Assessment of the Impact of Gender Equality Programming on Humanitarian Outcomes

Despite general agreement among humanitarian actors that gendered perspectives should be integrated into humanitarian preparedness, response and recovery activities, systematic application of this approach remains inconsistent. While several studies have documented the negative consequences of gender-blind programming in emergencies, very few have looked at whether gender-sensitive perspectives have improved humanitarian outcomes, and if so, how.

This lack of evidence is endemic of a lack of evidence-based programing in humanitarian action more generally and a particular dearth of gender and age disaggregation data to feed into needs assessments which are at the basis of such programming. All of this adds to the challenge of advocating for gender equality programming (GEP). Without humanitarian leadership and practitioners strongly advocating for GEP, however, it is likely that the majority of humanitarian actors will continue to utilise a 'one-size-fits-all' model of assistance, which may at best fail to reach those most at risk, and at worst have negative consequences for crisis-affected women, girls, boys and men.

Led by Patricia Justino, the overarching objectives of this project are:

  • To develop understanding of how and under what conditions GEP has or has not contributed to improved humanitarian outcomes.
  • To amass an evidence base which includes good practice that can be harnessed to inform decision makers' discussions in the area of GEP, and inform the design of gender-responsive humanitarian interventions.

In particular, the scope of the research is to assess the impact of GEP across the framework of humanitarian action (preparedness, response and early recovery) in key humanitarian sectors (such as shelter, health, water and sanitation, food security, protection and education) and within key cluster functions (such as in needs assessments, partner selection, and division of labour among cluster partners). It will collect examples of how GEP has been applied in different humanitarian emergencies (i.e. rapid onset, chronic and complex emergencies).

Key contact

Photo of Patricia Justino, IDS Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction Research Fellow

T: +44 (0)1273 915752


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Photo of Becky Mitchell

T: +44 (0)1273 915706


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T: +44 (0)1273 915688


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Jean Pierre Tranchant is a Research Fellow with the Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction Team


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Project Dates:
May 2013 - April 2014
Project Status:
Total project value:
$ 399,993
UN Women
Research Themes / Programmes:
Reducing Inequalities