RE: Developing effective, inclusive and gender responsive MEAL systems | Eval Forward

Looking at the responses, I am not sure we are addressing the questions raised by ERIASAFU LUBOWA. First and foremost gender responsiveness is the like the highest level in the gender continuum.It has attributes or traits (if you like) that must be integrated in the MEAL cycle and the contraints and their solutions should be contextual like Daniel Ticehurst has deliberated it may not one size fits it all , depending on the approach that MEAL team chooses to use not methods. 

Here is my take  on how to make the MEAL system gender-responsive,

For any system to be gender-responsive it must ascertain the following:

  • Inclusivity and intersectionality should be factored in from the predesign to design to implementation to closure
  • The principle of representations- Focus should be in using the feminist MEAL approach so that processes are contributed into by both genders. The decision-making functions (parliaments, company boards, union leadership, etc.) are important indicators for women’s and men’s access to voice and power. However, it is not enough to simply count women and men. It is equally important to consider the actual outcomes of decisions taken by decision-making organs and their effects on gender equality
  • The principle of Participation has to be intentional to the design team at the outset: Achieving higher participation of underrepresented or disadvantaged sex in a given activity (training course, discussion of a new policy, etc.) is always desirable. Nonetheless, a project is not necessarily gender-responsive or contributing to gender equality just because a high rate of women has taken part in its activities
  • Finally focused should on be Equal power relations involves addressing power relations between (or within) different groups. This means evaluators need to acquire a full understanding of the context in which any changes have taken place. It also means evaluations need to be conducted in a way that is sensitive to the empowerment of disadvantaged groups.

With the above aspects addressed the MEAL team should integrate the above concepts in their MEAL systems  in the following ways:

Integrate all the gender-responsive concepts into the MEAL System for instance

Conduct a gender-responsive situation analysis

The MEAL plan has to be gender-responsive

Use Mixed Methods that are gender-responsive

Use tools that are gender-responsive

Finally, the MEAL Eco-system should be respectful, participatory, reflective, transparent, and accountable across the agricultural and or food systems value chain.