Gender responsive project management is a prerequisite for ensuring that a project addresses the specific needs and interests of women and men. It requires that a gender perspective is applied to the methodological approach, as well as the targets, objectives and activities of the project. This includes formulating gender responsive results and indicators and establishing a gender responsive monitoring system, budget and human resource policy.

If you are planning a project, ask yourself:

Do our measures strengthen gender equality and women’s rights?
The German development cooperation follows a three pronged approach: Gender mainstreaming means to incorporate the category of gender in all our strategies, measures and in all sectors as a cross-cutting issue. Empowerment means to implement measures against gender-based discrimination and disadvantages, as well as specific activities to strengthen women’s rights. Often small adjustments of our activities are enough to enhance gender equality, e.g. the identification and participation of change agents for gender equality, the integration of gender focal points in our partner institutions or discussions in sex-disaggregated groups. During high-level bilateral and multilateral development policy dialogues, in sector policy dialogues and in policy advice the strengthening of women’s rights and gender equality is established.

Do we know relevant international, national and institutional policies and strategies on gender equality and women’s rights as well as other key issues?
The ratification of international conventions has steadily improved the legal framework conditions for women during the last decades. These conventions are legally binding for the countries that have ratified them and the countries have to submit reports on the implementation status. In addition, so-called shadow reports are often prepared and submitted by nongovernmental organizations. Various international resolutions and declarations have influenced the international debate about women’s rights, although these documents are not legally binding. In addition, a series of regional conventions have been passed by regional organizations. States have to translate such international policies into national legislation. Furthermore, many institutions have adapted institutional gender strategies. We should support our partners in the implementation of their obligations and strategies.

Is the gender dimension reflected in the steering of the project?
Each development measure has a certain steering structure. The primary functions of the steering structure include resource management (personnel, funds, time, knowledge and expertise), strategy, decision-making, planning, coordination, conflict and risk management, supervision and results-based monitoring. Each of these functions includes a gender dimension. We have to ensure that this dimension is adequately reflected in the steering structure. Gender mainstreaming is managerial task. Team leaders can be supported, e.g. through the definition of a gender focal person, who should be part of the steering structure, or through the inclusion of partners, which are responsible for gender mainstreaming in the corresponding country.