In this brief video interview, IEG Director-General Caroline Heider discusses why it is important to integrate gender into evaluation, and how the World Bank Group can improve how it measures and assesses how different genders are benefitting from a set of interventions.   


Question: Why is it important to integrate gender into evaluation?

Caroline Heider: Well, it's important because, if all genders are not participating equally in the development process, we cannot expect the world population, together, to achieve shared prosperity. We have to do evaluations of what is being done and what is being achieved in order to take course corrections. If we do one big evaluation every five years, we quite often find nothing much has changed. Whereas, doing this integration will help us give feedback on an ongoing basis, will help generate systematic information across many different subjects of evaluation, that help us together understand whether our mindset is shifting and whether we are looking at development from a gender sensitive point of view.

 

Question: Are you happy with the current gender integration into evaluations, and what would be the ideal situation?

Very often, our teams bump up against data limitations and say, 'Well, we can't make a judgment call because it wasn't planned for, the data wasn't collected, it's very hard to understand what the gender outcomes have been.'

Caroline Heider: We have progressed. We are doing more than we used to do, but there's always more that one can do. There's always something one can learn, one can push the boundaries. From my perspective, one of the big challenges is that a lot of evaluators think that it's very hard to do, and sometimes it is. It costs a lot more time and money. In an ideal scenario, people would actually understand what are the gender implications of a particular intervention, and then understand from there, how do we generate the evaluation evidence? How do we know what has actually happened? And which population groups have been affected and how? In reality, very often, our teams bump up against data limitations and say, "Well, we can't make a judgment call because it wasn't planned for, the data wasn't collected, it's very hard to understand what the gender outcomes have been."

 

Question: How do you think the situation with gender integration can be improved?

Caroline Heider: One is the World Bank's commitment to building gender into country strategies and operations from the starting point, throughout, and at the exit point, is a very important aspect. Because, if the project planning isn't happening, if the monitoring data isn't being collected, it makes our life much, much harder, and much more difficult. That should really get us to a better place. Then on the side of the evaluators, we really have to think about, what are some of the methods and techniques that we can use in order to understand better what the distributional effects are? And that's not just distribution among the rich or the top 20% of the population and the bottom 20% or 40% of the population, but also among the genders.

There are sometimes very clear indications who's benefiting and who's not, and sometimes it's more subtle and requires better understanding of what is the situation in the country, and how well women can participate, how much men are benefiting or participating more or less than women.

Watch the full video interview with Caroline Heider

 

 

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