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Advancing inclusive institutional change: GEP monitoring and evaluation practices across the ERA

9 August 2023

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The fourth benchmarking analysis conducted by GENDERACTOINplus depicts the current landscape for GEP requirements in R&I at national/regional level. It provides an overview of the overall policy framework on GEP requirement concerning ERA stakeholders and presents relevant policy developments, mainly targeting national authorities.

Building on the survey responses from 15 national authorities (including 2 from Belgium), the benchmark analysis shows that:

  • GEPs are mandatory in the majority of the surveyed countries/regions and the requirement applies predominantly to public sector entities. GEP national requirements (or the lack thereof) highlight the ongoing divide between the Member States (MS) that joined the EU before and after 2004. For post 2004 Member States, Research Funding Organisation can significantly contribute to creating favourable framework conditions for GEP development.
  • Intersectionality is an underdeveloped area as regards GEP requirements. There is evidence of challenges in relation to the inclusion of dimensions other than gender in GEP development and elaboration of effective measures against inequalities along different axes. These can be attributed to a lack of in-depth knowledge about intersectionality coupled with the difficulty in understanding the term and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) restrictions.
  • The Horizon Europe GEP eligibility criterion has had noticeable impact on the national gender equality activities in R&I, which is demonstrated particularly by the increase in approved GEPs in R&I institutions, the organisation of workshops and trainings on GEPs, dedication of resources for gender equality work and an increase in requests addressed to the National Contact Points (e.g., queries in relation to GEP elaboration or EC requirements).
  • National monitoring and evaluation systems for GEPs are a key challenge that is augmented by the increasing number of GEPs in higher education and R&I institutions. The data collected through the monitoring systems greatly varies between the countries, together with their approach to having publicly available GEPs database and elaboration of monitoring indicators. National evaluation systems for GEPs implementation are not widespread, yet are considered to be established in a number of surveyed countries.

Read more in the Benchmarking analysis and assessment report how MS monitor/evaluate institutional change through GEPs.