Stakeholders validate Strategic Implementation Plan for the National Gender Policy

Accra, Key stakeholders from the various Gender Departments of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA), have converged in Accra, to make their final inputs into the draft Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) for the National Gender Policy (NGP).

The SIP, would be the operational scheme to guide the implementation of the NGP which mainstreams gender equality and women's empowerment into Ghana development efforts, so that the social, legal, civic, political, economic and cultural conditions of the people; particularly women and men, boys and girls, would improve in an appreciable manner.

The validation meeting which was hosted by the Department of Gender of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP), brought together key personalities from the various Gender Departments of Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

Mr Gideon Hosu-Torbley, the Lead Consultant of the SIP, from Delink Services, said the Plan was developed using the NGP goals, sub-objectives, commitments, strategies and key actions which formed the strategic focus of the Policy.

He said as an operational scheme, the SIP had detailed actions with respective indicators, timelines, resource allocations and lead institutions and agencies identified in the implementation arrangement.

Mr Hosu-Torbley said as demonstrated in the NGP, gender equality and women empowerment were strategies for reducing poverty levels and social injustice among women and men, improving health standards and enhancing efficiency of public and private sector investments and domestic finance.

He said achieving gender equality and women empowerment targets were regarded as the attainment of human rights and prerequisites for sustainable development, he said.

This awareness, he said, reflected regularly in global instruments, just as captured in the new global goals, the Sustainable Development Goals, goal five, which sought to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

He said Ghana's goals towards achieving gender equality targets were guided by its commitments to international instruments, the 1992 Constitution, and national development frameworks.

He said in support of previous efforts made under the NGP as well as removing the bottlenecks to advancing gender equality and women empowerment, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, by this SIP, seeks to lead the implementation process to deepen achievements in the sector by mainstreaming gender equality and women's empowerment into Ghana's development efforts.

He said the accountable period for implementing actions listed in the SIP starts from 2016 and ends in 2020, which implies that major changes such as changing a focus area or a commitment could only be carried out after the end of 2020.

However minor changes in the form of improvement in strategies would be allowed and these could be proposed during annual policy implementation reviews.

Lead implementing organisations were institutions with appropriate mandate and requisite capabilities that have been identified to work together with the Ministry, to execute action in the Plan, and it is important for them to liaise with the MGCSP to discuss and prioritize activities relevant to each result area.

The Ministry shall be responsible for mobilizing financial resources for the actions listed in the Plan and funds raised independently shall be communicated to the Ministry and lodged in a designated account, however, no entity or implementing lead agency was allowed to engage in any fund raising event without prior consultation with the Minister, he said.

The Ministry, he said would need a total completing budget of 140,345,000 for the five-year period of the SIP.

He spoke extensively about the monitoring and evaluation, as well as the learning and research component of the SIP, which revolve around the implementation cycle adopted, with annual performance assessments.

He said this system involves the determination of baseline, monthly departmental and unit updates, quarterly updates, six monthly field monitoring and quality assurance, annual performance reviews and learning sessions, mid-term review, research and development and the final evaluation and revision of the NGP.

He said since the SIP was results based, the areas outlined and discussed in the strategy as focused areas, would be measured by indicators, with each one being represented in the results framework as a sub-result area, and further measured in progression by milestones and a final target.

Respective lead institutions in the implementation arrangement would determine milestones with the help of the SIP implementation facilitator or consultant.

The team would keep an eye on the indicators, track their progress by collecting relevant data and produce reports on their performance, indicating achievements and variances to be discussed at each year's performance review meeting between the Ministry and it's agencies.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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