Evaluation methodology specifically designed to assess the implementation of gender policies, strategies, programmes and projects has developed rapidly during the past decade. This has been of particular importance to the broad range of institutions that have implemented initiatives to achieve the Beijing Platform for Action (PfA) objectives of gender equality and the empowerment of women. These include donor agencies, government departments and civil society organisations.
This working paper outlines the main components of a recently developed gender audit methodology. Its purpose is to provide a background paper for those seeking to undertake gender audits, as well as to show the uses of gender audits within the broader development field of meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The paper was commissioned by the Evaluation Department of the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and is intended for staff working in London-based policy divisions and in field-based offices. Hopefully, it will also be useful beyond DFID, for others in development-focused organisations also grappling with the methodological complexities of auditing or evaluating gender mainstreaming in their organisations.
The working paper consists of the following five sections:
At the outset, it is important to emphasise that, as a working paper, this is not a set of ‘guidelines’: this would be a far more extensive project in scope, and require more broad-based comparative experience than is currently available. Nevertheless, it is hoped that it can provide useful guidance for those concerned better to understand the main objectives, methodology and components of gender audits.