Interview with UNDP Gender Team Director, Winnie Byanyima - “Incorporating gender perspective in all steps of economic policy management process”
One of the landmarks of the Fifth African Economic Conference held from October 27-29, 2010 in Tunis, Tunisia was the joint-launch by AfDB, UNDP and IDEP of the Gender and Economic Policy Management Initiative (GEPMI-Africa). After the launch on October 28, Ms Winnie Byanyima, UNDP Gender Team Director, who was instrumental in the setting up GEPMI provided additional perspectives on the initiative.
Question: What is the gender and economic policy management initiative (GEPMI) all about and how will it affect gender responsive economic management in general?
Answer: GEPMI is a comprehensive advisory services and capacity development initiative whose overarching objective is to ensure that economic policies, poverty reduction strategies and development processes deliver equitably to women and men, boys and girls. It provides the tools and strategies on the” How”, how to consider gender as a variable for economic analysis and a key parameter of economic policy making. It also helps to develop capacity on the “Know how” to incorporate gender perspective in all steps of economic policy management process.
Question: What are the main components of GEPMI and how will UNDP and AfDB collaborate to implement them?
Answer: GEPMI has the following three interlinked components:
- A three week Short Course on Gender-Responsive Economic Policy Management to build the capacity of middle level government policy makers, parliamentary staff and civil society organizations (CSOs). The course’s 12 modules address gender issues in all aspects of economic development (economic analysis, poverty reduction, statistics, employment, unpaid care work, macroeconomics, trade, taxation, gender responsive budgeting, etc.). The Short Course is being delivered by the United Nations African Institute for Economic Development (UN-IDEP), in Dakar, Senegal.
- GEPMI-Tailored Country level advisory services and capacity building workshops to respond to countries’ specific needs. These services are delivered by a team of senior regional experts whose quality UNDP assured through regular training and continuous knowledge sharing.
- A Master’s of Arts in Gender-Aware Economics (MGAE), –the first of its kind in the world– responding to a long-term objective of generating a new cadre of economists capable of integrating gender as a variable for economic analysis and a key determinant of economic policy management. MGAE is being pioneered by the Faculty of Economics at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.
How AfDB and UNDP will collaborate to implement GEPMI? We are discussing with the African Development Institute on how to develop GEPMI Short Course in their training programme. We will also discuss with the Operations Division on how we will jointly deliver technical services at the country level. In addition, we have discussed with the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) on a joint partnership AfDB, AERC and UNDP to expand the delivery of the Master’s course in Gender Aware Economics to African Universities.
Question: How will GEPMI assist African countries to better achieve MDGs?
Answer: The UNDP 2010 Report “What it takes to achieve the MDGs? An international assessment” suggests that where progress is lacking is where women’s needs and status are given a low priority. Of the 8 MDG, goals 3 and 5 are the least likely to be achieved hampering the achievement of all other goals. By ensuring that gender equality perspective - specific constraints, incentives, needs and options (COINs) of women and men, girls and boys- is incorporated into economic analysis, economic policy formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, GEPMI contributes to the acceleration of the achievement of MDG by improving the equity and efficiency of the outcomes and results of economic policies, poverty reduction and development processes. GEPMI’s products and services map the various steps of the economic policy management process and help to respond concretely to how to integrate a gender perspective across the process.