UN Women Training Centre held an Expert Group Meeting on 26 - 28 August in Santo Domingo aiming to share knowledge and research in training for gender equality. The Expert Group was composed of recognized experts in the field of training for gender equality both from academia and training institutes.
The meeting had the following objectives:
- Discuss and update the state of the field of training for gender equality;
- Support the Training Centre to strengthen its theory of change, and implement its strategic plan; and
- Identify next-step actions for future collaboration and partnership with the Expert Group.
The meeting served as a follow-up to the first meeting held in September 2013 in which the group explored lessons for success, challenges and priorities moving forward. Discussed topics during the Expert Group Meeting included the Training Centre resources such as the Working Paper Series and Virtual Dialogues of the Community of Practice. Participating experts offered recommendations on the use of the Training Centre eLearning Campus, the Gender Experts roster, resources, terminology standardization, the need for feedback from the field, among others. The Training Centre also took the opportunity to seek expertise and advice on enhancing pedagogical frameworks and quality assurance mechanisms for its training work. The meeting concluded with a Joint Statement from Expert Group Members, who will continue to collaborate and exchange to share knowledge and practices for the advancement of Training for Gender Equality.
The Expert Group agrees the following key points:
- Training for gender equality makes a significant contribution to advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment.
- A theory of change on training for gender equality should be embedded within a vision of a broader change project. This should take into account strategically both short-term and long-term goals and pay attention to what can be achieved in different contexts, institutions and locations.
- Assessment, monitoring and evaluation of training for gender equality should be derived from a theory of change and based on a realistic understanding of what is possible.
- Feminist pedagogical practices need to be developed and documented reflexively and collectively, using action-research methodologies which engage practitioners from a range of backgrounds, especially in online contexts.
- The politics of knowledge and tensions between different knowledges on gender matter. Power relations need to be taken into account at all stages of the training cycle and knowledge production.
- The UN Women Training Centre leads a process of bridging theories and practices in training for gender equality, through applied action research and evidence-based practice.
To further strengthen quality in training for gender equality and enhance the capacity of trainers, the Expert Group recommends:
- Continuing to review and analyse ongoing developments in training for gender equality - building on the Beijing review paper to better understand variation across audiences, regions and critical areas of concern.
- Documenting and sharing lessons learned, case studies and good practices in a collective and reflexive manner.
- Providing reflexive spaces for promoting, exchanging and advancing knowledge on training for gender equality.
- Developing typologies of training for gender equality, distinguishing among objectives, modalities, methodologies, audiences, and stages of the training cycle.
- Exploring how to maximise the impact of training as part of broader processes of transformation for gender equality.
- Fostering reflection on and development of gender-responsive impact evaluations.
- Enhancing the visibility of the field of training for gender equality in global arenas through participation in dialogues and events, both virtually and in person.
- Publishing reflexive, practice-informed analysis in a variety of outlets targeting diverse audiences.
- Strengthening quality assurance measures and developing guidelines on training for gender equality, continuing to engage with ongoing work on evidence and theory-based practices.
Members for the 2015 Expert Group meeting included:
- María Bustelo, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
- Myra Marx Ferree, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Kristy Kelly, Drexel University
- Johanne Lortie, ITC-ILO
- Lut Mergaert, Yellow Window
- Franz Wong, KIT (Royal Tropical Institute)
- Mieke Verloo, Radhoud Universiteit Nijmegen
- Lucy Ferguson, Expert
- UN Women Training Centre