Plan International Australia

From practical to strategic changes: Strengthening gender in WASH - Vietnam and Indonesia

Plan International Australia and the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney, will implement a research project examining the strategic gender outcomes of the Gender and WASH Monitoring Tool (GWMT).

The GWMT is an innovative monitoring tool developed by Plan International Australia (PIA) and Plan Vietnam in 2011 which enables users to explore gendered relations through a facilitated community dialogue process. The GWMT is already in use in Plan’s Civil Society WASH Fund projects in Vietnam and Indonesia; and in Plan’s WASH projects in Laos. In particular, the research will explore the extent to which the GWMT process is able to contribute to strategic gender outcomes and changed gender relations when used as part of regular WASH project monitoring activities.

Gender equality is recognised as important for enhanced development outcomes in general and is integral to effective, equitable and sustainable WASH outcomes. Despite this there has been a lack of focus on, and evidence for, strategic gender outcomes – those that address and change power relations between women and men. Plan’s innovative GWMT supports non-specialist gender staff to address these important areas. However the impact of the use of the monitoring tool on gender equity outcomes is currently unknown.

Successful implementation of the research will make a significant contribution to the currently limited evidence base on strategic gender changes in WASH and how these are monitored. Key outputs from the project will be an evaluation of the GWMT impact on strategic gender outcomes in Vietnam, recommendations for improving the GWMT to extend its long-term impact, related training guidance and integration into existing structures. A dedicated communication and engagement strategy will support dissemination of the research findings and will target local, regional and international WASH practitioners.