Giving Compass' Take:

• Kelli Rogers offers advice for organizations looking to begin or improve gender data collection to inform their programs. 

• What gender data is already available? How can funders support data collection and research to help organizations make an impact? 

• Find out how one foundation created a better data culture.

  • Consider how you are framing an issue first: Holes in gender data stem from a lack of measurement for many events in women’s lives, including unpaid work and labor migration. It’s important to foster a deep understanding of the local context and to keep in mind that data — or its absence — is political, according to Yamini Atmavilas, India lead on gender equality for the Gates Foundation’s India country office.
  •  Don’t let the absence of baseline data stop you: In these cases, it’s time to turn to innovation in sampling or levels at which data is collected: Perhaps at higher, more aggregated levels you hold on to certain measurements for the sake of compatibility, but at the granular level you can build in the newer, more updated ways of measuring so that they become more usable.
  • Don’t be afraid to diversify your data sources: Easy-to-use data is available, accessible, and actionable, according to Albert Motivans, head of data and insights for Equal Measures 2030.
  • Be an informed data user: This starts with demystifying technical jargon. Even simple and common indicators like a rate or ratio can seem complicated if the data isn’t explained well.
  • Consider ways to make data collection participatory: At the end of the day, Atmavilas would like to see less “data extraction” and more of an effort to go back to the communities where data was collected, armed with useable data that population could use for their own planning and advocacy.

Read the full article about gender data use by Kelli Rogers at Devex International Development.