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Ensuring the complementarity of country ownership and accountability for results in relation to donor aid: a response.
Reproductive Health Matters. 2011 Nov; 19(38):141-5.This paper focuses on the topic of improving the impact of sexual and reproductive health development assistance from European donors. It touches on country ownership and accountability and uses International Health Partnership+ (IHP+) as an example. In addition, it discusses the need for better funding data and more activity around sexual and reproductive health and rights. It concludes with recommendations for improving aid impact and effectiveness and improving outcome measures.
In: Eye to eye: women practising development across cultures, edited by Susan Perry and Celeste Schenck. London, England, Zed Books, 2001. 41-44.Sophie Bessis begins her essay with a very important statement on the role of the World Bank. It is indeed a major source of funding for development and a powerful lending instrument, compared to other multilateral institutions: it has the capacity to orient borrowers' policymaking through conditionalities attached to its lending policies. It is therefore important to analyse the Bank's commitment to gender equity in the light of its mandate and of its unique capacity to influence policy changes at the highest levels. In dealing with women's marginalization, many development institutions were hoping to bridge the gap by bringing more women into the mainstream economic framework. African women are a good example. Rural women are fully involved in the production, processing, conservation and marketing of food commodities. Even when they play a major role in cash-earning agriculture, their inputs are not accounted for. They have limited - and often no - right to land, no access to credit, to training and to technologies that could have helped them improve their economic contribution. They are not considered as economic operators because the analytical framework is not equipped to register small, informal, indigenous activities, despite the impressive cumulative volume of income generated by the informal sector. There is general agreement that agriculture is the backbone of African economies, and women have shown that agricultural processing is perhaps where indigenous industries have a good chance to develop. This reality is not translated into a potential for the development of most African economies that have turned their backs on the food sector in favour of export-oriented cash crops and the export of raw materials. Processing food and raw materials in developing countries has not been privileged for historical reasons, and not much has changed since the end of colonial times. (excerpt)
Evaluation FINDINGS. 1993 Jul; (1):1-6.This thematic evaluation included in-depth studies of seven projects in six countries-Egypt, Ghana, India, Kenya, Paraguay, and the Philippines-and desk reviews of other micro-enterprise projects in China, Indonesia, Jordan, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, Senegal, and Uruguay. It found that a dual focus on women's productive and reproductive roles can lead to a viable strategy for improving the situation of women as well as reducing fertility rates. In addition, increases in women's income can have a catalytic effect on the demand for family planning and maternal and child health.
In: Women and education in sub-Saharan Africa: power, opportunities, and constraints, edited by Marianne Bloch, Josephine A. Beoku-Betts, B. Robert Tabachnick. Boulder, Colorado, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1998. 25-46. (Women and Change in the Developing World)This document, the second chapter in a book on women and education in sub-Saharan Africa, traces the evolution of various agents of national development to reveal their positions and areas of convergence and divergence. First, consideration of feminist scholarship traces its evolution from a concern with the economic condition of women, explicated via varying perspectives, to a current broader emphasis on how the patriarchy oppresses women in most societies, which represents an important convergence of feminist perspectives. Second, the analysis of evolution within states is supported by tables on years of schooling by age, sex, and region that illustrate the educational disparities suffered by women in Africa where feminist theories have not affected the patriarchal nature of the states. Third, examination of the evolution within international development agencies shows a similar lack of influence of feminist theory as the agencies decide which programs to support and how to view women (as mothers). This neglect even occurs in progressive donor agencies, is supported by a concern with efficiency before equity, and is especially problematic in light of the adverse effect of the current African economic crisis on women. Fourth, an overview of the work of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) indicates that they are the most productive in the provision of emancipatory education for women but operate under close state scrutiny with limited funds. Progressive donor agencies and increased female political participation will be key to bridging the gap between feminist NGOs and states.
New York, New York, UNICEF, 1994 May. 26 p. (Evaluation and Research Working Paper Series No. 1)This paper describes trends in income generation or women's productive program activities, UNICEF's experience in supporting women's productive activities, and women's and children's needs. This report was prepared as a stimulus to debate about UNICEF's role in supporting women's productive activities during the 1990s. It is emphasized that the term "women's productive activities" avoids the association of women's income generation programs with marginalized activities. "Support to women's productive activities" reflects UNICEF's growing approach to provision of direct economic tools, such as credit or skills training, and complementary services, such as child care and labor saving devices. UNICEF's models stress effective service delivery. Programs need to clarify to what extent resources will be applied to women's productive activities as a strategy of empowerment. Approaches require holistic strategies and a clarification of the objective of supporting productive activities. Three questions need to be answered. Strategies need to prioritize when the actions complement support given by other agencies, support experimental objectives, or advocate for legal and institutional change. The reproductive years are the primary years for economic production. Care must be taken not to sacrifice the daughter's future by restricting her to child care at the expense of education. There are many forces working against poor women in developing countries. UNICEF works to meet the practical needs of women. UNICEF works closely with sectors of health, education, water supply and sanitation, and basic services.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD CHALLENGES. 1997; (1-2):22-5.Since its inception in 1995, the Family Planning Association (FPA) of India's Small family By Choice project has developed three broad strategies to increase reproductive choice for 4.35 million people living in three of the poorest districts of the country: providing quality clinical services, improving access to health care, and stimulating community participation. The FPA provides scholarships so that girls can attend school where they will acquire a deeper understanding of the need for small families along with employable skills. Another FPA project offers impoverished young women in urban areas the chance to acquire income-generating skills. Trainees also attend health camps where they are provided with gynecological check-ups, pre/postnatal care, and counseling. Other FPA-sponsored programs include community-based adult literacy classes; child care centers in the project's main health clinic; establishment of community-based delivery rooms and training of midwives; community-based distribution of contraception; and management of a full clinic in Bhopal. The project reaches out to marginalized prostitutes by subsidizing a hostel close to a school for their children. Such flexible, needs-based innovations are having an enormous impact. The programs provide a range of choices of high quality contraceptives and have even been successful in promoting the condom. The clinic has served 554 patients from July to early September 1997 and provides counseling to help women improve their decision-making skills.
Income generating activities for women under the World Bank assisted ICDS project in Andhra Pradesh -- an evaluation.
In: Women's development: problems and prospects, edited by Shamim Aleem. New Delhi, India, APH Publishing Corporation, 1996. 149-56.Launched on October 2, 1975, to enhance the health, nutrition, and learning opportunities for children under age 6 years and their mothers by simultaneously providing all requisite services at the village level, the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) is the world's largest child nutrition, health, and mothercare program. The ICDS provides a package of services in supplementary nutrition, immunization, health check-ups, referral services, the treatment of minor illnesses, nutrition and health education, water supply, and sanitation. One objective of the ICDS is to enhance the capability of mothers to meet the normal health and nutritional needs of their children through proper nutrition and health education. The ICDS is currently being implemented in more than 3000 of 5153 community development blocks in India. A 6-year subprogram was launched in 1990 with World Bank support to accelerate the pace of improvement in the nutrition and health status of children under age 6 years. 6148 Mahila Mandals have been involved in the World Bank ICDS Project in 52 blocks. Subprogram evaluation findings are presented.
New York, New York, UNIFEM, 1992. , 28 p.The UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) provides direct financial and technical support to low-income women in developing countries and funds activities designed to incorporate women into mainstream development decision-making. This annual report for 1991 opens with messages from the administrator of the UN Development Programme and the UNIFEM director. The report continues with a discussion of progress for women in the post-Cold War era where reform was instituted without the input of women. UNIFEM actions on behalf of women on the international, national, and local levels are described, and key findings are reported from the publication "The World's Women: Trends and Statistics 1970-1990" (sponsored by UNIFEM and other agencies). The report also describes UNIFEMs actions on behalf of refugees, 75% of whom are women and children. The regional report for Africa highlights programs in Mail, where women were instrumental in organizing a water and environmental sanitation project, and in Mozambique, where UNIFEM set up a community-based credit system for farmers. Programs in Asia and the Pacific included the organization of workshops on the topic of women and pesticides and the provision of special training for census workers in India that resulted in the recognition of the economic activity of women in census data. In the Latin American and Caribbean region, a Bolivian program to increase the nation's milk production led to improvements for 500 peasant women in eight communities while, in Chile, UNIFEM has been conducting research and training designed to improve the lives of the indigenous Mapuches. The report lists UNIFEM's sources of support and the organization's management priorities, financial reports, and advisors and representatives.
New York, New York, SEEDS, 1995. 20 p. (SEEDS No. 17)Mozambique has suffered through centuries of colonial rule by the Portuguese, their bitter and destructive departure in 1975, 16 years of civil war, and severe drought. The end of the drought and of the conflict occurred in 1992, and the newly-elected government is struggling to deal with the absolute poverty of 80% of the population and one of the highest national debts in the world. An agricultural initiative in land ("Green Zones") surrounding large cities has sought to increase agricultural productivity. Special cooperatives were organized for this purpose and to improve the standard of living for women and their children. The cooperatives address irrigation needs, building construction, child care, literacy needs, and malnutrition. Costs are covered by development bank loans. The Green Zones operate as a self-help initiative and are served by a General Union of Cooperatives (GUC), largely run by women. Today, the GUC serves 5400 members grouped in 182 cooperatives (all but one headed by women). Individual cooperatives function democratically. Members pay themselves a regular salary, and individual cooperatives can secure loans from the GUC. GUC members can also relate to the organization through local unions which represent 10-15 cooperatives each. The most critical role of the GUC is the marketing of produce, but the organization also provides basic equipment, conducts workshops, evaluates activities, assists with ownership disputes, and helps solve problems. The largest source of income is chicken production. The GUC also provides management training courses and child care support. The financial support for the GUC comes from the international community and from nongovernmental organizations. The Green Zone cooperatives of Maputo have been particularly successful, and the UN Children's Fund is attempting to replicate this program in the Green Zones of Beira where different conditions demand different solutions. Lessons learned include 1) it is difficult to transplant development models, 2) people must see benefits, 3) projects should be realistic, 4) marketing is pivotal, 5) women need to secure assets in their own right, 6) economic needs can rarely be addressed in isolation, 7) such projects can empower women, and 8) there is power in numbers.