Training of Trainers on Building Capacity for Gender Mainstreaming by osa18898

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									United Nations Development Programme




         Training of Trainers on Building Capacity for Gender Mainstreaming
                                  14 – 16 April 2008
                                   Senec, Slovakia

                                          FINAL REPORT

Background

Gender equality is a central tenet of sustainable human development and a key element of the
MDGs. UNDP is committed to the advancement of gender equality through gender mainstreaming,
or the integration of gender equality concerns into all aspects of its work.

The new corporate Gender Equality Strategy 2008-2011, endorsed by the UNDP Gender Steering
and Implementation Committee in January 2008, reaffirmed the priority of integration of gender into
the work of UNDP. The RBEC Strategy for 2008-2011 recognizes the weak UNDP internal
capacities to implement and monitor its gender-related commitments and prioritizes the
development of capacity of the UNDP COs and the national partners to integrate gender into
development.

While the majority of COs in the RBEC region took part in the GTTF initiatives in the years 2005-
2006 sustainable results depend on the development of comprehensive Gender Mainstreaming
Strategies and effective integration of gender into all practice areas as well a into the daily work of
the organisation.

While Gender Focal Points and gender experts are formally tasked with facilitating gender
mainstreaming, experience has shown that the success of the effort depends on the development
of a broad consensus within the office and the presence of a committed group of people with the
ability and commitment to facilitate and support the change process.

This three-day workshop was designed to equip Gender Focal Points and others who have been
identified as potential gender change agents, with the basic concepts, tools and skills necessary to
design and facilitate gender mainstreaming at the Country Office level. The process of the
workshop was participatory and learner-centred, designed to provide a “safe space” for sharing
and learning from collective experience.

Following a needs assessment exercise to take stock of the participants current level of expertise,
the objectives of the workshop were set as follows.
     To equip participants with the ability to develop a comprehensive flowchart of actions
       required for gender mainstreaming.
     To sharpen the level of conceptual clarity on gender equality and its interconnections with
       UNDP’s work in the region.
     To build basic skills in use of gendered planning and monitoring tools.
     To provide participants with a set of support materials including on-line information and
       knowledge resources to support continuing learning and capacity-development on gender
       mainstreaming.
    A total of 22 participants from 16 Country Offices attended the workshop1.




Summary of proceedings

The workshop was opened by Agi Veres, Chief a.i. of the PSPD Unit at the Bratislava Regional
Centre, who highlighted the need to build on and consolidate the numerous initiatives for gender
mainstreaming that are being implemented by COs, so as to advance the goals of the RBEC
gender equality strategy which will be presented to the Regional Gender Steering Committee at its
upcoming meeting.

Barbara Limanowska, Regional Gender Advisor, gave an overview of the proposed RBEC gender
equality strategy, situating it within the framework of the UNDP Strategic Plan. The regional
strategy is intended to translate the global Gender Equality Strategy into action in the specific
context of the Eastern European and CIS countries, where women have clearly not benefited to
the same extent as men from the economic surge triggered by the transition process. Cross-cutting
gender equality issues, such as violence against women, are not appropriately prioritised in public
discourse and public policy. Accordingly, the goal of the proposed Regional Gender Strategy is to
put gender back on the agenda in the RBEC region through creating space for women's leadership
in governance and public policy, strengthening national knowledge bases and integrating gender
equality concerns into policy mechanisms. UNDP proposes to support initiatives by both state and
civil society actors with dialogue and consultations, cutting edge research and practical tools. The
strategy commits Country Offices to setting up Gender Teams led by a senior manager, ensuring
integration of gender concerns into programming, and implementing at least one gender-focused
project in each practice area. The Bratislava Regional Centre will provide technical and capacity-
building support to COs, and will contribute to enhancing the regional knowledge-base through
research projects and publications including a flagship report on gender and governance.




1
    The List of Participants and Agenda are placed in the hyperlinked Annex I.
The workshop began with a collective review of country-level actions and initiatives around gender
mainstreaming in the last few years. These were presented
in the form of road maps, starting at the point when gender While      introducing      themselves,
mainstreaming activities were formally initiated. Key events participants were asked to complete
along the road were marked to highlight their significance. the sentence - “My dream is that one
                                                             morning I would walk into the office
Pictures, photos and other visuals made many of the maps and see...”. Dreams ranged from the
‘speak’.                                                     irreverent    to the practical – but
                                                                nevertheless gave a glimpse of the
                                                                aspirations of the group. Some
                                                                samples...
                                                           At
                                                                “...I will find a cheque for 10 million
                                                                 dollars from the President on my
                                                                 table, all of it for gender equality.”

                                                                “...I will find that my job as Gender
                                                                 Focal Point has been given to a
                                                                 man.”

                                                                “...I will find a Gender Team with 50-50
                                                                 men and women.”

                                                                “...I will find that the RC is a member
                                                                 of the Gender Team.”

                                                                “...everyone will be asking me what
the end of the session, it was clear that all COs had made they can do on gender issues.”
considerable progress in “putting gender on the agenda”.
Support from the GTTF had been used creatively and
effectively to undertake capacity-building for staff, produce public advocacy materials.

The group then worked to synthesise and consolidate the learning from Country Office
experiences into an overall analysis of the opportunities and challenges encountered in the course
of gender mainstreaming at the country level. This was done through an exercise using the format
of “Snakes and Ladders”, a children's board game. Some interesting patterns of similarity and
difference emerged in this process.
The discussion following the exercise emphasised the importance of locating both opportunities
and challenges within a broader understanding of gender-responsive organisational change, which
may be conceptualised as involving actions and change processes in three domains - the political
(or policy) domain, the technical domain and the cultural domain. It was emphasised that each of
these domains is intricately linked to the other, and that the greatest potential for change lies in
areas where all three domains overlap. The reluctance to change and the desire to maintain the
status quo on gender (identified by most members of the group as the greatest “cultural” barrier to
                                                         gender mainstreaming) is one such
                                                         “intersectional issue”. In fact, it is this
                                                         reluctance that explains the finding from
                                                         the UNDP global evaluation of gender
                                                         mainstreaming, that programme staff do
                                                         not use gendered project planning and
                                                         monitoring tools, despite these tools being
                                                         easily available and organisational policies
                                                         that provide a clear mandate for their use.

                                                         Consolidating the discussion, the facilitator
                                                         emphasised the need for synergised
                                                         action in all three domains in order to take
                                                         forward the goal of integration of gender
                                                         equality concerns into all aspects of the
functioning of UNDP. It was noted that UNDP already had a strong policy framework at the global
level, which would require only minimal adaptation to make it coherent with the ground realities in
different countries. Similarly, the impressive collection of existing technical tools and guides for
mainstreaming can easily be accessed and adapted for local use.

The importance of grounding CO gender mainstreaming strategies in a clear conceptual framework
that would expand the space for such synergised actions was further underlined in the exercise
that followed. Working in three groups, participants articulated and prioritised long-term goals for
change in each of the three domains, defined the steps that would need to be taken to reach these
goals, and made a preliminary assessment of the internal capacities and resources that would be
required.

Discussions following this exercise provided the framework for the second day of the workshop,
which was designed as a space for analysing and drawing out the lessons and insights from the
rich experience of the participants in implementing actions for gender mainstreaming in diverse
social and political contexts.

Country experiences were presented and discussed in six rounds of panel discussions on the
following themes:
      Gender audits (Macedonia)
      Creating an enabling organisational environment (Montenegro, Georgia, Bosnia &
        Herzegovina, Turkey)
      Creating a supportive policy environment (Bratislava RC, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Ukraine,
        Macedonia
      Developing gender-responsive projects (Bratislava RC, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina)
      Gender-responsive programme implementation (Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Poland, RBAP)
      Partnerships (Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kosovo, Romania)

The panel discussions were enlightening and energising, and highlighted the fact that gender
mainstreaming is an evolving subject - a “work in progress”, where the practitioners themselves are
engaged in creating knowledge and where expertise is synonymous with experience.

The discussions that followed each panel focused on analysing the pros and cons of various
approaches, and identifying actions and interventions that had proved effective in facilitating
synergy and simultaneous change in all three organisational domains.

Some of these lessons are summarised below.

  A gender audit can be a sensitisation tool as well as a tool to assess the “state of play” on
                                        gender equality in the office and the country. It is possible
                                        for an audit to be carried out in a way that involves
The group tested the validity of the everyone, brings gender out from the shadows and makes
contention that a gender audit could it everyone's concern, and creates an open and enabling
be a completely in-house process, by environment for mainstreaming2. Ideally, this would require
going through a quick exercise to the active involvement of a small group – the Gender Team
construct a gender auditing tool. The
                                        - to take the lead in conducting the audit. Even if the audit is
outputs of the strategy-development
exercise on the first day were used to carried out by an external consultant, it needs to be
identify relevant audit parameters in mediated by “insiders” in order to ensure that the findings
each of the three domains, and are articulated in a way that does not trigger negative
formulate initial questions.            reactions.
                                        Creating an enabling organisational environment
It was agreed that this tool would be
tested and refined in countries where a requires intervention in the cultural domain. Apart from
gender audit was upcoming.              reflecting the dominant attitudes and stereotypes of the
                                        society “outside”, the internal culture of UNDP has its own
                                        specific characteristics. The global evaluation in 2004-05
   found the culture to be bureaucratic and top-down, with a high degree of boredom and
2
    The Gender Audit Tool developed during the workshop is placed in the hyperlinked Annex II.
    stagnation among staff. By encouraging dialogue across hierarchies and encouraging both
    women and men to participate in steering the change process, a gender mainstreaming strategy
    can be a platform to demonstrate a different way of functioning – one that is open, transparent,
    flexible and non-hierarchical. Such processes also help in mobilising support because they
    serve underline the fact that gender equality has benefits for the organisation as a whole.




 Training is a key intervention in both technical and cultural domains, since it can build positive
  perspectives and mobilise support for action on gender issues, as well as enhance technical
  capacitities for mainstreaming. However, training has limits – for instance, it would be naive to
  expect a training event of a few days to completely overthrow entrenched attitudes and ways of
  thinking. Nevertheless, an effective training intervention can, by making people look at old
  issues in new ways, shake some of these certainties and trigger a process of questioning that
  can lead to change in the longer term. Such long-term change processes can be facilitated
  through informal learning events that provide safe spaces and non-judgemental support for
  reflection and enquiry.
 UNDP already has a global policy framework that is strongly supportive of gender equality.
  However, this overarching framework requires institutionalisation at the country level. The
  Gender Team can be a basic element of the institutional structure for gender mainstreaming.
  This requires strong support from top management, in the form of a clear mandate and explicit
  affirmation of gender equality as a non-negotiable organisationalA classic example of the
  commitment, and the role of the Gender Team in facilitating anddisjunct between Operations
  monitoring the mainstreaming process.                              and    Programmes      is   the
 The composition of the Gender Team is also a key factor. For       decision by UNDP to treat
  instance, a Gender Team composed entirely of Programme staff recruitment of consultants in
  is likely to result in low ownership of the change process by      the   same     way    as    the
  Operations staff, thus slowing down the change process.            procurement of goods. The
                                                                     time taken in the contracting
  Similarly, a Gender Team consisting only of women is likely to
                                                                     process with its numerous
  create hostility and defensiveness among men in the                conditions and requirements
  organisation, as well as reinforce the perception of gender        sometimes        makes        it
  equality as a women's issue. A broad-based Gender Team that impossible to get the “right”
  involves both women and men across functional divisions and        gender experts on board.
  organisational hierarchies can be an effective model and can be
  a platform to demonstrate a matrixed and collaborative way of functioning.
 Gender-responsive project formulation requires a combination of subject-matter expertise and
  gender competence. Given the near-impossibility of finding a gender expert who also has
  technical knowledge and skills in all the UNDP focus areas, it is more strategic to build at least a
  basic level of gender competence in programme teams. Given also that external consultants are
  often involved in programme formulation, it is also necessary to include gender competence as
  a criterion in identifying consultants, and to develop rigorous protocols for integrating gender
  conceerns into projects. The need for high-quality support in programme formulation is also a
  strong rationale for strengthening technical gender units at headquarters and regional centres.
 To be effective, gender-responsive project implementation requires a good overlap between
  the policy domain and the technical domain. Providing capacity-building support and technical
  backstopping to implmenting partners is a key factor, and demands a strong in-house Gender
  Team with access to adequate resources for travel and training of partners. Gender concerns
  can be integrated into monitoring and evaluation processes and protocols in innovative ways,
  for instance by developing the project workplan into a basic monitoring tool.
 Strategic partnerships – with government counterparts, donors, UN System and civil society
  actors - are key to creating an impact at the national level. These require not only good “people
  skills” and networks, but also an enabling and supportive policy framework and a good “bank” of
  knowledge products and advocacy materials. The media and political parties can be important
  allies in creating a positive “gender climate” at the national level. The current churning and re-
  alignment of political relationships and governance mechanisms in many countries of the region
  has created unexpected opportunities and new alliances in many instances.

The discussions on the final day of the workshop focused on developing a general guideline for
developing and implementing a gender trategy at the Country Office level. Participants worked in
three gorups to examine options and arrive at a consensus on a ten-step cycle for gender
mainstreaming.


                                 Assessing the       Situation
                                 impact on the      assessment
                                   national        (carrying out
                                   situation         a gender
                                                       audit)
                                                                      Setting up a
                   Sharing
                                                                      gender team
                    lessons
                                                                       to steer the
                   through
                                                                         change
                  knowledge
                                                                         process
                   products

                                                                                      Finalising the
        Building
                                                                                      strategy and
      partnerships
                                                                                       action plan
      for resources
       and results


                                                                            Sensitising
                 Ensuring
                                                                          staff to gender
                  gender
                                                                               issues
               equality in the
                   office         Developing           Building
                                   gender-             technical
                                  responsive         capacities for
                                 programmes          mainstreaming
Some parting        thoughts     from           This basic sequence of steps can be applied across
participants...                                 countries in the region. The group agreed that in real life,
“Energising and inspiring!”                     it might be necessary to rearrange the sequence of steps
                                                to respond to the realities of specific country situations.
“I came as a kind of spy to see                 Discussions focused on the ways in which steps can also
what the gender community was
                                                be collapsed or overlapped to increase impact across
up to – what I learnt will be useful
for mainstreaming environmental
                                                organisational domains – for instance, the process of
concerns too.”                                  conducting a gender audit (an intervention in the
                                                technical domain) can itself be a means of staff
“We needed one more day to work                 sensitisation (which has impacts in the cultural domain).
on tools.”                                      Similarly, the process of developing the strategy
“this workshop more than met my                 document can be designed in a way that involves
expectations – we focused on                    everyone in the office and thus contributes to creating an
'how' rather than just 'why'!”                  enabling climate for gender equality in the office. It was
“This workshop proved again why                 emphasised that since gender mainstreaming as an
the gender community is the most                ongoing process, the impact assessment at the end of
active one!”                                    one cycle provides the baseline data for taking the
“We need to follow this up with                 process to the next higher level.
more hands on workshops for
programme teams in the country           A discussion on facilitating gendered change processes
offices.”                                further consolidated lessons from the experiences of the
                                         participants and facilitators and highlighted some critical
        issues and shared tips for addressing resistance and broad-basing the change
 process.

The final session of the workshop was dedicated to action-planning and deciding on timelines for
actions both by the CO teams3 and by the Bratislava Regional Centre Gender Team.

Feedback at the end of the workshop was overwhelmingly positive, with participants rating the
workshop at 4.85 on a 5-point scale. The flexible design, conceptual framework and practical
approach were much appreciated, as was the opportunity to learn from each others' experiences
and build new contacts and alliances. The group also appreciated the opportunity to learn from the
experience of the countries in the Asia-Pacific region, brought in through the participation of the
Gender Advisor from the Colombo RC.

While formally closing the workshop, Agi Veres and Barbara Limanowska assured the group that
the Bratislava Regional Centre was committed to strengthening and building on the learning
process that had been initiated at this workshop, in order to take forward the RBEC Gender
Strategy.




 3
      Action-plan of Georgia CO is placed in the hyperlinked Annex III as an example

								
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