The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Program Cycle, as codified in Automated Directives System (ADS) 201, is the Agency’s operational model for planning, delivering, assessing, and adapting development programming to advance U.S. foreign policy. Integrating women’s economic empowerment and gender equality (WEEGE) considerations across the Program Cycle will support the Agency to more effectively develop strategies, projects, and activities, to allocate resources, and to establish clear results around WEEGE (illustrated in Figure 1). The objective of Unit 2 is to outline how USAID staff and partners can integrate WEEGE across the Program Cycle, guided by a set of WEEGE principles and using the ADS 205 as an underlying framework.
FIGURE 1. Integrating WEEGE into USAID’s Program Cycle
Units 3 through 6 of the WEEGE Technical Guide (briefly described below) will provide detailed guidance on how to maximize opportunities to include WEEGE into analysis, consultation, planning, design and M&E.
Unit 3: Integrating WEEGE into a Country Development Cooperation Strategy
The processes of developing a Regional Development Cooperation Strategy (RDCS) or a Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) can provide an opportunity to incorporate WEEGE into a Mission’s strategic decision-making, resource allocation, and priority-setting on gender equality, across multiple development objectives, sectors and cross-cutting themes.
Unit 4: Integrating WEEGE into Project Design and Implementation
Featuring WEEGE in a project’s theory of change and related purpose reinforces WEEGE’s importance, ensuring that its principles are aligned with the Mission’s results framework.
Unit 5: Integrating WEEGE into Activity Design and Implementation
By drawing on WEEGE evidence and learning, activity design and implementation can address constraints, identify advances, and dedicate resources to women’s economic empowerment and gender equality programming.
Unit 6: Integrating WEEGE into Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning
By weaving WEEGE throughout theories of change and logic models, as well as strategic planning frameworks (such as CDCS results frameworks and performance management plans) and project and activity-level MEL plans, USAID can bolster its commitment to adaptive management practices that support women’s economic empowerment and gender equality.