Case studies for embedding gender impact assessments

Organisations are using different approaches to embed gender impact assessments (GIAs) into their work. These examples from the local government sector highlight some of these approaches.

Mitchell Shire Council

Mitchell Shire Council has launched a new GIA app for staff members to use when conducting a GIA.

‘GIAs are a new way of working and thinking for many people. We hope the GIA App will be an interesting and new way for people to get involved in this work.’ - Natasha Rose, Acting Coordinator Community Development and Youth Services

The GIA App provides an efficient way to collect and analyse data, including the required data for progress reports.

It integrates workflow and approval processes within the council.

The app can be used on mobile phones or computers. It guides staff members through the 4-step process as outlined in the Commission’s Gender Impact Assessment Toolkit. Users can click on question mark icons to get more information and attach documents as supporting evidence. Responses can be exported to Excel for analysis.

When a GIA is completed, Mitchell Shire Council’s Gender Equality Action Group gets a notification email to review.

Next steps

The app is being trialled by the Senior Leadership Team in a series of workshops. Mitchell Shire Council will continue to refine the app and explore new features. It will provide training in partnership with Women’s Health Goulburn North East to support staff roll out across council.

City of Greater Bendigo

The Community Partnerships team at the City of Greater Bendigo took a different approach to embed GIAs into their council.

The council incorporated GIAs into their Equity Impact Assessment (EIA) process as part of the council’s Social Justice Framework 2022-2032. This framework guides decisions, planning and actions to improve equity and inclusion and support human rights in the community over the next 10 years.

‘By broadening GIAs to EIAs and contextualising the tool within a Social Justice Framework, this helped to both strategically position the tool and add extra depth and rigour without deviating from the process or the focus on gender.’ - Felicity Beissmann, Community Partnerships Officer

After undergoing a pilot testing GIAs and EIAs, the team found the Commission’s GIA template worked most effectively when the language was adapted to suit the different types of initiatives being assessed. They adapted the template to create 3 variations:

  1. Policy
  2. Program or service
  3. Plan, framework or strategy

The team also established EIA Champions who receive ongoing specialised training in areas such as gender equity and workshop facilitation. EIA Champions support staff through the EIA process by facilitating a workshop to define the issue and unpack assumptions, providing feedback to each step of the template and authorising the EIA recommendations. The council aims to have an EIA Champion appointed in every business unit by the end of 2023.

Bass Coast Shire Council

The People and Culture team at Bass Coast Shire Council has been leading the rollout of GIAs. They demonstrate how they embedded GIAs into their organisation.

A key step was to deliver GIA training to Bass Coast leadership teams. Using the templates and resources developed by the Commission, they introduced leaders to the purpose and process of GIAs. Leaders could then watch the pre-recorded GIA workshop videos to further familiarise themselves.

The team also held GIA ‘watch and learn’ sessions to further instil this knowledge. From here, GIA ‘champions’ across different departments were nominated.

‘Champions are the ones really driving and pushing GIAs in their own areas.’ - Emma Sorensen, Coordinator Talent Management

The team also facilitated in-person workshops to run through the GIA process. During these workshops, different teams brought different projects to undergo a GIA. This enabled staff from various project teams to collaborate on GIAs. Bringing together diverse perspectives and ideas was an effective way of applying a gender lens. It was also valuable for building staff capability and confidence.

Bass Coast Shire Council also plans to launch a GIA hub on its intranet. Staff will be able to access training materials, resources and case studies.

Find out more

These case studies are just some of the great ways that local councils are embedding GIAs. These types of learnings are shared in the Local Government Community of Practice. Visit our community of practice page to learn more and join.