CONCEPTUALISING JOINT GENDER DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE FOR MALAWI
The Malawi National Platform for Action (NPFA), calls for the integration of a gender perspective in all its policies and programmes in its four priority areas of concern of, Poverty Alleviation and Empowerment, The Girl Child, Violence Against Women and Peace.
The joint initiative approach by development partners in Malawi to create a common platform for offering assistance to the government began to crystallise with the realisation that development efforts of individual organisations towards gender were generally isolated, at best fragmented and usually ineffectual.
In certain instances these efforts had yielded poor results because of irrational use of resources, overlaps, duplication of effort with other donors and over stretching of technical capacities.
In order to assist the government in addressing the gender concerns identified in both the Beijing Platform for Action and the Malawi National Platform for Action (NPFA) and to harmonise the resources for effective strategies on activities promoting gender equality and gender mainstrearning, a UN Gender and Development Working Group (UNGAD) and the Donor Group on Gender were formed.
An intensive consultative process started as early as 1994 by the UN and bilateral donor organisations resulted in offering coordinated support to the preparations and participation of Malawi in the Africa Regional and Sub-regional preparatory meetings and the Beijing Fourth World Conference on Women.
Since the Beijing Conference there has been a marked increase in the activities of these agencies and organisations, and their collaborative efforts have seen the development of guided assistance in gender to the Government of Malawi fitcifiwed and enhanced further by the establishment of the UN Gender Co-ordinating Unit. One such example is the information sharing, promotional networking and contributions made towards the formulation and drafting of the National Gender Policy. In addition these collaborative efforts have set the stage for better joint programme planning which is in keeping with the UNDAF process.
During the review of gender activities carried out in 1998 and consideration of the proposed 1999 Workplan, the terms of reference for the UNGAD and the Donor Group on Gender were also re-examined. It was also observed that overlaps and duplications existed in the work of these groups and in order to streamline them it was decided to merge the groups so that they can operate under a common name. The new Group is now known as: The Development Assistance Group on Gender (DAGG), incorporating UN agencies, bilateral agencies and donor organisations offering assistance to the government of Malawi. This action has enhanced further the coordinating role of the UN Resident Co-ordinator.
Further: DAGG MEMBERS OBJECTIVES