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Exploration of the use of the Gender Evaluation Criteria (GEC) 

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Speed read: The Land Portal started the year 2016 by facilitating a two-week online discussion on the Gender Evaluation Criteria (GEC), a flagship GLTN tool that examines the gender responsiveness of land tools. The dynamic debate themed ‘Sharing Best Practices and Lessons Learned for Supporting Women’s Land Rights’ that took place between 25 January and 5 February brought together 23 contributors from 15 countries across the world representing civil society, research institutions, professional organizations and multilateral institutions. Using the Land Portal’s Land Debate tool, the discussions that received a great diversity of perspectives demonstrated that both that practitioners and scholars had successfully used the GEC as a research and assessment tool for a wide range of issues ranging from urban land and land administration to natural resource management and family law. The complete transcript of the debate is available here.                                                      


The Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) partners have been developing, disseminating and piloting the Gender Evaluation Criteria (GEC), a flexible framework comprised of 6 criteria and 22 evaluation questions with possible indicators that can be adapted to a wide range of different situations, among a wide range of stakeholders at national and global levels since 2007 at the global and country level.

Several grassroots women’s organizations, members of the Huairou Commission, tested the GEC during in its initial phase in Brazil (Espaço Feminista), Ghana (Grassroots Sisterhood Foundation) and Nepal (Lumanti). These tests focused on large-scale land tools, municipal master plans, land reform commissions and land administration systems. The International Land Coalition (ILC) also facilitated capacity-strengthening on the use of the GEC for several years through a series of Training of Trainers, supporting its members in Togo, Zimbabwe, and Indonesia to carry out GEC evaluations as part of their country-level work.

Yet, despite the broad use of the GEC in various circumstances, it had become clear that the GEC would require improvements and simplification in order to encourage wider adoption by grassroots organizations.

In response, with the support of the GLTN and the Rural/Urban International Civil Societies Cluster, the Land Portal hosted a Land Debate on the GEC with the following objectives:

  1. Gathering lessons and best practices on the usage of the GEC.
  2. Identifying the positive and negative aspects, the challenges faced and positive outcomes of tools like GEC.
  3. Identifying entry points for the adaptation and revision of the tool for up-scaling.
  4. Comparing this tool to similar gender tools used by other communities.
  5. Addressing the main characteristics of a tool aimed at promoting women’s land rights.
  6. Bringing together stakeholders in the land governance community and creating possibilities for synergy.

The Land Portal engaged with GLTN partners and the entire land governance community to coordinate a dynamic discussion. The discussion resulted in 68 comments from 23 contributors in 15 countries across the globe, representing civil society, research institutions, professional organizations and multilateral institutions who have used the GEC as a both a research and assessment tool for a variety of topics, ranging from urban land and land administration to natural resource management and family law.

The discussion showed that those who have used the GEC appreciate the flexibility of the framework in assessing land and other laws and policies, and also for assessing the gender-responsiveness of organizations. Flexibility in different cultural context, versatility for use in diverse projects, women’s empowerment and equal emphasis on process and outcomes were identified as positive elements of the GEC. Challenges of using the GEC included too much flexibility, inadequate ability to address private sector issues, bias of traditional leaders and institutions, a lack of time for replication of results, as well as complexity, were identified.

Consensus among participants was that a distinction should be made between the introduction of required and flexible criteria within the GEC, while increasing adaptability of the tool. Additional ways to improve the GEC that were identified included reinforcing the link between the tool and rural women’s experience, familiarization of government officers and policy makers with the GEC, further dissemination among CSOs, governments and private sector and additional training to reinforce peer-to-peer knowledge exchange.

How did this discussion affect the GEC?

The GLTN reportedly incorporated the results of the GEC discussion into its mid-term review to inform further evolution of the tool. The report of the discussion and the discussion page itself have become online reference tools for how to approach the use of gender evaluation tools.

About LandPortal

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 LANDPORTAL.INFO is a premier online destination for information, resources, innovations and networking on land issues. The Portal allows for the collection, sourcing, and searching of otherwise fragmented and inaccessible data and information on land governance and land use from diverse sources, produced by governments, academia, international organizations, indigenous peoples and NGOs. Besides documenting land rights, the Portal also encourages social information exchange, debate and networking.



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