Gender Mainstreaming in Programming Policy

Effective Date: July 2019
This policy supersedes all previous policies related to gender.

To affirm Pact’s commitment to gender equity and equality by ensuring that consistent gender principles and practices are proactively applied to all programs.

This policy applies to Pact and all Pact subsidiaries.

This policy defines relevant terms below to provide clarity on their use throughout the document.

This policy defines gender equity as fair treatment of all genders, and defines gender equality as equal treatment of all genders. 

This policy recognizes sex as a biological identifier – male, female, or intersex – that is assigned (usually at birth by a doctor) based on the genitals and chromosomes that an individual is born with.

This policy understands gender not as a binary determination distinguished by sex, but instead as the social and cultural expectations that are placed upon an individual to correspond with traits that are commonly considered to be male, female, as each society has a different understanding of the behaviors, characteristics and outward-facing appearances of gender. 

This policy recognizes all gender identities, including but not limited to gender-fluid, non-binary and gender non-conforming, cisgender, gender queer, transgender, and any other gender identity not listed here. Gender identity speaks to how an individual chooses to express their gender. 

While gender is not a determining factor of sexual orientation, this policy is also inclusive of sexual orientation. In our programs, Pact commits to fostering an inclusive environment for individuals and groups of any sexual orientation, including but not limited to asexual, bisexual, gay, lesbian, homosexual, heterosexual, omnisexual, pansexual, queer, questioning, and any other sexual orientation not listed here.

We recognize that the above identities listed are not the words that some individuals choose to use when describing themselves, and we support any employee, shareholder, and/or partner to use the terminology that they feel most comfortable with. 

Pact acknowledges that gender does not exist in a vacuum and that gender, gender identity, sex, and sexual orientation can be easily conflated. Additionally, multiple components of identity (e.g. race, age, ability-status, sexual orientation) can and do affect how an individual expresses and experiences their gender identity. This policy particularly emphasizes the intersection of gender identity and sexual orientation, as perceptions of gender identity and sexual orientation are often externally conflated as synonymous.

General Guidelines
Pact is committed to the practice of gender equity and the pursuit of gender equality across all our programs in order to contribute to a world that recognizes equal rights and opportunities for all people. As an organization, we recognize that the fundamental differences and needs among genders can lead to discrimination and inequalities in daily lives, in access to and control over resources, and in decision-making at all levels. We are committed to preventing and mitigating this by promoting programs that value people of all genders equally and provide fair and impartial access to opportunities and resources.

Throughout the lifecycle of all Pact programs, we will promote the aspirational Minimum Standards for Mainstreaming Gender Equality (see below), funder specific requirements, and/or gender mainstreaming best practices. Pact will routinely commit resources to enable people of all genders to achieve a dignified future where they are heard, capable, and vibrant.

As an organization we recognize that people experience inequality in their activities and roles, inequity in the level of access to and control over resources, and in decision-making opportunities in part or in whole because of their gender identity. We are committed to mitigating these inequalities by implementing programs that values all people equally, are designed to accommodate and address the unique challenges individuals face because of their gender identity, and provide fair and impartial access to opportunities. 

Benchmarking Programmatic Gender Work to International Standards
In 2018, Pact signed on to the aspirational Minimum Standards for Mainstreaming Gender Equality, with the intention of benchmarking our progress towards achieving programmatic gender equality to standards agreed upon by gender experts from our peer international development and humanitarian organizations.

Some of the Minimum Standards should be considered aspirations for organizational gender standards and not programmatic gender standards, but we include all eight standards in Annex 1 below for clarity and because there is natural overlap.

Policy Implementation
Pact is dedicated to consistently improving the level of gender equity in our programming design and implementation practices. This policy is intended to clearly understand and abide by the requirements that our funders call for as they relate to gender.

Program Design
At the beginning of the program design process, whether that is a scoping trip, proposal development of Value for Money (VFM) plans, or first engaging with a funder, it is important that there is a responsible party (such as the Proposal Champion) assigned with the task of investigating what, if any, policies, requirements, considerations, and/or guidance the funder has that relate to gender or sexual orientation to ensure that there is equal commitment by all parties. A full review of any relevant policies and their requirements is required ahead of pursuing an opportunity. Pact will be required to comply with the gender policy of our funders, while implementing our own.

If the funder does not have a specific gender policy, Pact’s Gender Mainstreaming in Programming Policy will be used to govern the gender requirements for that project.

Whenever considering operations in a new country (see: New Country Authorization Policy) or pursuing a new opportunity (see: Proposal Go/No-Go Process), we will consider gender and/or sexual orientation risks based off of the laws and practices within these countries. 

For more information, please see the Pact Guide to Gender Mainstreaming Across the Program Cycle: Mainstreaming Gender in Program Design. 

Program Implementation
In instances where Pact is contracting with sub-awardees or partners to implement a project, these partners will be encouraged and supported to use and abide by Pact’s Gender Mainstreaming in Programming Policy. Pact seeks sub-awardees and partners that are held to the highest standards of gender mainstreaming, but we recognize that this is a journey and not something that will occur instantaneously. As Pact progresses toward our own actualized gender activities, we will inspire and support our partners to do the same.

In some instances, Pact will operate in countries that could behave in hostile ways towards various genders and/or sexual orientations, which results in risks for that individual employee, shareholder, partner and/or project participant. In these instances, the responsible party or given individual may consult with a manager, a member of the President’s Council on Gender Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (GEDI), and/or the Director of Global Security directly. The person should report this information to a source they feel comfortable engaging with.

If the manager or GEDI Council is approached, they are responsible for bringing this information to the Director of Global Security so that they are involved in drafting an appropriate and gender-sensitive mitigation plan. We recognize that the circumstances and challenges an individual may face as it relates to gender identity and/or sexual orientation are specific and personal. Therefore, the mitigation plans to address the specific circumstance must be personalized and exclusive to that given individual. 

Each Pact staff member is responsible for serving as a personal steward of this policy. Staff are expected to not only comply with this policy, but to actively engage with other relevant staff members when determining if they could experience any risks when planning, implementing, and measuring programmatic activities, especially when those activities could be considered sensitive. Any concerns with gender and/or sexual orientation risks – seen or unseen – should be raised to both the VP for Integrated Program Advancement and the Director of Global Security for awareness and consideration. 

Program Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
Pact appreciates the importance of gender training, both internally to our organization and externally with our shareholders, but we have yet to develop our own training. The objective of providing these resources is for all Pact staff to feel safe when engaging in programmatic work, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Roles and Responsibilities
Each team involved in applying to and acquiring funding, implementing a project, and monitoring and evaluating its success must abide by this policy. For any funder-specific requirement or guidance, the roles and responsibilities throughout the project lifecycle should be documented, detailing responsible teams and resources ahead of the submission of the proposal. 

Country Offices are expected to abide by this policy, but are encouraged to establish local partnerships with national organizations that promote gender and inclusion, in order to benefit from conversations that frame gender and inclusion within that country context.

Managers should be well-versed in this policy and responsive to any discussions with their direct reports regarding programmatic concerns regarding their gender identity or sexual orientation. Managers and/or the GEDI Council are required to report any concerns to the Director of Global Security for their response and plans to address. 

Pact will conduct an annual Gender Equity, and Social Inclusion (GESI) review to ensure that projects are compliant with this policy and any other relevant gender policies, as that funding agreement stipulates. The Gender Community of Practice (COP) is responsible for selecting the project that will be evaluated, conducting the assessment, and reporting the findings out to Pact’s Senior Leadership team and corresponding policy owner, the VP for Integrated Program Advancement. This annual GESI review is contingent upon availability of funding.

All Pact staff are responsible for following this policy. Staff members who are found violating this policy will be subject to discipline.