Applying a Gender Lens throughout the Project Cycle

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Multinational Development Banks (MDBs) as well as bilateral and national development banks and many other leading development organizations have a growing commitment to finance and support infrastructure projects and programs that incorporate gender considerations. They have developed a number of guidelines, practical tools, policies, and manuals that are based on best practice and aim to facilitate a gender-inclusive approach. Most of the materials were developed for traditionally procured projects but are also applicable to public-private partnership (PPP) projects. Some more recent publications, guidance materials, and policies focus specifically on PPPs.

Set out below are tools that are relevant throughout the whole project cycle and across all sectors.

Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs)

National Guidelines, Checklists and Manuals

Useful Links

For sector-specific information, visit Sector-Specific Materials.



Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs)

Highlighted below are guidance materials and toolkits that have been developed by multilateral development banks (MDBs) to integrate gender into infrastructure projects.

African Development Bank (AfDB)

  • Checklist for Gender Mainstreaming in the Infrastructure Sector, The African Development Bank (AfDB), 2009 - The purpose of this checklist is to provide a tool for effective mainstreaming of gender in infrastructure programs and projects to ensure that planning, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluations of infrastructure projects are gender-sensitive and -responsive.

For more tools and guidelines see Useful Links and Sector-Specific Information. 

Asian Development Bank (ADB)


  • Lao PDR - Guidelines and Checklists for Gender in Public-Private Partnerships in Lao PDR - Grant 0309 (Draft) - The development of this publication was supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The ADB provides comprehensive guidelines and checklists for mainstreaming gender into its supported projects and encourages the design of Gender Action Plans (GAPs) within them. The draft contains guidelines and checklists together with training tools that are more tailored towards PPP projects, e.g., a sample checklist for integrating gender in legal and regulatory impact assessments (PPP Legal Frameworks Checklist) and a matrix tool useful for assessing the potential gender impacts of the proposed PPP pilot projects during its implementation stage and for formulating the strategies and measures to mitigate or avoid negative impacts (PPP Pilot Project Gender Impact Assessment Checklist). For a similar approach, see also Philippines - National Government Public-Private Partnership Manual, National Government of the Philippines, draft version as of 4 August 2014  
  • Toolkit on Gender Equality – Results and Indicators, ADB 2013 - This toolkit aims to assist development practitioners to ensure that gender perspectives are incorporated into development initiatives, and to monitor and evaluate gender equality results. It presents a menu of gender equality outcomes, results, and indicators that may be selected or adapted by users.
  • Gender, Law and Policy in ADB Operations: A Toolkit, ADB 2006 - The Gender, Law, and Policy (GLP) Toolkit helps analyze GLP issues in proposed ADB projects. The Toolkit provides general background on the gender dimension of the law and policy frameworks that govern and influence ADB-supported projects; identifies specific GLP issues in the main sectors that ADB supports; suggests entry points and practical approaches for addressing GLP issues through country partnership strategies and projects; and provides background materials, internet links, checklists, sample assurances and other tools for integrating GLP considerations in country partnership strategies and projects. It is intended to build upon and complement the ADB gender checklists that have already been developed for key sectors.
  • Gender Action Plans (GAPs) in ADB Projects, online resource provided by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) - The project-specific gender action plan (GAP) is a tool used by ADB to ensure “gender mainstreaming” is tangible and explicitly visible in project design and implementation. The project GAP is and integral part of the project design mirrors the project outputs. GAPs include clear targets, quotas, gender design features and quantifiable performance indicators to ensure women’s participation and benefits. Key aspects of the GAP are incorporated into project assurances to encourage buy-in from executing agencies and other project partners. The online resource provides links to GAPs that were developed for specific projects organized by sector.

For more tools and guidelines see Useful Links and Sector-Specific Information. 

Inter-American Development Bank

  • Gender Tools - Sector guidelines that provide guidance on best practices in incorporating a gender perspective into development projects. (including guidelines regarding renewable energy and urban passenger transport projects). 

For more tools and guidelines see Useful Links and Sector-Specific Information. 



World Bank Group

  • One key publication that links PPPs and gender is the International Finance Corporation (IFC) report Gender Impact of Public-Private Partnerships – Literature Review Synthesis Report of November 2012. This report is based on the review of general and sector-based literature on gender and infrastructure. It undertakes an assessment of the current and potential gender impacts of public private partnership (PPP) infrastructure projects. The report recommends a number of mainstreaming mechanisms, which might be incorporated within the PPP project cycle for the benefit of women and girls, including the establishment of gender-specific key performance indicators (KPIs) for benefits to females as part of PPP arrangements. More
  • Making Infrastructure Work for Women and Men, A Review of World Bank Infrastructure Projects (1995 – 2009), December 2010 - This report provides a gender review of a decade and a half of World Bank infrastructure lending for 1,246 projects. The objective of this review is to assess the status of and trends in gender integration in the World Bank infrastructure portfolio, and to establish a baseline for monitoring and enhancing gender integration in line with commitments made for the 2006 Gender Action Plan.
  • Making Urban Development Work for Women and Men Tools for Task Teams, December 2010 - The primary objective of this publication is to provide brief, relevant, and practical tools for World Bank task teams and their country counterparts to facilitate their work in addressing gender issues in urban development policies and projects.
  • Public Private Partnerships, Infrastructure, Gender and Poverty by Mary Jennings and Cathy Gaynor, World Bank Institute (WBI),  June 2004 - Discussion paper designed for use in training courses run by the Finance and Private Sector Development section of the WBI. The paper examines public-private partnership (PPP) projects through a gender lens, and identifies opportunities and entry points for integrating a gender and poverty dimensions into PPP infrastructure projects. 
  • Africa Regional Workshop: MDB-Sponsored Regional Workshop to Mainstream Gender Equality in Infrastructure Policies and Projects, March 22 – 24, 2001, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - This workshop was focused on mainstreaming gender in infrastructure projects in Africa. It was a part of a regional series sponsored by the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) Gender Working Group, that seeks to promote the third Millennium Development Goal (Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women). The workshop allowed the 130 development practitioners from the public and private sector, government agencies and academia to share knowledge and best practices for mainstreaming gender in infrastructure projects across the world, and addressed real-time issues, such as client needs in light of the current international economic crisis. The online World Bank page provides links to the agenda, presentation materials and videos from the workshop as well as general and sector-specific reading materials (English and French).  

For more tools and guidelines see Useful Links and Sector-Specific Information. 

National Guidelines, Checklists and Manuals


Canadian International Development Agency - Guide to Gender-Sensitive Indicators, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) August 1997

Lao PDR: 


  •  National Government Public-Private Partnership Manual, National Government of the Philippines, draft version as of 4 August 2014 - The Manual sets out guidelines and procedures for mainstreaming gender in PPP project cycles that are consistent with the gender integration strategies and guidelines of other international lending institutions, such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) or the World Bank. As part of the social assessment, PPP transactions are, for instance, required to undertake a gender-responsiveness analysis to ensure that the project considers and addresses the needs of both women and men, and that the decision-making process and subsequent implementation of the project puts high priority on gender equality goals. An example of a procedure for a gender analysis for a road project is outlined in Box 1.5 of Volume 1. Guidelines for gender mainstreaming in PPP projects are provided in Annex 4. Table 4.4 of Annex 4 illustrates gender mainstreaming in the project development cycle of PPP projects. It shows the gender-responsive elements or measures that should be integrated in the given phases of the project cycle.
  • PPP Manual for Local Government Units (LGUs) - Developing Public-Private Partnerships in Local Infrastructure and Development Projects, Public-Private Partnership Center, 2012.


Useful Links

Gender Presentations

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Last Updated : Fri,2019-03-22

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