Example 3: Conducting an organisational analysis

Gender Audits by the International Labour Organisation

The International Labour Organization and other international organisations have conducted gender audits and also published manual or Handbook on the process and results. A report written on the current situation of gender equality includes good practices as well as recommendations and challenges. Audits are using a self-assessment approach and concerning objective data as well as personal perceptions.

Questions and answers

  • What does the example show?
    The International Labour Organization conducted a gender audit to investigate already existing gender awareness on an institutional and a personal level concerning the staff members. Gender audits are tool and process at the same time based on a participatory methodology to promote organisational learning. Staff members, managers and clients contribute to the audit all in the same way. The final report refers among others to the following points: “Mainstreaming gender as a cross-cutting concern within the unit’s objectives, programme and budget, existing gender expertise and competence, Information and knowledge management on gender issues, Systems and instruments in use for accountability, evaluating and monitoring on gender equality, Choice of partner organizations, Advocacy products and public image, Staffing and human resources concerning balance between women and men, as well as gender-friendly policies, Organizational culture and its effects on gender equality”.
  • Why is the example suitable for promoting institutional transformation?
    The example has directly refers to institutional transformation because it is used as a tool for learning. Learning on individual, team and organisation level is a precondition and key to organisational change. The aim of the gender audits was to promote this kind of organisational learning to better implement gender mainstreaming.
  • What was the example’s line of action?
    Before the Action plan came into effect in 2009 it was revealed that more resources were needed to implement gender mainstreaming effectively. The regular budget allocation was extended and as a consequence, in the next phase budget matters were explicitly considered.
  • Who was involved and in which way?
    In October 2001 the ILO launched the first gender audits in accordance with the ILO gender mainstreaming policy. The gender audits are conducted by trained facilitators to encourage dialogue and reflection among staff members. After the audit took place a report was submitted to management and staff to share gained knowledge on gender equality. In 2012 the second manual for gender audits was released by ILO.
  • Which lesson can be learned in terms of success factors?
    ILO provided a model of gender audit which has the potential to link the implementation of gender mainstreaming to the issue of organisational culture and organisational change.