6.1 Opportunities for Addressing Gender within CCA proposals

There are many opportunities, within the proposal format, for designing a gender-inclusive component within a CCA proposal. As donors have strengthened their overall commitment to gender equality, they have increased expectations that their development partners will become more aware of gender issues and write proposals that meaningfully incorporate gender-related actions and strategies. Manuals, guides, checklists and similar tools can help countries gain a better understanding of opportunities to incorporate gender considerations into project design.

Manuals specific to CCA proposal development and project design tend not to offer much gender guidance. However, multilateral and bilateral donor organizations, development nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and others provide guidance on incorporating gender issues into non-climate–related proposals, most normally on a sector basis. The gender checklists provided by these organizations can be adapted as a framework for organizing ideas about how to address gender in different CCA proposal sections.

Table 1 is a checklist of gender options that can be included in typical sections of CCA proposals. The proposal format is derived from the guidance provided by multilateral climate funds (see Section 6.2 for funds reviewed). The gender aspects are derived from a variety of sources, including the gender and climate overviews, gender guidance for proposal writers, and sector-specific material on gender mainstreaming. For further reading, see Box 3.

TABLE 1. Checklist for Gender-Sensitive CCA Proposals

Proposal Section



Background and Context

  • Description and data on climate problem to be solved
  • Relevant climate change scenarios
  • Social, economic, development, and environmental context
  • Climate problem: Include information from stakeholder consultations and other types of gender analysis regarding sex-disaggregated facts and perceptions of the impacts of the climate problem;use tools such as gender-sensitive vulnerability assessments to understand sex-based differences.
  • Context: Use primary data from stakeholder consultations or formal surveys or secondary data from gender reports to discuss gender differences relevant to the prioritized sectors, regions, or social groups (e.g., tenure differences, access to extension services and credit, ethnic differences in the gender division of labor, etc.).


  • Outcome objectives specific to certain stakeholder groups, sectors, a set of subsectors, or region
  • Include people-level outcome objectives (e.g., improved livelihoods) and specify men and women rather than more generic terms (e.g., substituting “men and women farmers”instead of “farmers”and discussing intra-household issues).
  • Consider including women-focused objectives when interventions with women will have a particularly effective impact on household or community CCA or when women’s constraints to CCA need particular attention (e.g., land tenure security for collateral and conservation).

Project/Program Justification

  • Alignment of project/program objectives with fund’s goals, objectives, framework, and institutional policies
  • Causal links between the proposed adaptation components and the identified climate threats;visible and tangible contributions of proposed components to improved climate-adaptive capacity of humans and natural systems
  • Expected economic, social, and environmental benefits and expected beneficiaries;negative impact analyses and mitigation plans
  • Possible non-climate barriers and risks
  • Comparison of cost-effectiveness of proposed approach and alternative actions
  • Sustainability assessment, including replication and scaling- up possibilities at project’s end
  • Learning, linkages, and synergy plans with relevant potentially overlapping projects
  • Alignment and compliance with national, regional, or local plans/ strategies for sustainable development, poverty reduction, sectors, or climate change
  • Adherence to national technical standards, such as environmental impact assessments
  • Alignment with funder: Reference the gender, public involvement, and indigenous people policies of the funding institutions.
  • Beneficiaries: Discuss gender-related vulnerabilities for different social groups and what actions the project/program will take to reduce gender barriers and increase opportunities for the equitable distribution of benefits.
  • Analysis and mitigating measures for social impacts: Any special impact studies should include information on project positive and negative impacts on men and women and propose sex-specific mitigation strategies. This information should be included in the proposal.
  • Non-climate barriers and risks: Discuss how gender-related barriers for women can inhibit their participation in the project and the equitable distribution of benefits. Lack of women’s participation undermines local ownership and long-term sustainability of CCA interventions.
  • Comparison of alternative approaches, sustainability assessments, and linkage strategies with other projects: Discuss what has been learned and what can be gained from long-term synergies with similar CCA projects that have included gender mainstreaming.
  • Alignment with other plans: Mention national gender policies and gender commitments within sectoral policies.

Stakeholder Consultation

  • Lists of consulted stakeholders, including their affiliations and roles, their direct or indirect stake in the project/program, the consultation date, and methodologies used for consultations
  • Key consultation finding and discussion of how stakeholder suggestions and concerns were addressed in the design of the project/program
  • Reflections on lessons learned about the process of consultation
  • Implementation stage plans for routine and/or periodic stakeholder consultation, including budget to reduce participation barriers for key stakeholders
  • Stakeholder lists: Identify the sex of all stakeholders and highlight the level and type of involvement of representatives from women’s organization, national women's ministries, and gender experts.
  • Consultation processes: Identify how methodologies will address social, tribal and traditional norms (including land tenure, access to land, kinship) about men's and women's participation in public fora and gender-sensitive outreach strategies.
  • Findings: Specify differences in men’s and women’s perspectives on CCA and climate impacts and how project design was adjusted accordingly.
  • Reflection: Identify how the consultation process could have been improved, in terms of methodology or logistics or follow-up, for separate and mixed-sex stakeholder groups.
  • Implementation plans: Specify plans for addressing women’s specific mobility, cultural, time, and financial constraints to participation.
  • Gaps in gender data discussed


  • Logical links across components
  • Components descriptions, including numbers and types of activities and sequencing
  • Specific expected outputs and outcomes related to reducing climate risks and increasing resilience
  • Improve service and information provision: Target specific gender barriers to obtaining services and information.
  • Diversify livelihood: Improve men’s and women’s skills, access to productive resources, and employment;introduce new opportunities.
  • Improve natural resource management practices: Adapt to gender division of labor and available resources, increase women’s land access and tenure security.
  • Improve planning processes and decision-making: Improve gender balance and women’s participation as members and leaders of groups and decision-making bodies;policy priorities.
  • Introduce climate-adapted shelter and transport: Improve women’s access to home ownership and employment opportunities.
  • Improve food security and health: Balance men’s involvement in family health, improvement of water quality, and cultivation of wild food/medicine.
  • Improving policy: Reduce gender-based barriers and improve women’s opportunities, inclusive policy consultations, and priority setting.

Calendar and Sequencing

  • Calendar overview of the timing of major activities under project components, M&E activities, and indicator milestones
  • Gender baselines, strategies, and action plans can take place during project design or during Year 1, with intermediate targets, checks, and feedback loops.
  • Gender studies, either focused or integrated into other studies, have maximum impact during the first two years of implementation.

Proposed Budget and Financing Plan

  • Project budget linked to components, specific activities, and outputs for projects
  • Program budget linked to subsets of stakeholders, regions, and/or sectors
  • Other financing and in-kind support
  • Budget line items are at appropriate level for components, activities, or outputs that address gender-specific barriers or opportunities;support for women stakeholders’participation in consultations or project committees;gender-focused contracts with project partners, and gender staff or consultant contracts.
  • Priority funding for project activities addressing and reducing gendered “drudgery”of care and survival work.
  • Dedicated funding for capacity building (for women and to educate project implementers on gender).

Knowledge Management and Communications

  • Plans for capturing, analyzing, and disseminating lessons learned, both internally and externally
  • Monitoring of dissemination outputs to internal communications material,  project capacity-building  activities, and targeted media
  • Monitoring of outcome changes in practices of staff, partners, others
  • Proposal can include plans for highlighting gender and CCA mainstreaming success stories, reflecting both institutional changes and client changes, rather than stories of atypical women.
  • Proposal can discuss plans to ensure that project communication and training materials present gender-balanced images, gender mainstreaming lessons, and results.
  • Proposal can describe how to use women’s groups in bringing CCA messages to the community as a whole.


  • Results framework with logically linked objectives, sub-objectives, and outcomes
  • Selection of realistic activities, under sub-objectives, with outcomes or outputs that are measurable, conducive to monitoring, and verifiable
  • M&E plan with output and outcome indicators;milestones and targets;data collection plans for baseline, monitoring, and impact evaluation;timeline and budget
  • People-level indicators should be sex-disaggregated with locally appropriate targets for women’s and men’s participation in CCA activities;disaggregate household-level indicators by sex of household head.
  • Other gender-related indicators may be appropriate to measure gender impacts, including changes in women’s household and community status, changes in their livelihoods and decision-making participation, and changes in their access to productive resources, including land tenure, and time availability studies.
  • Plans for monitoring and impact data collection should consider the degree of local participation by men and women in data collection and special arrangements for data collection from women in societies with traditional gender norms.
  • Midterm and final evaluations should address gender impacts.

Staffing and Partnerships

  • Description of staffing, including existing and new staff, and use of consultants
  • Description of recruitment and capacity-building plans
  • Description of existing and proposed partnership plans with local and international partners
  • Proposal should highlight which project manager will assume primary oversight responsibility for gender mainstreaming, plans for including a dedicated gender staff member or consultant;criteria for selecting GFPs points or delegating responsibility.
  • Gender capacity building for government staff and NGO partners and plans to help support staff gender balance.
  • Plans for working with partners with gender expertise and strong field experience with women’s groups and activities and building the CCA capacity of government gender staff.

Project Management

  • Description of roles and responsibilities of the implementing and executing entities, partners, oversight committees, and clients
  • Reporting responsibilities and relationships (organizational chart)
  • Plans for including representatives of women’s interests, from government and civil society, on national oversight committees.
  • Organizational chart should reflect who will have primary responsibility for gender mainstreaming.
  • Plans for adoption of a gender policy by project institutions.
  • Plans for gender-sensitive redress mechanism to allow affected men and women to share experiences

Box 3. Further reading from donors and others about writing gender-sensitive proposals

  • African Development Bank Group. 2009a. Checklist for gender mainstreaming in governance programmes. African Development Bank Group, Tunis-BelvedeĢ€re, Tunisia. http://www.afdb.org/en/search/?tx_solr%5Bq%5D=Checklist+for+gender+mainstreaming+in+governance+programmes
    Organizes gender mainstreaming advice by the multilateral development bank project cycle and has helpful checklists for project design and appraisal, as well as reviewing terminology and explaining gender analysis.
  • Aguilar, L., with R. Nicaragua. 1999. A Good start makes a better ending: Writing proposals with a gender perspective. World Conservation Union and Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress, San Jose, Costa Rica. https://portals.iucn.org/library/efiles/edocs/modulo1-En.pdf
    Reviews basic considerations and gender options for proposal sections.
  • Asian Development Bank. 2012c. Guidelines for gender mainstreaming categories of ADB projects. ADB, Manila, the Philippines. http://www.adb.org/documents/guidelines-gender-mainstreaming-categories-adb-projects
    Discusses the project cycle and a useful list of gender-inclusive design features.
  • United Nations/Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women. 2002. Gender mainstreaming: an overview. United Nations, New York. http://www.un.org/womenwatch/osagi/pdf/e65237.pdf
    Offers advice on gender mainstreaming for other categories of activities besides technical assistance, including policy analysis, research, servicing intergovernmental bodies and data collection, analysis, and dissemination.
  • United States Agency for International Development. 2011. USAID gender integration matrix: Additional help for automated directives system chapter 201. USAID, Washington, DC. http://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1865/201sac.pdf
    Offers proposal-related gender mainstreaming advice from the perspective of the funding agency and its expectations for implementers.