Step 4. Project assessment

Every project should be assessed, using its established gender indicators, to determine whether or not its gender objectives are being met. If not, the project should take remedial action. Managing authorities can support project implementers by suggesting they ask a number of key questions.

  • Was the project developed based on a gender analysis? Were specific gender objectives and gender indicators developed?
  • Were sex-disaggregated data used?
  • Did the project achieve or partially achieve its objectives? If so, what were the success factors? If not, why not? What factors prevented the project from achieving its objectives?
  • Were both men and women involved in the design and implementation of the project?
  • Were systems in place to monitor whether or not the project's development, implementation and monitoring adopted a gender perspective?
  • Were key actors (such as trainers, tutors, employers and social partners) made aware of the importance of integrating a gender perspective?
  • Was internal or external gender expertise available for the project’s implementation?
  • Did capacity building and awareness raising on gender equality issues take place during the project?
  • Was there any mechanism to assess women and men beneficiaries’ satisfaction with the project’s results? If so, was there any relevant gap between women’s and men’s satisfaction with these results?

 Sweden: ESF-Council gender equality support desk for project implementation

The Swedish European Social Fund Council (ESF-Council) established a support function, offering training and learning workshops for project applicants and implementers. It also set up a support desk on gender equality in project implementation. Open to all projects funded by the ESF, the desk offers concrete advice to implementers on systematically integrating gender equality, accessibility and non-discrimination principles in their projects. It provides guidance on gender mainstreaming, gender analysis, and ways to ensure that the project benefits both women and men without perpetuating inequalities. Support services are requested online, facilitating interaction between project applicants, implementers and the support desk. The accessibility of timely support has contributed to the implementation of gender equality measures in ESF-funded projects.

In 2016, the ESF-Council support desk addressed 147 requests through its online services, reaching 107 project applicants and implementers. It also responded to 12 requests for support from public authorities, and 7 requests on knowledge and strategy development related to gender mainstreaming[1].

The ESF-Council’s dedicated support desk website provides additional information, frequently asked questions, methods and tools to help projects ensure that gender equality is considered throughout all phases, from planning through implementation to evaluation. It specifies that gender mainstreaming in the project cycle should comply with the following criteria:

  • the project includes internal gender equality skills, or the support of external gender experts;
  • a gender analysis is included in the project's problem analysis;
  • project activities are gender relevant according to this analysis;
  • the project evaluation assesses whether or not gender objectives were achieved, and to what extent the implementation process mainstreamed gender.

 Spain: specific and intersectional measure to eliminate gender inequalities: Project 'Calí Equality for Roma women'

Supported by the ESF 2014-2020 Social Inclusion and Social Economy Operational Programme, the Calí programme addresses the specific needs of Roma women, based on a sound knowledge of their realities.

The aim of the programme is to promote the personal development of Roma women who are in a situation of special vulnerability, in order to enable them to fully exercise their rights as citizens, and to strengthen their abilities and competences, in order to improve their chances of finding a job.

The objectives of the programme are to:

  • enhance the social inclusion of Roma women and their access to employment through actions that contribute to the development of their social, employability and personal skills and that promote gender equality, participation and work-life balance;
  • combat discrimination and promote equality with special attention to cases of multiple discrimination Roma women face;
  • boost gender equality between Roma men and women and support breaking down cultural and social barriers that prevent Roma women´s social and economic advancement;
  • support and accompany Roma women suffering domestic violence;
  • raise awareness among society, public policymakers, those working in relevant sectors (teachers, social or health care professionals, etc.), the economic operators or the Roma community itself about negative stereotypes regarding Roma, and Roma women in particular;
  • influence policies on gender equality, equal opportunities and non-discrimination.

Results that change women's lives

After 3 years, the results of the Calí programme show a great impact on the lives of the 1 700 participating women: 245 have found jobs and 122 have returned to study. In addition, it contributes to promoting gender equality in the Roma community, with 786 awareness-raising activities on gender equality in which 2 050 Roma men and 3 360 Roma women of all ages have participated.