Tool Kit on Gender Equality Results and Indicators
A. Who Is the Tool Kit For?
This tool kit aims to assist development practitioners to ensure that gender perspectives are incorporated into development initiatives, and to monitor and evaluate gender equality results. It presents a menu of gender equality outcomes, results, and indicators that may be selected or adapted by users.
While the tool kit focuses primarily on the sectors and strategic priorities of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Australia’s aid program, it is designed for a wider audience of development policy makers, planners, implementers, and evaluators. The tool kit will assist specialists in particular sectors to identify gender equality results and indicators; it may also be used by gender specialists who work across a range of sectors.
B. When Can the Tool Kit Be Used?
The tool kit is intended to be read selectively according to the sector and type of development initiative. It is not expected that every result or indicator will be relevant for all policies, strategies, programs, or projects; the selection of results and indicators will be determined by the level of the intervention, its scale, and the development cooperation modality. The tool kit may be used at any point in the policy, strategy, program, or project cycle. However, it is preferable for gender equality and women’s empowerment indicators to be identified during planning and design.
To ensure progress is made on gender equality, results and indicators need to be incorporated when
(i) developing country and regional strategies and performance frameworks;
(ii) designing programs, projects, or other initiatives and their monitoring and evaluation frameworks; and
(iii) implementing, monitoring, reviewing, and evaluating policies, programs, projects, and other development initiatives.
Identifying the gender equality results that any development initiative aims to achieve—along with the concrete actions needed to achieve these results, and the indicators needed to measure progress—are essential steps for reducing poverty, advancing gender equality, and empowering women.
Gender equality and women’s empowerment need to be pursued in their own right for a just and equal society, and have been acknowledged as important objectives for many decades, including in the Millennium Development Goals. Moreover, there is considerable evidence and broad international agreement that advancing gender equality helps reduce poverty, supports inclusive growth and other broad development outcomes, and enhances the effectiveness and sustainability of development initiatives.
Despite long-standing international commitments and the demonstrated benefits of addressing gender inequalities, incorporating gender perspectives into development work remains a significant challenge. One of the most important lessons is that actions to address gender inequalities must be explicit throughout development planning and programming if consistent progress is to be made toward gender equality. Without explicit objectives, strategies, targets, and actions to ensure women’s equal participation and outcomes, the needs of women and girls continue to be overlooked. Identifying clear indicators to measure gender equality results is essential to measure and improve performance.
The following criteria are features of a good indicator.
Valid: measuring what the indicator is intended to measure.
Specific: measuring only the particular aspect of the initiative it is intended to measure.
Reliable: minimizing random error; and producing the same result consistently, given the same set of circumstances, including the same observer or respondent.
Comparable: enabling comparisons of results or effectiveness over time, and in different contexts.
Nondirectional: enabling a measurement of change in any direction.
Precise: using clear, well-specified definitions.
Feasible: able to be measured using available tools, methods, resources, and skills.
Relevant: clearly linked to an input, output, or outcome of the policy, strategy, program, project, or initiative being measured.
Verifiable: able to be proven or tested empirically.