Study reveals new modules on gender financing

BY: Ama Amankwah Baafi

A report on the transparency of gender financing has suggested three enhancing modules that donors and data platforms could use to improve the transparency of gender financing.

It said the application of the modules, namely, data capacity, data quality and data engagement could help relevant gender equality stakeholders’ awareness of ongoing gender equality efforts, inform programme design, facilitate consultations to (re)allocate funding to effective initiatives and ultimately to promote Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5: Achieve gender equality and empower women and girls, and other development outcomes.

The report is the final output of a Gender Financing Project by Publish What You Fund (the global campaign for aid and development transparency) that assesses the transparency of gender financing.

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Data capacity

The inaccessibility of data is repeatedly identified as a real barrier to better data use and to understand decision making around the allocation of gender financing.

Therefore, by ensuring gender equality stakeholders’ sustained access to open, user-friendly data and necessary data resources (funding, time, technology, and data literacy) they are more likely to collect, use and contribute to better gender financing data and ultimately development outcomes.

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Data engagement

The report identified that publishing gender financing data was only a first step and so actively engaging with data users to understand their needs, to provide feedback loops, and to provide constructive avenues for inputs on priorities and programs would help build trust, improve use of data and increase local ownership.

Data quality
It stated that although there have been advances in data quality, continued improvements in the comprehensiveness, comparability, and timeliness of gender financing data would make it more likely to be useful to—and thus used by—gender equality stakeholders. These improvements can help all relevant gender equality stakeholders’ awareness of ongoing gender equality efforts, inform program design, facilitate consultations to (re)allocate funding to effective initiatives, and ultimately to promote SDG 5 and other development outcomes.


There is a global consensus that addressing gender equality and empowering women and girls is a critical step in significantly improving development outcomes.

Countries and donors have pledged to increase investments to address gender equality through their commitments to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly SDG 5.

Since the adoption of the SDGs, further global initiatives have emerged and resources have been mobilised, creating a diverse range of initiatives and funding flows targeting gender equality.

As such, tracking gender financing helps to understand progress towards these global gender equality initiatives and the impact of targeted funding.

Experts say that meeting the SDG targets will require transparent information, particularly at the country level in order to direct (or redirect) funding, coordinate and address the funding gaps and to hold donors and governments accountable to their gender equality commitments.

Other recommendation

The study recommended that donors significantly increase the amount of multi-year, core funding for national and local Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Women’s Rights Organisations (WROs) and feminist movement to increase their data capacity.

“Engage and share decision making power with (potential) data users, particularly national and local NGOs, WROs and feminist movements in the entire data cycle of a gender equality project.

“Mark your funding against relevant gender markers. In particular, mark development and philanthropic funding against the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC) Gender Equality Policy Marker,” it added.