Hey there! I’m Sara Vaca (evaluation consultant) and here is my monthly Saturday post. I want to share how I try to introduce Gender perspective in every evaluation (regardless of the Terms of Reference (ToRs) mentioning it or not).
Lessons Learned: I heard during my Masters in Evaluation that many evaluations are gender-blind, and that term got stuck in my head as something I would definitely try to avoid. But how? After having conducted numerous evaluations, here are the practical tools I use for now:
Hot Tip: Always introduce Gender and Equity as evaluation criteria. Even if it is not in the ToRs, or the other criteria include some gender questions, I suggest we make it a stand-out one, to make sure we honor it properly and we talk about it in at least a very specific section of the report. Clients have never said no, quite the opposite.
I start the evaluation, and the questions about Gender and Equity help me consistently ask about these issues (usually details about how the programme was differently responding to and affecting different groups – women, men, children, displaced or host populations, rural or urban, different ethnicities, religions, wealth groups, sexual orientation, abilities, etc.), mainstreamed in every method and with all the stakeholders.
Cool Trick: Then I use the only gender-specific tool I had used so far was what I called Gender Analysis, where I gather all the data collected and I summarize and analyze how the crisis (or the programme) differently affected women (and girls) and men (and boys). Here are examples:
Analysis of how men and women are affected by the decentralization
of Mother to Child HIV transmission prevention services in Equatorial Guinea
Gender analysis of Livelihoods projects in rural Iraq
Rad Resource: But it has always felt like a rudimentary approach, and I want to upgrade my Gender skillsets. So I was excited to see the new UN Women’s manual: Inclusive Systemic Evaluation for Gender equality, Environments and Marginalized voices (ISE4GEMs): A new approach for the SDG era.
I have not finished exploring it, but I have made this infographic summarizing some extra tools and frameworks:
Lessons Learned: Going through this very useful tool, I realized 3 things:
- The only tool I use (my so-called Gender analysis) is an adaptation of the first framework in the manual.
- The other tools, though interesting, seem to be more focused on situation analysis and identifying root problems than to serve as data collection or data analysis methods.
- One challenge for me is how to introduce out of the scope issues like inequity root causes into discussions without generating awkward situations (or worse, losing my contracts!). In my long-ish term goal of becoming a feminist evaluator who tries to use evaluation as a transformational tool instead of just technical, I’m still in search of practical tools or ways to contribute make my evaluations more impactful.
Comments, ideas and tips are always welcome :-).
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