UN Group pushes for gender mainstreaming, budgeting interventions as aid monitoring tools in Ghana

A study on gender equality and aid effectiveness conducted by the European Commission and United Nations (EC/UN) Partnership on Gender Equality for Development and Peace which was concluded in 2008 and covered the period between 2004 to 2006, revealed that, there is inadequate funding for gender equality and women’s empowerment work within the New Aid Modalities which is where the Multi-Donor Budget Support (MDBS) is increasingly becoming the preferred option for donors administering funds to the government of Ghana.

According to the National Programme Coordinator of UN Women- Ms Afua Ansre, “even though inadequate data makes it difficult to assess the impact of gender equality and women’s empowerment interventions, it is very clear that not enough money has been going to gender equality and women’s empowerment work.”

Ms Ansre made this statement when she addressed participants at the National Review Workshop on Aid and Development Effectiveness which was held in Accra under the theme: ‘Accelerating Ghanaian Civil Society Engagement for Development Effectiveness, Looking to and Beyond Busan’.

“It is not surprising because there usually is no gender representation during major development dialogues or negotiations for loans and grants,” she added.

According to her, there is a lack of accountability framework for government and donors’ implementation of commitments to gender equality and women’s rights and that, there are only a few often unutilized systems in place to hold the government and donors accountable with respect to gender equality and women’s empowerment commitments.

The study reveals that, only 0.08% of the budget allocations for the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 3, is earmarked for women’s empowerment.

She stressed the need to develop a monitoring and evaluation strategy by Civil Society Organizations’ (CSOs) to hold the government and donors accountable.  She claimed that, there is very limited use of gender disaggregated data in monitoring frameworks and there is very little participation of CSOs especially women’s groups and gender advocates in policy and budget reviews.

According to Ms Ansre, the upcoming 4th High Level Forum (HLF) on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea, also offers opportunities to ensure that, gender is at the heart of all development efforts if aid is to achieve the purpose for which it is given.  To support this, UN Women’s group has been working globally and regionally with governments, donors, and CSOs to highlight the issue of gender equality, development and aid effectiveness.
“In Ghana, we have done the same, and are continuing to work together with you all to ensure that gender is given the prominence that it deserves in the discourse around aid and development effectiveness,” she disclosed.

She suggested that, in pursuing development and aid effectiveness the best thing to do is to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Finally she challenged the media to report widely on all of these efforts and their impacts and also to report on the issues that women face in their daily lives.

On his part, Mr Siapha Kamara, Chief Executive Officer of SEND West Africa said, CSOs’ in Ghana have the responsibility of receiving aid to implement development projects and hold government accountable. He stated that, they are also tasked to deepen country ownership by making development policy and programs truly  citizen driven and championed, or be a watchdog via independent monitoring and evaluation, agents of accountability  and transparency.

Mr Kamara impressed upon participants in the district level to do more to ensure that the aid that comes to the districts is judiciously used and also read more on oil to enable them play their role to ensuring good use of oil revenue.

By Pascal Kelvin Kudiabor

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