Gender Analysis in Grantmaking: Using Effectiveness Questions

Use “effectiveness questions” to uncover gender assumptions. Typical questions include:

  • How does the program work? Assumptions about what we know and how things work can sometimes be assumptions about what we know about men and how things work for men. A recent example has fast become a classic. Studies of emergency room workers assessing heart-attack symptoms suggest they really rely on their knowledge of men’s heart attack symptoms. Since what’s effective for men is not always effective for women, asking how a program might work for different users is one way of checking assumptions.
  • Where does program outreach take place? Thinking about the location of programs can often uncover assumptions about who will be served, and how. For example, a job training program that recruits only in welfare offices is likely to attract only women, since men aren’t eligible for public assistance in many jurisdictions.
  • When are programs offered? Reflecting on timing might also uncover assumptions. Timing affects some participants, such as mothers with young children or people who work more than one job, profoundly.

Takeaways are critical, bite-sized resources either excerpted from our guides or written by Candid Learning for Funders using the guide's research data or themes post-publication. Attribution is given if the takeaway is a quotation.

This takeaway was derived from Grantmaking with a Gender Lens.