Cross-cutting issues are topics that are identified as important and that affect and cut across most or all aspects of development. These topics should therefore be integrated and mainstreamed throughout all stages of development from policy design, to implementation, evaluation and learning.
To mainstream an issue means to adopt that lens throughout the whole process. For example, what are the gender dimensions of a given problem – does it affect men and women differently? If so, is the policy and/or programme designed to address it taking those gender differences into account? Finally, when looking back at our actions, were our activities effective at contributing to greater gender balance?