4. Monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning (MEAL) for GiE

Incorporating gender into MEAL provides the opportunity to understand, learn from, and respond to the changing gendered realities and experiences throughout a response. It involves ensuring that MEAL systems and activities are participatory, are not gender-neutral and that they are designed to allow teams understand and challenge unequal power relations that may exist. Crucially, MEAL should seek to contribute to social change by empowering marginalized groups to be heard and influence the decision-making that affects them.[1]

The following tools and processes should be considered:

CARE’s global indicators #1 to #9  provide guidance about monitoring of changes related to Gender Equality. They can be found here.

Analyse sex- and age-disaggregated data: in order to understand the different needs of women, girls, boys and men, it is necessary to collect, monitor, analyse and use sex-and-age-disaggregated (SADD) data, as well as data on other relevant factors based on the context, such as ethnicity, caste, religion and disability. When collecting data on disability The Washington Group Short Set of Questions on Disability can be used. These questions are designed to identify persons who have difficulty performing basic universal activities (walking, seeing, hearing, cognition, self-care and communication) with the questions designed for use in humanitarian response settings where time and resources are limited.

Identify, monitor, and respond to gendered issues: Integrating gender into MEAL requires building gender reflection into monitoring. Initially this involves analysing and understanding how sex, age and other data on diversity, needs to influence programming, and how current programming will or is having an impact on different groups. Following this, it is necessary to review how the situation is changing for different sex, age and diversity groups and ensure we respond to issues such as: changing protection risks and needs, unintended consequences, and changing gender roles and relations.

The Gender Equality Women’s Voice (GEWV) indicators were developed with the aim of allowing CARE to capture, measure, and track the changes occurring as a result of dedicated gender approaches across development and humanitarian programming. The resulting data should enable CARE to systematically build a picture of the changes in agency, structures, and relations taking place in the communities in which we work.

The CARE Gender Marker is one of the key tools that supports the implementation of CARE’s Gender Equality and Women’s Voice Approach. CARE’s Gender Marker is a self-assessment program quality and learning tool, that allows us to monitor and learn to what extent gender equality is integrated into humanitarian projects along the CARE Gender Continuum, on a five-point scale, from harmful to transformative.

The Gender Marker is designed for non-gender specialists and can be used at multiple stages throughout programming, enabling CARE to track, improve on, and support more effective, gender integrated programming, allowing teams to continuously improve programming to better meet the needs of women, girls, boys and men.

The CARE Gender Marker guidance note and webpage includes comprehensive guidance on how to apply the tool as well as key learnings.

Accountability to affected populations

At the heart of CARE’s efforts to impact poverty and social justice, is its engagement with marginalised communities, and vulnerable adults and children. An essential component of CARE’s organisational commitment to upholding the dignity and human rights of the communities it works with, is CARE’s approach to the Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA). CARE’s International Policy on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Child Protection (2018) outlines the organisation’s zero tolerance toward sexual exploitation and abuse and child abuse. Further guidance on CARE’s approach to PSEA is outlined in Section 33 of the emergency toolkit. A training package is also available for all staff.

Further external references  can be found in

CARE’s Strategic Impact Inquiry (SII)

CARE’s SII is rights-based action research that uses processes of critical inquiry to build new knowledge and accountabilities among staff, partners, allies and the communities affected by CARE’s work. It aims to understand the impact our humanitarian response work is having on the short- and long-term dynamics of gender inequality in the communities we serve. Further guidance and examples of the SII can be found here.

[1] Applying Feminist Principles to MEAL at CARE Canada Guidance Note