Mainstreaming gender equality in Scottish Government funded international development projects and programmes: guidance note

A guidance note on mainstreaming gender equality for applications and bids for Scottish Government funded international development projects and/or programmes. The note outlines our minimum criteria for scoring, aligned with the OECD DAC Gender Equality Policy Marker.


In line with the Scottish Government’s (SG) commitment to take a Feminist Approach to International Relations, and with its International Development (ID) Principles[1], to support the advancement of gender equality, the SG is committed to adopting a twin track approach: of mainstreaming gender equality across its International Development (ID) portfolio; and creating dedicated gender equality focused programmes[2].

As such, all applications and bids for SG ID projects and/or programmes will be scored against the minimum criteria aligned with the OECD DAC Gender Equality Policy Marker set out in Table 1.[3]

The SG’s aim is to build more gender responsive (strengthens gender equality) or gender-transformative (changes gender-norms and power relations)[4] ID programmes, therefore it is expected that all programmes and projects will score at least a 1. This means all ID programmes must ensure that gender equality is an important and deliberate objective. It is important to note that a principal score is not by definition better than a significant score.[5]

The gender equality policy marker is used by DAC members as part of the annual reporting of their development activities to the DAC, to indicate for each aid activity whether it targets gender equality as a policy objective. The OECD DAC Gender Equality Policy Marker has the most impact when it is used as a “live tool” during the early stages of the project design.[6]

Table 1
Significant (Score 1) Principle (Score 2)
Analysis A gender analysis for the project/programme has been conducted.
Findings from this gender analysis have informed the design of the project/programme and the intervention adopts a ‘do no harm’ approach.
Aims The top-level ambition of the project/programme is to advance gender equality and/or the rights of women and girls.
Presence of at least one explicit gender equality objective backed by at least one gender-specific indicator (or a firm commitment to do this if the results framework has not been elaborated at the time of marking the project). The results framework measures progress towards the project/ programme’s gender equality objectives through gender-specific indicators to track outcomes/impact.
MEL Data and indicators are gender sensitive and/or disaggregated by sex
Commitment to monitor and report on the gender equality results achieved by the project in the evaluation phase.

Further guidance produced by the OECD on application of the OECD DAC Gender Equality Policy Marker is available here: Handbook-OECD-DAC-Gender-Equality-Policy-Marker.pdf



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