Checklist for project selection criteria

When assessing project proposals, managing authorities and monitoring committees can develop and apply selection criteria based on the following questions.

Step 1. Analysis

  • Does the proposal include a gender analysis of the intervention area (i.e. the analysis of differences in women’s and men’s situations and needs – in their diversity – and the identification of relevant inequalities)?
  • Are qualitative and quantitative sex-disaggregated data used to describe gender gaps and patterns?
  • Does the analysis refer to fund-specific, national and/or sub-national gender equality goals?

Step 2. Objectives and indicators

  • Are specific gender goals (i.e. objectives that are to be reached for both women and men to increase gender equality) set for the project?
  • Does the proposal define how the project intends to contribute to overarching gender goals?
  • Does the proposal indicate if, and how, the project’s objective(s) will be attained for both women and men in their diversity?
  • Are specific gender indicators set to facilitate the monitoring of gender objectives?
  • Are general indicators related to individuals disaggregated by sex in order to monitor whether or not both women and men are reached?

Use the EU policy objectives as a guide, consulting Tool 1 and the following:

Policy objectives  Gender equality aspects 
Equal economic independence for women and men
Equal pay for work of equal value
  • Reduce the gender pay gap
  • Increase employment (and reduce segmentation)
  • Contribute to women’s education
  • Enhance work-life balance, specific indicators include:
    1. increased proportion of men’s time in care-related activity
    2. increased employment for women and men, including migrant women, in the formal care economy
    3. increase in women’s access to, and hours in, paid work
  • Eliminate gender stereotypes
  • Reduce gender segregation in the labour market
  • Support flexible working arrangements and family-related leave
  • Increase women’s entrepreneurship
  • Increase the accessibility and quality of childcare services
  • Support social inclusion
  • Increase the accessibility and quality of care facilities for other dependants
  • Fight the exclusion of, and poverty among, women
  • Support the protection of parents and carers
Equality in decision-making
  • Increase women’s participation in decision-making positions and processes
Dignity, integrity and ending gender-based violence
  • Support the prevention of, and protection from, gender-based violence
  • Support men’s and boys’ role in eradicating violence against women

Project objectives also include a wider perspective, related not only to sex or gender but also to other characteristics. For instance, it is important that objectives include further disaggregation within the broad categories of ‘women’ and ‘men’, considering additional socio-demographic attributes such as: age, socio-economic background, poverty, race, ethnicity, location (rural/urban), disability, sexual orientation (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and others) and religion. Moreover, all thematic priorities should, ideally, consider an approach that pays attention to intersectionality (i.e. the intersectional characteristics of individuals, and how these interact or intersect to influence gender inequalities). 

Step 3. Activities and implementation

  • Are specific activities planned to achieve the project’s gender equality objectives?
  • Is there a connection between the project’s planned gender analysis and the specification of gender equality objectives? Does the project explain how this connection will be taken into account in its development of activities (aimed at reducing existing inequalities) and their expected results and outcomes?

Step 4. Gender competence

  • Does the project have access to internal gender competence? If not, will external gender expertise be used? Does the project include a budget for such external expertise?
  • Is gender competence a requirement in training and evaluation procurements?

Step 5. Monitoring and evaluation

  • Does the proposal explain how the project will monitor and assess gender equality objectives/results/effects?
  • Does the proposal define what corrective measures will be taken by the project if these gender equality objectives/results/effects are not being achieved?
  • Does the proposal set out how the project will evaluate gender equality objectives/results/effects?

Finally, managing authorities and monitoring committees must ask: does the project proposal fulfil these selection criteria? If not, they could request complementary information and make a final assessment.

 Belgium: the requirement to evaluate projects considering possible effects on women and men before selection

In Belgium, all OPs are required to consider the lived realities of women and men. Every phase should consider how the programme may influence – positively and/or negatively – women’s and men’s different situations and needs. Therefore, each project proposal is analysed and evaluated by considering its possible effects on women and men, and how it may influence gender equality.

An intersectional analysis is applied at the OP level, at the project level, and during calls for proposals. This means that women’s and men’s lived realities are taken into consideration, as are their intersectional characteristics, such as age, socio-economic status, disabilities, race, ethnicity, religion, and other relevant socio-demographic data. Data collection and analysis of women’s and men’s situation in the labour market, their access to education, and opportunities for them to work in different companies and sectors are considered. If possible, the analysis cross-checks data with other socio-economic dimensions. For example, young women may face different situations, and have different needs, from older women.

All calls for proposals must explain how the project will contribute to gender equality, which is a major consideration in the project selection process. To assist applicants’ in planning projects, information sessions are organised. These include information on equality between women and men, equality laws and policies, and gender-mainstreaming methods and tools. Another supportive awareness-raising action is an online training platform on gender equality. A practical guide on how to assess and integrate gender aspects in projects has also been published. This guide assists applicants to take women’s and men’s lived realities into account during project planning. It also helps monitoring committees to monitor projects' contributions to gender equality. Each project is evaluated according to established criteria, which are related to gender equality. Sex-disaggregated indicators are used throughout the programming period to measure possible advances towards gender equality. 

 Finland: project selection criteria

In Finland, new questions for project applicants on gender equality have been developed for the funding period 2014-2020. Project applicants need the answer to following questions:

Questions Yes No Explain (has to be filled in)
The project assessed the operating environment from a gender perspective      
A gender perspective was mainstreamed in the project      
The main purpose of the project is to promote gender equality      

These questions are used as evaluation criteria for making funding decisions.