GNWP, with support from Cordaid, organizes a regional training with representatives from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on impact assessment of WPS indicators and the 1325 Civil Society Progress Scorecard
August 29, 2019 by Dinah Lakehal and Agnieszka Fal Dutra Santos
What does successful implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda look like? How can monitoring, evaluation indicators, and reports be used, not just as signposts of change, but as powerful advocacy tools to strengthen implementation? How can we use monitoring data to better align local and national strategies with global objectives?
These are some of the questions the participants of the regional training on WPS monitoring and evaluation organized by GNWP, with support from Cordaid, asked themselves. The training, held in Kampala, Uganda on July 30 and 31st 2019 brought together local and national government representatives, civil society, and young women from DRC and Burundi. Through expert presentations, collaborative discussions, and hands-on exercises, the participants strengthened their capacities to monitor the implementation of WPS in their countries. They discussed challenges, strategies, best practices, and recommendations for how to use monitoring data to foster more effective implementation.
Civil society from both Burundi and DRC had participated in the civil society-led monitoring project Women Count implemented by GNWP, with support from Cordaid, which had been held in 24 countries between 2010 and 2014.
Through Women Count, local women and women’s organizations improved their monitoring and evaluation skills and adopted locally relevant and adaptable indicators for WPS monitoring aligned with the indicators proposed by the UN Secretary-General under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1889 (2009). Since Women Count, both Burundi and DRC have come a long way towards ensuring strong monitoring and evaluation of WPS implementation. In DRC, GNWP’s partners who participated in Women Count were part of the drafting committee for DRC’s 2nd National Action Plan. They used the skills and knowledge gained through civil society monitoring to ensure the new NAP is impactful and includes “SMART” (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) objectives and indicators. In Burundi, to address the challenge with monitoring data collection, the Ministry of Gender, in partnership with civil society, organize regular “open-door” days, during which civil society and local women can voice their concerns, and share projects and initiatives in WPS implementation.
During the regional training held in July 2019 [in Uganda], government and civil society representatives from both DRC and Burundi exchanged experiences and discussed challenges, best practices, and recommendations for effective monitoring and evaluation of WPS implementation. The participants also discussed strategies to use the data collected through monitoring and evaluation to strengthen advocacy, and accelerate WPS implementation at the local, national, and regional levels. “It is important to align our NAP objectives and indicators with other relevant frameworks, such as the AU Continental Framework on WPS, and the Maputo Protocol,” emphasized Annie Kenda from the Ministry of Women in DRC. Participants from the government and civil society from both countries also expressed their shared recognition of the significance of civil society-led monitoring. They acknowledged the importance of alternative reports, which bring distinctive perspectives of marginalized groups, such as indigenous peoples or persons with disabilities, to the table.
This exchange of experiences has brought to light the multiple challenges to monitoring and evaluation of WPS implementation that remain in Burundi and DRC. In both countries, a lack of dedicated funding slows coordination and collaboration among different actors involved in WPS implementation. The failure to disseminate NAP objectives and indicators at the local level prevents a comprehensive and accurate assessment of needs, resources, and capacities, and prevents local ownership. For instance, DRC’s 2nd NAP includes a detailed operation plan, which allows for more robust monitoring and evaluation. However, this plan has not yet been disseminated in provinces, nor translated into local languages. The regional workshop served as an opportunity for local authorities to learn about the operational plan for the first time, which encouraged the Ministry of Women to commit to continuing its dissemination in all provinces. Another gap highlighted was the lack of communication and collaboration amongst all stakeholders responsible for WPS implementation and monitoring. To address this gap, participants recommended a detailed mapping of WPS actors and existing initiatives in both countries.
The interactive discussions and exchanges of experiences were complemented by expert presentations on developing high impact, “SMART” quantitative and qualitative indicators, monitoring data collection methodologies, and the use of the Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) as a reporting mechanism for WPS. “The knowledge gained through this training will support us as we update our Provincial Action Plan and accelerate WPS implementation in North Kivu,” shared Christian Mbusa Mupika from the Provincial Ministry of Women in North Kivu.
A central module of the training consisted of training the participants on how to use the 1325 Civil Society Progress Scorecard, developed by GNWP with support from Cordaid. The 1325 Civil Society Scorecard is a visual tool that allows users to track the implementation of WPS over the years by attributing a score to a range of locally adaptable indicators, based on those developed through Women Count.
The participants analyzed the indicators, provided additional feedback on their usability, and discussed ways to align them with the objectives and indicators of their Local and National Action Plans on WPS. In small working groups with their respective delegations, participants developed concrete strategies to take full advantage of the 1325 Civil Society Scorecard as a powerful visual tool for advocacy. “We will use the 1325 Civil Society Scorecard to report on progress in the implementation of Women, Peace, and Security, as well as Beijing +25, the implementation of the SDGs, and other international frameworks,” emphasized Jeannine Mukanirwa, a participant from CAFCO DRC.
Monitoring and evaluation is a critical component of the Full Cycle implementation of WPS. However, while developing locally adaptable indicators and collecting reliable data is necessary to track implementation progress, identify gaps, and address challenges, it is equally important to use the collected data to effectively conduct advocacy, raise awareness, ensure accountability and accelerate implementation in cooperation with all responsible stakeholders. Most significantly, government, civil society, local and traditional leaders, the media, and international and regional actors all play a key role in monitoring and evaluation. As Ndanziza Desiré, a journalist from Burundi and one of the workshop participants, emphasized, “The media has an important responsibility in raising awareness of WPS, but also to report on the reality on the ground.” “The 1325 Civil Society Scorecard was designed to help use the data effectively. This workshop was an important step towards improving WPS monitoring and implementation in DRC and Burundi. We look forward to continuing this work,” concluded Neema Namadamu, a member of SAFECO DRC.