APMAS-Gender Sensitive Management Project (APMAS-GSM) facilitated a two day Gender Training workshop in Da Nang, Vietnam during 26-27 June 2012. The training workshop was conducted in collaboration with CECEM, Wetlands Alliance Program (WAP) and WWF. CECEM is a leading training and consultancy firm and offers competent courses in communication, project management, small and medium enterprise development, and gender. WAP is the alliance of regional organizations AIT, CORIN-ASIA , World Fish Center (WorldFish) , and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The alliance has almost 50 local partners in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam. Their local partners include development organizations, NGOs and local communities. The training workshop also facilitated networking among development organizations. There are opportunities that the local NGOs and organizations could become potential service providers or development partners to IFAD funded projects in Vietnam.
There are many gender mainstreaming related challenges on the field for IFAD projects. And discussions during the workshop disclosed that WWF projects also have the same concerns. These challenges are related to gender mainstreaming in project cycle, project budgeting and project monitoring and evaluation. Understanding of gender issues is crucial to the success of development projects. Donor agencies have been stressing the involvement of women in development projects since a long time but somehow it doesn’t happen due to lack of understanding on gender mainstreaming and also due to lack of know-how of integrating gender into project planning and implementation. In absence of gender knowledge, monitoring and evaluation officers find it hard to understand the importance of integrating gender into M&E plan, indicators and data and therefore evaluation reports often do not effectively capture the information about program’s impacts on women or on gender relations. The same goes with project budgeting. Due to lack of knowledge on gender and gender sensitive budgeting, the project budgets and project activities do not reflect gender sensitivity and budgets often fail to address both women’s and men’s needs.
In order to address these challenges and to provide applied knowledge to service providers, M&E officers, finance officers and project officers this workshop was carefully designed to give knowledge from the basics of gender to the advanced skills like gender analysis. The training focused to address the issues in development projects and more specifically to gender mainstreaming in project planning & design, gender sensitive project monitoring & evaluation and gender responsive project budgeting.
The participants were invited from IFAD and WWF supported Vietnamese projects, as well as service providers, local NGOs, Ministries etc. The training workshop was well received and generated a lot of discussions among participants about local gender issues and how to address them in the Vietnamese context.