INVESTOR RELATIONS:Investors most likely to support GENDER issues
Almost all the investors have gender equality (GE) as a cross-cutting theme for their programming, along with having strategies on how to implement the priorities. Few, however, have specific funding that is earmarked for the implementation of their GE strategies. The approach is to integrate the issue through programming focused on their other priorities. As a result, the best opportunities are often through the other categories of support such as livelihoods or environmental management.
For the few investors that provide specialized funding for GE, below is an overview of their interests. I have also included possible entry points for GE in the programming of several other investors which we are currently partnering with or have approaches to.
I would be happy to discuss further the opportunities outlined below as well as the previous analysis I provided to you which identifies additional opportunities with some 30 investors beyond our current approaches to them.
Asian Development Bank
One of the few investors that puts strong focus on gender and has developed also a framework for assessing impact of fisheries projects on Gender. . The upcoming RETA valued at about $1.2M would look favourably on a proposal impacting regional trade /market issues targeting women.
Another investor that has a strong gender focus for all its projects. IFAD has developed regional strategies and their regional focus mirrors ours . These strategies are key for you to see how they view gender in different regions. They fund projects of all sizes but given we have little track record in gender focused projects perhaps the best approach is to access one of their small grants – although they provide grants of all sizes they have startup grants that are easy to access up to $100K. Developing a close relationship with Dr. Eve Crawley their gender expert would be strategic (she also worked for sometime at FAO and Eddie will also likely know her).
Denmark’s recently publishedAfrica Strategy outlines it strategic objectives for 2007-2011 which include elaboration on cross cutting issues: inclusion in globalization; increased regional integration and strengthened cooperation between Africa and the EU; and more and better assistance with a focus on young people, gender equality, and in particular employment. Currently, Denmark has long term programming with ten countries: Benin; Burkina Faso; Ghana; Kenya; Mali; Niger; Mozambique; Tanzania; Uganda; and Zambia.
Denmark has been taking a leadership role in promoting gender equality. They are generating support by the international community to support the MDG3 including sponsoring a website MDG3 Global Call To Action. In its new Development policy in August 2008, Denmark committed specific funding to strengthening the role of women in Africa. The funding will focus on developing specific programming for promoting women’s rights and opportunities in economic growth. The programming is a separate line. While they will start in Liberia, programming in their other priority countries is anticipated. They currently have programming underway in Mali aimed at supporting female entrepreneurs. The funding opportunities should become clearer over the next six months.
The EC Gender Strategy in 2005 identified gender equality as a cross-cutting theme. While most of the focus is on attempting to integrate gender issues into overall programming such as food security and rural development initiatives, it does have some programming aimed specifically at gender as well.
The Communication on Gender Equality of 2007 outlines the priority areas to be covered and includes activities related to employment and social empowerment of women. Between 2000 and 2006, the Commission supported gender-related projects worth more than 67m euros and have tripled the funding available for gender under the “Investing in People” program for the period 2007-2013.
The Thematic Program “Investing in People” contains a financial envelope for funding EC actions in the area of promoting Gender Equality and the empowerment of women. Through this funding is made available to the following broad areas of interventions: policy and advocacy events promoting the implementation of international commitments; capacity building for NGOs and associations dedicated to the advancement of Gender Equality and women’s rights; and strengthening statistical capacity of governments. The funds available will be allocated through calls for proposals from eligible organizations and by direct agreements with selected partners. There are also components within the Thematic Programs for Environment and Food Security that have gender elements.
Nireka will be the most up to date on recent opportunities through IDRC as she has just met with them and I know you are aware of their recent call Women’s Rights and Citizenship
NORADs 2009 budget released in early October 2008 significantly increased funding specifically focused on funding women’s organizations in poor countries and supporting local efforts to promote women’s rights and gender equality.
Norway’s Action Plan Women’s Rights that was launched in 2007 highlighted four areas of intervention for supporting women: political empowerment; economic empowerment; reproductive health and rights; and violence against women. As part of the economic empowerment agenda, Norway designated a range of interventions including the right of women entrepreneurs to advisory and financial services, support to exerting greater influence on business development and trade, and increasing the visibility of women’s value creation in the informal economy.
In its Gender Equality Strategy and its Master Plan, Spain has identified gender issues for specific programming as well as being a cross-cutting theme. The specific areas of focus most relevant are the targeting of support in Asia to improve women’s economic and working rights. This includes a wide range of potential interventions such as entrepreneurship training, access to technology, and development of associations to promote women’s entrepreneurial rights.
Spain also has a focused fund supporting capacity building of women established through NEPAD.
The Gender Equality Strategy of the Bank approved in 2002 that outline the approaches to be taken to integrating gender issues into the Bank’s work. In 2006, an action plan 2007-2010 was released entitled Gender Equality as Smart Economics. The Action Plan focuses on methods for improving women’s economic empowerment and sets out individual strategies by region for improved programming.
The World Bank has just published a Gender in Agricultural Sourcebook. The publication has a chapter on integrating women into fisheries initiatives. Some of the areas highlighted include: enabling marginalized groups of fishers, processors, and traders to access markets and to obtain improvements in work conditions; and support to marginalized groups, including poor women, in identifying and sustaining alternative livelihoods to reduce reliance on their fishing activities, which put pressure on the fragile and constricted marine resources and coastal ecosystems.
The Sourcebook provides examples of approaches and projects in fisheries that have had successful approaches targeting women and livelihoods. It also includes linkages to other areas such as coral reef management and policy support.
Other investors to consider:
Ford Foundation currently has three priorities—one of which complements the Center’s priorities. The “Asset Building and Community Development” component includes a field of work called “Environment and Development” that cuts across both livelihood activities and environmental support. The publication Sustainable Solutions provides more information on the focus on some of the programming to date.
Within this component, some of the projects funded cover resource based sustainable livelihoods in rural communities. The focus is on assisting the vulnerable, marginalized, and poor households that rely on natural resources for their livelihoods and food. The livelihoods entry point is through natural resource management and environmental justice strategies that help poor communities overcome challenges such as economic exclusion. Integrated approaches are encouraged that combine environmental protection, sustainable resource use, enforcement of legal rights, and the creation of environmentally friendly rural enterprises.
Specifics of what has been funded recently can be found in the Annual Report 2007. Of the 12 regions in which the Ford Foundation works, each has a slightly different focus. The only explicit mention of focus on GE is in a recently funded project in China supporting programs to build more secure livelihoods for rural residents, contribute to environmental sustainability and social well being, and promote community development that educes poverty, protects resources and increases social and gender equity.
Irish Aid issued an HIV/AIDS Strategy in 2000 that identified HIV and AIDS as a disease of poverty, driven by gender inequality and abuse of human rights. They have been scaling up their programming since this time (now funding £100 million per year). The approach adopted has been to work with a range of partners and support interventions at international and national levels. Resources are delivered through a range of organisations working at global, regional, country and community levels. Our current discussions with the new embassy in Malawi which has just committed £10 million in aid to the country should have a strong GE component.
The SDC Health Sector Policy focuses on both HIV/AIDS and other diseases and deals with the issues within the broader context of improvements in the health system. While a vast majority of the focus is on the health system per se, it also has programming priorities that support the empowerment of communities and users of the health system. It recognizes that the other areas such as support to livelihoods and gender equality make an important contribution to dealing with health related issues. They are supporting health promotion and behaviour change initiatives involving the poor and most vulnerable.
Like many investors, there DFID includes GE as a cross-cutting issue, for example, DFID’s White Paper in 2006 reiterated the importance of supporting programming aimed at health issues such as HIV/AIDS with a specific focus on GE issues. This focus began with the HIV/AIDS Taking Action in 2004 which set out what the United Kingdom was hoping to achieve with its HIV/AIDS programming. Priority was placed on the needs of women and children particularly in Africa. They specifically wanted to support initiatives that went beyond health issues and looked at AIDS impacts on social structures, cultures and economies. This included integrating training into agricultural extension services and looking at the causes of vulnerability. Within its Gender-Equality Strategy this is further articulated. Examples are shown such as the support to women within South Africa to become economically self-sufficient.
Similarly, the Swiss Development Corporation (SDC ) recognizes the broader context of GE in its health related focus. SDCs Health Sector Policy focuses on both HIV/AIDS and other diseases and deals with the issues within the broader context of improvements in the health system. While a vast majority of the focus is on the health system per se, it also has programming priorities that support the empowerment of communities and users of the health system. It recognizes that the other areas such as support to livelihoods and gender equality make an important contribution to dealing with health related issues. They are supporting health promotion and behaviour change initiatives involving the poor and most vulnerable.