Review of the organisation of the Gender Equality (GE) work in the International Programme Department, Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA)
Background: The work has been done with reference to the main NPA strategic documents such as: Norwegian People’s Aid – International Strategy, 2008 – 2011 (NPA 2008a), Norwegian People’s Aid Partnership Policy (NPA 2009a), and NPA policy with operational framework for ending violence against women (VAW) (NPA 2007a).Purpose/objective:To give recommendations as to how the work of gender equality may be better organised in the department in the head office (HO) of NPA, to meet the need of the NPA’s international long-term development programmes; and make this gender equality work both more effective and more visible.To analyse how the work of the thematic advisors, including the gender advisor, is organised and communicated and what procedures, routines and guidelines that guide thematic work in NPA. Methodology: Interviews with key informants at HO /International program Department (IPD), and external offices (EO). Review of existing documents, policies reports, and evaluations. Documents of special relevance:NPA policies and activity plans, Reports from staff/country office meetings, Evaluation of NPA programmes, Reports to Norad for the Framework agreement 2008-2011The 2005 mid-term review of the Norwegian Peoples’ Aid programme “Women’s Rights and Gender Equality” 2002 – 2006 (Williams and Sørvald 2005), and the Organisational Performance Review of NPA, done by Norad in 2007 (Norad 2007a, b, c. Key findings: • The Gender Strategy from 1997-2002 has never been updated, and there seems to be little demand for such an updated strategy from the partners or from the EOs.• To some extent gender work still seem to be “noise” in the more general social and political struggle.• NPA could benefit from having a stronger focus on women and men taking part in the social movements and organisations, and identifying what barriers there is to active political participation by women. But gender work also challenge existing practices within the social movement and the community at large, and there is an element of necessary “disruptive” effect of gender work, that has to be pursued, even when it create “uneasiness”, such as work on “honour killings” in Middle East, and work on masculinity in Latin America.• It is not entirely clear as to what position women empowerment and gender equality have in the NPA goal hierarchy, and there is some confusion about this among staff members.Recommendations:• Make women empowerment and gender equality a central concern in the new international strategy 2012-2016.• Make position papers on organisational development, on democracy and participation, and on access to land and resources, that place women and youth squarely in the centre of the topics.• Work more consistently on young women’s and men’s rights to participation and to resources.• IPD should consider develop a policy or position paper on women and gender that link women’s rights, empowerment and gender equality to the NPA areas of political work, and thematic areas in the programming. IPD should also consider what language to use. Such a paper should draw heavily on experience on the ground, and on the work done in the three working groups on political advocacy in Norway. • IPD should develop a good planning and communication tool between HO and EOs that create the preconditions for priority setting and thematic analytical development work.• IPD should avoid making separate gender action plans. Women empowerment and gender equality should be integrated into the three year rolling plan, and the annual work plan for the department. Individual staff work plans complement the other plans for coordinating and setting priority during the year. Comments from the organisation, if any: • The main result of the evaluation led to a reorganisation of the work with Gender equality at the IPD at the Head Office. The thematic position as Gender equality advisor was ended. Instead one person got a 50 % position to be a “focal person” on gender equality together with a geographic programme responsibility. Two other advisors at the IPD were also given the responsibility to work with the “focal person” on issues related to gender equality.