Recent analysis of CRS data by the Global Humanitarian Assistance team highlighted that US$25 million of the US$70 million that was gender coded in 2008 was disbursed from the United Kingdom to the Humanitarian Response Fund (HRF) in Ethiopia. This raised certain queries as traditionally donor money channelled through emergency response funds has been unearmarked.
Looking into this further there could be a simple explanation. Within the HRF guidelines it is apparent that gender has a strong focus and the HRF requires that all project proposals from agencies and NGOs are explicit in how they aim to address gender inequalities through their provision of humanitarian assistance.
The HRF aims for accountable and effective humanitarian responses. To achieve this, a gender equality approach is required.(HRF Guidelines, November 2009)
If donors such as the United Kingdom are aware of such a focus and they should be if they are contributing money through this mechanism, then they will have a certain degree of foresight which enables them to code their disbursements to the fund with a gender policy marker before the funds have been allocated to certain projects on the ground. Of course this is not proven and would require confirmation from donors but it is one explanation that helps us to understand why such a large proportion of traditionally unearmarked funding could be coded as gender focused.
Below is a checklist for agencies and NGOs to ensure that they maintain a gender focus in their project planning and proposal writing
HRF critical gender indicators checklist (HRF Guidelines, November 2009)
- Emergency teams include women and men, and you strive to achieve gender balance.
- Each emergency team has someone focusing on gender.
- You analyse how the crisis affects women, men, boys and girls differently and any barriers or obstacles facing particularly women and girls are analysed.
- You collect data from women, men, boys and girls.
- The data from women is collected by women.
- The data you use to measure effectiveness is broken down by sex.
- You monitor intended and unintended effects of the response on women and men.
- Women and men participate equally in decision-making.
- Proposals and reports include specific gender plans, goals, indicators and progress.
- You consider women’s and men’s different needs and capacity in project plans and resources.
- Staff and partners are accountable to gender equality goals.
- You work to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse and provide medical, legal and economic support to survivors.
- You have a sexual gender-based violence (SGBV) referrals system that integrates SGBV issues into the entire response.