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INDICATOR 19: # and % of people of all genders who have meaningfully participated in formal (government-led) and informal (civil society-led, private sector-led) decision-making spaces
Why this indicator? What will it measure and provide information for?
The rationale for this indicator is to capture how CARE’s impact groups have participated in decision-making spaces, either formal or informal.
What Sustainable Development Goal is the indicator connected to?
5.1 Proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments and local governments
5.5 Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life
16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
16.10 Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements
17.18 By 2020, enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including for least developed countries and small island developing States, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts
Definitions and key terms
“All genders”acknowledges that gender justice is beyond the binary that has traditionally been used in development discussions (men, women, boys and girls), and in recognition that those who associate with genders outside of those binary classifications often face the harshest gender injustices1) . Generally, CARE currently captures information about the ‘sex’ of individuals who attend our trainings, access services supported by CARE, or other otherwise reached indirectly or directly by our interventions; to do this we normally capture ‘sex-disaggregated data’. It is important to distinguish here that ‘sex’ is a biological distinction (e.g., male/female) while gender points more to individuals’ association of identity which go beyond binary to reflect individuals who may not associate as man or woman, boy or girl, but may be transgendered, gender variant, and many others. If your project/initiative is capturing data on “all genders”, please note that in the comments section explaining if you have captured sex-disaggregated data, or if your project/initiative has asked survey respondents or participants of focus groups, etc. about their gender identity.

“Meaningful” is divided into two components: i) participation and ii) leadership. Participation refers to project participants who attend a meeting in a formal or informal space and are able to contribute to decisions in that space (i.e. they are able to voice their interests or demands publically). Leadership refers to project participants who assume positions that represent the interests of other groups or marginalized and excluded people (e.g. secretary, treasurer, chairperson).
Formal decision-making spaces: These areofficially recognized spaces for engagement which are opened and led by public authorities (i.e. invited spaces where civil society has a seat and a vote/say), including traditional authorities. These may include constitutional assembly working groups or women’s caucuses, human rights commissions, national action plan committees, sectorial advisory groups, province/governorate/district assembly meetings, district participatory budget or public audit meetings, district nutrition coordination committees or disaster management committees, trade union congresses, community health and education committees, water or waste management committees, village/community/ward development committees or associations, etc.
*Some of these spaces may not exist or function in practice, so they may need to be (re)established or reactivated by CARE and its partners.

Informaldecision-making spaces: These are spaces opened and led by civil society, i.e. created by CARE and its partners to raise the voice of marginalized groups or populations who typically do not participate in formal decision-making spaces. Generally, these informal spaces raise issues which are either not recognized or under-recognized in formal spaces.
These include: community development forums, community scorecards,social audits, community (adaptation) action plan monitoring committees, participatory scenario planning, gender action plan committees, citizens’ charter taskforces, peace clubs, citizen health monitoring groups, school management committees, advocacy steering committees, ward development forums, youth groups, cultural associations, village savings loans or producer groups and even mothers’ groups, if they are also used as a space for civic participation.
Data and information required to measure the indicator
The data may be divided into:
a) # of people who are participating in formal and informal spaces where they can meaningfully contribute to decisions
b) # of people (particularly women) in leadership positions of decision-making spaces
Suggested method for data collection
Each method on what level or degree of participation you want to capture:
* Survey methods: Baseline and endline surveys of group membership can help establish direct participant numbers and quantitative change over time.
* Ethnographic methods such as participant observation may help to understand the dynamics of formal and informal spaces, who participated, who spoke, and whether power-holders listened.
* Semi-structured Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) can also elicit key information about the quality of participation in formal and informal spaces, for example on women’s confidence speaking in public.
* Focus Group Discussions (FGD) with impact groups can draw out commonly held perceptions about the space for women’s leadership in formal and informal groups. You may also wish to consider mixing survey methods with vignettes in FGDs on social norm perceptions related to women’s participation in public spaces.
* Theory-based methods such as Contribution Tracing, Outcome Mapping and Most Significant Change may be helpful in explaining the participation process (see indicator 20 for more info).

Possible data sources
* Participants’ lists show who attended the meeting and demographic or organizational composition.
Organizational registry data show how many people are affiliated.
Meeting minutes express which issues were raised and agreed in public meetings, and ideally who raised them.
Action plans show what issues were agreed by decision-makers in public meetings.
Testimonial evidence from participants may help to describe the nature of spaces and interaction between different groups.
Photographic evidence can corroborate the participation of impact groups and other actors.
Resources needed for data collection
The resources needed to ensure this level of data quality will be:
* Time for training and piloting of the methodology proportional to the size of expected impact.
* Time for reviewing tools and the initial methodological approach during each evaluation.
* A number of appointed and trained data collectors for the whole duration of a project.
* Any additional costs to digitize and share large-scale evidence on selected evidence of change.
Reporting results for this indicator
The reporting of this result will be to the responsible team/focal point in overseeing the mainstreaming of the CARE approach.
Questions for guiding the analysis and interpretation of data (explaining the how and why the change happened, and how CARE contributed to the change)
* Who attended and who chaired the meeting CARE or partners organized?
* Who did public authorities (or other decision-makers) invite to participate? How has this changed over the course of the initiative?
* How/by whom are the most vulnerable stakeholders represented?
* Who spoke at the meeting? What kinds of needs and/or priorities were expressed?
* How were these needs/priorities recorded by the (formal or informal) authority?


The JATRA project in Bangladesh provides a good example showing different dimensions of participation CARE’s projects may consider. We often find that formal spaces such as official meetings for planning or budgeting at the local level are not happening in practice, and one aim of the project was to reestablish one of these, the Ward Shava budget planning meetings, to help ensure that resources reached the poorest areas. The Union Parishad Act of 2009 stipulates that at least 5% attendance. By tracking attendance records, among the 130 wards that conducted Ward Shava budget meetings in year 1 of the project, we found that a total of 49,761 community members participated (an average of 383 per meeting). This number was also sex disaggregated (25,184 men and 24,577 women). This represents just over 10% of the total voting population of these wards. So, we can show how project actions contributed to greater representativeness of formal spaces, and even how this has improved year-on-year. More specifically, the Ward Shava resolution book allowed the project to trace which individuals and groups made recommendations and which were included in the budget.

JATRA also promoted citizen participation in informal spaces, including Citizen Forums, Community Score Cards (CSC) and Social Audits. A Social Audit is a process in which citizens review official records to determine whether reported expenditures reflect actual spending on public development projects. The project can also demonstrate evidence of the inclusion of an impact group because it conducted a participatory poverty mapping to identify the poorest groups. We can thus show that 91 people from poor and extremely poor households participated as Audit Committee members (60 men and 31 women).1,709 citizens attended the 12 public meetings at which the Audit Committees presented their findings.

In terms of leadership, CARE enables various processes to support women’s leadership. However, one good example we can compare is the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) developed for Feed the Future, as this has a common set of indicators on leadership and community including participation in formal and informal groups, confidence speaking about gender and other community issues at local level, and political participation. The Pathways Program in Malawi, Tanzania, India, Mali, and Ghana and the Women’s Empowerment: Improving Resilience, Income and Food Security (WE-RISE) Program in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Malawi all gathered data under this index.

To understand change to women’s participation and leadership in formal and informal groups, the surveys first determined whether 10 different types of groups exist in the community. If groups exist, women were asked about their participation, reasons for not participating, amount of decision-making input they contribute, and whether they hold a leadership position. In WE-Rise Tanzania for example, we find credit or microfinance groups, agricultural/livestock producer’s group, other women’s groups, religious groups, local government, mutual help or insurance groups, trade, business, or cooperatives associations, civic groups or charitable group, water users’ group, forest users’ group, and other non-women's groups. In the two programs, women’s leadership was predominantly in informal groups, and especially credit or microfinance groups such as Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs). In WE-Rise Tanzania, for example, most leadership positions** in collectives were held by women because the majority of group members were women. One of the survey questions was therefore “have you expressed your opinion in a public meeting (other than VSLA, or producer group)?” Through progress markers, Outcome Mapping can also help projects understand how participation, membership and issues raised changed over time.


[1]CARE USA’s Gender Justice team, and other country offices, CMPs, and teams across CARE globally have started to integrate ‘all genders’ in their work.

CARE USA’s Gender Justice team, and other country offices, CMPs, and teams across CARE globally have started to integrate ‘all genders’ in their work.
indicator_19.txt · Last modified: 2019/01/18 14:33 by admin