Supporting improved gender responsive planning in Liberia

Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Supporting improved gender responsive planning in Liberia
Supporting improved gender responsive planning in Liberia

(Monrovia)–Twenty-five staff of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning of Liberia have gained new skills in gender-responsive planning, following a recent two-day training supported by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).

The participants trained in the areas of: gender mainstreaming in the context of planning; institutional transformation and gender; gender and development; monitoring and evaluation from a gender sensitive perspective; and the documentation of the findings of monitoring and evaluation to inform policy-makers.

Speaking at the close of the training held in Monrovia, UN Women Liberia’s Representative Mrs. Marie Goreth Nizigama underscored the need to institutionalize gender-responsive planning processes across the public sector to achieve national and global development targets.

Mrs. Marie Goreth said Liberia is going through a critical period when the Successor Framework of the Agenda for Transformation is being developed and on the other hand, the domestication of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) is underway with its focus on “leave no one behind.”

The UN Women Liberia Representative emphasized that capacity development of staff of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning as well as the strengthening of monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to ensure that development reaches out to all parts of Liberia are crucial.

Also speaking, the Deputy Minister for Budget and Development Planning at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning Honorable Tanney Brunson highlighted the significance of the training to raise awareness of the Planning Division’s staff so that they can apply the knowledge gained in ensuring the development plans and budgets of Government are inclusive and address the needs of every citizen irrespective of their backgrounds. 

“Now we can apply gender analysis for the design of planning and budgeting interventions and use gender sensitive tools to monitor and gather gender-disaggregated data,” said Mr. James Jaber, Assistant Director for Monitoring and Evaluation at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.

A major outcome of the training was the formulation of a working group to develop an Action Plan on the key steps that need to be implemented to ensure gender is integrated in every step of the national planning and budgeting processes.

“Gender-responsive planning and budgeting can be a powerful tool to achieve the Government’s twin goals of: equitable growth and inclusive development and facilitate the domestication of the two Agendas: 2030 and 2063,” said Ms. Sharmistha DasBarwa, Gender and Decentralization Consultant at UN Women and lead facilitator of the training.

The two-day training followed a needs assessment of 21 of the total participants in which nearly 80% of them mentioned that there is no gender mainstreaming strategy in the Planning Division at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, but 20% mentioned there is an informal system to mainstream gender in the functioning of the Planning Division which needs to be formalized.

Additionally, 100% of the responses mentioned that all of them are engaged in the development of major development plans but 85% stated these plans are not gender sensitive, thus triggering the need to institutionalize gender in the planning processes of the ministry.