- Focus Areas
Author: Sarah Widmer and Emily Sharp
In late 2016, Pacific Women and the Pacific Community (SPC) commissioned a joint mid-term evaluation of SPC’s Progressing Gender Equality in the Pacific (PGEP) Project. This project, valued at $3.8 million works across 14 countries and is funded through Pacific Women’s regional program. PGEP is a five-year project that works with Pacific Island Governments to 1) strengthen governments’ capacity to mainstream gender; and 2) improve gender statistics to better monitor progress towards gender equality.
The evaluation found that the PGEP project remains highly relevant, and that SPC remains the best placed organisation to deliver this project given its technical capacity and networks in the region and in Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs). The evaluation also concluded that PGEP is achieving positive and demonstrable gains in gender mainstreaming and gender statistics in seven countries; and in a further three countries where assistance has been more sporadic. All PICTs interviewed provided overwhelmingly positive feedback about the type of assistance provided through PGEP. Comments centered on the level of the team’s technical expertise in gender mainstreaming and gender statistics, as well as their ‘partnership’ approach to working with countries.
A primary learning from the evaluation was that with only four SPC project staff having responsibility for supporting gender mainstreaming and gender statistics, to maximise effectiveness, it is critical that planned activities are not only leveraged with existing opportunities in country, but are also coordinated with other partners as much as possible. The evaluation identified that a comprehensive, practical and coordinated focus in the next phase of PGEP was critical to embed progress and overcome challenges surrounding gender mainstreaming.