4. Top tips for integrating gender





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1. Analyse sex- and age-disaggregated data: We need to understand what the different needs of women, men, boys and girls are. Aim to get sex- and age-disaggregated data as soon as you can, as well as data on other relevant factors such as ethnicity, religion and people with a disability, and use this as a basis for your gender analysis.

If you can’t get quantitative information in the first hours of a response, record the sex and age of key informants who are providing you with information on the situation, and aim for a broad spread of informants. Other sources could include available programming information, census data, health statistics and household survey data. The result would be a broad snapshot of differences.

2. Update gender analysis: You may have a preconception that gender analysis is difficult—a one-off piece of work produced by gender specialists. Not so.

In an emergency, a gender analysis is likely to be built up progressively over time. To understand the issues, staff, partners and communities collect, identify, examine and analyse information about how gender is affecting people’s needs and capacities, including how the realities, expectations, rights and choices for women differ from those for men. Without this understanding, we cannot be sure that our assumptions about interventions are correct, or that our interventions will be accessible, appropriate and acceptable to our intended groups.

Ideally, gender analysis is integrated into the EPP process as part of CARE’s commitment to understanding the different needs of the communities we work with. But if the analysis has not been done before an emergency response begins, use the rapid gender analysis tool to assess the impact of the humanitarian crisis on women, girls, boys and men, and to inform programming.

The tool will guide teams to start building a picture of gender roles, norms and issues that can be updated over time. Draw on sources such as:

  • country gender analysis or gender analysis produced for long-term programming relevant to the affected population
  • gender analysis (or information) in project designs
  • baselines and evaluations related to other sectors working in the same geographic area
  • analysis done by other agencies including the UN
  • gender-sensitive information collected in assessments.

If you have more time and need to do a more detailed gender analysis, refer to CARE’s Good Practices Framework for Gender Analysis. This is a good starting point for teams to identify and explore key gender questions in light of programming priorities, available resources and time. The framework sets out eight core areas of inquiry that examine the key characteristics and dynamics of gender and power relations.

3. Adapt your strategy and project design based on what you learn from your gender analysis. At the start of your emergency response, the gender analysis will not be perfect, so you may need to adapt your strategy and project design as your analysis improves.

4. Monitor for gender-specific impacts: It’s particularly important to remember that our projects can have unintended consequences—we need to check for these. For example, a project to help older women increase their income may mean that child care falls to school-age girls, which creates a barrier to their education. We need to keep checking on how the situation is changing for all the different sex and age groups—not just for our targets. Build these checks into general monitoring.

5. Prepare a gender action plan: You will need to complete a gender action plan or GAP, which is a requirement to access the ERF. Some donors now also require a GAP. The GAP is a tool to help you prepare and plan for a gender-sensitive response, and ideally would include a wide range of people in its development. You will also need to use assessment information and your gender analysis to design your response so that you address identified issues and make sure that different groups are getting the support they need. The GAP helps you to work through that process. The gender action plan user guide gives more details on how to use the GAP at various points, including during the EPP, at the beginning of a response and during an response review.

6. Use the Gender Marker: You can use the CARE Gender Marker as a tool that grades, on a scale of 0–2, whether or not humanitarian relief work is prepared for, designed, and implemented to equally benefit women, men, boys and girls and support gender equality. Like the IASC Gender Marker launched in 2010, the CARE Gender Marker looks at the project design stage but goes further to also assess implementation, preparedness and strategy development.

The IASC Gender Marker is mandatory for all project proposals submitted under the consolidated appeals process (CAP) and the gender marker scores are publicly available. To support our focus on gender in emergencies, we encourage teams to use the CARE Gender Marker at any of these stages:

  • emergency preparedness
  • strategy development (including gender action plans)
  • project proposals
  • project implementation (real time evaluations and response reviews).


  • Target actions based on the gender analysis. Design services to meet the needs of women, men, boys and girls.
  • Make sure that women, men, boys and girls have equal access to services.
  • Make sure that they can participate equally in response activities.
  • Train women and men equally.
  • Use programmes to help prevent SGBV.
  • When you collect, analyse and report on information, break down the data by sex and age.
  • Coordinate actions with all partners.

Critical indicators checklist

    • CARE teams are gender balanced and each emergency team has someone focusing on gender.
    • You analyse how the crisis affects women, men, boys and girls differently.
    • 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 and age.
    • 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 capacities 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 an SGBV referrals system that integrates SGBV issues into the entire response.


  • Forget that women, men, boys and girls are all at risk of rape and SEA. Men and boys are often victims of SGBV in conflicts.
  • Favour men in livelihood programmes. This could further impoverish women.
  • Fail to consider gender in all sectors of the response—e.g. poor camp design can increase the risks of SGBV, and distribution programmes can create opportunities for SEA.