In Tanzania, the joint assistance strategy allowed donors to advance gender equality by dividing up responsibilities. This involved, for instance, appointing contact points on gender issues within working groups in sectoral areas such as agriculture.
Gender issues have benefited from the improved division of labour in Tanzania. The government’s gender working group has been effective in various sectors, such as local government, education, agriculture and the legal sector. The working group has helped to integrate gender aspects into ongoing policy dialogues in these areas and received regular updates on progress made. The new division of labour has also resulted in increased accountability among development partners, government and civil society, and in improved results. Still, there is a need for enhanced government capacity in order to strengthen ownership of the gender agenda in practice.
Irish Aid was the contact point for the agriculture sector and used this mandate to highlight gender equality as an important issue for the review of the National Agriculture Sector Development Programme. Donors and government agencies collaborated closely, enabling the Ministry for Community Development, Gender and Children to influence the Ministry of Agriculture to overcome its initial resistance. Irish Aid provided the necessary technical support for integrating gender equality dimensions into the sector. Specific achievements in the Ministry of Agriculture comprise the inclusion of gender specific indicators in the monitoring and evaluation framework, the preparation of gender checklists for programme cycles (monitoring and annual reviews), and the establishment of capacity building programmes to address gender mainstreaming. Gender focal persons also effectively participate in the macro policy dialogues.
The revision of the division of labour revealed that although violence against women was a common concern for several donors, their support was not well coordinated. A small group of donors worked together with the government and civil society for a better informed and coordinated initiative in this area. In line with the Tanzania National Action Plan on Gender Based Violence, donors created a basket fund for Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF) in 2007, designed to harmonise efforts to reduce violence against women. WiLDAF has since established a gender-based violence coalition for more co-ordinated initiatives amongst implementing CSOs. The coalition is proving effective in promoting joint activities such as the “Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign”.
This case study from Tanzania helps highlight specific actions that can be taken to strengthen broad-based results in gender equality – as well as in other areas such as human rights and environment – through division-of-labour exercises involving both the government and donors.
It has been time consuming to change the mindset of communities to make gender equality a priority at all levels, as well as to enhance knowledge and skills on gender equality and human rights at all levels.
The new division of labour has increased accountability, harmonisation and funding of gender programmes.
The effective division of labour and its execution enable continuous monitoring and provision of support to gender equality development at sector levels.
There are currently joint efforts of the government and the Donor Partner Group to establish a basket fund for the Ministry of Community Development, Gender and Children to implement its Strategic Plan. Work is also underway to ensure that sex-disaggregated data are solidified in the national monitoring and evaluation system. Finally, gender equality as a crosscutting issue has been acknowledged and integrated into the ongoing review of the national poverty strategy, e.g. the MKUKUTA Review.
The impact of division-of-labour exercises on gender equality and women’s empowerment should be monitored, and when possible compared to experiences in different countries.
It is important to develop adequate safeguards to ensure that the joint assistance strategy does not lead to marginalisation of gender equality and other social policy concerns.
It is essential to monitor the impact that gender working groups are having.
The assignment of clear roles in the division of labour is fundamental to ensure that commitments to gender equality are implemented, and that challenges are systematically identified and addressed.
The original version of this case study was used in the 2009 OECD Development Co-operation Report as an example of how more effective use of joint assistance strategies can advance development priorities.
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