Gender Mainstreaming made easier: Handbook for Programme Staff

29 Aug 2011

Report Summary


Effective gender mainstreaming requires plans, resources and dedicated people to ensure that commitments are translated into action and actual change on the ground. The handbook, ‘Gender Mainstreaming Made Easy’ is an adaptation and update of the contents and materials used at the programme staff gender training under the same title.

Held in October 2012, the training was tailored to the UNDP Country Programme Document for The Republic of Somalia 2011 – 2015 (CPD), UNDP Somalia Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Strategy 2011 – 2015 (CO Gender Strategy) and the gender equality commitments to which all UNDP Somalia staff are obliged to follow.

The training was further informed by a training needs assessment conducted in January 2012, in which the majority of staff members noted that while they were already well familiar with gender concepts they felt limited in their ability to effectively mainstream gender into their work due to - amongst other things – lack of technical know-how and lack of tools for practical application. The training therefore responded specifically to these needs while adhering to the broader Country Office (CO) goal of transforming unequal social and institutional structures into equal and just structures for both men and women. Following the trainings, colleagues expressed the desire to have the tools they had been introduced to at the training presented to them in a handy easy-reference format as an ongoing practical resource. This handbook is the Gender Unit’s response to that request.

The handbook encompasses a number of gender mainstreaming tools, and is in itself a tool designed for individual or group use within a project or programme setting. At the training, the tools were accompanied by exercises requiring staff members to apply them to case studies and scenarios drawn from projects in the CO; the handbook now provides the tools alongside examples of the eventual products that should be achieved if they are applied properly. At this level, users are now invited to apply the tools to their real life work as opposed to adapted scenarios.

For colleagues who participated in the trainings in September 2012, this handbook will be a welcome and familiar companion as they have already practiced using the tools provided herein at the training. The handbook will therefore serve as a useful reminder and a resource to deepen their understanding of the different components thereby increasing and improving their efficiency at applying these tools in their day-to-day work. For colleagues who did not participate in the training, the handbook is equally an effective introduction to the concepts and tools and a user-friendly guide on how they can be applied.

UNDP Somalia recognizes that gender mainstreaming is not an option but a necessity. Therefore this handbook will assists you to: 1) critically review the gender dimension of programmes and their monitoring processes; 2) apply gender analysis tools to actual projects; and 3) plan for gender responsive results by applying the provided tools accordingly.

At the programme staff training, the Gender Team compared their unit to a ‘Gender Clinic’ where colleagues could walk in (or make an appointment) at any stage of their work to check their ‘gender diagnosis’. This handbook provides the starting point for such discussions and the Gender Unit welcomes all colleagues who need further help or guidance in using this handbook to feel free to approach them for such help.

I would like to personally thank Suvimarja Vuontela who served an internship at the Gender Unit from November 2012 to April 2013 for designing and compiling the materials for the handbook with input from other members of the unit.

Marie Dimond
Deputy Country Director, Programmes
UNDP Somalia


  • October 2012 - Gender training for programme staff conducted , ensuring that UNDP staff members have the necessary tools and skills to increase their overall efficiency in gender mainstreaming in programmes
  • January 2012 - An online survey conducted and workshop designed and delivered to inform the capacity building actions for UNDP Somalia's staff
  • Why you need UNDP Gender Marker - A tool that rates gender mainstreaming and equality at the activity level on a scale from zero to three

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