The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) has commissioned the Swedish Institute for Public Administration, with support from ODI and the Chr. Michelsen Institute in Norway, to undertake a results-focused evaluation on the effects Norwegian aid is having in terms of enhancing women’s rights and gender equality (WRGE) in Southern partner countries. The starting point has been that gender is more than just one among multiple competing priorities. Indeed, it is critical – both in terms of a rights perspective and with regard to contributing to Norwegian development cooperation’s ultimate goal of poverty reduction. The evidence that investing in WRGE makes good economic sense is now overwhelming (World Bank 2012). Norway’s prime minister also recently endorsed such a view (Solberg 2015). The evaluation builds on several earlier evaluations in the mid-2000s (NIBR 2005, 2009; Norad 2011), but brings a particular focus on results, including for the ultimate target groups – women, men, girls and boys in partner countries. Ultimately, it aims to identify lessons learned that can inform the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ efforts to strengthen its planning, organisation and implementation of future interventions to promote WRGE within Norwegian development cooperation.
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