Gender financing in Guatemala: Mapping funding to improve gender equality

By Friends of Publish What You Fund & Publish What You Fund
June 14, 2021

The content in this piece was originally published on Friends of Publish What You Fund and Publish What You Fund’s websites.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionately negative impact on women and girls, exacerbating social and economic inequalities and derailing hard-won gains. Scaling and coordinating gender equality funding is critical for addressing the growing gap and for achieving broader global development goals.

To ensure funding is best targeted to both meet identified gender priorities and to make societies more equal, we need a clear picture of gender financing — which projects are being funded, by whom, with what aims and with what results.

The Gender Financing Project, created by Friends of Publish What you Fund and Publish What you Fund, along with funding from Plan International USA and Save the Children US, has mapped national and international funding for gender equality in Guatemala. Our research examines how such information could be made more transparent and useful and offers some recommendations for improved co-ordination and allocation of gender equality funding in Guatemala.

Why does this matter?

The Guatemala government has committed to significantly increase investments to address gender inequality through Sustainable Development Goal 5. Without accessible, up-to-date and complete information, it is impossible to hold national governments and other funders to account on their gender equality commitments. We need this information to learn which initiatives make societies more equal and why, and to plan and implement future efforts. Without quality information on these funding flows it is extremely challenging to assess results and to work towards better development outcomes.

Overall findings

We have assessed the availability and quality of public information, investigated data use and tracked gender financing to determine how the government of Guatemala and international funders can both be more transparent about their funding and better meet gender advocates’ needs.

The report highlights commendable efforts by the national government and international donors to improve the transparency of gender equality funding.

We also found that key gender advocates in Guatemala were generally dissatisfied with the quality and/or quantity of the available information — and our research justified this view. Levels of satisfaction tended to differ between data users and data publishers.

National vs. international funding

Based on existing data, our research found that the amount of gender financing (for 2018) by the national government versus international donors varied significantly.

In Guatemala, we traced $568M of national gender financing and $203M of international donors’ self-reported gender aid for Guatemala, suggesting that the Guatemalan government spent approximately three times more on improving gender equality in Guatemala than international donors.

While these figures present a stark difference, we know that there is certainly some double-counting and under-reporting within the data. This underscores the need for a more harmonized application of gender-responsive budgeting and OECD gender markers, as well as greater disaggregation of domestic and international funding data.

Learn more

  1. Read the recently published report on gender financing in Guatemala, available in English and Spanish. Executive summaries are available in Spanish and K’iche’.
  2. Listen to a webinar of gender experts in Guatemala discuss the realities they face.
  3. Stay tuned for Friends of Publish What You Fund and Publish What You Fund’s upcoming Global Transparency Report and launch webinar, hosted by the Brookings Institute on July 8, 2021.


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