The GAM was designed in response to requests from the field, for a tool that would help them understand HOW to do better gender equality programming. People knew they weren’t getting it right, but there was little practical advice on HOW projects could be improved.
The GAM offers 12 programming actions to improve attention to gender and age in projects and programs.
It is the process of discussing and answering the GAM questions that creates better projects. Ideally the GAM is used as a team planning or monitoring exercise. (See the video for examples.) As supervisors, donors or managers, we do not need to know what “code” people received on their GAM; we only require evidence that they have completed the questionnaire.
Only the Results Page of the GAM should be submitted with the proposal, as proof of completion. In the Design Phase, the results page gives codes for 4 Key GEMs and the overall Project GAM Code. In the Monitoring Phase, it provides results for 12 Gender Equality Measures or indicators.
The Gender with Age Marker (GAM) results SHOULD NOT be methodically reviewed during the project vetting process: it is not a test, or a standard that must be reached. The GAM cannot be applied to someone else’s project; as a reflective learning tool, it is designed to be useful to the project holder. We only need to know that people have completed the GAM.
The four key GEMs CAN be used as a check on the narrative quality and consistency of projects or programs. They are also used to reflect on the gender- and age-responsiveness of cluster plans, HNOs and HRPs.
These key questions are:
1 . Does assistance respond to the gender-related roles and power dynamics identified in the analysis?
2. Is assistance adapted to meet the different priorities and preferences of different gender and age groups?
3. Is it clear that affected women and men equally influence and participate in the response?
4. Will the response/project be able to report and compare assistance benefits received by women with benefits received by men?
The GAM code also indicates whether a project mainstreams attention to gender equality (M), or if it is a “targeted action” (T) to address discrimination. In humanitarian settings, we expect 98% of projects to mainstream gender. If a project is coded “T,” it should be clear that the purpose of the project support to a particular disadvantaged group to achieve or ensure equality.
Better programs do not come from the GAM code — they come from REFLECTING on the questions!