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EFGR focus in EvalPartners - Management Response to EP evaluation

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  • EFGR focus in EvalPartners - Management Response to EP evaluation

    Dear Tessie,

    What I have seen in South Asia- the general understanding is that gender is women vs men contest. Far more resistance to the term 'Feminist evaluation'. Some other statements I have heard like gender is about women, so include some elements in the programme. Then questions like is feminist evaluation conducted by females. And when I share about Gender and Evaluation online community, seasoned evaluators say that we do not do this kind of evaluation but they know someone who does and will be interested in the community.

    In my experience, strength-based approach,community life competence, has been effective to address gender inequities. Tessie, I am sure you as an AI facilitator can relate to that.

    Thanks to everyone for their powerful sharing. Warm hello!



    I wonder what if part of it is that people do not understand that gender is about equity, privilege, power and social justice, and not an stands of promoting women over men. Or do you think people understand and just do not agree or don't care?

    Dear Maria,

    Thanks for these excellent points that you make and particularly about the importance of language and its power. As I said we will engage the TF in discussions on the policy/ approach to review the language to draw on your experience and collective wisdom.

    Many thanks and kind regards,

    Dear Inga and Murray, and dear all,
    Sorry for not reacting before but yesterday was the reincorporation day after Eastern holidays here in Spain, quite busy!
    A quick reaction to add to Murray's and Martha's excellent reactions: gender and equity issues are not easy aspects to integrate in life (we are dealing with structural and systemic inequalities which are related to power relations and are embedded in all aspects of life, structures, institutions and people, including ourselves!), and they normally create resistances around. These can be more active and visible; and also they can be passive or reactive, and take different forms, some of them in very "subtle" ways.
    To a certain extent, they are indicators that we are going in the right direction. Otherwise, I would think that Evalpartners is only wearing some make up to avoid real acting re inequalities, and it is just acting at the politically correct surface without going deeper in these issues.
    So let's think positive, and take advantage of these critiques to review, learn, and overall, reinforce Evalpartners position about its values and character.
    Just a little warning about language, which is important, and which can turn in one of the preferred battle fields to express resistances re gender. Actually, it is a highly political site, far less neutral that initially appears. In Spanish language, at least in Spain, one of the strongest oppositions re gender is expressed not only through discomfort, but also mockery on the utilization of a gender neutral language. In some conservative governments, civil servants are forbidden to talk about "gender", and only "equal opportunities" is allowed; "feminist" is a term that cannot be used in many organizations, etc.
    So let's critically review Evalpartner's language, but in my humble opinion, let's invest our efforts in explaining better and recurrently Evalpartner values and its reasons. Do not take for granted that people are clear about them, and just explain and explain them all over again.
    I think that all of us, used to be advocates, know well our tiring and permanent efforts about explaining how important equality is even to our friends, colleagues, relatives... our own children...
    Who said this was going to be easy?

    Warm regards from Madrid, MarĂ*a

    Dear Martha,

    Thank you very much for raising these issues that further affirms the importance of gender and equity perspective in evaluation. In today’s EvalPartners management group meeting these issues were discussed extensively. I was very glad to see that all management group members agreed to reaffirm/confirm that equity and gender equality are key underpinning values of EvalPartners. However, there were some concerns raised that current EvalPartners literature is overloaded with “equity” and “gender” language that, in a view of some members, may limit or act as excluding factor for partners that cannot relate to this language. The working group was established to look into “language issue” and suggest policy on how to deal with this. We will keep you updated on the development of this policy.

    Thanks again Martha for speaking out!

    Kind regards,

    Inga and Murray

    Dear Inga and Murray:

    I was aware that some discussion was occurring - thank you for elucidating. Increasingly programs are bringing in a gender perspective - ensuring education of girls and women, ensuring their voices are heard. So increasingly commissioners of evaluation are asking for a gender equity perspective, recognizing the no matter what the topic (climate change, agriculture, food security, micro-financing, etc) that men and women often experience things differently. It is important to know whether improvement in household income actually results in improvements for the entire family or only certain members of the family. It is important to know whether a particular program makes life easier or harder for some groups more than others.

    There are many important issues that programs try to address - and gender equity cuts across all of the issues. It is important that evaluators understand what gender equity is about - and how evaluation can support it. Gender is often the first cut of analysis that we do when we want to understand what works for whom. And we do know that for health care programs, social services, agricultural programs and micro-financing, women's needs are often different from men's. I strongly support your position on this and hope that the confusion can be remedied.

    Martha McGuire

    Dear TF members,

    There is an interesting discussion going in the EvalPartners management group on equity and gender responsive evaluation focus about the perceived very strong emphasis on these issues in EvalPartners according to some members and one finding of EP evaluation:
    “Numerous key informants noted that EvalPartners’ emphasis on equity-focused, gender-responsive evaluation, to the exclusion of other goals and social goods that evaluation could aid, seems out of step with its otherwise open-ended, partner-driven approach. Many people suggest broadening EvalPartners’ potential aims to addressing any issue that appears of social importance, such as, for example, climate change…”
    We as the co-chairs maintain the view that the de-emphasizing the equity and gender issues is step back of what has been achieved. The position that we expressed could be summarized as follows:
    Many thanks for your message and the contextualising comments about the 'discomfort' point (on page 4) on the EFGR orientation from the evaluation of EP to which it is clear we need to respond. We have discussed the following view with Mike, Jim and Tessie over the last week or so and would like it to be considered at the MG meeting.
    To us, there really does seem to be a confusion surrounding this issue. A concern with Equity (including issues of gender, poverty, food security, effects of climate change etc) is not a concern with a particular methodology but an underlying or overarching (!!) value which can underscore all evaluation 'approaches' or methodologies, and most global policy areas.
    This does offer us an opportunity to initiate a discussion which clarifies the core values of IOCE and EvalPartners. For us, a concern with equity which leads to an overarching value associated with addressing gender inequalities, global resource mal-distribution etc. is absolutely key. It does not contradict, create mutual exclusivity or indicate an unreasonable bias in the way it has been suggested. We think there is a strong support for this view (strong values including equity in all its forms etc) within the IOCE which continues a long standing commitment. Given gender inequity continues to be an important and stubbornly resistant site for inequality in all the big global 'problem' policy areas, it seems perverse to turn our back on it as a clear value commitment within EP and the IOCE at this stage. Our response to the evaluation report should be to clarify and initiate a wider discussion on this issue not to abdicate our leadership role by going along with what is, essentially, a conceptual and practical confusion.
    We would encourage to write to us, Natalia and Marco to express your views about this issue to have more voices of support strong EFGR values and focus in EvalPartners. Thanks in advance for your ideas and advocacy for these important issues. The EP management group meeting will take tomorrow but I hope that we will have more time to discuss these issues.
    Inga and Murray