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Aid for Gender Equality - UNU WIDER Conference 16 dec 2013


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Aid for Gender Equality - UNU WIDER Conference 16 dec 2013

  1. 1. Aid for Gender Equality Key points from the UNU-WIDER/ReCom conference, Copenhagen, Denmark 16 December 2013 Programme: Leaders of gender equality efforts in Asia, from left: Dr. Khieu Serey Vuthea, Director General of Social Development, Ministry of Women's Affairs, Cambodia; Dr. Attiya Inayatullah, Former Minister for Women's Development, Population Planning, Social Welfare and Special Education, Member of the Parliament of Pakistan; and Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Speaker of the Parliament of Bangladesh. Photo: Gry Tina Tinde Morning session: The conference was introduced by Charlotte Slente, State Secretary for Development Policy at Danida. Photo: Alexander Zach 1
  2. 2. Dr. Amartya Sen, Professor of Economics and Philosophy, Harvard University Next was a talk via video by Amartya Sen, Professor at Harvard University. Dr. Sen said achieving gender equality is about 1. Enlightenment; and 2. Agency. On enlightenment - Women's education is key regarding fertility and reducing the number of child births. On agency: A study in India showed that when women have a stronger role in their family and society it's also positive for reproductive health issues. Why should one think of men and women differently? This is about human beings. On feminism: It's an issue of humanity. Dr. Caren Grown, Economist in Residence, American University, Washington. D.C. Photo: Alexander Zach Dr. Caren Grown @CarenGrown Economist in Residence at American University welcomed participants. She quoted a 8 March 2008 statement by Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon: “ women the world has at its disposal the most significant and yet largely untapped potential for development and peace.” Two reports are key, said Dr. Grown: 1. A report by FAO from 2010-11 “The State of Food and Agriculture” and a report by the World Bank in 2012 “Gender Equality and Development”. 2
  3. 3. Dr. Grown said gender equality is multi-dimensional. Much literature states that there is a strong impact of women's education on economic growth. However gender gaps in e.g. pay levels may also enhance economic growth, although research findings are less robust on this topic. Since 1975 when the UN declared the first decade on women we have seen a lot of progress: More girls in school, labor force and reduced female mortality. Secondary education is an area that needs focus. Labor market issues are important - it's about the conditions of work. Gender gaps have not been closed in the labor marked. Women lack property rights in agriculture. In Ecuador more women than men own land; however the value of what women own is always less. On time use: Across the world, women globally carry out two hours more than men on unpaid work. Even in Sweden women do more house work than men. Regarding seats in parliament: Women are largely underrepresented in parliaments, making up approximately 20 per cent globally. What are donors' responses? A twin-track approach: 1. Women focus and 2. Gender mainstreaming. No. 2 got donors into trouble. Donor commitment has been reduced recently – there has been a big drop in funding between 2011 and 2012. In 2011 it was around 18 per cent of all aid, and it is not enough. If it were mainstreamed it would be 80 per cent. What works: on education: conditional cash transfers; Scholarships. Health: maternal mortality: Skilled attendants; emergency obstetric care, functional referral system; reproductive health, contraceptives, sexuality education, safe abortion services. What we don't always know is how these interventions stack up against each other and what are the entry points? What works and could work? Economic: poor women need more bundled services. Responding to gender-based violence is essential, via e.g. community-based interventions. Challenges: Stand-alone projects vs. scale up. Mainstreaming vs. "Away" streaming. Which means that mainstreaming may make gender disappear. The lack of data hampers us in this conversation. Data are necessary to make the issues visible. Conclusions: Strategic entry points for interventions that "move the needle" and are oriented to outcomes. Results on the ground – success "begets" success. Invest in monitoring and evaluation, especially impact evaluation; invest in data collection. We need to ensure the political will. It is much the same situation as 20 years ago. We need to move beyond rhetoric. 3
  4. 4. Dr. Léonce Ndikumana, Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst Photo: Alexander Zach The next speaker was @LEONCENDIKUMANA, Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. According to Dr. Ndikumana: 1. There is a quantity and quality problem: there are inadequate volumes of aid; on quality: there is allocational ineffectiveness; predictability is lacking. To reduce poverty you need results, and much is needed in the agricultural sector. 2. There is weak additionality, such as spillover effects, technology and knowledge transfer. 3. Failure to influence policy and institutions. 4. Poor alignment of incentives and interests. 5. Lack of learning from mistakes Empirical question: Does increasing volume of aid help ameliorate aggregate human development? Results and implications: The overall impact of aid on human development depends significantly on initial conditions. The finding suggests that aid evaluation that does not take into account initial conditions is likely to underestimate the impact of aid on development outcomes. The focus should be on relative progress rather than absolute progress. 4
  5. 5. Kai Gehring, Research Associate, University of Heidelberg Photo: Alexander Zach Kai Gehring @HeidelbergU speaks on Gender inequality and the allocation of aid. In outlining a study, Mr. Gehring said there is little evidence of a merit-based allocation of aid. Improvements in education and female literacy are followed by reductions of aid. An exception is in increased numbers of women in parliaments, where increases are awarded by more aid. Donors with high shares of women in parliament are more likely to reward higher female parliamentary representation in recipient countries. Left-wing governments react stronger to need in terms of unbalanced in education and women's rights. Male ministers commit more aid in developing countries w well-established women's rights. Female ministers react to imbalances in tertiary education with higher aid commitment. It is a multifaceted challenge. Donors respond only partially to need in terms of gender inequality. Donors do not reward recipients for improvements. Dr. Mina BaliamouneLutz, Professor of Economics, University of North Florida and Director of Research, African Center for Economic Transformation, Accra, Ghana Photo: Alexander Zach 5
  6. 6. Talk by @Mina_Lutz and question-answer session. Mina Baliamoune-Lutz says the MENA region has seen major advances for women in the past decades, however much remains. There are disparities among the countries in terms of female members of parliament. Results suggest that aid to equality organizations and institutions is in general effective. A critical mass of women in parliament can create more push for gender equality. Foreign aid could have a catalytic role in this process. There is documented evidence on ineffectiveness of aid to family planning in terms having a positive (side)effect on women’s empowerment in MENA. This argues for more support for women's reproductive health via organizations that work for women’s political representation. More women in political leadership gives results, as they adopt different policies than men, namely policies that support women’s rights. The active participation of women in the Arab Spring has differed among countries - Tunisia for example vs. Libya or Yemen. Dr. Liv Tønnessen Senior Researcher and Coordinator of Gender Politics at Christian Michelsen Institute in Bergen, Norway Question from Dr. Liv Tønnessen: Please help explain the reason for the higher participation of women in parliament in countries emerging from conflict. Question from Roger Williamson - I'm worried about a personalization of the issues with the appointment of female ministers. Question from a member of the audience: Is there a certain kind of aid that works better than others? Reply from Mina Baliamoune-Lutz: On countries emerging from conflict and female representation in parliament: I did look at these countries, e.g. Lebanon. My understanding is that when you come out of conflict you reconstruct, and women and men are needed. Aid donors may insist that women are involved. Differences in female political representation in countries rebuilding after war and countries in peace is an important issue that needs further study. Arab countries mostly have 6
  7. 7. autocratic governments, she added. There are various obstacles for women to access government positions. On female state leaders I hope to see a female president in Egypt. Advancement of women is not happening fast enough in MENA. Kai: should we focus on sex of minister or the composition of the bureaucracy? Whether a minister is female or male is relevant. However for development ministers it doesn't seem to have a big impact. Female ministers may care a little more about gender equality. General comment: it makes sense to allocate aid to where the needs are highest. One should consider incentives. Léonce Ndikumana: I think it's OK if donors reduce aid when education improves to move aid to countries that need it more. Donors are conflicted as to whether to interfere in domestic processes via institutional support. However good institutions make better policy, and could use aid to improve their work. Donors may prefer to fund institutions that operate well already, but when will institutions be good enough to merit aid? It could be a long wait. When donors have worked with countries to reform tax system as in Uganda in 1991 - tax collection improved. There are positive results. An OECD project helps with tax audits, as another example. If we want to see gains from aid, institution strengthening is the way to go. For instance on transport: To improve use of infrastructure - donors should not only build and improve roads but help to manage transport & infrastructure. So we cannot go around institutions. Yet donors want immediate results and reporting even after a few months. Donors need more patience when investing in institutions. Dr. Roger Willamson, Senior Research Associate of the Institute of Development Studies, moderated a session on “Actors of Foreign Aid”. Photo: Gry Tina Tinde 7
  8. 8. Eugenia McGill, Lecturer at the School of international and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University, New York Photo: Alexander Zach Eugenia McGill outlined gender mainstreaming experience of major Asian donors; identified trends, variations, lessons; and described a Philippine study. She said “femocrats” from Australia, New Zealand and others piloted gender mainstreaming in 1970s-80s. It was endorsed at the Beijing women's conference in 1995 and UN-ECOSOC in 1997. It's a means to an end. Key ingredients are: strong leadership, expertise and accountability, effective procedures and practices, capacity-building measures for staff and development partners, adequate financial resources, and evaluations. Major Asian donors: Asian Development Bank, AusAID, JICA (Japan), KOICA (South Korea), New Zealand Aid Programme. All have gender equality policy documents except New Zealand. High-level political leadership on gender equality is generally weak or sporadic. Notable variations: Global ambassador on Women's Issues of AUSAid, Senior Gender Advisor at ADB. The number of in-house gender experts is generally insufficient, but improving. Institutional mechanisms: senior gender advisors (ADB, AusAID, JICA). Expert teams are centrally located. Internal accountability mechanisms: All but New Zealand have this. ADB has gender mainstreaming targets. These donors have country and project level reporting to a varying degree. All but New Zealand have an external gender advisory forum. Japan has a parliamentary caucus. Process: Country strategies: ADB requires a country gender strategy. AusAID has a quality-at-entry reporting and project gender action plans. All org acknowledge that implementation was not good enough. ADB adopted achievement of intended gender results, which drives how ADB conducts reviews. Training and capacity development: Internal: induction and sector-specific training, guidelines, checklists, newsletters, direct support (all were subject to gender staffing constraints). Elearning tools: AusAID - under development. Gender career streams AusAID - under development. External training/coaching of government counterpart staff is taking place. Evaluations, research and learning: Formal evaluations are receiving increasing attention (several under way). Also gender program stock-takes (AusAID) and rapid gender assessments (ADB). Genderrelated research: Little is initiated by research departments or affiliated research institutes. Info on 8
  9. 9. country case may be found in study: Philippine Harmonized GAD Guidelines: Collaboration by the Philippine Commission on Women and other partners. Reflections: Challenges include political changes and organizational restructuring; economic development projects; weak or uneven implementation of gender policy commitments. The use of gender-related research is promising. Dr. Malokele Nanivazo, Research Fellow, UNUWIDER Photo: Alexander Zach Dr. Nanivazo outlined results of a UNU-WIDER study of gender mainstreaming by development agencies in Denmark, Finland and Sweden. Key findings: The three Nordic development agencies Danida (Denmark) Sida (Sweden), and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (FMFA ) all recognise gender mainstreaming as an important part of the policy-making process. Gender equality is a well-funded objective in all three agencies, but Danida and FMFA lack a separate budget for mainstreaming activities. While all three agencies include gender analysis as part of their programme development process, this commitment often evaporates when it comes to implementation. The aid effectiveness agenda and changing aid modalities represent challenges to the future of gender mainstreaming. Budgets and financial resources The levels of funding for gender equality programmes and mainstreaming activities means that, at least on the face of it, gender equality is a well-funded objective. • In 2011 Danida devoted 18 per cent of its total development budget to gender mainstreaming and special interventions. • During 2008-10 6 per cent of Sida-funded development interventions had gender equality as their primary objective, and 71 per cent of development interventions had gender equality as a significant objective. • FMFA currently targets 54 per cent of its total aid budget towards gender issues. However these figures may lead to an overestimation of the financial resources available for gender. There is a need to distinguish between budgets for special interventions for gender, and integrating 9
  10. 10. gender into existing programmes (the latter specifically referred to as mainstreaming in FMFA and Danida). Danida disburses most of its resources on special interventions and has no specified budget for mainstreaming activities. Similarly, FMFA does not have a separate budget for mainstreaming activities — instead it advises that each project should assign a proportion of its budget to mainstreaming, which does not always happen in practice. Sida recognises that gender budgeting is an area where increasing attention is needed. Dr. Nilima Gulrajani, Senior Researcher, University College, Oxford University Photo: Alexander Zach Dr. Gulrajani @NilimaGulrajani said private donors give considerable sums of money to development, by some estimates over USD 55 billion in 2012 (OECD 2012). Nilima Gulrajani gave an overview of historical evolutions of private actors: The role of private actors has developed from business as a tool for growth to:    corporate social responsibility inclusive business social business She outlined challenge fund characteristics: Partnership - between donors and businesses mainly, often via third party contractors 2. Innovation incentive to think outside the box 3. Leverage - encourages additional investment 4. Competitive select the "best" opportunities Intersection with gender policy: "It is challenging to harmonize and promote gender-sensitive dialogue on new aid modalities." Policy recommendations for donors engaging with the private sector: 1. Carefully consider donor and corporate comparative advantages 2. Be clear and ambitious with gender objectives in project selection phase (baseline indicators etc.) 3. Partner with committed social businesses 4. Integrate and ensure consistency between gender strategies and markets-for-poverty strategies 2. Engage corporate actors more pro-actively on gender 6. Ensure greater oversight over third party engagement 10
  11. 11. Päivi Kannisto, Adviser for Gender Issues, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland Photo: Alexander Zach Photo: Alexander Zach From left: Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Speaker of the Parliament of Bangladesh; Dr. Finn Tarp, Director, UNU-WIDER; Dr. Khieu Serey Vuthea, Director General of Social Development, Ministry of Women's Affairs, Cambodia; and Dr. Attiya Inayatullah, Former Minister for Women's Development, Population Planning, Social Welfare and Special Education, Member of the Parliament of Pakistan. 11
  12. 12. Afternoon session: The first presenter was the Speaker of Bangladesh Parliament Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury. Dr. Chaudhury said that a majority of those living on 1 USD a day are women. Gender equality must be looked at in a more comprehensive context, including the millennium development goals and Post MDGs, security and food security. gender equality must be brought to the center of the development agenda. Aid effectiveness should be seen in a broader context, including gender-based-violence, education and political participation. Aid to developing countries - how does it address these concerns? Economic growth doesn't necessarily enhance inclusiveness. To achieve transformative change we need gender equality at the forefront. Dr. Khieu Serey Vuthea, Director General of Social Development, Ministry of Women's Affairs, Cambodia: When she was 5-6 years old she discovered girls were appreciated very much and seen as a flower or white cloth. In 1993 we wanted to be not just a perishable flower but a precious gem. Men and women should work together for a country's progress, not just for the family. At the Ministry of Women's Affairs we launched gender mainstreaming, and we have a National Council for Women to help implement and respond to CEDAW. There is a working group on women. The Ministry of Women's Affairs has a strategic plan for issues such as pension equality, economic empowerment and access to justice and leadership positions. Cambodia has a mechanism and platform on how to achieve gender equality. There is a gender mainstreaming action group and plan in each ministry. To be more effective Cambodia also has a program-based approach focusing on transparency vis-a-vis donors. Civil society is a key partner. Cambodia is learning about how to move out of gender norms, and research is currently being done on this topic. Dr. Attiya Inayatullah, Member of the Parliament of Pakistan (on left) and Dr. Khieu Serey Vuthea, Director General of Social Development, Ministry of Women's Affairs, Cambodia. Photo: Alexander Zach 12
  13. 13. Dr. Attiya Inayatullah, Former Minister for Women's Development, Population Planning, Social Welfare and Special Education, Member of the Parliament of Pakistan: Where are we today? We no longer talk about just women in development or women and development, but women's empowerment. What do we want with women's empowerment? We mean entitlement, women's agency, and with that also the human rights agenda. Women are victims still, all over the world. They are also agents of change. In creating the post 2015 goals women are very underrepresented. One of the most important matters for Post 2015 is the development framework. There should be consensus on the centrality of gender in the development framework. The framework must include transformative goals, and seek depth in these matters. This morning we heard about religious orthodoxy and that is a great concern to us women. I appeal to the donor community to keep gender issues on that radar screen. When partners speak for us on gender equality it strengthens our voice. In an appendix to the study on aid and gender of three Nordic countries I noticed a big gap: Family planning. I urge donors and particularly Nordic countries to consider bringing family planning back where it belongs. QA session: Comment by Dr. Vuthea: Regarding the CEDAW committee response from Cambodia, it was difficult to obtain all necessary data from ministries. But mini data made by donors helped us report to CEDAW. Donors who support gender please also include gender analysis for all sectors. Dr. Inayatullah: Pakistan is in a state of democratic transition. Women must be integral to this process. An example: achieving a critical mass. We have 20per cent women in the Pakistan and Bangladesh parliaments and this has made a big difference. We need to reach the critical mass of 33per cent women in parliament. Women need not just to be there but to exert influence, too. We have a women's parliamentary caucus in Pakistan. A woman's role is to strengthen all democratic institutions. We have registered the forum for women in Pakistan politics. We need a foothold in parliament as it approves budgets. The oversight functions of parliament are also crucial. There must be coherence between the country's plans and international partners' plans and commitments. Donors cannot move until they see such coherence. Gaps between national and international action plans must be addressed from the beginning. The question of accountability is key. Gender issues tend to be isolated from "important people" who decide on budgets. Dr. Chaudhury: It is important for countries and donors to have a good cooperation and set a time frame. Simplified procedures are necessary. Everyone implementing gender policy must be sensitized, such as staff in the ministries. The Ministry of Women's Affairs is sometimes not included in aid planning. Questions from the audience: Patti O'Neill from OECD-DAC: Do donors adhere to the principles in the Paris, Accra and Busan declarations? From Prof. Ndikumana: Are aid principles institutionalized and operationalized by donors? From Prof. Grown: Funding for women's organizations is relatively low. How to increase it? Parliaments are becoming less powerful as power is being centralized. How can donors help? Prof. Baliamoune-Lutz: What's the most effective way for aid money to empower Pakistani women? 13
  14. 14. Gro Lindstad, Director of FOKUS, Norway Photo: Alexander Zach Answers: Dr. Choudhury: It would be interesting to study to what degree the declarations of Paris, Accra and Busan address gender equality and if this is being implemented. The declarations are not enough but they need to be institutionalized. Much is happening on this in Bangladesh including training. A monitoring mechanism similar to CEDAW's is necessary. A 2007 development forum mechanism was established and something like this could be useful. We need to strengthen advocacy and linkages to donors to increase funding for NGOs. Women in parliament are key and we support quotas. Not enough women are coming through via elections so quotas help. Political parties need to engage more women and nominate them. Some parties seem to believe that they will not win the election if they increase the number of female candidates. This must be addressed, because with this situation more nominations may not be enough. Dr. Inayatullah: 45 per cent of people in Pakistan live below the poverty line. Participatory development is a must due to the vast diversity of the country. That's where donor money will be most effective to advance women's rights and participation. We cannot have donor-driven assistance. Donors must be transparent and work with governments. Being an NGO is almost a bad word, but the civil society sector has a huge role to play watching the parliament and government and must play this role. NGOs should not aim to work at a macro level. They can affect behavioral change and should do interventions that are scalable and replicable. We have a national commission on the status of women. It's completely independent from government. The corporate sector should be brought into the donor world. The Buffett Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are good examples. Moderator Dr. Finn Tarp of UNU WIDER summed up some key issues from the session: Empowerment, civil society and private sector role, and need for data. 14
  15. 15. Session on Aid and sectoral issues: See webcast video of the session here: Moderator: Tony Addison, Chief Economist and Deputy Director, UNU-WIDER Speakers: Jasmine Gideon, Lecturer, University of London - Aid in the health sector Nathalie Holvoet, Lecturer, University of Antwerp - Aid in the education sector Sirkku K. Hellsten, Professor, University of Dar es Salaam - Aid in Support of UN resolution 1325 Helle Munk Ravnborg, Senior Researcher, DIIS - Land administration, gender equality and development assistance: Lessons learned and challenges ahead 15
  16. 16. Panel discussion on the future of aid and gender equality Video Moderator: Caren Grown, Economist in Residence, American University Speakers: Cindy Clark, Co-Executive Director, Association for Women's Rights in Development Lucia Hanmer, Lead Economist, Gender and Development, World Bank Patti O’Neill, Co-ordinator, OECD Carolina Wennerholm, Senior Policy Specialist on Gender Equality, Sida 16
  17. 17. Photo: Alexander Zach Speakers, organisers and UNU-WIDER partners Gry Tina Tinde 16 December 2013 17