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Do social constructions and gender mainstreaming in policy design affect the evaluation of the policy process? An analysis of a policy intervention in a postconflict society

Social Science Quarterly

Published online on


["Social Science Quarterly, EarlyView. ", "\nAbstract\n\nObjective\nThe theory of social constructionism has been consolidated as an appropriate tool for understanding policy design, implementation, and evaluation. However, there is little empirical research about the implications of social construction on policy evaluation. The objective of the article is to contribute to the literature in public policy and gender studies by defining the impact of gender as a social construct and gender mainstreaming in public policy on beneficiaries' evaluation of the policy process.\n\n\nMethods\nI conducted a study of the institutional design of Colombia's policy of assistance to victims of civil war and a quantitative analysis, through ordered logit and logistic regression models, to identify how gender mainstreaming and social constructions affect the evaluation of the policy process measured as the satisfaction levels with the process of application to policy assistance.\n\n\nResults\nThe article confirms the hypothesis that positive social constructions‐in this case, the construction of women victims‐reinforced by a strong institutional design make bureaucrats administer the policy differently to specific groups. As expected, women have more levels of satisfaction with the policy process. However, this effect is not significant for other social constructions such as ethnicity and the elderly.\n\n\nConclusion\nResearch in this topic should consider the differential effect of certain social constructions on policy evaluation based on how policy design crystallizes symbolic and material messages that benefit some groups.\n\n"]