It is difficult to conclusively evaluate the impact of gender responsive budgeting (GRB) on gender outcomes and in turn the impact of incentives on GRB and on women’s empowerment more widely. This is both due to a limited evidence base about impact and to the complexity in assessing and interpreting impact (Combaz, 2013). Literature on GRB is primarily prescriptive and there are few documents that provide conclusive evidence on impact and effectiveness. Complexity in assessing and interpreting impact is, in part, because definitions of gender-responsive budgeting vary and the impact of gender-responsive budgeting is difficult to measure. Gender-responsive budgeting has been implemented in a very diverse and uneven fashion across time and place, under very different constraints and opportunities.
The most relevant area of literature relates to including GRB as part of processes to monitor performance. This can be through:
- Performance-based indicators: These can monitor and incentivise performance.
These indicators can be in performance contracts or with sub-national funding decisions, for example. Incorporation of GRB into personal staff incentives remains one possibility though research for this report was unable to find instances of this.
Performance monitoring and performance-based indicators can be included in:
- Public Financial Management reform: GRB can be incorporated and presented as Public Financial Management (PFM) reform.
- Performance assessment frameworks (PAFs): PAFs for budget support contain indicators and targets, and disaggregating these by gender can ensure that the budget is in effect gender responsive. This approach can be supported with gender working groups.
Institutional structure can impact on incentives. In particular:
- Organisational structure
- Legal structure
- Staff assignment
Other potential incentives are:
- International influence
- Female political representation
- Media and civil society