A Gender Impact Assessment (GIA) is an analysis and evaluation tool used to review a selected endeavor (e.g., a project, program, strategy, or law) in terms of its gender equality-relevant impacts. Such an equality-oriented impact assessment can be applied to different policy fields at the level of ministries as well as subordinate authorities. It aims at developing recommendations for policy decisions, usually has a binding character, is applied to a specific intervention, and is characterized by a structured application of procedures and methods.
The Gender Impact Assessment tool was adapted by Verloo and Roggeband as a tool for impact assessment of political social policy programs from development cooperation. In 2002, as a pilot project on gender mainstreaming, it was adapted to German environmental policy and here specifically to legislative procedures. In the research project Interdependente Genderaspekte der Klimapolitik (Interdependent Gender Aspects of Climate Policy), it was prepared for application in climate policy.
A gender impact assessment is usually conducted in two steps:
Step 1: Relevance assessment, which determines and justifies the gender equality relevance.
Step 2: Main assessment, which analyzes the gender equality impacts in detail and results in recommendations for improving the project.
For the implementation of the GIA in the climate change sector, possible assessment questions were developed on the basis of the gender dimensions to facilitate the analysis.
One problem may be that the data required to answer the questions is not available. This complicates the current analysis, but at the same time points to the need to collect this data in the future, so that the data situation will improve in the medium term.
The process is complex and probably requires external gender expertise at the outset (if this is not available within the agency/organization). It could also help if there were pilot implementations in different subject areas that could be documented and replicated.
The English summary of the final report contains further information on the GIA procedure on pages 34-36. The GIA Manual is currently only available in German and can be found in chapter 9.2 Annex of the final report, in-depth information on GIA and its application in chapter 4.
A Toolkit on GIA has been produced by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE). It explains what GIA is, why it should be used, who should be involved and when GIA should be used. Furthermore, the steps are listed and examples from European countries are presented.
Startclim: Gender Impact Assessment in the context of climate change adaptation and natural hazards (GIAKlim). Based on a mudslide in Styria, which took place in 2012, methods, tools and approaches that can be applied in a gender impact assessment were tested.
Arn Sauer’s dissertation “Equality Governance via Policy Analysis?: The Implementation of Gender Impact Assessment in the European Union and Gender-based Analysis in Canada” deals with the topic in greater depth. Arn T. Sauer’s study examines the tools of gender-based policy analysis and the conditions under which they are used by the Canadian federal government and the European Commission. Interviews with public administration experts and instrument designers, as well as document analysis, highlight benefits and challenges, and show that the success of gender equality policy depends on whether knowledge of gender-responsive policy and appropriate administrative practices is embedded and anchored in public administration.
The book has been published in English in Edition Politik, vol. 68.