"Strong leadership is critical to developing an enabling environment for gender mainstreaming at the organizational level," said Ms Aban Marker Kabraji, IUCN Asia Regional Director. "Thanks to the MFF initiative, we have a platform for creating the learning space for IUCN senior managers to become champions of gender responsive programming."
Facilitated by WOCAN (Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture & Natural Resource Management), a member of the MFF Gender Advisory Panel, the workshop provided an opportunity for senior IUCN Asia managers to conduct an organizational assessment and identify key actions for strengthening IUCN as an organization with the essential enabling environment that supports gender-responsive programming across the Asia Region.
Mr Barun Gurung, WOCAN lead trainer, provided the rationale and basic awareness for gender integrated planning processes. Mr Gurung presented an overview of why gender analysis at the institutional level is important, and guided discussions that allowed senior managers to assess and identify activities that can assist IUCN to be a strong organization and facilitator of gender-responsive development.
The workshop was attended by IUCN Asia Regional Office senior management, IUCN Country Representatives (from Bangladesh, Laos, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Thailand). See the list of participants in the Related Documents column on this page.
The MFF Gender Advisory Panel Co-Chair Ms Meher Noshirwani and Dr Nisha Onta were also present to provide insight and technical input.
Workshop background and rationale
The prevailing tendency is to see gender in development as a “women’s” issue rather than as a critical requirement for effective development processes that address power relations between men and women, in all aspects of economic, political, social and cultural development.
A clear conceptual understanding and approach for gender and development needs to be built within the organization at all levels, facilitating a strategic and social justice oriented perspective to gender and development, a step beyond simply responding to the immediate practical needs on a service delivery basis.
In MFF Phase 3, there is a strong focus on gender-responsive planning and implementation. In this respect, building capacity for gender integrated planning at the project implementation level has been identified as one of the key capacity development priorities. Developing skills and tools for gender analysis and gender integrated planning at the field level, however, is not sufficient to bring about significant changes in the organization that will support and sustain a strong focus on building a gender responsive organization. Equally important, therefore, is the parallel development of IUCN as an organization, in order to provide the essential ‘enabling environment’ through which gender responsive development can be supported.
MFF takes a two-pronged approach to respond to this need. The first is to focus on developing conceptual clarity, learning methods and tools for gender integrated planning at the project and programme levels, and this will be conducted as a separate five-day training for project implementation staff. The second focus is on developing the structures and practices to support learning and change within IUCN Asia itself and building a team of staff who can extend this learning to other development practitioners. This second focus is the subject for the recently concluded two-day workshop.
For more information, please contact the MFF regional secretariat.