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DSWD: Gender mainstreaming initiatives showcased in international forum

The gender mainstreaming initiatives, undertaken by Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services-National Community-Driven Development Program (KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), were recently showcased during the Social and Gender Assessment (SGA) College of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) in Washington DC, USA.

The SGA College was a forum hosted by the MCC to foster learning and collaboration among representatives of its partner-countries to discuss the initiatives undertaken by their agencies in promoting social inclusion and gender equality.

It emphasized how central gender is in economic growth, as women have strong yet primarily untapped potential for the promotion of peace and development.

Aside from the Philippines, the other countries represented during the SGA College were Tanzania, Nigeria, Cabo Verde, Lesotho, Zambia, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, Senegal, Moldova, Mongolia, Indonesia, and Ecuador.

Gender initiatives

Lourdes Turiano, KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP Gender Specialist, presented the gender initiatives undertaken by the program, which included the inclusion of women in paid physical labor and in their participation in the planning and decision-making for social development issues at the community level.

This is part of the community-driven development (CDD) strategy employed by KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP to ensure that citizens get involved in the development process.

Matthew Bohn, the MCC Vice-President for Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, who provided the introduction for Kalahi-CIDSS or the predecessor of KALAHI CIDSS-NCDPP, praised the program implementation, having served as the MCC Resident Country Director for the Philippines in the past.

Similarly, the gender initiatives undertaken by KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP were well-received by the participants from the different Millennium Challenge Accounts (MCAs), the country counterparts of the MCCs, as well as by the MCC team.

Turiano was the only representative from an implementing agency out of all the participants during the SGA College. The others were MCC and SGA officials and consultants of the different MCAs.

Partnership

Since 2011, the MCC, through the Millennium Challenge Account-Philippines (MCA-P), has been a partner of DSWD in the implementation of KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP, then called Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS).

The KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP implementation using the $120,000,000 grant from MCC started in May 2011 and will end by May 2016.

MCC also provided the Gender Incentive Grant (GIG) amounting to $1,000,000 outside of the above-mentioned amount to help resolve gender issues that can affect the participation of men and women in local development, support the gender mainstreaming agenda of KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP, and leverage the use of the 5% Gender and Development funds of participating local government units.

Secretary of DSWD Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that the DSWD is honored for being chosen by the MCC as the representative of the Philippines in highlighting the importance of women in community development.

“All too often, women are left behind in the development process because their roles are often seen by their own families, especially those that are from far-flung rural areas, as being limited to the home. In KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP, we proved that they have the capacity to go beyond that.

Through their participation in the program, women have seen for themselves that they can work to earn income to help support their families, that they can become leaders”, she said.

“We are proud of our women community volunteers”, she added.

Aside from DSWD’s KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP, the MCC also provided funding support for the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Secondary National Roads Development Project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Western and Eastern Samar.

KALAHI CIDSS-NCDDP is the expansion into a national scale of operations of the community-driven development (CDD) approach, which was tried and proven effective by Kalahi-CIDSS. It targets the coverage of 847 of the poorest municipalities in the country.

CDD puts power back in the hands of the people by giving them the opportunity to make informed decisions on locally identified options for development and manage resources to implement sub-projects that address needs identified by communities themselves.

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is an independent U.S. foreign aid agency created in 2004 to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals by helping countries promote economic growth.

MCA-P is a Philippine entity responsible for managing the implementation of the $4334-million grant (“Compact”) from the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation. The Compact is focused on reducing poverty through economic growth by funding projects in tax administration reform, community-driven development, and roads rehabilitation. ###