Technical Cooperation Programmes
Capacity-building for promoting gender equality in the African countries: Strengthening the capacity of national machineries through the effective use of ICT
Information and communications technologies (ICT) can be a powerful strategic tool for promoting the empowerment of women through enhancing knowledge management, networking, advocacy and monitoring. New ICT offer unprecedented opportunities for increasing the availability of up-to-date data on gender statistics, legislation, gender-related policies and programmes, gender mainstreaming activities and for disseminating this information to a wide range of stakeholders, including the general public. The internet in particular has supported the development of a strong women’s movement across time and space, allowing for the exchange of ideas, achievements and good practices as well as providing opportunities for networking, collaborations and community-building.
The overall objective of the project is to build institutional capacity for promoting gender equality in Africa and strengthen the capacity of national machineries to take full advantage of new ICT and to strengthen networking, information sharing and knowledge management that will enhance their effectiveness in national policy-making and planning processes for gender equality. This is an important part of creating an enabling environment for achieving gender equality and the advancement of women and the ability of national machineries to reach out to all stakeholders, to obtain and disseminate information, to share knowledge on good practices, and to advocate, support and monitor gender mainstreaming in all policy areas.
Project Activities include:
A series of five sub-regional workshops were held during the course of 2004 and 2005 in South, West, East, and North Africa and in West Asia. The workshops were organized by the Division for the Advancement of Women in collaboration with the Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination (OESC), the Economic Commission of Africa (ECA) and the Economic and Social Commission of West Asia (ESCWA). The sub-regional workshops aimed to enhance the capacity of national machineries to effectively use ICT to achieve their goals and strengthen their role as catalysts for systematic gender mainstreaming in all policies and programmes.
Lebanon, 27 June–1 July 2005
Ethiopia, 23-27 May 2005
Namibia, 19–23 April 2004
Ethiopia, 28-30 September 2005
Tunisia, 18 November 2005
An e-network for 53 national machineries in Africa was established at a regional workshop in December 2006. The e-network serves as a tool to enhance knowledge management and communication strategies within the national machineries, as well as to strengthen networking among national machineries at the sub-regional and regional levels to accelerate implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action. The objectives of the e-network are to:
The e-network operates through an information portal and regular interactive activities, including an ongoing internal discussion list for national machineries and regular thematic e-discussions with broader participation.
The information portal: The information portal, http://www.uneca.org/ngmafrica, is the central hub of the e-network for national machineries. National machineries use the portal to share relevant information and resources and to access information, including on organizations and intergovernmental and treaty bodies and processes at regional and global levels. The information portal also provides access to the interactive activities of the e-network.
Discussion list: An internal discussion list for national machineries, in French and English, allows for continuous exchange of information. National machineries use the list to share information, raise queries and exchange ideas on relevant topics. The e-network can also be used to mobilize national machineries around a particular event or theme.
Thematic e-discussions: Thematic e-discussions, held 3 times a year for a duration of 6 weeks, are open to all stakeholders, including national machineries, line ministries, NGOs, donors and academia. The e-discussions aim to promote a vibrant and informed debate on current areas of interest and encourage collaboration and cooperation among different stakeholders. Interested participants can sign-up via the information portal.
Report on the online discussion on "Women, political participation and decision-making in Africa"
Management of the e-network: A regional Management Group guides and monitors overall operation of the e-network. The Management Group is composed of ten sub-regional coordinators from national machineries and representatives of the Economic Commission for Africa, including gender focal points from sub-regional offices. DAW supports the Management Group.
Information portal: http://www.uneca.org/ngmafrica
Regional workshop: Ethiopia, December 2006
The Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) organized a regional workshop in Addis Ababa from 5-8 December 2006, in collaboration with the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), to establish the regional e-network. The workshop was hosted by the ECA African Centre for Gender and Social Development. During the workshop, INSTRAW, the World Bank and national machineries shared relevant experience on networking and the use of ICT. Participants discussed and finalized the structure and activities of the regional e-network and its support mechanisms. Training in relevant skills was provided for participants to ensure effective use of the network following the workshop. A management system for the maintenance of the network was also established.