Gender+ and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Where we stands as a country leaving “no one left behind” Focusing on SDGs Goal # 5, 10 in Sri Lanka Prospective

Discussion Forum on

Title Gender+ and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Sri Lanka Prospective
Venue CHA, No. 1, Gower Street, Colombo 5
Date and Time 05-June-2017, 1430hrs – 1630hrs
Key Keynote By Isha Wedasinghe Miranda Independent Evaluator, Member of the EvalGender Management Group , Secretary Asia Pacific Evaluation Association (APEA) and Mr. Jeevan Thiagarajah Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies (CHA)


Opinions, issues, concerns, suggestions shared and questions raised during the discussion;

1. Disparity
• Girls are more than the boys cross the board right upto the university but in terms of earning its going the other way. At a very higher level, in Terms of market, access nowhere near them should be.
• Percentage of women headed families in Sri Lanka also quite stagger (around 23% of the total number of families) and is significant.

2. Other challenges
• Questions raised;
o Programmes overlapping by civil societies nationally specially in districts (eg: communicating with the same set of community leaders)
o Leadership programme vs Reality –
o How many women leaders in all political level? in spite of 20 yearsof long spell of women leadership programmes (national parliament elected women members are less than 10,loal Government barely under 7)
o Programmes impact? Zero Result?
3. National priorities
• Lack of collaboration entails the duplication and repetition of programmes and that some programmes are too narrow or too sector-focused to have much of an impact.
• Most organizations and NGOs have created very ineffective indicators and priorities
• Donor agencies came forward with their concerns over priorities given in NGOs’ funding proposals go in line with national priorities;
o It is unquestionable that donors' attention to Gender equality and women's empowerment (GEWE) increased in recent years although difficulties in strategizing and prioritizing continue.
o The EU for instance developed in 2015 the 'Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment: Transforming the Lives of Girls and Women through EU External Relations 2016-2020 (GAP – II)' covering a large spectrum of rather standard objectives (in the areas of physical support economic and social rights, voice of participation etc.) forming the basis for further country-wise prioritization and annual reporting.
o Prioritization by donors takes place usually on the basis of studies and assessments of the political and social context of the country but in order to increase the impact of the donor funded interventions and ensure ownership of the country, it would be much more relevant if prioritization reflected actual country priorities.
o Unfortunately there is no such a comprehensive (and realistic) priority plan in Sri Lanka to use by the government, CSOs as well as by donors and other implementing agencies to articulate strategies. The 'NPA to address SGBV 2016-2020' is a good start but it covers only one sector (i.e. SGBV) of the many which still are uncovered.
• Concerns came on national priorities and sustainability of those national priorities
Suggestions and Way forward
1. Global SDGs
• Unpacking the global SDGs indicators (all 17 SDGs)
• Educating on SDGs not only at national level but also at ground level
• Questions raised;
o How are we going to achieve sustainability? We need to challenge ourselves internally on what sustainable development is.?
o Framework gives you the direction but how do you show the link with the ground level?
2. Localisation
• Civil societies should work together collectively towards a common set of indicators and targets on Gender+ and SDGs to achieve agenda 2030;
• Civil societies must ensure targets and have a monitoring process for each project
• Action plans are available and it is high time to make it practical;
3. National Policies
• To achieve sustainable development it needs to be included into the educational curriculum i.e. get it into children’s mind. They should be able to reflect the sustainability concept in their activities.
• There must be someone to take the leadership on gender equity which is a cross cutting matter. If Women’s affairs ministry to respond to Gender equality it is important that they are strengthened to the level.
• Question raised on linkages between national policies by ministry of Women and Child Affairs and other sub entities of the government on gender and women such as;
o Women Headed Household policy/act (WHH)
o Women Charter
o Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV)
o University Grant Commission (UGC), etc…
• Questions on national implementation strategy
o Disparity in appointing human resources
Example from the participant - Appointing officers as Counsellors with irrelevant degrees and appointing Women Development Officers and Economic Development Officers (Gender Specialist) in Sinhala and Tamil areas with language inefficiency.
4. Cohesion
• Cohesiveness is what is lacking
• What we do should be results oriented
• We need to ensure coordination and make an effort to collectively raise our thoughts and collectively work at the grassroots.
• Importance of private sector involvement and having them on the board through CSR activities.

5. Unifying the NGO Consortium;

• Unifying the consortiums of Non-Governmental and other organization works towards (Programme, researches, evaluators , educational and policy makers)localize agenda 2030.

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Comment by Rituu B Nanda on July 20, 2017 at 9:18

Hi Isha, did you also have any discussion from equity perspective? local, age etc? Thanks!

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