Building learning into programme planning

A key part of PAL for Gender Mainstreaming is to translate learning into action by applying and adapting lessons at the planning and programme design phase. 

Empowering staff to apply their learning through organisational and project planning is an important aspect of the process and can result in more responsive, effective interventions.  However it is only with support from directors and other members of management that significant, sustainable change can really take place.

The way in which learning is translated into action will depend on each organisation but some examples include:

  • developing country gender plans
  • integrating gender into programme guidance
  • influencing organisational policy

Sharing information and guidance to all employess, contractors and partners is another way of ensuring gender is integrated into the work of an organisation. A good example of how to do this can be found in the World Food Programme  gender toolkit.

Developing national plans to address gender inequalities

The PAL for Gender Mainstreaming process enabled World Food Programme Cambodia to recognise that gender should be integrated into all areas of their work, from programmes to logistics and administration. They also wanted to ensure that systems were put in place that would withstand a future transition to more governmental management of their programmes. This commitment was reflected in the development of a country gender plan developed through a collaborative staff-led process, with a clear timeline and budget. The plan included awareness-raising and knowledge sharing on gender, capacity-building for staff and government, and research

Country gender action plan

World Food Programme Senegal held a gender workshop for staff members, where learning from PAL for Gender Mainstreaming provided the basis for identifying gender goals and outcomes for the organisation, processes and activities for achieving them, and resources that would be required. This collaborative planning contributed to the development of a country gender action plan. 

Making gender issues the responsibility of all staff

Learning from the first phase of the WFP’s ‘Gender Mainstreaming from the Ground Up’ programme informed the development of the  WFP Gender Policy produced in 2015.

For example, the policy reflects the value of gathering qualitative evidence through the participatory inquiry processes, as well as highlighting issues such as recognising and reducing women’s unpaid care work in the context of food security interventions. The policy also emphasises that gender mainstreaming should be the responsibility of all members of an organisation.