Design, Monitoring and Evaluation for Peacebuilding

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Evaluation of Policy Dialogue as an Instrument in Swedish Development Cooperation - the case of Gender Equality

Author, Copyright Holder: 
Sida, Dana Peebles, Jonas Lövkrona, Nadine Jubb
Evaluation Report2.89 MB

Dialogue plays a vital role in development cooperation. It serves a range of purposes and is used in many ways depending on the context. But there is little knowledge of the effects of the policy dialogue, and few studies and evaluations have been performed to analyse this instrument.

The aim of this evaluation is to provide a better understanding of what constitutes successful policy dialogue on gender equality in different contexts - and to contribute to the improvement of policy dialogue as an instrument in development cooperation. The thematic focus of gender equality was chosen as it is an area where Sweden has had a long and strong commitment and where Sida explicitly uses policy dialogue to raise awareness and promote change. The evaluation covers the period of 2007-2013 and is based on three country case studies in Albania, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Guatemala.

The evaluation concludes that Sweden has frequently taken a leading role in policy dialogue on gender equality issues, and that it has also shown concrete results. One example of this is legislative reform processes to enhance gender equality in both Albania and Guatemala.

The evaluation reinforces previous experience that policy dialogue plays an important role in Swedish development cooperation, constituting an essential means to reach objectives, not least on gender equality. It stresses the importance to recognise that it takes skills and time to conduct policy dialogue. It points to the importance of recognising both the formal and informal policy dialogue as complementary to each other, as well as identifies different types of dialogue processes used depending on purpose. For dialogue to be successful, the evaluation argues that it should (amongst others):

  • be timely
  • ensure broad-based and meaningful participation
  • be complementary to project/programme support
  • be based on consistent key messages
  • be supported by committed leadership