Funding for Gender Data Is Not Meeting Needs

The demand for quality gender data is on the rise, and global recognition of the importance of gender data has increased. We now have a better understanding of gender data gaps: where they are, what causes them, and what is needed to fill them.

However, increased awareness of the importance of gender data has not been met with increased financing. Monitoring of aid for gender data shows that financial flows have stagnated in recent years. The problem? Persistent low levels of financing for gender data go hand-in-hand with recurring gender data gaps.

$500 million

Worldwide, $500 million is needed from donors per year from now to 2030 to adequately fund core gender data systems.


In 2021, less than half of countries had data available to monitor SDG 5 (gender equality); fewer still regularly collected that data over time.

Mind the Gap

What we know about funding for gender data:

Overall funding is volatile, with substantial changes from year to year.

Financing for gender data is driven by a small number of large projects.

Most funding for gender data between 2014 and 2018 came from OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) countries.

The level of development aid for gender data is not increasing sufficiently to build robust gender data systems in low- and middle-income countries.

Neither countries nor international donors are providing the levels of investments needed.

COVID-19 and Other Crises Have Made Funding Needs More Urgent

Compounding global crises have eroded decades of progress on gender equality and inclusive sustainable development.

These include conflicts, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than half of national statistics offices experienced budget cuts during the pandemic, impeding their ability to measure progress against key development indicators.

Since the onset of COVID-19, national statistics offices in low- and lower-middle-income countries have reported a reduced ability to meet international reporting requirements.

Gender data is a key solution to support the resilience of women, girls, and gender-diverse groups—as well as their household and communities—during and beyond crises. Governments must collect and use gender data to identify and effectively respond to communities’ needs and to document their contributions to crisis mitigation and recovery. Adequately funding core gender data systems is a critical first step.

The State of Gender Data Financing 2021

This report by Data2X and Open Data Watch assesses the ecosystem and highlights the gap between current financing and the level of financing that is needed to fully fund gender data systems from now until 2030.


Who Are the Top Donors to Gender Data?

Which Gender Data Instruments Have the Largest Funding Shortfall?

The table below illustrates the cost of each gender data instrument, tallying apparent spending and estimating the financing shortfall across all IDA countries.

We Must Act Now

Data2X is calling on national governments, donors, multilaterals, companies, and civil society to take bold action to fill the gender data funding gap. We must:


Advocate for improved official development assistance (ODA) funding for gender data


Support Country-driven Resource Mobilization


Increase Global Stakeholder Coordination and Collaboration


Increase Demand for and Use of Gender Data


Harness New and Alternative Gender Data Sources

To sustainably finance gender data, countries must demonstrate demand, budget for gender data in national statistical plans, and advocate for support.

The Clearinghouse for Financing Development Data

The gender data channel of the Clearinghouse for Financing Development Data provides an in-depth look at financing for gender data in International Development Association (IDA) countries. It shows what funding is available, where additional funding is needed, and highlights key projects as well as donors and recipients.


Learn more about funding for gender data.


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