Integrating Gender into Social and Behavior Change Communication

STEP 8: Add Gender Indicators to a Monitoring and Evaluation Plan

To monitor progress and measure impact for gender transformation in SBCC programs, it is important to ensure the right indicators and the right questions are included in a quality monitoring and evaluation plan.

Through a quality monitoring and evaluation process, implementers can gather information that can be used to improve current and future programs. Your plan should also try to identify any unintended consequences on women and men, girls and boys. This data is invaluable when applying a gender transformative approach to health programming.

Evaluations of SBCC programs may face challenges when operationalizing complex socio-cultural constructs like gender transformation or gender norms. Researchers have highlighted how gender norms and practices can occur at the couple, household, community and structural levels, and how they may vary across different contexts.

A first step to measuring gender transformation is to disaggregate data by sex. Researchers also use gender-specific measures such as:

  • Women’s and men’s involvement in household decisions, including health and family planning decisions
  • Freedom of movement
  • Women’s social status: employment, education or age at first marriage
  • Attitudes toward, and prevalence of, gender-based violence
  • Attitudes concerning roles within the household, including childcare
  • Attitudes about sexual norms, such as the ability and/or right of women to refuse sex, men’s perceptions about sex and number of sexual partners

There are a number of indicators and existing scales that have already been tested and validated that you can use to examine key gender-related constructs. The choice of what to measure will differ depending on the goals and objectives of the program. Refer to existing scales for evaluating impact.

It is recommended that you engage a researcher who specializes in SBCC and/or gender to develop a more thorough plan. It is also critical to train data collectors and key research staff on the role of gender in evaluations and conducting participatory and inclusive dissemination of the results.

Activities

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Activity 8.1: Measuring Gender Constructs

This activity will help you review your existing monitoring and evaluation plan to make sure it includes gender indicators and is designed to monitor and evaluate your revised communication objectives. The activity will also guide you to develop gender-relevant indicators to measure the effectiveness of your program.  

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