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Understanding of Gender and Age Mainstreaming

Indicator Phrasing

% of staff who understand the key principles and practices of gender and age mainstreaming
See indicator in other languages

Indicator Phrasing

English: % of staff who understand the key principles and practices of gender and age mainstreaming

French: % des membres du personnel qui comprend les principes et pratiques clés de l'intégration des questions de genre et d'âge

Spanish: % del personal que comprende los principios y prácticas clave de la integración de la perspectiva de género y de edad.

Portuguese: % de membros do staff que entende os princípios e práticas-chave da integração das questões de género e idade

Czech: % zaměstnanců, kteří rozumí klíčovým zásadám a postupům “gender and age” mainstreamingu

What is its purpose?

This indicator assesses the extent to which the staff (of an organization or a specific project only) understand the key principles and practices of gender and age mainstreaming. It indicates how much they can support the effective implementation of gender and age mainstreaming measures. The indicator can also highlight the need for (further) staff training on specific topics relating to gender and age mainstreaming.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Determine the indicator's value by using the following methodology:


1) Define who is considered as ‘staff’ for this indicator. It is recommended to include also the staff of partner organizations, relevant volunteers, consultants, and contractors.


2) Define the essential amount of the most important knowledge related to gender and age mainstreaming that staff should possess.


3) Prepare a simple test to assess whether staff have the predefined, most important knowledge. The test can use a combination of the following:

   - questions assessing people’s knowledge related to the key principles and practices of gender and age mainstreaming

   - scenarios where the person is asked to describe how s/he would respond to a given situation (i.e. there are no predefined answers)

    - questions asking people to choose between two or more statements (one being correct, one or more being incorrect)

    - questions assessing the extent to which people believe common misconceptions related to gender and age (both in general as well as related to mainstreaming)

Ensure that you include enough open-ended questions, as – compared to questions with single / multiple choice answers – they allow you to understand people’s knowledge better. If you do not specialize in gender and age mainstreaming, engage a relevant expert in preparing and evaluating the test.

To avoid having unrealistically high or unnecessarily low requirements, verify the difficulty of the test by pre-testing it with several people.


4) Decide how many marks will be allocated for each correct answer. For example, for correctly answering a simple question, you can give one mark, while for correct answers to more complex questions / scenarios, you can give two marks.


5) Decide how many marks a person needs to get to be considered as “understanding the key principles and practices of gender and age mainstreaming” (e.g. a score of at least 15 out of 20).


6) Administer the test. If you need to compare a staff member’s understanding before and after a specific learning event (e.g. a training), you might need to design two comparative tests to be administered pre- and post-test.


7) Count the number of staff who achieved the minimum acceptable score (see point 5).


8) To calculate the indicator’s value, divide the number of staff who achieved the minimum acceptable score by the total number of staff who completed the test. Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage.


Disaggregate by

Disaggregate the data by the gender, age group, and seniority of the participating staff.

Important Comments

1) Keep in mind that using this indicator is not supposed to be a heavy exercise – it is only about someone defining what people really need to know about gender & age mainstreaming, preparing practical test / exercise that checks how well they know it, and then using the results.


2) Consider making the test anonymous (and ensure that people know it is anonymous). This will reduce the risk of people responding based on what they think the ‘correct’ answer is instead of saying what they honestly think or believe. If you use an anonymous test, you might need to reduce the disaggregation requirements; collecting the respondents’ positions, genders, and age groups might make the tests less anonymous. If you need to compare people’s results in a pre-test and post-test, use a coding system to compare two tests without revealing the respondent's identity.  


3) When defining what knowledge the staff should possess, be practical – instead of asking people to give you definitions of different concepts, ask them questions related to specific situations they might experience at work, common misconceptions, and their understanding of key topics. 


4) You should share the test results with those who took it, as it can serve as a useful learning opportunity. Accompany it with discussion of the correct answers.


5) Your organization may have a set of essential gender and age mainstreaming measures applicable to all interventions and additional measures specific to individual projects. If this is the case, consider developing a standard test that includes both:

   - the essential measures (applicable to all interventions); plus

   - additional questions assessing people’s understanding of measures that are specific to a given project

Such a partially pre-prepared test will make it easier for you to use this indicator across different projects. Engage relevant experts in developing the test to ensure its quality.

This guidance was prepared by People in Need ©

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