Gender and Equity Network South Asia Gensa

Why GENSA?

GENSA is a special interest group of the Community of Evaluators – South Asia (COE SA) that will represent an equity and gender lens in evaluations and particularly give voice to the special challenges in addressing these issues in South Asia. The network will enable COE SA members to promote, coordinate and collaborate on research, evaluation, policy and capacity building for gender transformation and equity embedded in and responsive to the unique culture of South Asia. GENSA aligns with COE’s vision of “Evaluation for a just and equitable society” and mission: Enhancing high quality evaluation and its use in South Asia through improved capacities, generating and sharing knowledge and building networks. All member countries of COE SA can participate in GENSA – India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Maldives.

Evaluation challenges related to equity and gender do not happen in a vacuum and it is critically important to address the local context (our learned and shared behavior, values, customs, and beliefs and which shapes who we are) particularly because of the diverse populations and complex intersectionalities that represent South Asia.

GENSA is an effort to formalize COE SA’s strong interest in gender and equity related issues in evaluation. This follows the initiative of other evaluation associations around the world. For example, AFREA (the African Evaluation Association) has a special interest group called AGDEN (Africa Gender and Development Evaluators Network) the American Evaluation Association has a TIG (Topical Interest Group) for feminist evaluation and the European Evaluation Association has a TWG (Technical Working Group) on Gender and Evaluation

Who can participate?

Any member (individual) of COE SA or the National VOPEs in the region (Nepal, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India) can choose to be a member of GENSA.

Activities of GENSA

GENSA will work on the following broad areas:

Promote capacity building of its membership in gender transformative and equity related evaluation
  • Coordinate the gender strand (papers, panels, workshops) at COE SA conclaves
  • Contribute to the body of knowledge by sharing resources, particularly relevant to the S. Asia region
  • Encourage theory building on gender and equity that is culturally embedded and responsive to S. Asian concerns
  • Provide advisory services through its membership for policy and programme
  • Develop proposals for evaluation, research and capacity building
  • Maintain a members’ directory and database of gender and equity experts in the region
  • Collaborate with others (including gender special interest groups in other VOPEs) on knowledge sharing through participation in conferences, workshops, panels and round tables

COE SA has had a strong focus on gender and equity:

  • All Conclaves have had a gender and equity strand
  • National VOPEs in South Asia have worked closely with policy makers to promote gendered evaluations e.g. Nepal and Sri Lanka evaluation associations work closely with policy makers to incorporate gender and equity into the SDGs and national evaluation policies. In India, Niti Ayog (Planning and Evaluation wing of Govt. of India) has participated in capacity building workshops on gender and equity.
  • Participated in Round Tables on Gender in collaboration with UNWomen and CLEAR;
  • Received awards on P2P grants from Evalpartners that have gender and equity related issues;
  • Published a journal of writings in South Asia on these issues https://www.idrc.ca/en/node/6230
  • Collaborated with others for workshops, panels and presentations at conferences
  • Completed an EvalPartners Innovation Challenge Award “Mobilizing South Asian Local Knowledge to Democratize Evaluation Theory & Practice” that celebrates the use of local wisdom in theory and practice in various countries across the region. CoE SA conducted a webinar with various thought leaders from the region.
  • Completed a Peer to Peer (P2P) EvalPartners grant in collaboration with RELAC, the Latin America evaluation association and AGDEN (Africa Gender and Development Evaluators Network) with our members on developing a culturally responsive gender curriculum for South Asia.
  • Some COE SA members are also members of feminist and gender networks of other evaluation associations in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa.

What are the next steps?

  1. We encourage those who are interested to express interest by joining GENSA.
  2. We will develop a database of all members with gender and equity expertise in the region
  3. We will develop a GENSA googlegroup and What’s App group to communicate efficiently
  4. We will collate resources that are South Asian owned and used
  5. We will develop working groups or task forces for various issues identified by the membership

Please, let us know about your interest in joining GENSA

Please, do not hesitate to contact us for any comment, suggestion or question you may have about this initiative. We are very much looking forward to hearing from you.

Dr. Sonal Zaveri (Coordinator, GENSA) sonalzaveri@gmail.com