From November 18 to December 4, 2019 in 25 project municipalities of Issyk-Kul and Jalal-Abad regions, trainings were held to promote socially inclusive and gender-sensitive approaches in the provision of services. The event was organized by Public Service Improvement project, financed by the Government of Switzerland through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by Helvetas and the Development Policy Institute.
A total of 398 people took part in the trainings, including representatives of local authorities, ayil keneshes, social workers and representatives of the local population. During the event, participants got acquainted with gender-sensitive and socially inclusive approaches, including mapping techniques, the legal framework, tools for developing gender-sensitive and socially inclusive budgeting and services to meet the needs of vulnerable groups.
The main topics of the trainings were: Diversity of social groups, the concept of gender, the distinction between gender and sex, gender discrimination, international and national mechanisms for gender equality, gender analysis. Sessions on social inclusion and gender-oriented budgeting were also held.
Participants were actively involved in the mapping process of their municipalities to visualize the categorization of local people based on gender, age, ethnicity, etc. Subsequent sessions focused on national legislation and action plans to advance gender equality and review international treaties. At the same time, they noted the positive effect of changes in the country's legislation related to gender issues.
“The interests of both sexes should be taken into account. It is very good that the Government provided quotas for women in ayil keneshes. When there are women deputies, they can talk about the interests of many social groups," said A. Abreshova, a deputy of the local kenesh.
An important part of the training was devoted to methods and strategies of gender-sensitive analysis on existing administrative documents. The participants actively participated in the discussions. They were interested in topics and noted that existing administrative documents lacked gender and socially sensitive approaches. Moreover, participants used the created platform to discuss the developed documents in order to integrate gender and socially-sensitive approaches into them.
“I really like the fact that it became real to conduct a gender analysis in order to assess the extent to which the local budget is gender and socially sensitive. We did not do this kind of analysis before. Of course, I think that this practice should be integrated into the work of our municipality,” said K. Korobaeva, specialist in Aiyl Okmotu.
The trainings also explained the synchronization process of development programs, action plans and current budget expenditures. The participants received clear ideas on the objectives of the analysis and realized that processing existing administrative documents was not enough. Desired changes can only be achieved when they are assigned to specific resources for their application. Incorporating the interests of various social groups into development programs and annual budgets is also important for accountability and transparency.
Participants noted the importance of training processes for the integration of the above approaches and expressed their opinion on this issue in the following vein:
“When some decisions are made at the national level, they are rarely explained and conveyed to local authorities, including increasing the capacity of LSGs in order to increase their potential, knowledge and skills. This is difficult for us, especially when you need to report on the work done. For example, the state announced the launch of digitalization processes, but no relevant trainings were conducted to integrate these innovations. Therefore, we must limit ourselves by uploading information to bulletin boards. But if we had to undergo digitalization training, it would help us better understand this and put it into practice. Today, you have taught us a lot, and this will help LSG bodies not only to review local strategic plans and documents, but also to make progress reports for higher bodies more efficiently.” - Nusupov E., local activist (Cholpon-Ata municipality).
The Public Service Improvement Project is funded by the Swiss Government through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by Helvetas Kyrgyzstan and the Development Policy Institute.