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Gender Targeted ODA – Comparative DAC Donor Analysis

The dashboard below provides data and comparative analysis on Canada’s gender targeted ODA.

Gender Targeting Spending

In 2017, Canada’s gender targeted ODA disbursements totaled USD $1.9 billion.

Gender projects are classified with either a gender significant or gender principal marker. While projects with a gender significant marker include a gender component, projects with a gender principal marker have gender equality as the main objective of that project. In the following summaries, we report both markers.

Projects that included a gender targeted component (gender marker 1 and 2), represented 61.3% of Canada’s total ODA commitments – up from 51.1% in 2016.

For ODA projects that principally targeted gender (gender marker 2), Canada’s ODA disbursements totaled USD $63M, up from USD $50M in 2016.

Conversely, 38.7%, or USD $1.2B of Canadian ODA projects did not contain gender objective in 2017.

Who are the largest recipients of Canada’s  gender targeted aid?

South Sudan (USD $105M), Syria (USD $103M), and Mali (USD $94M) were the largest recipients of Canada’s gender targeted (both marker 1 and 2) ODA in 2017.

For projects with gender as the principal objective, Afghanistan (USD $7.5M), Ghana (USD $2.6M), and Pakistan (USD $2.4M), received the largest shares ODA in 2017.

How does Canadian gender-targeted ODA compared against the Gender Inequality Index?

The gender inequality index measures gender inequalities in three important aspects of human development—reproductive health,  empowerment, and economic status. The poorest performing countries in 2017 on the Gender Inequality Index are Yemen, Papua New Guinea , Chad, Mali, and the Central African Republic.

In 2017, Canadian gender targeted projects (marker 1 and 2) in Yemen totaled USD $41.5M; less than USD $1M in Papua New Guinea; USD $10.1M in Chad; USD $94.2M in Mali, and USD $9.6M in the Central African Republic.

How does Canada compare?

Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, are the few exceptions in the OECD DAC that consistently screen nearly all of it’s project-level data for gender objectives. In 2017 for instance, France (23.1%), Germany (36.9%), Italy (74.0%), and Japan (14.6%) reported a significant number of projects that had not been screened for gender objectives.

In the OECD DAC project-level data, Canada reported the highest ratio of disbursements to projects with a gender objective in 2017 (61.3%) compared to the G7. The United Kingdom reported 48.1% of projects with gender objectives (OECD gender marker 1 and 2), Germany with 26.8%, and the United States with 21%. The chart below shows the full G7 comparison of gender targeted projects.

In absolute terms, however, larger donors have larger gender targeted project disbursements (marker 1 and 2). In 2017, the United States (USD $6.5B), Germany (USD $5.9B), EU Institutions (USD $5.6B) and the United Kingdom (USD $5.5B), were the donors with the largest gender targeted project disbursements. Canada was ranked 7th in terms of 2017 value of gender targeted projects.

Compared against more appropriate comparators for Canada’s donor size: Sweden committed slightly more to gender targeted projects (USD $2.4B), where Canada ranked above the Netherlands (USD $1.4B), Australia (USD $1.1B), and Norway (USD $0.8B) in 2017.

Using the Dashboard

Hover over country circles on the map to see gender targeted ODA to that country. Circles are sized to reflect the amount of Canadian aid the country receives (in the selected year, by default most recent). The circles are also divided into different levels of gender targeting. See the methodology below for how gender targeting is classified.

The dashboard defaults to Canada’s gender targeted data, but you can use the DAC Donor dropdown to view other donor’s project-level data. Use the other drop-downs to limit the data by “recipient income group,” “recipient,” “gender marker,” or change “year”.

The bottom-most pane gives the project listing and values for the filtered selection. Use the gender inequality index slider to the left of the details pane to limit countries by the GII value.


Project-level data is sourced from the OECD-DAC’s project-level Creditor Reporting System (CRS) and we make use of the CRS’ gender marker

The OECD DAC CRS gender marker is based on a three-point scoring system:

  • Principal (marked 2) means that gender equality is the main objective of the project/programme and is fundamental to its design and expected results.
  • Significant (marked 1) means that gender equality is an important and deliberate objective, but not the principal reason for undertaking the project/programme.
  • Not targeted (marked 0) means that the project/programme has been screened against the gender marker but has not been found to target gender equality.

Additionally, we reported grant and loan ODA flows on a commitment basis. Commitments, as opposed to disbursements, measure donors’ intentions and permit monitoring of the targeting of resources to specific purposes and recipient countries.  Commitments are often multi-year and subsequent disbursements spread over several years. In the data used here, commitments, even if multi-year, are recorded in whole in the year they are signed.

For Canada, there may be slight differences between this data and Canadian figures outlined in the International Assistance Report. This is for two reasons: fiscal year (as opposed to calendar year) is used here, and Canadian dollar (as opposed to US dollar) is the currency unit.

Gender Inequality Index (GII) data is sourced from the UNDP. The GII index measures gender inequalities in three important aspects of human development—reproductive health, measured by maternal mortality ratio and adolescent birth rates; empowerment, measured by proportion of parliamentary seats occupied by females and proportion of adult females and males aged 25 years and older with at least some secondary education; and economic status, expressed as labour market participation and measured by labour force participation rate of female and male populations aged 15 years and older.

Larger GII values indicate more inequality while smaller GII values indicate less inequality with that country.

Note: this data was last updated in June 2019.

For more information please contact Lance Hadley at: data@cidpnsi.ca

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