Online training in trade and gender

UNCTAD has published ECOPER’s report on a cluster of trade and gender capacity building projects

In trade, women often do not benefit from the same opportunities as men, and trade policies designed without taking into account gender-specific outcomes can contribute to the widening of gender gaps. In order for gender equality to be achieved, policymakers, academics and civil society activists must incorporate gender considerations in their trade-related work. Nevertheless, the reduction of the gender gap is often hindered by a knowledge gap. In response to this, UNCTAD implemented a series of projects on capacity building on trade and gender involving the creation and delivery of teaching packages through an online platform.

ECOPER conducted a cluster evaluation of the projects last year, and UNCTAD has recently published the report submitted by the evaluators. The evaluation, which covered the years 2015 to 2020, included an in-depth analysis of data on course participants, including their background information and responses to trainee satisfaction surveys conducted following each of the 13 iterations of the training. This was supported by an online survey of trainees conducted by the evaluators to gather information on how they had assimilated and applied knowledge from the course, in addition to interviews and discussion groups with trainees and other stakeholders, and document reviews. The evaluation team used the Kirkpatrick approach to training evaluation aimed at assessing four levels of response in trainees: reaction, learning, behaviour and results.

The evaluation sought to inform future collaborations between UNCTAD and the primary donor, the Government of Finland, in addition to assessing the catalytic effects of the funding on action towards gender equality on the part of the UNCTAD, its Trade, Gender and Development Programme and its partner organizations. The evaluation found that the training performed well from a learning outcome perspective, and that the earlier projects catalysed further funding. The report concludes with a series of recommendations aimed at diverse aspects of training design and delivery.