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QUESTION 5: How to integrate gender analysis and planning in ToC thinking?

Gender inequality manifests itself through a complex web of forces, socially, culturally and historically entrenched in societies and relationships and cannot be changed by isolated interventions. Gender mainstreaming implies political change and redistribution of power and resources. Theory of Change thinking might be a helpful framework to include gender analysis and gender equality objectives in programme design in a more consistent way.

This paper is the result of the fourth E-Dialogue, which explored the potential of theory of change for gender approaches, and vice versa. We start this Gender and ToC End Note with a few lessons on gender mainstreaming and a quick look at current gender and ToC practices. This is followed by a summary of the E-Dialogue, in which the contributions are organised around some key emerging insights. The Spanish version of the paper is available as well.

 

EXAMPLES OF GENDER ANALYSIS IN TOC

- Hivos, SCP, AgriProFocus, Fair & Sustainable Advisory Services, and IDH published: "Sustainable Coffee as a Family Business. Approaches and tools to include women and youth", a toolkit for the coffee industry. it was developed in response to the demand for knowledge on how to best integrate women and youth in the coffee value chain. It provides practical approaches and tools for stakeholders and service providers.

 

- A recent DAC Note evaluating 20 years’ experience of promoting and mainstreaming gender equality concludes on the basis of twenty six thematic gender evaluations that gender is not mainstreamed in the majority of bilateral and multilateral development organisations. This picture will not be very different for the majority of civil society organisations, in the North and the South.

 

The integration of women’s rights and gender equality perspectives into the mainstream of all policies, programmes and resource allocations of organisations demands a significant cultural change. Achieving such a change needs concerted and consistent action.

 

Gender inequality is the outcome of a complex web of forces, socially, culturally and historically entrenched in societies and relationships and cannot be changed by isolated interventions. Gender mainstreaming must aim for achieving political change and redistribution of power and resources. ToC thinking might be a helpful framework to include gender analysis and gender equality objectives in programme design in a more consistent way and from the very start of an intervention. In all stages of the process, such as the formulation of the desired change (for whom?), the actor and power analysis, the articulation of assumptions and the strategic thinking, gender (in)equality should be a core component of and lens for questioning and reflection.

 

Here we share two examples on how ToC thinking has been applied in programmes with a clear gender perspective. We hope these will be sources of inspiration.

 

Case 1: UNIFEM ToC and Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB)

This case shows an example how UNIFEM seeks to contribute to building clarity on its theory of change of GRB work and identifying the implications for this theory of change in relation to programme design, implementation and results monitoring. The ToC outlines the logic behind the GRB work as an approach for addressing gaps in implementation of gender equality commitments on the part of national governments.

 

Case 2: Biogas

This Gender Mainstreaming Guide on biogas and gender has been developed by ENERGIA, the International network on Gender and Sustainable Energy. It gives an example how to design a strategy on gender equity and social inclusion for a biogas programme.

 

Other documents related to gender mainstreaming

- A document by Kabeer presents key gender questions that you can use at programme activities level for planning, designing, monitoring and reviewing with the help of ToC.

- Srilatha Batliwala from AWID (Association for Women's Rights in Development) is focussing on building a stronger M&E practice as a way to reach gender changes. Her paper argues that social change like gender change is unpredictable and the pathways to it are constantly shifting because every social change intervention – especially on behalf of women – is an uneven contest between under-resourced change activists and powerfully entrenched interests. If we accept these realities, we know that the assumptions behind most M&E approaches are not based on solid fact but intelligent guesswork. She argues that the best we can do is to develop M&E systems collaboratively, with the best knowledge and experience we can bring to bear, and with clarity about expectations. As a joint learning experiment, M&E systems can actually generate some very convincing results and lasting learning for all.

- Another document, also by Srilatha Batliwala, helps women’s rights organizations and activists to reflect on their M&E systems, to critically assess the systems they are currently using and make improvements, to negotiate with donors and others on how to best measure their performance and strategies and to prioritize internal learning as central to organizational and movement strengthening.

- A paper by Levy  proposes that the conditions under which gender can be institutionalised, are represented by at least thirteen elements. Each element represents a site of power. Gender relations and their intersection with other social relations, are located at a variety of different "sites of power" in any particular institutional context and its organisational landscape. A ToC addressing gender changes can be inspired on these different "sites of power".