Does the Office of the Prime Minister in Uganda conduct Gender Responsive Evaluations?
Gender equality and women’s empowerment are possible when development programmes and policies confront unfair power relationships between men and women. Monitoring and evaluation are tools that can enhance gender responsiveness and/or conceal gender inequalities. This paper analyzed whether the 2016 process evaluation of the Universal Primary Education programme (UPE) undertake by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) was gender responsive. The critical review of the evaluation report shows that OPM did not set out to undertake a gender-responsive evaluation through the UPE programme by design was gender responsive. This enabled a generic evaluation to highlight findings on some gender indicators embedded in the programme, though the report was silent on other issues like; early pregnancy, absenteeism and school drop out for girls due to gender roles and cultural beliefs. The evaluation used a generic evaluation methodology, the objectives did not require a gender-responsive study, there was no requirement of a gender-responsive evaluation team and the design did not specify that some of data sources include women and other vulnerable groups. The evaluation process was not necessarily taken to be a social change process for enhancing learning and empowerment of stakeholders. Therefore the evaluation methodology was gender blind, save for the seemingly gender responsive programme that enabled the evaluation to capture and report on some gender-specific indicators. To enhance gender responsive evaluations, the OPM needs deliberate attention to gender and equity in its evaluation methodology.