Coming within the framework of CTAs current efforts to update its 2003 Gender Strategy and to develop a gender strategy implementation guideline, the expert consultation was part of three parallel activities including an internal quick assessment of its 2003 gender strategy implementation and a desk study of current trends in integration of gender concerns in ARD interventions.
17 experts from 15 organisations participated at the consultation including WOUGNET,WASAA, USAID and the African Union Commission. IFAD and FAO as well as UWI, CANROP from the Caribbean and Women in Business Development Inc from the Pacific were also represented. The selection of these organisations was based on thorough research and participants were invited both for their personal contributions to advancing gender issues in agricultural and rural development as well as the experiences of their organisations in working with women and integrating gender concerns in their activities.
The contributions from participants were very useful and a number of important lessons were noted. The importance of understanding that integrating gender concerns within CTAs programme cycle is indispensable to achieving its three strategic goals and mission was among the key lessons. Other lessons included the importance of regular monitoring and evaluation of CTAs gender programming, senior management level support to gender concerns, using gender analysis tools for all interventions and programmes of CTA and the particular importance of a common understanding and definition of gender within CTA.
Participants were very satisfied with these two and a half days of consultation and were very positive with the senior level of participants, the quality of the organisation and the opportunity for networking created for organisations that did not necessarily know each other or worked together before. Participants would like to continue to contribute to the revised CTA gender strategy before it is finalised and CTA has created an online community group as per their request to continue sharing resources and other information.