The gender dimensions of post-conflict reconstruction: the challenges in development aid

The gender dimensions of post-conflict reconstruction: the challenges in development aid

Understanding the gender dimensions of post-conflict reconstruction

This chapter constructs a framework for understanding the gender dimensions of post-conflict reconstruction (PCR), in order to strengthen assessments, project design, and policy-formulation with the aim of achieving sustainable peace, participation and prosperity. The authors suggest gender dimensions that may strengthen programmes, promote gender equality, and enhance returns on PCR investments. To illustrate the gender dimensions, the chapter uses examples from the World Bank and other donors, including a sample of the Bank’s large post-conflict reconstruction development loans and its small post-conflict fund grants.

The authors first establish the foundations for the framework: locating post-conflict reconstruction within a process triggered by peace negotiations and ending with peaceful, prosperous and equitable societies. They introduce the women and gender characteristics of three interrelated gender dimensions: women-focused activities, gender-aware programming, and strategic attention to transforming gender relations in order to heal trauma, build social capital and avoid further violence. The chapter concludes with recommendations of how donors, implementers and governments may create the data and environments in which to recognize gender issues as the basis for formulating practical steps by which to address them.

Conclusions and recommendations include:

  • policy-makers and donors must view attention to gender as strategic: not just an add-on or goosing up the budget a bit for a small women-focused initiative
  • M&E plans must track gender-related factors and gender disparate impacts
  • post-conflict learning opportunities should be for women and men alike, and training courses should include related gender issues (such as gender analysis for training on economic forecasting or benefit-cost analyses, and understanding sex-discrimination within human resource training)
  • donors should use gender budgets to track where resources are going, who is benefiting, and actual expenditures against gender equality promises.
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