Step 3: Conducting an organisational analysis


The aim of an organisational analysis is to appraise where the organisation currently stands and to provide information on what would be the most promising way for that particular organisation to implement gender mainstreaming.

The expected results are:

  • an overview of the organisation’s strengthens and weaknesses in mainstreaming gender equality
  • the information needed to identify the most promising strategy for introducing or advancing gender mainstreaming

This evaluation forms the basis for developing a gender mainstreaming strategy and a working plan that schedules how this strategy is to be introduced in detail.

Key aspects

an organisational analysis should cover all dimensions of organisational change, i.e. structural, personnel and outcome (SPO model)

step 3

Checklist: Key questions for an organisational analysis

View Checklist of the key questions for an organisational analysis

Gender audit

A gender audit is a participatory method of conducting an organisational analysis. It is a guided process of self-assessment supported by experienced facilitators, who raise key issues, enhance awareness about norms and attitudes and foster organisational learning. A gender audit is a sophisticated approach that addresses the cultural and informal aspects of an organisation’s operation in particular. It aims at building ownership and promoting commitment to gender mainstreaming by involving as many staff as possible, for example, through a series of workshops and focus group meetings.


There are advantages to having the organisational analysis conducted either by internal or by external experts. For instance, while staff members have a better knowledge of internal structures, hierarchies and procedures, external experts have a more objective point of view and offer a fresh and independent perspective. Thus, a close cooperation between internal and external experts may be of great benefit. However, criteria for deciding who is to conduct the analysis should include methodological skills and expertise in gender mainstreaming.

In order to create an overall picture of how an organisation functions, the analysis should not only cover the organisation’s formal structure and procedures, but also focus on the organisation’s culture including norms, attitudes and informal practices. A participatory approach to the organisational analysis, involving some or all of the staff, may be a good way of addressing attitudes and informal practices in particular and of enhancing commitment to gender mainstreaming from the outset.


The International Labour Organization conducted an organisational analysis to assess already existing gender awareness at both an institutional and personal level amongst staff members.

View example