Tracking systems are an essential part of ensuring resources are allocated and spent to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment objectives. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Indicator 5.c.1 measures the proportion of countries with systems to track and make public allocations for gender equality and women’s empowerment. It measures progress towards Target 5c of the SDGs to “adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels”. The indicator clearly links policy and legal requirements for gender equality with resource allocations for implementation.
In 2017, UN Women, with UNDP and the OECD, spearheaded development of SDG Indicator 5.c.1 methodology and pilot-tested it in 15 countries in consultation with ministries of finance, national women’s machineries and national statistical offices. The methodology was identified as relevant and applicable to national budget tracking efforts and establishes the international standard for gender responsive budgeting.
The indicator methodology covers three important components of a gender responsive public finance system: (1) intent of government to address gender equality by identifying whether policies, programmes and corresponding resources are in place; (2) existence of systems to track resource allocations towards these policy goals; and (3) whether these resource allocations are made publicly available. The introduction of a scaled scoring approach enables an assessment of the quality of the tracking system and incentivize countries to improve systems over time.
Currently, data for Indicator 5.c.1 is collected through the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) monitoring framework. UN Women provides ongoing support, particularly on data validation and analysis. Recognizing the GPEDC collects data from developing countries, UN Women is exploring opportunities to ensure data is collected from a globally representative sample.
In line with its leadership on SDG Indicator 5.c.1, UN Women provides technical support to countries to develop and implement systems to track gender resource allocations. From 2014 to 2017, 46 countries worked to implement these systems and make the data publicly available. For example, the Dominican Republic established a functional classifier for gender equality resource allocations and budget activities. With technical support from UN Women, this system has enabled tracking of gender equality allocations for 8 pilot institutions, demonstrating a consistent increase in gender equality allocations between 2015 and 2017.