The global pandemic has shown us all that the challenges facing the world today are interconnected. The COVID-19 crisis has diminished hard won gains around gender and inclusion, amplified the impact of environmental pressures on marginalized populations, and pushed new people into instability. Interdependent issues require interconnected solutions. Consequently, GEI partners have developed strategic plans on several cross-cutting themes that will be integrated into all GEI activities: Gender and Inclusion, Climate Change, and M&E in Fragility, Conflict and Violence (FCV) Settings. GEI is also paying special attention to the role of Youth in supporting monitoring, evaluation and evidence use in developing countries – as emerging evaluators and as drivers of change.
Since many GEI partners already have significant experience in these areas, GEI’s strategic approach aims to surface critical lessons, identify knowledge gaps, and coordinate joint action to maximize impact.
Gender and Inclusion
Effective M&E systems are critical to enhancing the gender-responsiveness of public policies and decisions as they provide systematic opportunity to assess and reflect. By incorporating questions on gender, inclusion, and power dynamics, evaluation can play an influential role in understanding how and why power dynamics and structures affect inequality across genders and other identities within programs and policies, as well as identify opportunities to promote equality in such programs and policies.
GEI will incorporate the cross-cutting theme of gender and inclusion into its efforts to strengthen M&E systems in developing countries in a variety of ways. For instance, gender and inclusion has been incorporated into the Monitoring and Evaluation Systems Analysis (MESA) Tool. GEI’s Global Team will lead a mapping exercise of the GEI network’s gender-related training activities to catalyze potential collaborations, where relevant. GEI network partners will also regularly convene to share best practices on incorporating gender into their work (such as through brown-bags and webinars). In addition, GEI-sponsored events and conferences (i.e., gLOCAL Evaluation Week) will systematically include gender and inclusion as a key theme.
Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability
To address and mitigate natural degradation and climate change threats, it is essential that decision-makers account for the potential and actual environmental impacts, and adjust their actions based on the evidence and learning that comes from national M&E systems. Achieving this will necessitate the development of adequate capacities and methods for conducting environment-informed evaluations at a global scale.
By leveraging the work of its partners that already lead influential work in this sector, GEI will support the design and implementation of M&E systems that inform countries about the environmental footprint of their actions and will strengthen the capacity of evaluators and government leaders on environmental footprint evaluation methods and standards. GEI will also support the creation of sectoral methodologies, best practices, and evidence studies, and will facilitate a broad dissemination and adoption of this knowledge across key stakeholder groups.
M&E in Fragility, Conflict and Violence Settings
Policies and programs designed to overcome poverty, create socio-economic opportunities, and achieve national and sustainable development goals are more effective when based on evidence on what is working from robust monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems. In countries that are marred by fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV), strong M&E systems can have an even more meaningful impact on fostering good governance by providing channels for transparency and accountability and inducing even deeper changes in state-society relations by helping to rebuild trust and the social contract between the state and its citizens.
In prioritizing the work in FCV countries, GEI will apply its integrated systems-approach to strengthen FCV country M&E frameworks, processes, and capacities. To start with, the MESA tool will be piloted in an FCV context and customized to ensure that it adequately captures the challenges these countries may face around monitoring, evaluation and evidence use. The GEI network will also ensure that FCV-sensitive approaches are mainstreamed in M&E trainings and professional development activities funded by GEI and expand the access of participants from FCV locations to these trainings. Finally, GEI will create opportunities for knowledge exchange and collaboration to improve and harmonize approaches for delivering support to country stakeholders in FCV contexts.
GEI Work in Action: CLEAR-LAB Supports Mozambique with National M&E System
The supply of skilled M&E professionals - especially in the most poor and fragile regions of the world - is insufficient. Investing in building the capacity of a new generation of local evaluators is essential for supporting the strengthening of developing country monitoring and evaluation systems. Young and emerging evaluators (YEEs) also have the potential to drive change and innovation in the M&E field. However, YEEs are facing challenges with accessing M&E skills, career development and professional support.
To address these challenges, GEI intends to build the capacity of to help them successfully enter and operate in the M&E space. GEI will act as a connector, making YEEs aware of professional development or training opportunities - particularly targeting YEEs who live in fragile, conflict or violence contexts with scholarship opportunities. GEI will also promote youth inclusion and leadership with GEI Network partners and will launch an internship program.
GEI Work in Action: CLEAR-SA “Research For Impact” Fellowship for Indian PhD Students