Workshop on mainstreaming Gender and CSR in water policy-related work

GWP-Med organises a workshop within the framework of the ‘Governance & Financing for the Mediterranean Water Sector’ Project, in Athens on 2-4 March 2015, aiming to strengthen the Secretariat’s, as well as its partners’, capacity on mainstreaming gender and corporate social responsibility (CSR) issues in water policy-related work.

The ‘Governance & Financing for the Mediterranean Water Sector’ Project, labelled under the Union for the Mediterranean, is implemented by GWP-Med and the OECD, and aims to diagnose key governance bottlenecks to mobilising financing for the Mediterranean water sector and to support the development of consensual action plans based on international good practices. With water governance being a complex issue essentially affecting the daily lives of all citizens, men and women, rich and poor, young and old, and with the organisation and administration of the water chain immensely varying from country to country, it is widely recognised that increased transparency, accountability and participation lead to more sustainable governance structures, able to cater for the citizens’ needs and create an enabling business environment contributing to the water sector’s financial sustainability.

The Swedish Government supports financially the project through Sida (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency), whose Development Policy -and specifically its MENA Regional Strategy under which the Project falls- aims to tackle cross-cutting issues such as gender, human rights, equity and poverty through all supported development projects. Given the priority that Sida attributes to this, GWP-Med is trying to improve the mainstreaming of cross-cutting issues in its projects’ policy work and activities. With the assistance of two experts, the Athens Workshop will focus on mainstreaming specifically gender and CSR in water policy-related work.

The recent launch of GWP’s Gender Strategy and the current efforts for its regional adaptation aligns perfectly with the project’s efforts to mainstream gender into the line of work. The Workshop represents a great opportunity for Sida and GWP to join forces and strengthen their mutual efforts in this direction.

In this context, and in addition to GWP-Med Secretariat including the Tunis office, along with colleagues from GWP-Med’s Host Institute, the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development (MIO-ESCDE), the Workshop will be attended by GWP Regional Gender Focal Points and Project Managers with interest on gender and CSR, GWPO staff including the Gender Focal Person and partners from the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and its MENA Water Integrity Programme supported by Sida.

The workshop will address CSR and Gender concepts and their relevance to the project results with gender analysis concepts to be introduced and linked to CSR. Further focusing on principles, preconditions, objectives and tools for successful mainstreaming, the workshop will use the GWP Gender Strategy as case study, analysing the consultation process that led to its drafting from a gender and CSR perspective. The workshop will be structured around theoretical input, own reflection and group work, based on the use of participatory methodologies, to link new knowledge with the participant’s already existing hands-on experience and enhance the learning process. The aim of this workshop is to enable participants make use of the tools learned to improve their own gender/CSR analysis, identify related possibilities and challenges, and thus, get an enhanced understanding of how to increase the use of these issues in consultation processes and policy making.