UNDP BRC Training: Capacity Building on Gender Mainstreaming into Democratic Governance Practice

3-4 December 2008, Istanbul, Turkey

The global UNDP Gender Equality Strategy 2008-2011 reinforced the prioritization of the 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 capacities of the UNDP COs and the national partners to integrate gender into development.

UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre held a Capacity Building for Gender Mainstreaming Training on 14-16 April 2008 in Senec, Slovakia, with a participation of UNDP Gender Focal Points from the region. The training has concluded that a follow up with more hands on workshops targeting the Practices and programme teams in Country Offices needs to be undertaken.

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 Country Offices and among Governmental counterparts, with an aim to have committed group of people within and outside UNDP with the ability, knowledge, skills and tools to facilitate and support the change process. To meet this end, and to follow the Global UNDP and regional RBEC GES 2008-2011 recommendations in general, Bratislava Regional Centre of UNDP aims at building and enhancing capacities of UNDP staff and Government partners in mainstreaming gender perspective into Democratic Governance Practice to have a competent programme staff equipped with tools, skills and concepts for effective integration of gender perspective into all levels of programming.

The aim of the Two-day Training, using the UNDP Gender Mainstreaming in Practice Toolkit, Quick Entry Points to Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality in Democratic Governance Clusters manual and the Regional Report findings, was therefore to equip Democratic Governance team staff, Gender Focal Points in COs and their partners in the Government with the concepts, tools and skills necessary to design and facilitate gender mainstreaming.
The objective of training was three-fold:
  • To enhance the capacities of UNDP Country Offices in the ECIS region in providing support to develop strategies and tools for implementing GM into Democratic Governance Practice area on a CO level;
  • To enhance the capacities of Government partners in addressing gender equality in governance and leadership areas;
  • To enhance the capacities of UNDP GFPs, Democratic Governance team staff and Government partners to be able to lead the process of incorporating gender into Democratic Governance Practice area, on Country Offices level, and into policy-making processes on a Governmental level.

The Training was held on 4th and 5th December 2008 in Istanbul, following the International Conference on Women in Governance, which has been organised by UNDP in co-operation with Turkey Agency for Development Aid TIKA. Group of 40 participants comprised of UNDP Democratic Governance practice team/cluster leaders, project managers and staff; UNDP Gender Focal Points; government and CSO representatives.

Blerta Cela, Klelija Balta, Olga Pietruchova (trainer)
Welcome message from Klejila Balta was followed by opening speech from Blerta Cela from UNDP BDP in New York. While the first day focused on advocacy and exchange of experiences from country offices, the second day provided more space to explore tools and improve skills of incorporating gender mainstreaming within policies, project & programme design. Within the first session that focused on basic concept of gender theory, guest speaker, UNDP consultant Wendy Harcourt explored importance of equality perspective within the development, linking the Beijing Platform for Action and the MDGs in a changing context: Resources, Rights and Accountability.

Wendy Harcourt, guest speaker

The second session dealing with gender mainstreaming as precondition of for good governance aimed to set common conceptual framework with participants. Leyla Shen, from UNDP Turkey addressed in her presentation the concept of gender mainstreaming in Democratic Governance emphasising the need to incorporate gender equality perspective into all development policies, strategies, and interventions at all levels and at all stages and considering both men’s and women’s wishes, needs, and experience in design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and efforts.

The third session focused on issues of accountability in regards to achievement of gender equality. The emphasis was put on women’s inclusion in decision making processes and on advancing women’s human rights and gender equality as a key standard and a goal of public action.

Randy Davis and Patrick van der Weerelt via video conference call

Last session of first day hosted presentations of Randy Davis and Patrick van der Weerelt from UNDP BDP transferred via video conference call. The session stressed out necessity of implementation of gender equality as mainstreaming agenda in all UNDP programs as well as the highlighted the support available from New York to gender focal points in the region.

Throughout the training, Gender Market Place took place enabling exchange of good practices and success stories from the region presented by country offices.

Within the first day of training, four country presentations were shared. Presentation from Poland given by Mrs. Beata Balińska & Paulına Kaczmarek introduced the ´Gender Index Project´ that aimed to counteract women discrimination in the workplace by enabling good working environment and advocating for gender equality pro-active companies.

Presentation from Russia shared by Galina Kalinaeva introduced the innovative advocacy approach used within project of ´1000 Women Letters´ that focused integration of gender equality perspective into public administration education.

Bosnia and Hercegovina presentation given by Gyongyver Jakab introduced the state mechanism on gender equality which has been implemented in last years. The BIH´s Gender Equality Law is considered to be one of excellent comprehensive example of legislation that has been followed by comprehensive machinery introducing GE institutions at all governmental levels.

Last country presentation of the day came from Kyrgyzstan given by Nurgul Asylbek who presented creative and innovative initiatives focusing on advocacy for gender quota and law on Gender equality.

Second day was dedicated to further exploration of gender mainstreaming principles and tools or steps to be applied in practice. Session kicked of from brainstorming focusing on mapping of achievements & challenges. Basic principles and steps to apply gender mainstreaming were introduced, including setting of goals and objectives, targets and evolving indicators for gender mainstreaming process as well as short introductions to monitoring and evaluation of processes.

Following session focused on application of gender analysis tool with specific attention paid to its use within policy analysis where it enables to uncover how specific policies affect women & men differently.  Methodology of gender analysis that was introduced and then it was applied by participants through practical exercise focusing on engendering of gender-blind-project samples. Methodology enabled to name problems, set new objectives and match them with proposed indicators for monitoring and evaluation of progress.

The second day hosted two more country presentations. First was given by Armine Hovhannisyan from Armenia who presented 4 years gender project that focused on enhancing participation of women in politics, applying gender analysis of laws and norms, improving gender equality mechanism, developing curricula of civil servant’s mandatory training with training module on gender etc.

Based on ad hoc demand from Turkey group, Natia Cherkezishvili from Georgia presented lessons learned from the project focusing on gender budgeting in local government.

Source. http://europeandcis.undp.org/gender/genderandgovernance/show/BE0226C0-F203-1EE9-B851A5C6E260A024

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