Review of IFI experience in mainstreaming gender

Published by: 
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Author(s) / Contributor(s): 
Publication Date: 
January, 2016

Document Type:

The EBRD has elevated gender as a strategic priority and is currently developing a Bank-wide Strategy for the Promotion of Gender. Other international financial institutions (IFIs) have substantially intensified their efforts in this area and made significant changes at the levels of strategy, corporate structure and operations. EBRD can learn from this experience.

The paper describes significant features of the way IFIs are approaching gender today – in terms of corporate commitments, attention to private sector operations, and for the first time, a more consistent approach to incorporating gender in evaluation. It finds that having set up the corporate mechanics to support their gender commitments, IFIs have adopted a largely pragmatic approach to adapting practices for best results on the ground. Many IFIs focussed on the public sector initially to gain traction and awareness on gender. Having done this, many are now moving to include the private sector where this increased attention is balanced with increased interest from clients. Surprisingly, given the maturity and strength of the gender agenda within most IFIs, much less progress is observed in addressing gender within evaluation, though many expect substantial changes here in the near future.