Step 7: Actively participate in the design of the gender competence development initiative, keeping in mind the mandate of the organisation

The commissioning authority’s participation in the elaboration of the training activity is necessary to help the trainer identify priorities, select the best learning approaches and ensure the relevance of the training content to the activities of the organisation. Participation of the commissioning authority is also advisable to ensure the sustainability of training over the long term.

Commissioning authorities should recognise and value trainers’ expertise and should work with gender practitioners in order to:

  • Establish a structured assessment of training needs
  • Set out the learning objectives
  • Design the programme, tailored to the policy area and activities of the organisation
  • Organise follow-up

The training content should meet some minimum standards. Training, if poorly implemented, can have unexpected negative impacts. If training does not provide participants with the necessary concepts and tools to understand the relevance of gender in their work, gender issues might be seen as distant from their daily work and, in some cases, resistance to mainstreaming gender might increase.

Thus, these standards, part of a wider set of requirements, are important to ensure that training is an effective driver for positive change and that it will have a transformative impact.

Essential items for the content of gender capacity-development initiatives

Gender capacity-development initiatives seek to provide skills and knowledge for participants to mainstream gender. They also strive to foster attitudinal and behavioural changes in participants.
Commissioning authorities should ensure that training provides participants with:

  • An understanding of gender concepts and issues and their impact on participants’ area of work: training should not be entirely focused on providing participants with practical skills only. In order for the skills to be transformative, they need to be grounded in gender concepts and based on gender theories;
  • Skills, tools, methods and procedures to mainstream gender and to ‘put their gender glasses on’
  • Practical examples of how these skills and tools can be applied in participants’ everyday practice. Participants should learn to incorporate the gender perspective in their daily work by examining each matter from the perspective of women and men, girls and boys, old and young people, etc.
  • Knowledge and practical examples of the relevance of gender-equality concerns to the internal functioning of the organisation. Training should foster a reflexive process on the institution culture towards a more gender-equal environment.