluation needs to be processed on the basis of diversity of social groups among men and women, in their role as change makers and in their role as change users; however this requires high professionalism in use of research. 

In sum, to allow the integration of the gender equality approaches into evaluation, there should be policies, interventions and national projects focused on gender and equity. Building capacity of evaluators will be key to ensure evaluations are conducted from gender and equity lens.


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Comment by Rituu B Nanda on February 3, 2015 at 12:48
  • Thomas Thinakaran

    Due to some problem not able to participate in the discussion now it is ok. Gender has become a table diet of NGOs, I work along with them. Any program or project evaluation contains gender evaluation, but the situation still remains the same.

Comment by Rhonda Schlangen on January 15, 2015 at 21:53

Thanks very much, Rituu! This succinct summary is indeed very helpful.

Comment by Rituu B Nanda on January 15, 2015 at 8:28

Julaine, you have raised a critical point. If you read the detailed responses most respondents pondered on equity. I will add your response to the main discussion and also to the summary. Thank you and warm greetings!

Comment by Julaine Allan on January 15, 2015 at 3:41
Rituu, thank you very much for this summary. It is very useful in describing the challenges of gender evaluation. I think there is a difference between equity and equality and the terms are not interchangeable. It could be helpful to decide which term is preferred and how this shapes goals for programs and for evaluations.

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