International Labour Organization
SEAPAT
South-East Asia and the Pacific Multidisciplinary Advisory Team
ILO/SEAPAT's OnLine Gender Learning & Information Module 

Unit 1: A conceptual framework for gender analysis and planning

Some gender planning approaches and strategies

The Harvard Analytical Framework 

Aims of the Harvard framework
Features
Uses of the framework
Strengths of the Harvard framework
Potential limitations


The Harvard Analytical Framework is also called the Gender Roles Framework or Gender Analysis Framework. Developed by the Harvard Institute for International development in collaboration with the WID office of USAID, and based on the WID efficiency approach, it is one of the earliest gender analysis and planning frameworks.

Aims of the Harvard framework:

Features

The Harvard framework is originally outlined in Overholt, Anderson, Cloud and Austin, Gender Roles in Development Projects: A Case Book, 1984, Kumarian Press: Connecticut.

The framework consists of a matrix for collecting data at the micro (community and household) level. It has four interrelated components:

The framework also contains a series of checklists consisting of key questions to ask at each stage of the project cycle: identification, design, implementation, and evaluation.

CHECKLIST 1: Women’s dimension in project identification

Assessing women’s needs
  1. What needs and opportunities exist for increasing women’s productivity and/or production?
  2. What needs and opportunities exist for increasing women’s access to and control of resources?
  3. What needs and opportunities exist for increasing women’s access to and control of benefits?
  4. How do these needs and opportunities relate to the country’s other general and sectoral development needs and opportunities?
  5. Have women been directly consulted in identifying such needs and opportunities?
Defining general project objectives
  1. Are project objectives explicitly related to women’s needs?
  2. Do these objectives adequately reflect women’s needs?
  3. have women participated in setting those objectives?
  4. Have their been any earlier efforts?
  5. How has the present proposal built on earlier activity?
Identifying possible negative effects
  1. Might the project reduce women’s access to or control of resources and benefits?
  2. Might it adversely affect women’s situation in some other way?
  3. What will be the effects on women in the short and longer term?
CHECKLIST 2: Women’s dimension in project design Project impact on women’s activities
  1. Which of these activities (Production, reproduction and maintenance, socio-political) does the project affect?
  2. Is the planned component consistent with the current gender denomination for the activity?
  3. If it is planned to change the women’s performance of that activity, i.e., locus of activity, remunerative mode, technology, mode of activity) is this feasible, and what positive or negative effects would there be on women?
  4. If it does not change, is this a missed opportunity for women’s roles in the development process?
  5. How can the project design be adjusted to increase the above-mentioned positive effects, and reduce or eliminate the negative ones?
Project impact on women’s access and control
  1. How will each of the project components affect women’s access to and control of the resources and benefits engaged in and stemming from the production of goods and services?
  2. How will each of the project components affect women’s access to and control of the resources and benefits engaged in and stemming from the reproduction and maintenance of the human resources?
  3. How will each of the project components affect women’s access to and control of the resources and benefits engaged in and stemming from the socio-political functions?
  4. What forces have been set into motion to induce further exploration of constraints and possible improvements?
  5. How can the project design be adjusted to increase women’s access to and control of resources and benefits?
CHECKLIST 3: Women’s dimension in project implementation Personnel
  1. Are project personnel aware of and sympathetic to women’s needs?
  2. Are women used to deliver the goods and services to women beneficiaries?
  3. Do personnel have the necessary skills to provide any special inputs required by women?
  4. What training techniques will be used to develop delivery systems?
  5. Are there appropriate opportunities for women to participate in project management positions?
Organisational structures
  1. Does the organisational form enhance women’s access to resources?
  2. Does the organisation have adequate power to obtain resources needed by women from other organisations?
  3. Does the organisation have the institutional capability to support and protect women during the change process?
Operations and logistics
  1. Are the organisation’s delivery channels accessible to women in terms of personnel, location and timing?
  2. Do control procedures exist to ensure dependable delivery of the goods and services?
  3. Are there mechanisms to ensure that the project resources or benefits are not usurped by males?
Finances
  1. Do funding mechanisms exist to ensure programme continuity?
  2. Are funding levels adequate for proposed tasks?
  3. Is preferential access to resources by males avoided?
  4. Is it possible tot race funds for women from allocation to delivery with a fair deal of accuracy?
Flexibility
  1. Does the project have a management information system which will allow it to detect the effects of the operation on women?
  2. Does the organisation have enough flexibility to adapt its structures and operations to meet the changing or new-found situations of women?
CHECKLIST 4: Women’s dimension in project evaluation Data requirements
  1. Does the project’s monitoring and evaluation system explicitly measure the project’s effects on women?
  2. Does it also collect data to update the Activity Analysis and the Women’s Access and Control Analysis?
  3. Are women involved in designing the data requirements?
Data collection and analysis
  1. Are the data collected with sufficient frequency so that necessary project adjustments could be made during the project?
  2. Are the data fed back to project personnel and beneficiaries in an understandable form and on a timely basis to allow project adjustments?
  3. Are women involved in the collection and interpretation of data?
  4. Are data analysed so as to provide guidance to the design of other projects?
  5. Are key areas of WID research identified?
[Checklists adapted from Overholt, Anderson, Cloud and Austin, Gender Roles in Development Projects, Kumarian Press, Connecticut, 1985.]

Uses of the framework:

Strengths of the Harvard framework: Potential limitations: [Adapted from Training Workshop for Trainers in Women, Gender and Development, June 9-21, 1996, Programme Handbook, Royal Tropical Institute, The Netherlands.]

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For further information, please contact the South-East Asia and the Pacific Multidisciplinary
Advisory Team (SEAPAT) at Tel: +63.2.815.2354 or Fax: +63.2.812.6143
E-mail: seapat@ilo.org

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