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Nuts & Bolts: Engendering Monitoring and Evaluation

By: Michael Bamberger

Institutional and cultural barriers for women in Asia translate into real monetary losses for families – and for national economies.

In this issue
  • Gender inequalities persist in all regions and countries. These inequalities violate basic human rights and hamper national development objectives.
  • Despite widespread commitment to gender equality by governments and development agencies, conventional M&E systems fail to address gender differences.
  • The newsletter discusses such limitations and presents guidelines for developing a gender-responsive M&E system.

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Despite the fact that gender equality is widely recognized as a development objective, many M&E systems do not adequately measure differences in development outcomes for women and men and girls and boys. Some of the important issues often not captured include:

•  how a woman’s multiple productive, reproductive, and community maintenance roles limit her ability to participate in and enjoy the full benefits of development initiatives
•  women’s access to and control of productive resources
•  constraints on women’s access to and enjoyment of program benefits
•  gender-based violence
•  women’s participation in decision making at the household,community, and national levels

Despite the compelling evidence on persistent gender inequalities, conventional M&E systems fail to address gender differences. This note discusses the limitations of M&E systems in understanding gender inequalities and presents guidelines for developing a gender-responsive M&E system – a so-called GMES.

Open Quotes

In the Middle East and North Africa, if women’s labor force participation had increased in the 1990s at the same rate as women’s education, the average household income would have been 25 percent higher. Close Quotes


Michael Bamberger, Nuts & Bolts

The first step is the formulation of a national gender action plan or gender-responsive M&E strategy. Gender objectives are defined at the global, national, sectoral, and project levels.

A gender framework, often expressed in a theory of change, is then articulated to explain how the gender objectives will be achieved. Measurable indicators are defined for each level and translated into a gender-responsive results framework.

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Women in Indonesia discuss a village reconstruction project.

Nuts and Bolts of M&E Systems

A World Bank newsletter that shares knowledge and best practices on public-sector monitoring and evaluation systems.