Position Paper
Aid and Gender Equality

This position paper on Aid and Gender Equality was prepared by UNU-WIDER under the ReCom programme of Research (Re) and Communication (Com) on foreign aid. It aims to provide a coherent up-to-date overview and guide to a complex issue in the development field: the relation between aid and gender equality. Moreover, the position paper addresses the intricate linkages between aid and gender equality and tries—in a forward looking perspective—to identify existing challenges for future action in development practice and research with a view to increasing aid efficiency.

The position paper relates to the last ReCom results meeting on ‘Aid for Gender Equality’ held in Copenhagen on 16 December 2013 and has benefitted substantially from the deliberations at this meeting. Background research and material on which the UNU-WIDER team has drawn includes: (i) already existing research published in a variety of forms reviewed under the ReCom programme, (ii) background papers prepared for ReCom by members of UNU-WIDER’s global network, including a range of leading specialists in the aid area from both developing and developed countries, and (iii) research by UNU-WIDER staff and others, including a DIIS ReCom study report on land administration, gender equality and development assistance. Further information on background papers, research studies and other outputs from ReCom is available at http://recom.wider.unu.edu/results; and in the attached list of references, which are referred to throughout this position paper.

The author and theme leader for the position paper on Aid and Gender Equality is Caren Grown who was assisted by Malokele Nanivazo and Valeria Vargas Sejas. Finn Tarp also provided support throughout. They have worked alongside the UNU-WIDER communication and position paper production support team consisting of: Kennedy Ambang, Dominik Etienne, Heidi Kaila, Anu Laakso, Lena Lindbjerg Sperling, Carl-Gustav Lindén, Susan Servas, James Stewart, Paul Silfvenius, Minna Tokkari, Janis Vehmaan-Kreula, Annett Victorero, Roger Williamson, Tuuli Ylinen, and Lumi Young. UNU-WIDER is grateful for all of the many analytical and other efforts that have enriched the Gender Equality theme under ReCom; and we acknowledge with appreciation significant research contributions from the following professionals: E. Asiedu, M. Baliamoune-Lutz, S. Bibler, A. Cornwall, A. Dreher, K. Gehring, J. Gideon, N. Gulrajani, S. Hellsten, N. Holvoet, L. Inberg, S. Klasen, L. Kleeman, C. Lauterbach, E. Maïga, E. McGill, L. Ndikumana, M. Nkusu, P. Nunnenkamp, U. Okonkwo Osili, N. Otobe, L. Pickbourn, F. Porter, L. Scott, R. Thiele, A. Torkelsson, S. Wong, E. Zuckerman and others.

Finally, we at UNU-WIDER would like to express our warmest appreciation to Danida and Sida for financial support and collaboration over the past little more than two and a half years. Particular thanks for their efforts go to Tove Degnbol, Henning Nøhr, Anders Granlund, Lena Johansson de Château and Pernilla Sjöquist Rafiqui. It is our hope that this innovative effort in combining research and development practice has provided material that will be of help to our three main audiences, including aid agency staff alongside researchers and national policy makers, in their combined efforts to further the effectiveness of foreign aid in the years to come.