AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators

TAG | gender equity

Hello, I am Laura Gagliardone. For about twelve years, I have worked for the UN System and NGOs as Program Development and Evaluation, and Communications Specialist; and galvanized the international community on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Relevance: Among all Global Goals, there is one – Goal 5: Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment – which we all are called to prioritize as we need women’s support to implement the SDGs by 2030.

Hot Tip: Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world. When women and girls are provided with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes, they become empowered and happier colleagues, partners, mothers, sisters, and daughters.

Hot Tip: Question yourself on how women live their life and spend their time daily. Conduct research and analyze Time Use Surveys (TUSs): irregular national surveys conducted to collect information about how people use their time. Find out the areas of women’s employment and evidence on how including them in the labor market would benefit the economy. Prepare recommendations focusing on: paid and unpaid work, program design, policy development, and psychological factors for mentality and behavior changes.

Lessons Learned: In 2015, I have conducted a research and prepared a study on the ‘Women’s Allocation of Time in India, Indonesia, and China’ since time is a direct source of utility, and how people spend it impacts economic growth, gender equality, and sustainable development. Through TUSs, the report presents data which can be utilized as basis for understanding, measuring and monitoring the society over which policies can be formulated, assessed, and modified. In India, the findings show that women’s work is often scattered, sporadic, and poorly diversified, and they spend long hours on unpaid work. Therefore it is recommendable to (1) reduce and redistribute unpaid work by providing infrastructures and services; (2) design programs to improve women’s skills and enable them to access better jobs and enter new sectors as wage earners and entrepreneurs; and (3) design policies to improve the management of natural resources. In Indonesia, the lessons learned suggest that (4) mentality and behavior changes are to be encouraged and promoted. Women are meaningfully engaged in all three areas of work (productive, reproductive and community) and the opportunity for additional economic interventions targeted to them has great economic and social transformative potential. In China, there has been a reduction of poverty incidence and the private sector, through job creation and income generation, has assisted this process, while support within families and strong work ethics have made further invaluable contributions. Yet, women’s poverty still exists and is chronic in some rural areas.

Report available through EmpowerWomen.org (funded by the Government of Canada and facilitated by UN Women): Women’s Allocation of Time in India, Indonesia, and China.

Women's Allocation of Time in India, Indonesia and China

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating International and Cross-Cultural (ICCE) TIG Week with our colleagues in the International and Cross-Cultural Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our ICCE TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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Hi!  This is Michael Bamberger, an Independent Consultant specializing in the evaluation of social development and gender programs.  Over the past few years I have worked with United Nations organizations, bi-lateral programs and NGOs helping strengthen their evaluations of their gender equity policies.

Most international development agencies have now defined the promotion of gender equality (or gender equity) as one of their development goals, and most conduct periodic evaluations to assess the extent to which their programs and policies contribute to strengthening the economic, social and political empowerment of women and the reduction of the differences between women and men on these dimensions.  However, many of these evaluations tend to over-estimate the positive effects of their programs on promoting gender equality and frequently under-estimate or even ignore some of the negative outcomes of these programs. Frequently the evaluations only interview the women participating in the project, and produce glowing reports on the significant benefits, but fail to talk to women who did not participate.  The failure to identify negative outcomes is unfortunately very common and has serious implications.

Hot Tips:

  • Build into the Terms of Reference for the evaluation a requirement that the evaluators, even when working on a limited budget and under time-constraints, must identify and interview women (and where appropriate men) who did not benefit from the project.
  • Assess carefully the evaluation methodology to ensure that it is capable of identifying unintended outcomes.  Many evaluation methodologies such as results-based evaluations, many theories of change, and most experimental and quasi-experimental designs only measure the extent to which intended results have been achieved and are not able to capture unintended outcomes.
  • Be aware that many evaluations only obtain information from people directly involved in the program, most of whom will be reluctant to criticize the program which pays their salary.
  • In most communities there are people who are familiar with the program being evaluated and its effects, but who are not directly involved and who are able to provide a more balanced perspective.  Examples include: the district nurse (who usually knows almost all of the women in the community), the police chief (a useful source in cases of domestic violence), women’s organizations, school teachers and local religious leaders.
  • Use a mixed methods design that combines quantitative and qualitative data and that emphasizes the importance of triangulation to increase validity by systematically comparing information collected from different sources.

Rad Resources:  The World Bank “Gender and Transport” website illustrates many of the challenges and unintended consequences for women and girls of transport initiates which are assumed to be “gender neutral”.  Module 2 identifies the challenges and Module 5 identifies tools, including research tools, for promoting gender equity in this sector.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Feminist Issues in Evaluation (FIE) TIG Week with our colleagues in the FIE Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our FIE TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

 

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