Working toward gender-responsive national adaptation planning in Kenya

Nakuru, 31 October to 3 November, 2016 - As part of the ongoing work on strengthening institutional and technical capacities for climate risk management in Kenya, FAO Kenya, in collaboration with UNDP Kenya, organized a three day training in Nakuru to improve policymaker’s capacity to integrate gender considerations in climate change adaptation planning for the agriculture sectors. The event – organized under the Internal Climate Initiative (IKI)-funded Programme on Integrating Agriculture in National Adaptation Plans (NAP-Ag) – brought together mid- and senior-level government officials from the various line ministries, including the Ministries of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Environment and Natural Resources, and Devolution and Planning. Kenya is the first country from the NAP-Ag Programme to conduct a training on mainstreaming gender in climate change adaptation planning for the agriculture sectors.

The training aimed to enhance the skills of government officers in mainstreaming gender issues in climate change adaptation policies, plans and projects for the agriculture sectors. Participants benefited immensely from the wealth of knowledge and experience of seasoned trainers in the field of gender and climate change adaptation, in particular Queen Katembu- Head of Gender and Human Rights Unit at FAO Kenya, Dr. Kaisa Karttunen- Climate Change Adaptation Policy Expert and a member of the NAP-Ag Global Team and Beatrice Mwaura- Gender Officer at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.

“Gender, sustainable development and climate change are inextricably linked and therefore, the three must be tackled simultaneously.” These were the words of Dr. Obora, Coordinator of the Climate Change Unit at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, during the opening session. Dr. Obora acknowledged the government’s significant progress in integrating gender in its programmes, policies and operations. He highlighted the capacity gaps that still existed but noted the gender training would go a long way to address those gaps. 

The first day of the training was dedicated to establishing a common understanding of climate change adaptation policy frameworks at global and national levels as well as cultivating a sense of why gender matters in this context. Presentations also covered such topics as how gender can be incorporated into the analysis of climate change impacts and adaptation options.

The following day was devoted to deepening the trainees’ understanding of the entry points for addressing gender issues during the formulation and implementation of climate change and agricultural policies. 

On the last day, trainees were taken through different actors’ roles in promoting gender equality, in particular how the participants – who have management responsibilities – can ensure gender sensitive working approaches are used. They also had the opportunity to learn about gender-responsive budgeting.

The training culminated in an award ceremony with each participant being issued a certificate of participation. Speaking after the award ceremony, the National Coordinator of the NAP-Ag Programme, Zipora Otieno, thanked all participants for their active engagement and positive energy during the discussions and urged all trainees to apply the skills and knowledge in their day-to-day work. Trainees were also encouraged to share the knowledge with their peers and senior management teams.

At the end of the intensive three day training, one participant said, “The range of sessions and areas covered was fantastic, in particular gender analysis and I found every topic helpful. Though intensive, the training approach was innovative and the content invaluable. I have gained an incredible amount of knowledge which will give me a great base to integrate gender in my portfolio of projects”.

It is hoped that the skills acquired will help ensure that government adaptation interventions in the agriculture sectors are gender responsive and transformative.