Framework for Assessing Gender Equality Results

Introduction

This framework responds to the need to assess progress on the implementation of Global Affairs Canada's Policy on Gender Equality. It is also an important advance in assessing gender equality as a crosscutting policy theme.

The framework is innovative in that it provides a performance management framework of generic importance to how good policy is developed and implemented. It essentially focuses performance measurement where Global Affairs Canada has chosen to focus, and identifies what actual results are to be measured. The central question the framework is designed to address is the following: To what extent does Global Affairs Canada's development results reflect its policy commitment to gender equality? Because gender equality is a key Agency result area and a crosscutting programming theme, the framework is designed to assess corporate performance. It sets out "assessment tools" for reviewing the full range of Global Affairs Canada investments, whether delivered as directive programming, responsive programming or core funding/institutional support, i.e. Global Affairs Canada's three business delivery models.Footnote 1

The framework supports Global Affairs Canada's results-based approach in two ways:

  • Accountability for development results. The framework sets out "assessment tools" for reviewing the range of Global Affairs Canada investments in relation to Global Affairs Canada's corporate gender equality results, and a means to aggregate assessments of particular investments to draw conclusions about the extent to which Global Affairs Canada investments are making contributions to the corporate gender equality results.
  • Strengthened management for results. Findings about strengths and gaps identified through the use of assessment tools provide a sound basis to identify more in-depth follow-up studies designed to provide insights into the quality of results achieved, factors conducive to achieving results, reasons for gaps, and lessons for future programming.

The central question this framework is designed to address is the following: To what extent do Global Affairs Canada's development results reflect its policy commitment to gender equality? Gender equality is a key results area for the Agency, which has had a formal commitment to support equality between women and men through its development cooperation investments since 1976. While Global Affairs Canada's approach has evolved since then to reflect experience gained, the basic and continuing theme since the first statement has been that Global Affairs Canada investments should recognize differences in the situation of women and men to deliver equitable benefits and contribute to reducing inequalities.

The 1999 update to Global Affairs Canada's Policy on Gender Equality reflects the consensus between Global Affairs Canada and its development partners (including partner governments and other development assistance agencies) that gender equality is an important development goal in its own right, and is also integral to the achievement of poverty reduction and sustainable development. The policy also reflects Canada's international commitments to equality between women and men, particularly the 1995 Platform for Action endorsed in Beijing (and reaffirmed in 2005) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, to which Canada and most development partners are signatories. A recent evaluation of Global Affairs Canada's Policy on Gender Equality "validated the Agency's good work and strong leadership to date. It recognized the continuing relevance of Global Affairs Canada's Policy on Gender Equality both within Global Affairs Canada and in the development cooperation community."Footnote 2

The term "gender equality results" is used in the framework to refer to results that contribute to reducing inequality between women and men in accordance with the policy.

What is being assessed?

The framework sets out an approach to performance assessment that differs in significant ways from more familiar project-based performance measurement, because it focuses on Agency performance on a crosscutting theme, rather than on a specific investment. Performance assessment of a specific investment generally focuses on the question: Did the investment contribute to the specific results it was designed to achieve? In contrast, performance assessment of the Agency in implementing Global Affairs Canada's Policy on Gender Equality focuses on the extent to which Global Affairs Canada investments contribute to gender equality results defined at the broader, corporate level.

Drawing on Global Affairs Canada's Policy on Gender Equality, the overall result or impact to which Global Affairs Canada seeks to contribute is "equality between women and men to ensure sustainable development." The policy also identifies three corporate objectives that can be restated in the form of results as follows.Footnote 3

  1. Decision making. More equal participation of women with men as decision makers in shaping the sustainable development of their societies.
  2. Rights. Women and girls more able to realize their full human rights.
  3. Development resources and benefits. Reduced inequalities between women and men in access to and control over the resources and benefits of development.

These are results to which Global Affairs Canada can contribute, but will not achieve on its own. An assessment of Global Affairs Canada's performance therefore needs to focus on the nature and significance of the incremental contributions made through Global Affairs Canada's investments in specific initiatives.

While gender equality expected results have been identified at the corporate level, Global Affairs Canada's actual results and contributions to gender equality depend on decisions made in the selection, design and management of specific investments. These investments may be made through any of Global Affairs Canada's three business models (directive programming, responsive programming and core funding/institutional support), respond to different priority sectors (such as governance, private sector, health, education) and use various approaches (from community development to institutional capacity building). Most of these investments do not have gender equality as their principal objective. However, to the extent that they affect people, all these investments potentially have positive (or negative) effects on gender equality.

Accordingly, the framework begins with a major initial question: To what extent do Global Affairs Canada's development results reflect its policy commitment to gender equality? That is, are Global Affairs Canada's investments making contributions to the corporate gender equality results? In what proportion of cases are these contributions meaningful or significant in relation to the overall initiative undertaken? Do the number of investments in which there are significant contributions to gender equality results add up to a significant proportion of Global Affairs Canada's overall investment in development? Where are the strengths and gaps?

The initial focus is therefore on development results, rather than process, inputs or efforts (such as doing gender analyses or the preparation of gender equality strategies). While the latter are important, they are the means to achieve results, rather than results themselves. The initial findings about development results provide the basis to structure more in-depth follow-up analyses to identify lessons to inform decision making and future management for results.

An assessment of Global Affairs Canada performance must cover all types of investment, whether delivered as directive programming, responsive programming or core funding/institutional support. Given differences in the characteristics and objectives of the investments made under the three business models, the framework provides for two different approaches:

  1. Approach for directive and responsive programming.For both directive and responsive programming, investments are designed to respond to a particular development problem or set of problems, have a set of expected results that relate to that problem, and are undertaken in a specific location for a specific time period. The Agency's results-based management (RBM) tools are used for planning and management, and there are regular reporting mechanisms to capture information on actual outcome-level development results (the changes achieved through the investment). In responsive programming, accountabilities are shared to a greater extent between Global Affairs Canada and partners than they are in directive programming, but the actual results achieved can be reviewed in the same way for both business models.

    For directive and responsive programming, the assessment focuses on the results achieved by projects that are completed or near completion and aims to identify whether project results contribute to any of Global Affairs Canada's corporate gender equality results.

  2. Approach for core funding of institutions (including multilateral, regional and non-governmental organizations). Core funding differs significantly from project or program funding. Institutions receiving core funding generally have an ongoing relationship with Global Affairs Canada. The investment is in the institution, and that institution, rather than Global Affairs Canada, takes responsibility for the design and management of specific programs. In contrast with directive and responsive programming (where Global Affairs Canada aims to have a direct effect on development results), with core funding Global Affairs Canada aims to achieve development results indirectly through support to partners with policies, priorities and approaches that are congruent with those of Global Affairs Canada. Performance reporting by these institutions relates to the use of their resources from all sources in support of institutional policy objectives.

    For core funding, the assessment focuses on the quality of the institutional strategy and mechanisms for achieving gender equality development results, with particular attention to the monitoring and reporting of gender equality results.

What does the framework allow us to do?

The innovative aspects of this framework are the assessment tools to be used in the initial phase of a two-phase assessment process.

In the case of directive and responsive programming, the assessment tool provides a means of categorizing the results against the corporate gender equality results and then weighing the significance of these results on a graduated scale. This provides:

  • A means of focusing on gender equality results that is realistic in view of Global Affairs Canada's investments in partner countries and that is related to the decisions taken by Global Affairs Canada in planning and managing its investments;
  • A common framework for considering contributions to gender equality by projects in various sectors and a means of aggregating these diverse contributions to provide an overview of how well Global Affairs Canada is implementing the policy on gender equality; and
  • A basis on which to make informed decisions for the follow-up phase of the assessment on issues that would justify further attention to identify lessons and insights about factors influencing results achievement.

In the case of core funding, the assessment tool sets out elements relevant to gender equality results and a means to rate these elements as well as the institution. This provides:

  • A clarification of the key aspects of institutional performance on gender equality and thus a common framework for assessment;
  • A means to gain an overview of the performance of core-funded institutions, as the rating process results in findings that can be aggregated; and
  • A means to identify particular types of strength and weakness and therefore a basis on which to be strategic in designing the assessment's follow-up phase of in-depth studies that aim to identify lessons for improved performance.

In both cases, the use of the tools will result in an overview and a summary assessment of performance. However, the tools do not themselves provide a means to analyze why or how such results were achieved, or what steps should be taken to improve gender equality results. The use of the tools must be complemented with further analyses to provide a more complete picture of the quality of results and the operational factors supporting the achievement of the results. The in-depth follow-up analyses required to complete the assessment will draw on other Global Affairs Canada assessment tools and approaches (including, for example, the "Framework of results and key success factors") and would consider the implementation of the operational steps outlined in Global Affairs Canada's Policy on Gender Equality.

Assessment of directive and responsive programming

There are two phases in the assessment process-an initial analysis using the assessment tool outlined in this framework and then follow-up analyses guided by the findings of the initial analysis.

Initial phase: assessment tool and analysis

The approach for the initial phase is to use the assessment tool to categorize and rate results achieved by a broad sample of investments selected to be representative of Global Affairs Canada's directive and responsive investments. As the focus is on outcome-level results, the investments included in the sample should be sufficiently advanced in implementation to allow for an assessment of actual results achieved (e.g. 80 percent or more disbursed). The Agency's central data systems will be the data source, providing information on both key characteristics of the investments in the sample (branch, country, priority sector, business model, budget, etc.) and results information (project performance reports, also knows PPRs).

Tool 1(a): Categorization of gender equality results consists of the three corporate gender equality results, each of which is further subdivided into its key elements, resulting in a 10-part classification. (The tool provides illustrations to assist with classification, as there are many different ways that particular investments could contribute to the gender equality result.)

Tool 1(b): Rating scale for significance of gender equality results is a four-point scale to weigh the significance of each gender equality result (significant, encouraging, modest, weak). An overall rating for the investment is based on the combined ratings of all the gender equality results it achieved. (See pages 9 to 10 for a schematic overview of the approach and the assessment tool.)

The categorization of results provides a means to aggregate the assessments of specific investments and to identify where gender equality results are being achieved (or not). The initial analysis of the database created provides insights into the extent to which directive and responsive initiatives are reporting gender equality results. Major questions to consider in data analysis include:

  • What proportion of Global Affairs Canada investments are contributing to the corporate gender equality development results?
  • In what regions or Global Affairs Canada priority sectors are investments most likely to make significant contributions to the corporate gender equality results? Where are the greatest gaps? How do directive and responsive programming compare?
  • What is the relationship between sectors (or Global Affairs Canada priority sectors, regions, etc.) and types of gender equality results reported?
  • In what areas of gender equality are results being achieved (e.g., decision making, rights, development resources and benefits)? Within each broad result category, what are the particular types of results?

Schematic overview of approach for directive and responsive programming

For each investment included in the assessment:

  1. Identify whether there are reported results or achievements that can be categorized under any of the gender equality results (Tool 1(a))
  2. Identify whether there is credible evidence offered to back the claim on these results.
  3. Weigh the significance of each gender equality result using the rating scale (Tool 1(b), step 1).
  4. Provide an overall rating for the investment (Tool 1(b), step 2).

The results ratings and the overall rating for the investment, together with basic information about the investment, such as budget, codes for country, business model, priority sector, etc. (as well as a brief statement of the results) would make up the database used for the analysis of performance.

Table 1: Schematic overview of approach for directive and responsive programming
Gender equality resultsQuestions about each investment
Corporate Development Result (from Global Affairs Canada's Policy on Gender Equality)Elements of this result. The major types of outcomes for each gender equality result are outlined below. The assessment will categorize results achieved by Global Affairs Canada investments under these headings. See Tool 1(a) for illustrations of the types of reported results that would be assigned to each category. (Where an investment has results in more than one category, each should be rated separately.)Results in any of these areas? If yes, what was the result achieved?Evidence of results? (Qualitative and/or quantitative)Significance of results? Rating on the scale in Tool 1(b)
Overall rating: see Tool 1(b)
1. Decision Making - More equal participation of women with men as decision makers in shaping the sustainable development of their societies.1.1 Capacity for public participation. Increased capacity of women and women's organizations for advocacy and for participation in public life and decision making.   
1.2 Representation among decision makers. Increased representation of women in democratic processes and in decision making positions in the partner institution, target sector, partner community.   
1.3 Household and individual decision making. More equal power relations between women and men at the household level, increased decision making capacity of individual women.   
2. Rights - Women and girls more able to realize their full human rights.2.1 Legal system. Strengthened promotion and protection of the human rights of women and girls in law and the action of police, prosecutors, judges, and courts.   
2.2 Public awareness. Increased knowledge and recognition by the general public (women and men) and decision makers of the human rights of women and girls.   
2.3 Response to gender-specific rights violations. Improved services and mechanisms responding to gender-specific constraints on rights or rights violations (e.g., violence against women/girls, trafficking, sexual violence in conflict zones).   
3. Development Resources and Benefits. Reduced inequalities between women and men in access to and control over the resources and benefits of development.3.1 Livelihoods and productive assets. Increased control by women over productive assets (land, capital/credit, technology, skills) and increased access to decent work.   
3.2 Institutional capacity. Increased capacity of partner institutions, governments and civil society organizations to design and implement policies, programs and projects that reflect the priorities and interests of both women and men.   
3.3 Policy change. Adoption of policies supporting gender equality by institutions that manage development resources and benefits (i.e., policies responding to the different priorities and interests of women/men, girls/boys).   
3.4 Well-being and basic needs. Access by women to basic and appropriate services that support well-being and quality of life.   

Tool 1 (a): Gender Equality Results Categorization

Corporate Results

1. Decision Making - More equal participation of women with men as decision makers in shaping the sustainable development of their societies.

1.1 Capacity for public participation. Increased capacity of women and women's organizations for advocacy and for participation in public life and decision making.

  • Strengthened knowledge or skills (e.g., advocacy, negotiation, management) of women for participation in democratic or community-management bodies.
  • Increased capacity or effectiveness of women's organizations to advocate for and represent women's views.
  • Strengthened women's organizations or networks.
  • Strengthened dialogue between women's organizations and government authorities.
  • More supportive environment for women's participation in public life and decision making in communities or institutions and among male colleagues.
  • Increased influence of women, women's organizations in community and public decision making.

1.2 Representation among decision makers. - Increased representation of women in democratic processes and in decision making positions in the partner institution, target sector, partner community.

  • Increased number/proportion of women in decision making positions in (depending on the project objectives):
    • the partner organization (not the project itself);
    • the target sector;
    • the partner community; and
    • as candidates for public office.

1.3 Household and individual decision making. - More equal power relations between women and men at the household level; increased decision making capacity of individual women.

  • Increase in independent decision making by women on matters such as voting, mobility.
  • Increase in shared decision making at the household level on matters such as expenditure, activities, etc.
2. Rights - Women and girls more able to realize their full human rights.

2.1 Legal system. - Strengthened promotion and protection of the human rights of girls and women in law and the actions of police, prosecutors, judges and courts.

  • Increased use of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in national law.
  • Formulation of legislation on key gender equality issues (e.g. land rights, violence, discrimination in employment).
  • Elimination of legal barriers to equality (through specific legislation, or as part of legal reform).
  • Actors in legal system (police, prosecutors, judges) more knowledgeable and able to treat women equitably.
  • Improved access by women to the legal system (legal aid, reduction of barriers to access).
  • More equitable decision making in formal and informal judicial bodies.

2.2 Public awareness. - Increased knowledge and recognition by the general public (women and men)and decision makers of the human rights of women and girls.

  • Increased awareness of rights violations, such as trafficking of women and girls, forced marriage, dowry, early marriage, female genital mutilation.
  • Increased awareness and participation by civil society organizations (e.g. human rights organizations, development organizations) in advocating for gender equality and women's rights.
  • Awareness among women and men of laws and mechanisms protecting women's rights; increased participation by men in advocacy and debate on gender equality.
  • Increased awareness and support among decision makers on women's rights and gender equality issues; more informed debate on these issues.
  • Better media coverage of gender equality and women's rights changes in public attitudes about roles and entitlements of women and men.

2.3 Response to gender-specific rights violations. - Improved services and mechanisms responding to genderspecific constraints on rights or rights violations (e.g. violence against women/girls, trafficking of women and girls, sexual violence in conflict zones).

  • Improved provision or functioning of social services (e.g. shelters) responding to rights violations by government or civil society organizations.
  • Strengthened policy commitments and programs to respond to gender-specific constraints on rights, rights violations.
3. Development Resources and Benefits - Reduced inequalities between women and men in access to and control over the resources and benefits of development.

3.1 Livelihoods and productive assets. - Increased access and control by women over productive assets (land, capital/credit, technology, skills) and increased access to decent work.

  • Increased access to credit and business support services.
  • Increased number or competitiveness or sustainability of women's micro enterprises, businesses, farms.
  • More equitable access by women to productivity-enhancing inputs and services (extension, skills training, technology).
  • Strengthened women's producer organizations.
  • More equitable access by women to land, land ownership.
  • Increased productivity or incomes of women, decreased disparity in incomes among populations affected by an investment; decreased vulnerability to destitution.
  • Increased access by women to skills training, employment opportunities; increased representation of women in professional, technical fields.
  • Reduced discriminatory practices against women workers; increased quality of employment (e.g. pay, conditions, health and safety).

3.2 Institutional capacity. - Increased capacity of partner institutions, governments, and civil society organizations to design and implement policies, programs and projects that reflect the priorities and interests of both women and men.

  • Clearer institutional responsibilities, approaches to achieving national gender equality objectives.
  • Strengthened analytic skills, knowledge of gender equality capacity to do gender analysis in a particular sector or public organization.
  • Strengthened capacity and systems to collect and analyze data required for gender analysis of issues, policies and programs.
  • Increased institutional capacity to consult with women and on issues and priorities or on gender equality issues.
  • Increased capacity to manage for employment equity (recruitment, training, health and safety, family leave).
  • Increased effectiveness of partner organizations or local governments in reaching and serving women equitably.

3.3 Policy change. - Adoption of policies supporting gender equality by institutions that manage development resources and benefits (i.e. policies responding to the different priorities and interests of women/men, girls/boys).

  • Economic policies: gender-equitable macroeconomic policies (e.g. fiscal policies, trade, budgets).
  • Poverty reduction strategies: inclusion of measures directing resources to poor women or measures to address the gender specific constraints faced by poor women.
  • Social policies: policies in health, education, social services and other sectors that incorporate elements to reduce gender inequality or address women-specific issues.
  • Sectoral reforms: establishment of clear sectoral gender equality objectives, sector-wide implementation mechanisms.

3.4 Well-being and basic needs. - Access by women to basic and appropriate services that support well-being and quality of life.

  • Increased safety, food security, access to water, shelter, transport, literacy, health, education, etc. by women.
  • Increased access to social services; social service delivery that responds to the different priorities and interests of women/men, boys/girls.
  • Increased capacity of women's organizations to deliver services.
  • Health: increased appropriateness and use of health care; improved health status of women or reduced gender gaps in health status indicators among population served/reached.
  • Education: increased proportion of girls/women at all levels; decreased drop-out rates.
  • Humanitarian services: access by womesn to appropriate services and resources.

Tool 1(b): Rating Scale For Signficance Of Gender Equality Results

Step #1. Rate significance of results.

Where results have been identified in any of the gender equality results categories (see Tool 1(a)), weigh the significance of that result according to the scale below. Note: there should be a separate rating for any results category in which results are identified (what is rated here is the particular result).

Significant

Meets all the following criteria:

  • gender equality result is relevant to the main results of the investment (i.e. not a peripheral or marginal outcome).
  • there is adequate evidence to back the claim on results achieved on gender equality (qualitative and/or quantitative indicators demonstrate change).
  • reach/target of gender equality result is significant, for example:
    • for investments aimed at organizational capacity: the gender equality result relates to a significant aspect of organizations functioning within the scope of the initiative (i.e. significant with respect to organizational action in relation to its mandate and the population it affects).
    • for investments at the community level: the gender equality result relates to:
      • a large number of women or men (access to services or opportunities); or
      • an equitable proportion of participants/beneficiaries in the investment.
Encouraging

Meets the relevance criterion:

  • gender equality result is relevant to the main results of the investment (i.e. not a peripheral or marginal outcome). And meets one of the other criteria of significant:
  • there is adequate evidence to back the claim on results achieved on gender equality (qualitative and/or quantitative indicators demonstrate change) OR
  • the reach/target of the gender equality result is significant,for example:
    • for investments aimed at organizational capacity: the gender equality result relates to a significant aspect of organizations functioning within the scope of the initiative (i.e., significant with respect to organizational action in relation to its mandate and the population it affects).
      • for investments at the community level: the gender equality result relates to:
        • a large number of women or men (access to services or opportunities); or
        • an equitable proportion of participants/beneficiaries in the investment.

(While the gender equality result is relevant, there is either weak evidence but good reach OR adequate evidence but poor reach.)

Modest

Meets the relevance criterion:

  • gender equality result is relevant to the main results of the investment (i.e. not a peripheral or marginal outcome).

But does not meet the other criteria of significant, so that:

  • there is only partial evidence of results achieved or evidence that is not fully persuasive to back the claim on results achieved on gender equality;
  • reach/ target is more limited,so that:
    • for investments aimed at organizational capacity: the gender equality result relates to some aspect of organizational functioning (but not an aspect that is particularly "significant" with respect to organizational action in relation to its mandate and the population it affects).
    • for investments at the community level: the gender equality results relate to:
      • a substantial number of women or men (less than "large"); or
      • a substantial proportion of participants/beneficiaries in the investment (but not achieving "equitable").

(While the gender equality result is relevant, there is neither adequate evidence nor significant reach.)

Weak
  • A gender equality result can be identified that is relevant to the main results of the investment, but evidence of results achievement is weak, anecdotal or non-existent. OR
  • A gender equality result is identified but is peripheral or marginal to the main results achieved. or
  • Reach is very limited.

(NOTE: Achievements that relate only to staff hired by the executing agency to manage or deliver the project do not qualify as a gender equality result.)

Step #2. Provide an overall rating of an investment's contribution to corporate gender equality results.

The overall rating is equal to the highest rating achieved on a particular gender equality result. (NOTE: the scale is NOT intended to respond to the question "Is this a significant project?" but rather, "Does the project make significant (or encouraging, modest, etc.) contributions to gender equality development results?")

Significant

Investment has at least one rating of Significant.

Encouraging

Investment has at least one rating of Encouraging.

Modest

Investment has at least one rating of Modest.

Weak

Investment has at least one rating of Weak.

None

No gender equality result identified.

Follow-up phase: focused studies

The areas of strength and gaps identified through the initial phase of this framework will provide a foundation for defining focused follow-up studies on factors conducive to achieving results, reasons for gaps in performance, and implications for project selection, design and management by Global Affairs Canada. Such studies also allow for more in-depth assessments of the quality of the results achieved and a better understanding of the findings of the initial analysis.

In contrast with the initial analysis, the follow-up studies require field research. The follow-up to the initial "diagnosis" is ideally undertaken using participatory approaches that involve Global Affairs Canada staff and partners in considering the facilitating and constraining factors and in drawing practical lessons. Participatory approaches both enrich the analysis and support Agency learning and capacity development.

Types of questions that could be pursued in the follow-up analyses are suggested below.

  • For clusters of projects that have integrated gender equality results at the intermediate outcome level: What are the commonalities among these investments? To what extent was performance on gender equality influenced by factors, such as the local political and social context, the sector or policy priority of the investment? Or by the steps in the planning process taken by Global Affairs Canada, the nature of local partners and implementing agencies, or attention to gender equality in project implementation and performance monitoring? What conclusions can be drawn about success factors that could be used to guide further planning and management by Global Affairs Canada? What can be learned about good practice in obtaining results in these areas of gender equality?
  • For clusters of projects that have gender equality results at the immediate outcome level or that have no identifiable gender equality results: How do these projects compare with those classified above? What does this suggest about factors to address to improve performance?

Assessment of core funding

As with directive and responsive programming, there are two phases in the assessment process for Global Affairs Canada core funding of institutions: an initial phase using the assessment tool and a follow-up phase guided by the findings of the initial analysis.

Initial phase: assessment tool and analysis

The approach for the initial phase is to use the assessment tool to review and rate the extent to which institutions receiving core funding from Global Affairs Canada are in a position to contribute to gender equality results. The sample used for the assessment should be selected so conclusions can be drawn about progress and issues in relation to the main groupings of Global Affairs Canada core funding: investments in large multilateral and regional organizations, investments in smaller international and non-governmental organizations, and investments through mechanisms such as pooled funding and budgetary support.

Tool 2 - Assessment of core-funded institutions, sets out six assessment factors that have been defined to reflect a number of considerations: the rationale for core funding, Global Affairs Canada's accountability for this type of investment, the lessons from Global Affairs Canada experience about achieving gender equality results, and relationships between Global Affairs Canada and core-funded partners. The first element of Tool 2 focuses explicitly on gender equality results, and is given greater weight than the others in deriving an overall rating for the institution. The next four elements examine institutional strategies and mechanisms that contribute to the achievement of gender equality results: gender equality policy, the broader institutional framework, the enabling environment and institutional commitment. The final element focuses on human resource management practices rather than development results, but is included as it is another indicator of institutional awareness and commitment to gender equality as a value (and is a gender equality issue that Global Affairs Canada has consistently raised with partner institutions).

The use of Tool 2 produces a rating for the institution on each element, as well as an overall institutional rating. The ratings provide a means to aggregate the assessments and to consider questions such as the following:

  • What proportion of the institutions receiving Global Affairs Canada core funding could be considered to have an "excellent" or "good" approach on gender equality? What proportion is "of concern"? And what proportion of Global Affairs Canada core funding (dollar value) do the higher ratings represent?
  • What are the particular areas of weakness? How many and which type could be rated as "good" on this element?
  • Are there similar patterns among the different types of core-funded institutions (United Nations organizations, international financial institutions, non-governmental organizations)?

Tool 2: Assessment Of Core Funding

Step #1: Rating of specific elements of institutional strategy, structures and achievements

Institutional Performance: What are we looking for?

1. Gender Equality Results - Institutional programming contributes toward gender equality development results. Institutional systems are in place to monitor results, and these are regularly reported on. (As in the Beijing Platform for Action or PFA, gender equality results refer to women's empowerment and equality of women and men.)

Rating: Good

Decision criteria for rating:

  • Institutional monitoring systems on actual results show that a significant proportion of programming contributes to gender equality.
  • Annual reports clearly document consistent results relating to gender equality and report on progress toward specific, measurable targets.

Rating: Promising

Decision criteria for rating:

  • Institutional monitoring/evaluation of actual results provides some information on results related to gender equality and shows that some programming contributes to gender equality (i.e. gender equality results are at least tracked, even if actual results are less than significant or substantial).

Rating: Fair

Decision criteria for rating:

  • Institutional monitoring reports only on anecdotal achievements relating to gender equality.

Rating: Of Concern

Decision criteria for rating:

  • Institutional monitoring/evaluation of results is weak (or non-existent) and provides no information on results related to gender equality.

2. Shift to a Gender Equality Focus - The institution's approach (in its policy and related documentation on gender equality) reflects the international consensus reached in international documents, such as the Beijing PFA and the full implementation of CEDAW. Gender equality is seen as an explicit development goal and as integral to the achievement of other development goals, such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Rating: Good

Decision criteria for rating:

  • There is a clear focus on gender equality and women's empowerment as integral to development (as a goal in itself and integral to other development goals).
  • There are clear links between gender equality goals and the overall mandate of the organization.
  • There is a clear focus in the policy on results.

Rating: Promising

Decision criteria for rating:

  • Although it had an approach that emphasized service delivery or women as a vulnerable group, it is in the process of reviewing and clarifying its approach in light of its institutional mandate and the international consensus reached in the Beijing PFA.

Rating: Fair

Decision criteria for rating:

  • The institution's gender equality policy focuses primarily on its internal process (i.e. training of staff or the need to do a gender analysis) with few commitments to achieve and monitor results.

Rating: Of Concern

Decision criteria for rating:

  • The primary focus is on service delivery to women or women as a "vulnerable group," with limited attention to the social/institutional underpinnings of gender disparities and discrimination against women. There is no results focus.

3. Supportive Institutional Policy Framework - Gender equality perspectives are evident in the major policy and planning documents guiding the work of the institution. For example, gender perspectives and/or expected results are evident in:

  • Poverty reduction policies;
  • Strategic plans;
  • MDG implementation plans;
  • Sectoral policies relating to environment, education, post?conflict, etc.; and
  • Evaluations.

Rating: Good

Decision criteria for rating:

  • The governing strategy document or policy paper for the institution/organization incorporates gender equality perspectives in the aims and guidance it sets out, and makes clear links between gender equality and major institutional policy concerns.
  • Sectoral policies consistently include attention to gender equality issues.

Rating: Promising

Decision criteria for rating:

  • Gender equality perspectives in the governing strategy or policy are limited, but have been incorporated in a substantive way in at least one important sectoral or thematic strategy or policy statement (in addition to any separate gender equality policy statement).

Rating: Fair

Decision criteria for rating:

  • There are only occasional references to gender equality with only limited analysis of the links between gender equality and other development objectives.

Rating: Of Concern

Decision criteria for rating:

  • Only pro forma references to gender or gender equality are found in agency policies/strategies (other than a gender equality policy).

4. Institutional Enabling Environment - The institution has developed a comprehensive and systematic approach to ensure attention to gender equality results throughout the organization. Consider, for example:

  • knowledge/skills of staff (commitment to develop these through training, etc.);
  • operational manuals and tools;
  • clear accountability structures for policy implementation;
  • availability of expertise; budget allocations; and
  • partnerships and consultations with women's organizations.

Rating: Good

Decision criteria for rating:

  • The institution has developed a positive and supportive environment for ensuring that gender equality perspectives are systematically incorporated in institutional programs.

Rating: Promising

Decision criteria for rating:

  • The institution has taken several steps to strengthen the enabling environment and seeks to develop and implement ways to promote systematic attention to gender equality issues in institutional programs.

Rating: Fair

Decision criteria for rating:

  • The institution has taken some steps to develop an enabling environment but there does not appear to be current support for further development.

Rating: Of Concern

Decision criteria for rating:

  • Few and ad hoc steps have been taken, or there are some measures in place, but there is evidence that major opportunities are missed, that policies, tools or guidelines are not used, or that action on gender equality depends on individual initiative rather than institutional approaches.

5. Institutional Momentum and Commitment - The institution demonstrates ongoing commitment to pursue gender equality objectives. This can be seen in:

  • positive trends regarding the strength and profile of a gender equality unit;
  • trends regarding institutional investments in gender equality; and
  • speeches and statements by the leadership of the organization.

Rating: Good

Decision criteria for rating:

  • The institution has maintained a satisfactory level of commitment to achieve gender equality results and has continued to evolve approaches.

Rating: Promising

Decision criteria for rating:

  • The approach has been less than satisfactory, but there is evidence of increasing attention and commitment (e.g. steps to identify and address problems or gaps related to performance on gender equality).

Rating: Fair

Decision criteria for rating:

  • There has been some attention to gender equality issues; however, overall institutional commitment appears unenthusiastic and they remain a marginal concern of the organization as a whole.

Rating: Of Concern

Decision criteria for rating:

  • There is limited attention to, and investment in, exploring gender equality issues and approaches to incorporating gender equality objectives in programming. OR
  • There appears to be a decline in investments relating to implementing the institution's commitments to gender equality or a downgrading of this policy theme.

6. Gender Balance/ Employment Equity - The institution is working toward gender balance in staffing throughout the organization, in particular in management positions.

Rating: Good

Decision criteria for rating:

  • The organization consistently sets and meets targets and is moving toward equal numbers of women and men, with specific attention at the senior levels.

Rating: Promising

Decision criteria for rating:

  • The institution has made recent progress toward equity targets, and there appears to be internal momentum.

Rating: Fair

Decision criteria for rating:

  • The organization has set targets for employment equity, but there is not a robust plan to achieve those targets.

Rating: Of Concern

Decision criteria for rating:

  • The organization has few women in management positions, and employment equity/gender balance does not appear to be a priority.

Step #2 Overall rating of an institution/organization.

To determine the overall rating of the institution, begin with the rating on the first element - gender equality results (left column) - and then the ratings on the other elements. The overall rating cannot be higher than the rating on the gender equality results element, but it could be reduced depending on the performance on the other elements.

Follow-up phase: focused studies

The analysis from the initial phase provides information on which instruments are doing well. It also highlights the elements of institutional strategy or mechanisms (such as the institutional policy framework or the enabling environment), that are consistently strong or weak. Further investigation of these findings would be a means of strengthening Global Affairs Canada strategies for selecting and/or working with core-funded organizations.

The types of questions that can be pursued in follow-up analyses are suggested below.

  • For large institutions with which Global Affairs Canada has a continuing relationship and provides substantial funds:
    • What are the common factors among institutions receiving the strongest ratings? Are there similarities in the way in which Global Affairs Canada has managed its relationship with these institutions? Can particular "success factors" be identified in institutional approaches or in their relationship with Global Affairs Canada that can inform Global Affairs Canada's strategies in working with such institutions?
    • What could Global Affairs Canada do better in its relationships with these institutions? Are there particular strategies at executive boards? Are there constructive ways to build alliances with other funders? Is there a link between earmarked funds and progress? What policy dialogue strategies appear to have worked?
  • For Global Affairs Canada programs under which many organizations receive relatively smaller amounts of core funding:
    • What are the characteristics of partners that perform well? What is the relation between positive performance and the nature of the partner's mandate and thematic concerns? What is the relationship between positive performance and the organization's relationship with its own partners in the countries in which it is active?
    • What lessons can be learned about the selection and relationship with institutions receiving core funding? Can the assessment identify good examples that Global Affairs Canada could use to inspire other organizations with which it has ongoing relationships?

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Evaluation of CIDA's Implementation of its Policy on Gender Equality: Final Report and Synthesis, 2008, page 40.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

CIDA's Management Response to the Evaluation of Global Affairs Canada's 1999 Policy on Gender Equality.

Return to footnote 2 referrer

Footnote 3

The restatement of "goal" and "objectives" in the form of results was envisaged in the Policy as a basis for performance measurement.

Return to footnote 3 referrer