Step 1: Assess the needs for (regular) gender competence development initiatives in the organisation
Prior to commissioning gender competence development activities, the organisation should identify what changes it expects and what it wants to achieve through training, in order to select the most suitable form of gender-equality competence development initiative.
Commissioning authorities should be aware of the benefits of training activities, but be realistic about their limits too. The aim of gender-equality training is not to transform participants into gender experts, but to make them more aware of the relevance of gender in their work and to help them identify the appropriate tools to be used when mainstreaming gender.
To identify the specific needs of the organisation, the person/department in charge of commissioning training should conduct a gender organisational assessment.
‘A gender organisational assessment is a critical evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of an institution’s systems; operations; programmes and policies, as well as an assessment of existing constraints and opportunities within an organization to comply with political commitments to gender mainstreaming at the level of the organization, work unit and individual’(1).
The gender organisational assessment should provide the organisation with information on the areas where action is most needed, and guide the implementation of processes and procedures to support gender mainstreaming, such as the establishment of ‘a gender structure (e.g. gender focal point, gender working group), a gender strategy, an engendered monitoring and evaluation system, engendered reporting, gender training, technical training of women, key performance indicators for staff on gender mainstreaming, an engendered communication strategy, etc.’
The gender organisational assessment should also serve to identify potential organisational challenges and resistance among staff.
The gender organisation assessment is also useful to determine what gender-equality competence development is the most suitable to the needs of the organisation.