Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls in the Middle East and Maghreb 2015-16 to 2019-20: Evaluation Summary
About the evaluation
Global Affairs Canada’s International Assistance Evaluation Division conducted a thematic evaluation of Canada’s international assistance programming on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in the Middle East and the Maghreb for the period 2015-16 to 2019-20. The evaluation aimed to inform decision-making, promote learning and improve programming. The evaluation examined gender equality and empowerment results, and the extent to which the department was positioned to achieve those type of results.
- Canada's vision for achieving gender equality and women's empowerment aligned with project participants’ own definitions and aspirations.
- Focus group discussions with project participants revealed that women felt empowered and more self-confident through participation in gender equality programming. However, project reports typically did not provide strong outcome-level reporting.
- Women’s empowerment benefitted from an enabling environment, with support from family, civil society, communities, government, laws, and the private sector.
- Departmental policies, the gender equality assessment process, and support from gender experts positioned Global Affairs Canada to achieve gender equality results.
- The introduction of the Feminist International Assistance Policy was not matched with a timely expansion of related communication, training, tools, and policies for staff or partners.
- The COVID-19 pandemic exposed digital empowerment as an emerging need and an opportunity for women in the “new normal.”
- Increase the focus on enabling the environment to support women’s empowerment, considering family, community and institutional structures.
- Coordinate efforts for increased accessibility of gender equality resources across MGS (Gender Equality Division), IRD (Peace and Stabilizations Operations), and KGAI (Partnerships for Development Innovation – Impact Assessment).
- Collect empowerment data using women-focused, participatory methods, to better report on outcomes that complement existing output level reporting.
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