Gender and Sector Programme Support: Guiding Questions Working Paper
Publication Date: Aug 1999
Sector Wide Approaches (SWAps) form the main framework for Danida's development assistance and SWAps are increasingly being adopted by donor agencies as an effective and efficient way to ensure that development initiatives have national reach and ownership. Danida has developed a series of guidelines to ensure that sector programming integrates gender equality concerns. Health sector reform is not gender neutral, and failure to consider gender issues in its design may result in an adverse impact on health in general and women's health in particular. Other equally important factors, such as age and locally relevant socio-cultural factors, must also be taken into account. Gender must be a basic consideration, not only in programme design and implementation (such as nutrition, health education, hygiene, TB etc), but in the formulation and monitoring of policies and plans. This integration will also facilitate a wider understanding that there are technical, practical and operational reasons for considering gender in national programme design, and that it is not merely a donor interest or conditionality. Gender sensitive policies and plans have to be based on information generated by local gender analyses. In most countries these are already available. The critical next step, often forgotten, is applying this information to ensure that the health system responds adequately and appropriately. This checklist is one tool to facilitate operationalisation.