Feminist TIG Week: Svetlana Negroustoueva on Conducting gender-responsive Monitoring and Evaluation

I am Svetlana Negroustoueva, chair of the Feminist TIG and an expert in gender-responsive M&E of international development projects across sectors. I believe that M&E is an underutilized vehicle to enrich knowledge on gender and vulnerability issues. Gender-responsive M&E processes are important for ensuring that targets are met and outcomes and impacts can be assessed in relation to changes in the situation of women and girls, men and boys, and vulnerable populations.

Hot tip: When time and capacities preclude a proper gender analysis, use existing research to help identify gender and other socio-economic gaps at the outset of project design or M&E planning. Google USAID or other country or sector specific gender analysis documents, or Demographic and Health Survey data, or operations research.

Hot tip: Research gender policies of the project’s funder; most OECD donors such as USAID, DFID, Council of Europe, EU,  CIDA, and different agencies in the UN System, have those in place.  Check for evidence of their use in project documents that goes beyond the collection of sex-disaggregated data.

Lesson Learned: When developing questions, ensure that at least one evaluation (sub) question is related to advancing gender equality and/or women’s empowerment in the sectorial context. For example: Has the project developed a gender sensitive program approach to assist alternative energy project developers, businesses and consumers? Has the project reduced gender gaps in private financing advisory and mentoring services?

Hot tip: Relevant evaluation approaches and methods, such as feminist, empowerment, utilization-focused evaluations and outcome harvesting, would help surface both positive and negative unintended outcomes, and to facilitate the use of findings to serve the end beneficiaries.

Lesson Learned: Provide gender sensitivity training and explanations to team members, interviewers, data tabulators and data entry personnel. Without understanding why questions related to gender equality, the status of women and men, are there, many do not get answered in a way to provide substantial information.

Hot tip: Do not limit yourself to the provided list of stakeholders. Dig deeper to identify those who should have been involved in the project design, including sectorial gender experts and partners.

Hot Tip: Critically review an M&E Plan for presence of indicator, i.e indicators that are SMART in a gender-responsive ways to identify gender gaps and constraints, as well as opportunities. Even if a program has not developed a logic framework, you can construct a theory of change that would help identify entry points for integrating gender equality in program design and M&E processes.

Rad Resources:

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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