Additional Guidelines for Selecting Methods for Gender Evaluation

By mygemadmin - Posted on 19 April 2010

Choose appropriate and relevant methods

Evaluations carried out from a gender perspective of ICT initiatives include telecentres in rural or indigenous communities, a women’s global network or an online resource centre. Choose data gathering tools based on their appropriateness for different kinds of initiatives. The most effective methodologies are those that are flexible and adaptable, simple to administer, designed to draw meaningful results, and are appropriate and relevant to the intended use and users of the evaluation.

Choose methods that are participatory

Participatory methodologies are those that allow all the defined users/stakeholders to submit data and information.

Think about the intended respondents and their context when deciding which methods to use. For instance, while online surveys are economical and time-efficient, it is an inappropriate method if the intended respondents do not have regular access to the internet. Make sure that the tools used are accessible to the respondents.

Use multiplicity of methods/tools

Use multiple methods to help test, correct and correlate messages and data from different sources of information.

“When thinking about choosing sources of information keep in mind that what matters in the end is not the validity of individual sources of information, so much as the coherence and consistency of the information from different sources taken together. It is the pattern that matters

Using multiple methods can help test, correct and correlate messages coming from different sources of information.” [ Evaluation and Effectiveness 36, 50]

In all cases, methodologies should focus on evaluating both the product and the process: what has been achieved so far, and the way it has been achieved as well as how the methods keep evolving. Information on those two aspects reveals social processes.

Ensure collection of sex disaggregated data

This is basic to any gender evaluation. All data gathered should at the very least identify the sex of the respondent. Other basic data about the respondents that may prove relevant to the evaluation include: age, religion, ethnicity, nationality, marital status, occupation.

Identify female informants

Gender evaluations should draw out the experiences and input of female respondents/stakeholders.

Interrogate gender roles

The instruments used should address the gender and ICT issues of the initiative or project, and must probe into broader gender issues. For example, in assessing the impact of an ICT training initiative, it is not only important to look into what the trainees have learned but also how they have applied their knowledge in their work or organisation. In order to assess this, it is essential to probe into the gender roles within the trainees’ organisations and look at how they are able (or unable) to practise their newly-acquired skills.

Be context sensitive

Group dynamics, subject matter, gender, class, caste, age, race, language, culture, rural/urban issues, etc. greatly influence how effectively and inclusively information is gathered.

Emphasise qualitative data

To get a complete picture of the social transformation issues and gender issues in a project or initiative require more than numbers and statistics. Stories, perceptions, observations and opinions are valuable. They give the human dimension behind the statistics – a crucial part to understanding collected data.

Practical considerations

The following are important practical considerations in planning your data gathering strategies:

  • Affordability – what is the cost of obtaining the information in relation to its contribution to the evaluation?
  • Time and Timing – how much time does it take to gather the information? are there forthcoming activities that will provide opportunities to hold evaluation activities?
  • Frequency – the number of times mid-project assessments and monitoring will be held

Other data gathering methods are available online. Try to take a look at the following resources:

  • Utilisation-Focused Checklist: Evaluation Design
  • Guidelines for the Integration of Gender Issues into the Design, Monitoring and Evaluation of ILO Programmes and Projects
  • Gender issues in design, monitoring and evaluation


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