Donors’ reporting of the gender relevance of their official development assistance (ODA) improved between 2007 and 2009, but since has steadily worsened. The Open Working Group’s proposal on sustainable development goals calls for timely and reliable data disaggregated by gender.
The OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC), which covers the major ODA providers, introduced a new gender equality marker (GEM) in 2008 as a tool to assess the extent to which aid targets gender equality.
The proportion of aid where gender relevance is known increased from 56.3% in 2008 to 61.6% in 2009, but subsequently fell to 50.1% by 2012. Gender relevance is therefore unknown for some US$75.6 billion of ODA.*
In 2012, the Commission on the Status of Women noted that financing of commitments for gender equality, made in 2008 and linked to gender elements of the Millennium Development Goals, was lagging. The Commission should discuss this financing gap in 2015.
Better reporting is needed for a reliable picture of whether donor commitments on gender equality are being met. A more systematic and standardised approach by donors will strengthen accountability and enable resources to be better allocated to respond to the different needs of girls and women, as well as men and boys.
For more information, see our briefing Trends in donor spending on gender in development
Data are gross ODA disbursements to all eligible recipients from all DAC country donors, two non-DAC donors (Kuwait and the UAE) and those multilaterals that report to the OECD’s Creditor Reporting System.
GEM codes are: 0, projects that do not target gender; 1, projects that make a significant contribution to gender equality; 2, projects that make a principal contribution to gender equality. GEM was preceded by the ‘women in development marker’, revised and renamed the ‘gender equality policy marker’ in 1997, and further refined in 2006.
* ‘Unknown’ indicates where the gender marker was not used. This excludes projects where descriptions contain keywords suggesting they are gender relevant, which we have defined as ‘other gender related’ and represents around 2.9% of ODA. See full briefing paper for details.
DI calculations are based on the OECD Creditor Reporting System
Commission on the Status of Women Review panel (2012) “Financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women”
Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (2014) “Outcome document – Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals”