Overall progress towards the CPAP outcome and output(s)
The combined results/outputs contribute to the achievement of output 3 of the CPAP and the relevant outputs by creating an enabling environment for decentralization and more substantive local governance. The project serves as a catalyser for a critical mass of political commitment and support that should, at the end of the day, advance local governance reforms in the direction prescribed by the NSTLG. However, LGSP will be able to deliver substantive results in the three CPAP outputs only after the National Programme is officially launched. Until then, only incremental progress will be possible against the CPAP outcome and outputs.
Because the project became operational at the very end of 2010, it is too early to make any conclusions about the national capacity built over the course of the year. The launch of the gender mainstreaming effort in annual planning, particularly in conjunction with the future Community of Practice, looks promising. In the future, LGSP will use a longer-term approach to national capacity building based on specific institutional arrangements.
Again, it is premature to assess the impact of the project on mainstreaming gender after such a short time. The gender mainstreaming workshops in Sana’a and Aden (the former was opened by the Minister of Local Administration) emphasised the seriousness of the project’s intention to get engaged in a systematic process of gender mainstreaming in local governance. Potentially, the gender mainstreaming action plan and the Community of Practice of gender in local governance may have far-reaching consequences for gender mainstreaming. Future success will however depend on political support and commitment of the national stakeholders.
Human Rights Mainstreaming
The opportunities for human rights mainstreaming were limited due to the short period of the project’s operation. Notwithstanding, LGSP tried to promote the human rights based approach in all its activities. The Global Forum on Local Development in Uganda had a strong built-in human rights component as well as the National Administration College in France. Participation in the events was beneficial for government officials from the point of view of greater exposure to the concepts and practices of human rights realisation. Also, LGSP encouraged more human rights conscious approach in the context of the NP drafting process through the technical advice it provided to the NP Drafting Committee. As the number of programmatic activities will increase next year, the opportunities for project to mainstream human rights approach will also expand.
During the reporting period, the project was able to reach out to a limited number of beneficiaries, primarily MOLA officials. At the same time, the Global Forum in Uganda and the training at the National Administration College in France engaged civil servants from governorates. Through the gender mainstreaming workshops LGSP targeted a large number of officials at the governorate level, working not only for the MOLA but also for the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation and the National Women Committee. The Minister and Vice Minister highly assessed the events, in which they participated (the Global Forum and the training at the National Administration College, respectively). The formal assessment conducted by LGSP after the gender mainstreaming workshops demonstrated a 90 percent level of satisfaction of the participants with the organization and results of these workshops.
Communication and publicity
The study mission to Hadhramout and the gender mainstreaming workshops were covered by national and local media, which acknowledged in their reports the UNDP support to decentralisation and local governance reform. Also, LGSP designed a presentation brochure with a foreword by the Minister of Local Administration and UNDP Country Director. The brochure is intended as a standard presentation tool. In 2011, the project plans to develop a proper communication strategy to make sure that local governance reform in general and the project’s activities in particular have adequate media coverage and are properly communicated to the relevant stakeholders.
Implementation strategy review
The project works in close coordination with the MOLA. The project has adopted ways of working in which a detailed activity proposal is developed jointly with MOLA, the draft proposal is then reviewed by MOLA and modified as per their feedback and, lastly, the activity itself is implemented jointly with MOLA. The examples of such activities designed and implemented in collaboration with MOLA include the gender mainstreaming workshops and the study mission to Hadhramout.
MOLA has established a technical committee to liaise with the project. During the last two months the project had three formal meetings with the technical team to share the work. Also the project has an open door approach with MOLA where MOLA representatives engaged with the project communicate with LGSP individually on an as need basis. Also, a coordination meeting was held in December co-chaired by the vice minister of MOLA and the UNDP country director to streamline the cooperation modalities between the MOLA and LGSP. One board meeting was conducted as well.
LGSP regularly conducts consultations with various stakeholders. Thus, the study mission to Hadhramout included consultations with LCs and executive offices at governorate and district level, women organisations, CSOs, and DFTs. As already mentioned, the project held series of consultations with various national and international stakeholders as part of its outreach effort in December.
Quality of partnerships
The project’s partnership with MOLA is based on information sharing and joint decision making and joint action. This has proved to be mutually beneficial, where the capacity of MOLA increases as a result of engagement with the project, trust relationships are established, which again benefit the project as MOLA facilitates and supports the project’s activities. For example, during this period, the Minister of MOLA attended the inaugural session of the workshop on gender mainstreaming in the governorates’ annual development plan, in Sana’a, and made a commitment to taking up all the recommendations of the workshop. In Hadhramout governorate, the governor received the mission and facilitated its interactions with all targeted LGAs.
Discussions were held in December to discuss cooperation modalities and mutually beneficial partnerships with other national agencies (SDF and PWP), line ministries and UN organizations. Regarding partnerships with donors, NGOs, civil society organizations, the project is in the process of establishing these partnerships. Cooperation and coordination mechanisms like the LGF and the PG, formulated in the project proposal, will be brainstormed on during the AWP retreat, and new mechanisms will be explored as well.
During the past period, the MOLA took a lead on major project activities and facilitated its work. MOLA representatives participated in joint planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. All project’s activities were initiated by the MOLA, and designed and implemented in close cooperation with the Ministry’s officials. Other stakeholders were also engaged in the project: for example, the National Women Committee significantly contributed to the success of the gender mainstreaming workshops by preparing materials on best practices in mainstreaming gender in local development plans.
Also, MOLA acts as the executive of the Project Board where other ministries and agencies participate as well. Also, MOLA has established a technical committee with the objective to institutionalize the engagement of the project with MOLA from a technical perspective. LGSP intends to further national ownership in 2011 by channeling the project implementation, including its financial management, through the national systems and procedures.
This year the project conducted two workshops one in Sana’a and one in Aden, on gender mainstreaming in the governorates’ annual development plans. The workshop identified changes required the bylaws (mechanisms, systems, procedures, and structures) to ensure systematic and sustainable gender mainstreaming in local development. These findings will be consolidated as MoLAs recommendations to ensure gender mainstreaming and women empowerment in the legal framework. Which when accepted as a part of the new LAL, will ensure women engagement and gender mainstreaming in local development, systematically and in a sustainable manner. Yet another mechanism for better sustainability includes establishment of a community of practice on gender in local governance, also discussed and agreed during the workshops. The community of practice will maintain the focus of government and non-government organizations centrally and locally on the issues of gender and gender mainstreaming.