Between 18 November and 4 December, 2019, the trainings on the promotion of socially inclusive and gender responsive approaches in the field of service provision were held in all 25 project municipalities of Public Service Improvement Project funded by the Government of Switzerland through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) for the representatives of local authorities, local councils, their social workers, secretaries and representatives of the local population.
The participants were introduced to gender responsive and socially inclusive approaches, including mapping techniques, legal frameworks, tools for the development of gender sensitive and social inclusive budgeting and services to satisfy the needs of disadvantaged groups.
The total number of participants is 398.
5 out of 25 trainings were conducted with the involvement of the external gender expert. 8 trainings were co-facilitated by the project GSI and knowledge officer. 13 trainings were organized by the local consultants.
In the course of trainings in both regions, the participants were given the in-depth information on such topics as: Diversity of social groups; Gender definition, distinction between gender and sex distinction, gender discrimination; International and national mechanisms for gender equality; Gender analysis: goals, methods and step-by-step guidelines as well as a session on socially inclusive and gender responsive budgeting: goals, methods, implementation.
The participants were actively engaged in profile mapping of their municipalities to visualize the categorization of the local population on the basis of gender, age, ethnic identity etc. The further sessions were dedicated to national legal frameworks and action plans on gender equality promotion and the overview of the relevant international treaties. The participants marked that the new law on gender quotas would contribute to positive changes: “The interests of both women and men must be taken into consideration. The introduction of the quotas for women in local councils is very good. When there are female deputies, they can talk about interests of many social groups”, – mentioned Abreshova A., a deputy of the local council.
An important part of the trainings was dedicated to methods and strategies of gender-sensitive analysis of the existing administrative documents. The participants actively participated in discussions. They were very interested in the topics and noted that their current administrative documents seemed to be lacking of the GSI approaches. Furthermore, the participants used the created platform to discuss the re-development of the documents to integrate the gender-responsive and socially-inclusive approaches.
“I really like the fact that it seems feasible to conduct gender analysis to estimate to what extent the local budget is gender-sensitive and socially inclusive. We have not done such type of analysis before. For sure, I think that this practice must be integrated in the work of our municipality”, – Korobaeva K., a specialist of AO.
The sessions also explained the process of synchronization of the development programmes, action plans and the budget running expenses. The participants got a clearer idea on the goal of the gender analysis and realized that the re-development of the existing administrative documents is not sufficient. The desired changes can be achieved only when they are attached to concrete resources for their implementation. The inclusion of different social groups’ interests in the development programmes and annual budgets is also very important for accountability and transparency. The participants mentioned the importance of the learning process on the integration of the aforementioned approaches and expressed their opinion on this issue in the following way:
“When some decisions are made at the national level, they are rarely explained/ delivered to the local level structures, including building capacities of local self-government bodies to increase their potentials, knowledge and skills. It especially challenges us when we need to report on the implemented work. For example, the state declared the digitalization process, but there have not been trainings on the integration of this innovation. Thus, we have to constrain ourselves by uploading the information on the information boards. But if we had had trainings on digitalization, it would have helped us better understand it to apply it in practice. Today you taught us a lot, and it will help the LSG body not only to review the local strategic plans and documents but to report more effectively on the work done to higher-rank authorities”, - Nusupov E. local activist (Cholpon-Ata AO).