ATHENA partners are developing a set of monitoring and evaluation indicators for their GEPs
Jan Kochanowski University of Kielce (UJK) in cooperation with the National Research Council (CNR) started working on the development of the Gender Equality Plans (GEPs) monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system in November 2021. The purpose of this system is to create a framework of indicators that will allow an impartial evaluation of the progress made in reducing gender bias.
Bilateral meetings were conducted by UJK and CNR with each of the partners working on the GEP as these sessions are seen as the first step to integrating and guiding ATHENA partners into the monitoring and evaluation system. The main purpose of these meetings was to introduce the concept of the M&E system to be understandable and acceptable to each partner Institution and support the preparation for the implementation of the GEPs.
These meetings provided discussions concerning the initial situation related to the creation of the GEPs, guidance on how to develop and implement an M&E framework for gender equality measurement, examples of M&E indicators for each of the eight GEPs, and advice on how to design and implement M&E system and processes. As the M&E system is an inseparable element of every GEP, it was essential to meet with each of the partners and discuss the concept and progress of work on each GEP and present the assumptions of such a system so that they were included in the Plans.
Currently, partners are developing their own set of indicators, based on the tool developed by JKU, with the support of this team. Thus, cooperation causes that, on the one hand, “tailor-made” indicators are created for each GEP and, on the other hand, leaders of this task are working on a set of “universal” indicators, which may be useful in any research performing and funding organisations (RPOs/RFOs) implementing GEPs.
Simultaneously, JKU is preparing the M&E guidelines, in which it will be presented key guidance on strategies for monitoring GEPs implementation and evaluating progress made in gender-aware structural changes in ATHENA RPOs and RFOs. The guidelines aim to ensure a coherent approach among all ATHENA partners for impartially monitoring and evaluating the progress made in reducing bias in their organizations.
The ATHENA M&E system aims to build an evidence base on what works to bring institutional change in Research for gender equality; track GEP progress and effectiveness as M&E can help to identify whether a programme is on track to achieve its intended results or whether adjustments are needed; assess the success of an intervention and identify whether interventions work, for whom and why; help identify the most effective and efficient interventions; identify and manage risks that could affect the plans and target groups.