Giving Compass' Take:

•  Aditi Srinivasan, writing for FSG, offers four ways for organizations to adopt a gender lens in their measurement and evaluation plans in order to prioritize gender equality.

• Why aren't more organizations incorporating a gender lens? What are the benefits?

• Read about informed gender lens investing. 

Across the social sector, we have seen growing interest in bringing a gender lens to social change—from foundations and nonprofits aligning to the Sustainable Development Goals to businesses looking to create shared value. As organizations deepen their gender-related programming and companies invest in gender equity, there is one question that is inevitably raised: how do we measure that?

The first thing to know about gender-sensitive measurement is that it doesn’t just apply to programs that have an explicit gender focus. It’s something that becomes a foundational aspect of an organization’s measurement and evaluation approaches across its portfolio, enabling it to address inequities in how programs are rolled out and influence different groups.

Whether you’re a small nonprofit with limited human and financial resources, or a business starting to think about measuring the impact of a CSR effort, there are 4 ways to start incorporating gender in your measurement and evaluation efforts:

  1. Disaggregate your data by sex and/or gender along the full data cycle: Collecting disaggregated data allows you to track differences in program reach, participation, and outcomes across groups.
  2. Use gender-sensitive measures and methods to track changes in gender equity: When you adopt a gender lens, you see that tracking changes in gender equity is just as—if not more—important to understanding whether your program is achieving its goals.
  3. Look out for and track unintended consequences: While doing a thorough gender analysis and theory of change at the outset of the project helps to predict outcomes, there are unforeseen changes that are just as important to track, especially when they might have harmful consequences.
  4. Collect and use qualitative data: Qualitative data—from interviews and focus groups, for example—help to shed light on changes that might not be captured by a survey, while also providing rich, contextual data on how and why change occurs.

Read the full article about incorporating a gender lens in your measurement efforts by Aditi Srinivasan at FSG.