Quarterly Lessons Learnt on gender & inclusion
On 13 July, the ICED team delivered the quarterly lessons learnt workshop exploring how infrastructure programming can promote women’s economic empowerment. The workshop drew on ICED experience from the Pakistan ‘Support to Urban Productivity (SUP)’ business case.
The team presented ICED’s gender and inclusion framework, a practical tool to help apply DFID’s gender equality and ‘leave no one behind’ policy objectives in infrastructure and urban programming for economic growth. The session also discussed how this framework was used in practice to support the development of an urban productivity business case with DFID’s Pakistan country office.
Discussion highlighted that G&I objectives are often considered ‘non-essential’ and can be watered down due to competing priorities that often exist during the development of businesses cases. Even restrictions on document length can result in G&I components being considered ‘non-essential’ and dropped, leaving behind ‘words in a document.’
Specific G&I commitments integrated tangibly into programming are essential for achieving transformative programme outcomes for G&I. For example, ensuring G&I objectives are integrated into programme log-frames were found to be an effective way to ensure commitments are not lost and disregarded as ‘non-essential.’
Discussion at the session noted the need to discharge assumptions and equip colleagues designing business cases with the ‘right’ questions, noting that they may not be experts in the field. Other points raised by participants on common challenges included:
- A need to establish a safe space for colleagues to discuss G&I and how it can be meaningfully integrated into programming. This would empower colleagues to ensure concrete commitments to G&I become an integral part of DFID business cases.
- There is a need to move beyond focusing solely on safeguards, and to proactively look at opportunities emphasising the benefits of committing to more transformative G&I outcomes.
- The need for concrete commitments and next steps on developing a stronger G&I focus within M&E frameworks; ensuring that emphasis is placed on the importance of G&I throughout delivery through incorporation in business case design.
- Exploring how accountability and responsibility can be ensured during procurement was also considered essential
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