Benefitting from Diversity – Gender Mainstreaming as a Tool for Effective Capacity Development
“You don’t make a team with only keepers in the field when playing a game. Diversity and a combination of different qualities give power to a good team.”
The Gender Expert Group (GEG) started its work in February 2011. Its members are convinced that through gender mainstreaming you can assure that all participants – men and women – benefit equally from your courses. Therefore, you can benefit from diversity and implement Gender Mainstreaming as a tool for Effective Capacity Development. It allows for a wider range of experiences and perspectives to enrich the learning environment. If you want your workshop to be effective, gender mainstreaming is not simply an add-on, but a must! That is why the group’s long-term vision is to improve the quality of gender expertise in all member organisations through gender mainstreaming processes at management, core business, and support level. The group’s work covers two main thematic areas, first, the strengthening of processes and creation of models to improve the quality of the transfer of gender expertise and the strengthening of gender equality in mainstream trainings. The second area covers the support of gender mainstreaming and the guidance of processes to integrate gender at management, core business and support level, through Joint Learning Journeys.
Gender mainstreaming improves learning outcomes. Women and men tend to have different roles and responsibilities in our societies. This leads to specific “gendered” knowledge, experiences and perspectives. If we enable only one side to engage in capacity building processes, we miss out on a whole range of opportunities for mutual learning and sources of valuable knowledge. Gender mainstreaming of contents and participant selection, helps us to benefit from human diversity when creating inspiring capacity development interventions.
Men and women often have unequal access to resources such as knowledge and capacity development. This can be due to social or cultural reasons, such as women’s traditional responsibility for care work or men’s breadwinner role and related time constraints. Unequal access to resources also depends on other dimensions of inequality, such as age, ethnicity, class or religion. Gender mainstreaming of participant and facilitator selection increases equality in the access to opportunities. Mainstreaming methods assure an enabling learning environment where all participants – women and men – feel comfortable and benefit equally.
- To promote and harmonize capacity building on gender issues in international cooperation.
- To implement Gender Mainstreaming as a tool for Effective Capacity Development.
1. Joint Learning Events: We began a Joint Learning Journey on gender mainstreaming. A first successful meeting was organised in Vienna in April 2013 including representatives of bilateral donor agencies, multilaterals and civil society organisations. While participants in the Vienna meeting reflected on the question ”What works for gender mainstreaming within our organisations?”, the second meeting in Brussels in April 2014 focused more on “Discovering a shared capacity for gender mainstreaming in development cooperation in the lead-up to the post-2015 Agenda” with special attention on the topics of Gender Responsive Budgeting in Public Financial Management (PFM).
2. Open courses: We carry out courses that are open to other member organisations in addition to our own staff.
3. Learning material: During our activities we produce material that can be consulted via the section resources. We developed, for example, a Gender Equality Scorecard for Trainings.
Other past projects
GEG’s main achievements can be resumed in the following baselines: “Putting gender on the agenda” and “making gender mainstreaming work”. For that aim the group has developed a Gender Equality Scorecard for Trainings and the pertaining User’s Guide (download: Scorecard French; User Guide French; Scorecard English; User Guide English). It offers simple guidelines for making your workshop more gender-sensitive and inclusive and enables you to look at processes of participant and facilitator selection, contents and methods through a gender lens.
If you are not sure how to adapt the Gender Equality Scorecard to your specific context or situation, feel free to contact us for support and training opportunities.
What were the outcomes?
In 2011, the group carried out an assessment of needs for capacity development in gender mainstreaming among development agencies: “Dripping hollows out rock – Enhancing Capacity for Gender Mainstreaming”. The study looked at how the member organisations mainstream and build capacity on gender internally and which activities would be best suited for the common work of the GEG. Follow-up studies were carried out in 2012 and 2013. Their outcomes were that one of the priorities has to be to work on the quality of gender trainings and the integration of gender in all Learn4Dev trainings. One of its recommendations was therefore to start using a G-marker as a feasible solution in the short-run to ensure quality on gender mainstreaming in Learn4Dev trainings.
Joint Learning Journey on Gender Mainstreaming Brussels 31 March – 2 April 2014
The “Joint Learning Journey on gender mainstreaming” in Brussels was an initiative of the Gender Expert Group of the learn4dev network, taking place from the 31st of March to the 2nd of April 2014.
A first successful meeting was organised in Vienna in April 2013 including representatives of bilateral donor agencies, multilaterals and civil society organisations. The Vienna-meeting was hosted and organised by ADA, the Austrian Development Agency and the meeting in Brussels was co-organised by BTC and ITC-ILO.
While participants in the Vienna meeting reflected on the question ”What works for gender mainstreaming within our organisations?”, the Brussels meeting focused more on “Discovering a shared capacity for gender mainstreaming in development cooperation in the lead-up to the post-2015 Agenda” with special attention on the topics of Gender Responsive Budgeting in Public Financial Management (PFM). A close collaboration with the PFM expert group of learn4dev was one of the main outcomes and will be continued in the near future. Inviting representatives from partner institution has been another success of this Brussels meeting. The Joint Learning Journey showed that Gender Responsive Budgeting is a key issue in the Post-2015 framework and that strategizing is essential for achieving shared goals (download the report and the presentations of the JLJ: Presentations Part 1 and Presentations Part 2).
Upcoming events: Expert group objectives and activities planned for 2014-2015
- Organization of another JLJ linked to gender responsive public financial management.
- Actively contribute to the creation of the EU Resource Package for Gender Mainstreaming in Development Cooperation.
- Contribution to the creation of an online training course on gender mainstreaming.
- Further promotion of the “Gender Equality Score Card” – a very practical and user-friendly tool developed by the GEG in 2013 for gender mainstreaming in trainings.
First hand impressions
Please have a look at the videos below if you are interested in first hand impressions from members of our expert group and their participation in the joint competence development network.
1. The organisers of the event and the former leaders of the Gender Expert Group look back at the three days and talk about what learn4dev means for them:
2. On the last day of the 3-day Joint Learning Journey, Alice Risch (LuxDev) was appointed the new leader of the Gender Expert Group:
Joint Learning Journey on Gender Mainstreaming Brussels 31 March – 2 April:
Alice Risch (LuxDev) and Donnah MBABAZI (Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Rwanda):