Chapter 1: introduction.
1.1 What is a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) ?
A poverty reduction strategy paper (PRSP) is a document describing the building blocks of a country's poverty reduction strategy including:
* Identification of key constraints to economic growth and poverty reduction
* Consideration of the public actions needed to relieve those constraints
* Outcome indicators that are set and monitored using a participatory process and
* A description of the nature of the consultative process by which the strategy was formulated.
These documents are produced by all countries receiving support from the international Monetary Fund, and the World Bank. In some countries the PRSP document is changing names and is referred to as the National Development Plan (NDP).
1.2 Background to the Training
Country evidence over the last 10-15 years shows that the nature, causes and impacts of poverty are different for men and for women. Therefore, understanding the nature of gender disparities and taking the necessary actions to redress them will not only promote higher growth rates but will also make a substantial contribution to the reduction of poverty.
To enhance this understanding among African governments, FEMNFT compiled the country experiences (Egypt, Mall, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia) in analyzing gender in the PRSP sectors, as well as the macroeconomic frameworks. The report assessed the efforts to mainstream gender into PRSPs that varied markedly between the five countries, lessons were drawn and recommendations made.
One of the key recommendations was the need for capacity enhancement of analytical skills among the macroeconomic and PRSP advocates. To this effect, FEMNET has designed an advocacy training manual and advocacy tool to facilitate the process of increasing the number of gender advocates that can effectively participate in the PRSP formulation and review processes. FEMNET will use the training materials to train a team of trainers from various African states as part of its contribution to strengthening women's capacity to influence the development processes, priority setting and resource allocation n their respective countries.
1.3 Why this training?
Advocating for gender responsive macroeconomic frameworks and PRSPs arises from the recognition that: large gender disparities in basic human rights, resources, economic opportunity, and in political voice are directly and indirectly limiting growth in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to being a major constraint to growth, gender inequality reduces the effectiveness of poverty reduction efforts, the main goal of the PRSPs.
Advocacy strategies will therefore enable the participants to effectively:
--Understand the nature of gender disparities and the necessary actions to redress them
--Influence policy makers as a means of addressing policy level causes of weak mainstreaming of gender concerns into macroeconomic frameworks and PRSPs.
--Contribute more effectively to enhance mainstreaming of gender concerns into the design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of macroeconomic frameworks and PRSPs.
1.4 Approach to Training
This training manual presents advocacy as a skill that relates to all aspects of macroeconomics and poverty reduction strategy papers (PRSPs). The PRSP training approach revolves around the PRSP processes in formulation through to implementation; and monitoring and evaluation. It emphasizes the skills and knowledge required to advocate for effective gender mainstreaming into macroeconomic frameworks and PRSPs. It describes some of the steps in designing campaigns and provides information on developing, implementing and evaluating gender responsive macroeconomic frameworks and PRSPs. These skills are to be imparted in a three-days workshop covering seven sessions. The manual is supplemented by participants' handouts that focus on the specific advocacy skills and concerns. The information in the participants' handouts was compiled from the World Bank Handouts on PRSPs; the FEMNET case study on the experiences of five (1) countries in mainstreaming gender into their PRSPs; UNDP publication on mainstreaming gender into the MDGs; OECD publications on New Aid modalities; and other sector specific studies.
The training manual recognizes that gender inequality and poverty are the result of distinct though related, social relations and processes. The nature; causes and impacts of poverty are different for men and for women. Among men and women, gender inequality persists in access to and control of a range of productive, human, and social capital assets--consequently, the core components of poverty--capability, opportunity, security, and empowerment--differ along gender lines. Poverty reduction strategies, therefore, need to address these differences in understanding the constituent elements and dynamics of poverty and vulnerability, in prioritising actions, including setting and monitoring performance indicators, and in monitoring implementation.
The manual is intended for a wide variety of development settings. Therefore, the trainers are encouraged to adapt the sessions, to reflect the needs of participants and the level of development of a given country as well as the norms of the local setting that shape the gender relationships.
1.5 Course Participants and Trainers
This manual can be used to train any advocate for gender responsive macroeconomics and/or PRSPs. Use of participants in some facilitation tasks is recommended for this intensive workshop. As the trainer facilitates a session, for example some of the participants can record information on flipcharts, monitor time, help keep the discussion on track with the session objectives, and monitor small-group work.
The trainers should have extensive experience in designing, implementing and monitoring of macroeconomic frameworks and PRSPs;and in training. Since this training is about ensuring effective mainstreaming of gender issues into macroeconomic frameworks and PRSPs, beyond rhetoric to real action, backgrounds should complement each other and as much as possible represent the range of sectors within a PRSP. While the manual contains information to guide the trainers during a workshop that assists them in making decisions that will enhance the learning experience, it is assumed that the trainers understand adult learning concepts and how to employ a variety of participatory training methods and techniques and how to adapt materials to meet the participants' needs. It is recommended that the trainers review the entire training resource, including the handouts and other accompanying materials, in order to get an idea of the types of sessions the purpose, content, and approach of the training guide. Trainers can then select the specific content areas and activities that are most appropriate to the needs of their participants.
1.6 Outline for the Manual
The Manual consists of:
* This introduction for the trainers
* Detailed session guides. The session guides in the manual have the following basic components:
--Objectives of the session. The objectives are concrete, measurable behaviours that the participants should have adopted by the end of each session. These provide the basis for immediate outcome assessment and/ or subsequent follow-up evaluations of the training.
--Time required for each training activity--A guideline for the anticipated length of the session.
--Materials required--A list of materials needed to carry out the session.
--Advanced preparation required--Preparatory steps that the trainers should complete prior to conducting the session
--Key ideas and examples--A summary of key learning points that the participants should retain from the session. The trainers can use these points to summarize at the end of each session.
--Training Steps--detailed directions that guide the trainer on how to conduct the activities including the discussion questions.
--Appendix A: Sample Two-Day Training Agenda. The trainers can adapt this agenda according to the needs of their participants and the level of familiality with the subject of the training.
--Appendix B: Participant Handouts. These handouts have a dual purpose of providing participants with reference material on key topics, as well as providing them with information they will need to complete some of the training activities. Resources can be distributed as a handbook, at the beginning of the training, or each handout can be distributed at the end of the relevant session.
--Appendix C: Participant Evaluation Form. The trainers should distribute, and collect copies of this form at the end of the training.
(1) The five countries were Egypt, Mall, Rwanda. Uganda and Zambia