Example 4: Developing a gender mainstreaming strategy and a working plan to institutionalise gender mainstreaming

Gender Strategies of the GTZ (now: GIZ)

GIZ is a company owned by the government which implements programmes and project of Germans development cooperation. The organisation has published several company strategies to gender mainstreaming from the 1990ies on. The strategies each are based on the findings of the evaluation of the last strategy. They define objectives and indicators, activities for implementation as well as responsibilities of staff.

The strategies are the basis for planning and monitoring the organisational process on mainstreaming gender equality. The Gender Strategy 2006 to 2010 is introduced here because it is very detailed and it also was linked to the quality management mechanisms of GTZ, using the model of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM).

Questions and answers

  • What does the example show?
    The example shows how gender mainstreaming can be operationalized and be broken down. It also shows in which way a strategy contributes to create accountability. It also shows that there are two dimensions in gender equality: one internal dimension
  • Why is the example suitable for promoting institutional transformation?
    Objectives, indicators and activities are clearly defined in the 2006 to 2010 strategy. There is one overall goal: “Women and men derive equal benefit from the development-policy contribution provided through technical cooperation and can participate equally in designing it.” And there are two sub goals: “Gender issues are more firmly anchored in company processes and procedures” and “GTZ’s gender competence is further strengthened”.

    To achieve these goals, binding measures, with appropriate milestones, time frames and responsibilities were defined and translated in a measures matrix which is an annex to the strategy. Also the responsibility for implementing the strategy is given to the management of departments, creating accountability.
  • The example also shows that the strategy promotes institutional transformation because it used mechanisms of quality management which were already in place in the organisation.
  • What was the example’s line of action?
    The GTZ evaluated her existing strategy by an external expert. The results of the evaluation were discussed within the organisation. On this basis workshops with the different corporate units were taking place. In this workshop it was discussed in which way the respective unit can contribute to the goals of the new strategy. As a result of the workshop the measures matrix was developed, which was then published in the strategy.
  • Who was involved and in which way?
    An external expert evaluated the strategy 2001 to 2005 and was also involved in conducting the workshops. On the basis of the results there was a participatory approach in shaping the new strategy. Several units of GTZ held workshops and worked on elaborating the strategy. The Gender Equality focal point coordinated the activities.
  • Which lesson can be learned in terms of success factors?
    The GTZ / GIZ approach show that mainstreaming gender is an organisational learning process that has to be coordinated and monitored. The steps taken show that gender mainstreaming is feasible and contributes to a better quality of results.