Good Practices for Gender in Early Warning Systems

Background

Integrating gender issues into all project components is often more difficult to achieve technically than supporting gender-focused activities. This does not have to be a challenging process, however.

As the GCRSP EoPE component demonstrated this can be done fairly readily.

The EoPE component included four (4) key activities:

  1. A workshop on the joint coordination processes (JCPCP) required for the four regional agencies responsible for planning for and responding to crises in the Caribbean, namely: CARICOM IMPACS, CARPHA, CDEMA and RSS.
  1. A workshop designed to help these agencies develop a common set of Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) related to EWS and crisis response.
  1. A scripting exercise for an emergency simulation exercise designed to test out these SoPs and the capacity of the four regional agencies to coordinate their activities and roles in a complex crisis situation.
  1. The implementation of the emergency simulation exercise, called Synergy 2017.

How Gender Was Integrated into these Activities

The EoPE project component was led by Roger Lane, a consultant specializing in leadership development and coaching.  The steps taken to integrate gender into each EoPE activity included the following:

  1. The Gender Expert was introduced to the EoPE team and briefed on the related processes planned.
  1. To support the JCPCP and SoP workshops, the Gender Expert prepared a comprehensive tip sheet that explained the rationale for integrating gender into EWS and crisis response and outlined specific gender issues in the Caribbean the team needed to take into account. This tip sheet was shared with Roger Lane and his expert team and some of its elements used as a resource during the JCPCP and SoP workshops.
  1. Prior to the JCPCP, SoP and Emergency Simulation workshops, the Gender Expert was asked to review related training/scripting materials to provide additional input on gender and diversity issues. The Roger Lane team had already addressed several of these so it was mainly a question of adding greater depth of analysis as well as raising process questions on how gender could be mainstreamed effectively into regional coordination mechanisms, SoP and the emergency simulation scripting exercise.
  1. Following the JCPCP and SoP workshops, the Gender Expert also reviewed the joint coordination documents and SoPs produced by the workshop participants and provided technical comments on these from a gender integration perspective.
  1. The Gender Expert also served as an on-site resource person during the Emergency Simulation Scripting Exercise and provided technical inputs on gender and diversity issues in response to any scenarios developed during the exercise.
  2. The Gender Expert also provided recommendations on the suggested processes for coordinating inputs on gender and diversity issues in crisis response among the four regional agencies concerned.

Multimedia

 
Interview to Dana Peebles, Gender expert

Click to download 'Good Practices for Gender in EWS'

12.04.2017 Podcast on Gender in Early Warning Systems

Lessons Learned

The factors that made it possible for GCRSP to integrate gender and diversity issues so systematically in the EoPE component included the following:

  1. Support and direction from GCRSP leadership that doing so was a project priority.
  1. Openness and commitment to the importance of integrating gender and diversity issues in the EoPE process.
  1. Involvement of the Gender Expert early on in the EoPE process. This made it possible to provide technical inputs while training materials were still being drafted. In other words, rather than being an afterthought and add-on, the inclusion of gender and diversity issues was considered as a technical factor from the beginning of the process. 
  1. The opportunity to review the JCPCP and SoP documents produced by the workshops made it possible to reinforce strategic gender entry points in the coordination and SoP processes and to further systematize the regional agency approach to gender integration.
  1. The Gender Expert had considerable experience in the region and was able to help the team identify region-specific gender and diversity issues that had relevance to regional agency participants.
  1. There is increasing awareness and acceptance among regional agency personnel of why integrating gender and diversity issues is an important technical factor to take into consideration. This made the agency participants fairly receptive to the gender integration processes and issues discussed.

For a comprehensive and fully detailed reading, please download the PDF document  'Good Practices for Gender in Early Warning Systems'.