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Regional Online SDC Gender Equality & Social Inclusion (GESI) Workshop

1-3 December 2020

The virtual regional workshop on Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) took place from 1st to 3rd of December 2020 on the platform Zoom.

Programme and list of participants

Key messages to HQ and SCO management

  • Mainstreaming GESI in projects and programs is not a merge of the gender equality and social inclusion agenda but a recognition of their large overlap and a use of the existing potential for synergies. Gender equality will remain (with governance) one of the 2 transversal topics of SDC, gender is a must.

  • ​​A good understanding of the root causes of inequalities, exclusion and discrimination is crucial for integrating GESI. Therefore, plan enough time and resources for the GESI analysis, and ensure strong management commitment not only for the analysis but also in translating the findings into a good design, sensitive implementation and M&E.

  • There is a need for more engagement and investment in long term capacity development of staff and partners for Gender equality, social inclusion / LNOB (It has to be notes that SDC does not make any distinction between social inclusion and Leave no One Behind). Key recommendation:  (1) develop a long term strategy for capacity development of SDC staff and partner organis​ations, (2) This strategy should integrate Monitoring and Evaluation of GESI with clear progress indicators, (3) the strategy can also focus on building a pool of trained GESI champions or change agents, both in SDC and partners.

  • In order to strengthen its focus on GESI/LNOB, the following topi​cs/issues are of central importance for SDC:

- Engaging more in Social Protection, supporting governments to better address the needs of the most left behind groups.

- Digitalization is a process that is taking place everywhere and that is accelerating during the Covid pandemic, still deepening the inequality impact of the crisis. SDC should play an active role in making digitalization more inclusive.

- There has been more data and studies than ever produced during this crisis, but how to use this data to trigger political will to put GESI more prominently on the policy agenda? Besides, there are still groups (like Roma) for which data are lacking. Data should serve both as a basis for policy influencing/ advocacy, and for evidence-based programming.

- Supporting an enhanced role of CSOs both as service providers to respond to the Covid-19 crisis, but also as human rights watchdogs. 

  • SDC should provide space for innovation and experimenting new approaches to learn about GESI and support GESI champions (partners, CSO, individuals).

  • It is very important to provide and maintain a space for sharing practical experiences, lessons and good practices among focal points on GE/SI from CEE/OZA offices. Your suggestions for sharing or request for support are welcome and ca​n be sent here»​

Main learning

  • Gender equality is a very personal matter, deeply imbedded in our lives. This is why behavioral change is so difficult and takes time. As we all have different cultural backgrounds, we also face different challenges in dealing with it.

  • Gender: it is important to strengthen the focus on men and boys. First of all for the sake of equality but also for the fact that many contexts don't allow to tackle inequalities which women suffer from if men are not on board.

  • GESI sensitive analysis and programming have to go beyond the usual development discourse that tends to frame minority communities as « vulnerable », viewing them as an undifferentiated group. Such framing makes it impossible for us as development actor to understand and address specific exclusion issues, and it trap minorities communities in a narrative of “victims" that deny them voice and agency (empowerment). Instead we have to look at specific patterns and their intersectionalities: specific ways in which different discrimination (gender and disability for example) combine and reinforce each other.

  • GESI is a long-term process: we should be modest but have high ambitions, knowing that it will progress with small steps. Mainstreaming GESI can start at any time in the PCM cycle. Preferably at the early stage of a project preparation/design, but better late than never!

  • Because intersectional issues are important for both gender analysis and social inclusion analysis, they are to a large extent overlapping. This is a good news in terms of synergies to be used and parallel exercises to be avoided.

  • Good GESI analysis does not necessarily translate in good project design. We should not put all our efforts in the analysis and think that the job is done. We have to be aware of other factors: our capacities to translate good analysis in good project design, and M&E of GESI, and be aware of unintended changes.

  • The Covid crisis (like all crisis) is disproportionately affecting the most disadvantaged groups. Crisis are also opportunities for change. In this case, it should remind us of our duty to systematically integrate gender equality and social inclusion in our programs.

  • Gender equality and social inclusion is a huge and long-term endeavor. It is very important – and this is also a lesson from the pandemic – to coordinate with other actors, making use of complementarity, division of tasks in order to prioritis​​e.​

For more information on Gender Equality, please visit the SDC Gender Equality Network and Shareweb»​​

Day 3 - 3 December 2020

Commitments and support

Recording Plenary Day 3

Good practice BiH: Capacity development of partners on gender mainstreaming​

Guidance good practiceDocuments ​BiHGroupmap reflection BiHRecording group work BiH​

Good practice Moldova: Adapting advocacy of marginalized groups to covid situation ​

Guidance good practiceFactsheetGroupmap reflection MoldovaRecording group work Moldova

​Good practice North Macedonia: active labor market measures for Roma and PwD

Guidance good practice;Presentation; Groupmap reflection North Macedonia; Recording group work North Macedonia

Peer coaching Georgia - intersectionality: differentiated target group analysis​

Guidance peer coachingGuideline for a participatory, gender-responsive c​limate cost-benefit analysis​​Further information on tools and methods on WOCAN websiteRecording group work intersec​tionality

Peer coaching Moldova: Digital divide as factor of exclusion​

Guidance peer c​oachingRecording group wor​k digital divide