Verifying whether the plan is being followed and whether the objectives regarding gender mainstreaming are being achieved. It allows to address identified problems and to introduce changes in order to accomplish gender equality.

A gender-sensitive monitoring is a systematic and objective assessment of the design and planning (objectives, results pursued, activities planned), the implementation and results of an ongoing activity, project, programme or policy from a gender perspective. It takes into account the information and data collected and collated in the course of different planning and implementation phases of the policy or programme, as well as other knowledge and sources. Persons responsible for monitoring should have gender expertise and the criteria for monitoring, methods and reports should integrate gender equality considerations.

Monitoring exercises occur periodically and are aimed at following up the implementation of a policy or a programme. This includes data collection and information based on the defined gender equality objectives and indicators, in order to verify whether the plan is being followed and whether the objectives are being achieved. Importantly, it allows to immediately address identified problems and to introduce changes in order to accomplish what has been established.

How to build up a set of indicators for gender-sensitive monitoring?

To build up a gender sensitive monitoring set of indicators means, at the most basic level, that each dataset should be disaggregated by sex. In addition, it is also important to choose data that might be useful to measure gender equality in policy implementation and gender mainstreaming principles for the different category of indicators:

  • context indicators are designed to measure the evolution of the reference group for the policy under scrutiny and, therefore, to highlight the needs expressed by the population. In a gender perspective, context indicators are aimed at monitoring the position of women in different policy field and gender gaps;
  • application indicators are aimed at measuring the characteristics of the target population. It is important to use these indicators to underline the features of target female population and any differences with the male population;
  • process indicators are used to measure management efficiency. This process involves indicators regarding the operational aspects of intervention implementation: administrative and financial management mechanisms, the institutional actors involved, the information system implemented, the level of distribution and the capacity to reach the target population (measure promotion and distribution activities, ease of access to the project, participation procedure complexities, project and participant selection methodologies), the effective content of the services, the speed of administrative action (average delay between the application presentation, financing and intervention implementation), the capacity to retire the user until the end of the project, the amount of residual resources, the state of the financial and fiscal progress of the project (planned and effective spending flows, number of users that join and leave the programme etc.). It is useful, even with this type of indicator, to monitor the mainstreaming quality of the Programme: process indicators disaggregated by gender let us understand how many financial and human resources are dedicated to gender goals;
  • result or output indicators describe the product obtained at the end of the projects - for example, the number of orientation or training hours offered per user, the number of places in nurseries, the price and the length of the recruitment contributions etc. Result indicators are important to capture the traits of the female users in relation to the population and to measure and describe the relationship between the objectives of the projects and the results obtained (for example, the number of women who have completed the training course, or who have abandoned it, etc);
  • efficiency indicators that measure the relationship between the resources used and the results. Some examples are the effective cost per intervention in relation to the estimated cost and the cost per-capita of the intervention for each user category divided by gender and within gender.

Further reading

Monitoring progress towards Gender Equality in the Sixth Framework Programme – Synthesis Report