By way of introduction, my name is Jane Whynot and I currently serve as one of the Program Co-Chairs of AEA’s Feminist Issues in Evaluation TIG. Super sorry to have missed you this year in Cleveland but delighted that I can share some of the highlights with you via AEA365. Gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) is Canadian tailored gender mainstreaming approach to intersectional analysis. It’s also been mandated for our federal government evaluation function. It’s more than a straightforward tool; it’s also been conceptualized as a process, an output, and importantly a competency for your evaluator toolbelt. Once you start thinking this way about who can/or can’t access, and participate in interventions including evaluation, it’s hard to unsee.
Use of GBA+ in evaluations can be thought of in a similar way to evaluation use itself and includes conceptual, instrumental, process, and symbolic applications. Talking about integrating GBA+ in evaluation amongst stakeholders invariably leads to changes in understanding. As a result of GBA+ and evaluation discussions we’ve seen department networks formed, lunch and learn events occur, interagency working groups develop. The possibilities are infinite, especially when senior leadership is on board. Thanks to JT, GBA+ is everywhere including dedicated chapters in our federal budget!
- Dig in and explore the various kinds of literature. You may have to do some background preparation to demonstrate to decision-makers at the program and senior management levels why it’s important to include GBA+ in your evaluation efforts. For those most vulnerable/affected by an issue it’s critical to remember that their concerns may not be represented in the academic literature. Go beyond and look to the grey literature including media accounts, and conference proceedings to ensure that diverse perspectives are well represented. If they aren’t, how/can these be included in your evaluation?
- Integrating GBA+ in evaluation needs to be planned for because it requires time, expertise, capacity and money. But like any planning effort, efforts invested at the front end go a long way during implementation.
- This is a long-haul effort to increase diversity, and embrace inclusion. Competencies and capacities are being developed by the federal evaluation function but driving without a roadmap is difficult. This is where quality criteria would be helpful; thanks to the work of various academics we know that any quality criteria standards need to consider both the process, and outcomes of integrating GBA+ in evaluation.
- Status of Women Canada’s online GBA+ tool. While the course isn’t tailored for evaluators, it’s a solid introduction to learning how to think differently about access and participation by diverse individuals. And its free!
- For those interested in evaluation with intersectionality embedded within systems the new Inclusive Systemic Evaluation for Gender Equality, Environments and Marginalized Voices ISE4GEMs: A New Approach For The SDG Era from UNWomen conceptually holds a lot of promise.
- On the quantitative end (because you need both QUAL and QUANT for intersectional research), Janet Siltanen’s toolkit on quantitative analysis for complex inequalities plus her later articles on feminist regression analysis are super interesting.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.