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Bridging the gender digital divide: an analysis of existing guidance for gender digital inclusion programmes’ evaluations

Alicja Pawluczuk (United Nations University Institute in Macao, Macao)
JeongHyun Lee (United Nations University Institute in Macao, Macao)
Attlee Munyaradzi Gamundani (United Nations University Institute in Macao, Macao)

Digital Policy, Regulation and Governance

ISSN: 2398-5038

Article publication date: 17 June 2021

Issue publication date: 28 September 2021

1061

Abstract

Purpose

This aim of this paper is to examine the existing gender digital inclusion evaluation guidance and proposes future research recommendations for their evaluation. Despite modern progress in towards gender equality and women’s empowerment movements, women’s access to, use of and benefits from digital technologies remain limited owing to economic, social and cultural obstacles. Addressing the existing gender digital divide is critical in the global efforts towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In recent years, there has been a global increase of gender digital inclusion programmes for girls and women; these programmes serve as a mechanism to learn about gender-specific digital needs and inform future digital inclusion efforts. Evaluation reports of gender digital inclusion programmes can produce critical insights into girls’ and women’s learning needs and aspirations, including what works and what does not when engaging girls and women in information and communications technologies. While there are many accounts highlighting the importance of why gender digital inclusion programmes are important, there is limited knowledge on how to evaluate their impact.

Design/methodology/approach

The thematic analysis suggests three points to consider for the gender digital inclusion programmes evaluation: context-specific understanding of gender digital inclusion programmes; transparency and accountability of the evaluation process and its results; and tensions between evaluation targets and empowerment of evaluation participants.

Findings

The thematic analysis suggests three points of future focus for this evaluation process: context-specific understanding of gender digital inclusion programmes; transparency and accountability of the evaluation process and its results; and tensions between evaluation targets and empowerment of evaluation participants.

Originality/value

The authors propose recommendations for gender digital inclusion evaluation practice and areas for future research.

Keywords

Citation

Pawluczuk, A., Lee, J. and Gamundani, A.M. (2021), "Bridging the gender digital divide: an analysis of existing guidance for gender digital inclusion programmes’ evaluations", Digital Policy, Regulation and Governance, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 287-299. https://doi.org/10.1108/DPRG-11-2020-0158

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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