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Explain how to integrate the gender perspective in human resources management and in the design of Terms of References (TORs) for emergency operations.


Human resources management, Key Informants and facilitators, Qualifications, Relief Operations, Situation and needs assessment, Targeting procedures, Terms of Reference.

Lessons learned from emergency response reveal that programme interventions and life saving strategies are made more efficient and timely when there is a real understanding of men’s and women’s different needs, interests, vulnerabilities, capacities and coping strategies.

Gender Sensitive Terms of Reference

Human resources should be considered important assets in rehabilitation and recovery planning and operations. Their planning and management concern emergency operators at all levels as well as other stakeholders and beneficiaries.

Local and international capacity building for gender mainstreaming is essential in the delivery of any emergency operation, particularly towards achieving sustainable interventions. In this regard, a set of actions may be required to strengthen the capability of participants and other stakeholders involved in project implementation processes.

Emergency operators should be qualified and subsequently held accountable for the degree of gender-sensitivity conducted in their operations. Consequently, there is a need to explicitily address gender equity in the design of Terms of Reference and Sectoral socio-economic and gender analysis should be incorporated.

Identification of Key Informants and Facilitators

To initiate the participatory targeting process in the field, key informants should be identified during the situation and needs assessment phase of the emergency.

Appropriate gender representation is fundamental when identifying key informants. It is important to ensure that women are equally represented among key informants, and to consider that gender structures are both in transition and inherited from pre-disaster patterns. Women often play an important role as bearers of the knowledge of community structures. Highly qualified women informants, with knowledge of the differentiated socio-economic organisation and trend dynamics, should be identified.

Key informants of the impact assessment phase often become the key facilitators during the operation phase. They should be locally identified and selected, taking into account their current capacity to reach and assist the vulnerable population.

Situation Analysis and Needs Assessment

The needs identified should be met by the basic inputs of a relief programme proposed to the donor community. The areas of intervention and the most affected people should be identified (disaggregated by sex).

Sex-disaggregated background information should be gathered from different existing sources and databases at country and field levels. The information collected from the country’s institutional sources and the databases of aid agencies should be reviewed in terms of socio-economic and gender analysis. For complex emergencies, the information should be analysed with Key Informants in the new context, considering the changing trends in the existing structures.

This information represents a reference for emergency operators to identify and assess the diversified impacts on men and women, to be ascertained with participatory tools, at general and local context. The immediate relief needs of the most vulnerable affected by a disaster, analyzed by sex, should be assessed with a participatory process in order to restore their minimum food security and acceptable livelihood status.

Project documents should cover the needs identified for the intervention and background information on the area context. They should include a justification, rationale, description of the operation (location and number of male and female beneficiaries) and implementation strategy modalities (including distribution modes), technical specifications for the relief packages, and cost estimates of the operation.

Relief Operations

The in-depth process of area and beneficiary segregation and selection is performed at the inception of the relief operations, based on the results of the impact assessment phase. This requires the building of an additional information system to identify individual beneficiaries, with the maximum participation of all stakeholders.

For the implementation, national NGOs with a ‘commitment to women’ mandate and women’s associations at the operational level should preferably be selected as partners for targeting female-headed households. The final estimation of target beneficiary numbers and their location will be based on vulnerability mapping and agreed with the implementing operators and partners.

In order to follow a gender perspective in administrative screening, proper agreements with aid administrators should be reached, based on the reliability and validity of the results of a vulnerability mapping exercise carried out during needs assessment.

A matrix combining all the collected information (including recommended relief packages) should be built. This should define the quantity of goods and services to be provided to the target group, in order to achieve the desired impact of the project activities. The result of this process will be used for the preparation of allocation and distribution plans. Appropriate screening tools for administrative, community or self-targeting mechanisms should be selected to ensure that only those who meet the targeting criteria actually receive the benefits.

In the case of a community targeting procedure, a gender perspective in aid distribution will depend on the community’s level of organization, which should be thoroughly evaluated prior to choosing this option.

A self-targeting approach implies choosing an aid package that only the target population wants (including a cost that only the target beneficiary is willing to pay). When targeting female-headed households the results of the livelihood and farming systems analysis should be taken into account to understand the effectiveness and applicability of such a procedure. The prevailing workload of women and existing relations with their actual nourishment and health status should be considered.

The extent to which interventions actually cover all those experiencing acute and exceptional food insecurity should be judged. The timing and duration of sustained forms of reconstruction, rehabilitation and recovery should also be evaluated. Actual beneficiary numbers should be monitored and compared with provisional figures established at project inception.

Qualifications (Project Officers and International Consultants)

  • University degree in rural development, agronomy or rural sociology with experience in women in development and gender issues

  • Excellent knowledge and practical experience of PRA application and training, as well as broad working experience in the field of community participation in the Region

  • University degree in rural development, rural sociology or agronomy, with experience in women in development and gender issues

  • Knowledge and field experience in gender issues, possibly in emergency situations

  • Knowledge of locally spoken languages would be valuable

TOR - Emergency Relief Programme Specialist

Needs Assessment, Targeting and Project Formulation:

  • Participate in the assessment of the rural sector using a gender approach in order to establish a profile of small-scale farmers needs and constraints, particularly female-headed households, to meet short-term and long-term objectives (i.e. creation of income-generating opportunities)

  • Assist in the identification of target farmer groups in the rural sector using stakeholder analysis (SEAGA Programme)

  • Evaluate the gender 'protocol of intervention' in the case of a new emergency

  • Collaborate in the design of a coherent agricultural and rural development policy using a participatory and gender approach

  • Ensure incorporation of a gender approach into information systems, so that both men’s and women’s needs are properly taken into consideration in the dissemination of information

  • Revise and update information and training material to incorporate a gender perspective

  • Assist men and women beneficiaries to be responsive to their economic, social and cultural setting

TOR - Participatory Rural Development Specialist: Women’s Groups

Rehabilitation of Women's Groups:

  • Conduct, in collaboration with the national coordinator and counterpart, PRA-based objectives and needs assessments among rural women’s groups, using a gender approach. Establish a profile of farmers' needs to meet current short-term objectives, the plans of both men and women to realise these objectives, and needs for external support to overcome existing economic and institutional constraints at local level.

  • Assess options for improving women’s access to updated information and revise, on a demand-driven basis, existing training modules to assist women’s groups in revitalizing their activities in the context of their current economic, social and cultural environment.

  • Submit a final report highlighting achievements, the objectives and needs of the target beneficiaries, and recommendations for the follow-up of project activities.

TOR - Emergency Coordinator

Programme Coordination:

  • Organize a Training workshop on Socio-economic and Gender Analysis in Emergency Operations for relevant staff of local governing bodies, NGOs and other stakeholders in cooperation with other international agencies.

  • Organize training workshops with adequate women’s and men’s representation (including women's groups) to present and evaluate various potential rehabilitation options and approaches, which may contribute to the transition from a situation of emergency relief to a process of sustainable rural development. Focus should be placed on strategies such as access to productive resources, agricultural services (extension and training), group-based savings/micro-credit, the establishment of decentralised group-based and owned risk funds, agro-processing, and sustainable natural resource management, as well as the creation of new women’s groups.

  • Based on the findings from the field and lessons learned, revise the project approach and strategy proposed for any follow-up phases incorporating a gender approach.

  • Submit a final report highlighting achievements, assistance objectives, needs of beneficiaries, and recommendations for follow-up activities.

Question Tank Human Resource

Gender Efficiency Checklist

  • Under which circumstances does it matter whether the project’s staff is male or female?

  • Can men and women do the job equally well? Is gender seclusion practiced in the area? Are project staff of a particular sex needed to contact village men or women separately?

  • What are the implications of hosting meetings in a public place?

  • Do distributors harass either sex (e.g. sexual harassment)?

  • Are favors being made or required by either sex in order for them to be able to obtain relief items? If so, one? Both? What is the nature of the favours?

  • Can village members of both sexes (such as committee members) attend overnight training workshops outside the village? If not, which cannot and why?

  • Is it culturally acceptable for village leaders or project staff of either sex to ride bicycles? Motorbikes? Can men and women each ride in a vehicle with a member of the opposite sex in the absence of their partner, and with no other person of the same sex present? If no, what are the minimum conditions considered acceptable?

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