Consultants on Gender and Development
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2514 JS THE HAGUE
The Netherlands
+31 (0)70 365 57 44
info@femconsult.org

News

Women on the Frontline - Phase II7 June 2017
Women on the Frontline(WOF II) Phase II – Baseline study
Femconsult was contracted by a consortium of PWC, Hivos, Oxfam Novib and IWPR to undertake a baseline study and write up the baseline report for the WOF II programme.

WOF II is a continuation of a previous programme to support national CSOs in Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen. The WoF II Programme addresses three long term goals:

i. More women leaders will become decision makers;
ii. More women will become influential actors at national political level and in peace building and conflict resolution;
iii. There will be increased recognition of women and activists working towards gender equality as relevant actors for change.
Read more ˅
Femconsult is in charge of the evaluation team which composed of three international senior consultants and a regional coordination team with focal points. The baseline study was conducted between December 2016 and March 2017. A mainly qualitative mixed-method approach was used which allowed triangulation to validate the collected data. Following data collection, a sequential triangulation process was applied to compare and contrast the feedback obtained from the various key informants through the different data collection tools with data obtained from the desk review and to fill the gaps. In total four thematic FGDs were conducted in Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey, and Iraq. A mixed Survey questionnaire was distributed to all twenty one partner CSOs and some were followed with skype follow-up sessions. Finally In depth-interviews and individual (skype) meetings were conducted. Focal Points are appointed for data collection at the country level (doing in-depth interviews with key stakeholders, conducting and following up surveys, collecting and classifying any relevant information from studies, reports, reviews and any other relevant documentation on the national level, etc.).
Publication with FLOW (2012-2015) results on women’s rights and gender equality now available 29 March 2017
In 2012 the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs created a new programme, Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women (FLOW), a successor to the MDG3 Fund. The 34 projects under FLOW 2012-2015 are implemented in over 100 countries.

The grantees have worked tremendously with their partners and sub-grantees on improving gender equality and women’s rights worldwide. They did this by focusing their efforts on at least one of the main thematic priorities of FLOW: peace and security, economic self-reliance and political participation. The diverse FLOW projects have contributed to increased leadership of women and girls, strengthened women’s rights movement/organisations, improved women’s rights in policy and legislation, behaviour change of male and female) beneficiaries and participants, and improved livelihoods. A community has been created which will carry on striving for gender equality and women’s rights.

A booklet has been developed and can be downloaded under the 'more information button' below. Read more ˅
FLOW’s implementation and the monitoring of the 34 projects was managed by a consortium of PwC and Femconsult. The booklet contains a selection of the most distinctive and interesting activities and results to be shared with the public. In the preface of the publication the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, Lilian Ploumen wrote ‘The Netherlands supports civil society organisations that champion women’s rights’, whilst emphasizing that gender equality is not something that exclusively benefits women and girls, but gender equality benefits both men and women, which is in line with Femconsult’s mission and vision.

Also an inspirational video clip has been produced by Makmende Media, which features three beneficiaries that have been supported by FLOW grantees CREA, Breakthrough and Gender at Work in India and Kenya. Check out the clip at: https://vimeo.com/207100627?ref=em-share
Blue Gold program celebrates International Women's Day in Bangladesh 12 March 2017
The Blue Gold program celebrated International Women’s Day on the 8th of March with a rally and discussion sessions in rural Bangladesh. Women and men from water management organisations, staff from BWDB and DAE, local government representatives, local religious leaders and students of nearby schools and colleges participated in the rally. More than a thousand people joined the marches in the coastal districts Patuakhali, Khulna and Satkhira to raise their voice for women’s rights.

Blue Gold is a collaboration program between the Governments of Bangladesh and the Netherlands. The program is implemented by the Ministry of Water Resources, through the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) and the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE). It started in March 2013 and extends over a 7+ year period, until June 2020. Its operations concentrate on twenty-two polders in four coastal districts of south-west Bangladesh: Patuakhali, Barguna, Khulna and Satkhira. The overall objective is to “reduce poverty for 170,000 households living in 115,000 ha of selected coastal polders by creating a healthy living environment and a sustainable socio-economic development.Read more ˅


Stimulating the participation of women within these interventions is an important part of the Blue Gold program in order to ensure that both men and women benefit and achieve more gender equity. For example, Blue Gold promotes that at least 40 percent of the membership of Water Management Groups (WMGs) are made up of women, and that the elected women in the boards of the WMGs (which is at least 30%) better participate in WMG decision-making.

Femconsult provides gender expertise to the Blue Gold Program, supporting the current national gender coordinator Roksana Begum. She explains that it is important to mark this international day of celebration to make Bangladeshi women more aware of their rights. ‘This is a remote area of Bangladesh’, Roksana says, ‘Most of the women don’t know about the importance and background of International Women’s Day.’ While the women initially felt shy about joining the rally, they eventually enjoyed meeting and talking to others who showed interest in the discussion groups that were organised by Roksana’s team.

The slogan of this year’s International Women’s Day “Be Bold For Change” was printed in bold letters on the banners the women held, because it reflects the goals of the Blue Gold program as well. ‘Women in our program are actively involved in the decision-making process and we train them to take up leadership roles within the society’, Roksana explains. Some of the reactions from villagers along the route of the rally showed that women’s empowerment is an important issue in Bangladesh. According to Roksana some people initially laughed as the women walked by because ‘They don’t like to see women raising their fist in the air and using their voices to ask for change.’

As part of the IWD celebrations, BGP also organised discussion sessions in the same locations as the rallies. In Patuakhali, Khulna and Satkhira, a Local Government Representative (UP Chairman), WMG leader, religious leader, Roksana and other team members discussed the background and importance of IWD and best practice of Blue Gold gender activities. The participants showed their commitment to Roksana by raising their hands and agreeing that they will raise their voice against violence. Most of the local newspapers covered the news of Blue Gold’s IWD activities.

It was the first time the WMG members participated in International Women’s Day celebrations. While Roksana hopes to make it an annual event, she’s emphasizes that under the Blue Gold program women’s empowerment is a goal she and the Blue Gold team work towards every day of the year. ‘Though an International Woman’s Day is a great vehicle for change, one day a year is not enough’, Roksana explains.



Gender Resource Facility1 January 2017
The Gender Resource Facility (GRF), which is operational since the summer of 2014, provides expert advice, technical assistance and knowledge services on gender equality and women’s rights to the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, its embassies and partners. The GRF operates under contract with MFA and is implemented by a consortium of the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) and Femconsult. During the past year support to several MFA departments, embassies and partners has been provided in relation the the spearheads of Dutch Foreign Policy: Water, Food Security, Rule of Law, Sexual Reproductive health Rights. As well as cross-cutting issues like Climate Change, Private Sector development, gender mainstreaming.

For further information and publications of GRF click on the link below:
Blue Gold Program1 January 2017
The Blue Gold Program aims to create a safe living environment and sustainable socio-economic development for poor households in coastal areas (26 polders), through community mobilization and institutional strengthening, water resources management, agricultural production and food security, business and value chain development. Within this program Femconsult provides the expert on Gender, Water Management and Food Security. The expert is responsible for mainstreaming gender within these components and in other cross-cutting issues such as environment, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

In their latest World Water Magazine the Water Environment Federation has dedicated a chapter on the Blue Gold Program:
“Blue Gold program promotes socio-economic development in Bangladesh”.
Femconsult & the Neys-van Hoogstraten Foundation1 January 2017
Since January 2015 the Neys-van Hoogstraten Foundation External Secretariat is managed by Femconsult.

The main objective of the Neys-van Hoogstraten Foundation (NHF) is to strengthen and stimulate socio-economic research in the field of household budgets, family nutrition, and food and nutrition security in Indonesia and other (Southeast) Asian countries. NHF recognizes that food and nutrition problems are not gender-neutral. The foundation aims to increase awareness of gender inequalities and the different gender roles in the food and nutrition chain. By providing financial support for research in these fields, the foundation aims at enhancing the quality and quantity of research on the topics listed above.
Read more ˅
Femconsult is the main contact person for the researchers and assists the Board in the implementation of its work. In close cooperation with the counterpart in the Philippines, Femconsult has organised the Fourth International Workshop from 12-17 April 2015: “From Traditional Crops to Fast Food: Diversity and Change in Southeast Asian Food Production and Consumption” in Baguio, Philippines. The Northern Philippines Root Crops Research and Training Center (NPRCRTC) and the Benguet State University (BSU) hosted the Workshop. Participants of the Workshop were researchers and other professionals, supported by a grant from the Neys-van Hoogstraten Foundation.

The central themes of the workshop were:
1. Traditional crops and foods;
2. Effects of migration and urbanization on food and nutrition;
3. Categories of vulnerable people;
4. Marginal communities.

The workshop enabled participants from several Southeast Asian countries to present their work and exchange research experiences and findings with other researchers. During the workshop the future course of the NHF workshop was discussed in a participatory session.

Click on the link below for more information about the Neys-van Hoogstraten Foundation:
Symposium on Gender and Development11 June 2016
On the 16th of June, 2016, Femconsult, Consultants on Gender and Development celebrated its 30th anniversary with the symposium "From Exclusion to Inclusion: Lessons learned and current challenges in advising on Gender Equality" in The Hague.

During the symposium keynote speaker Caroline Harper, Senior Research Fellow and Programme Head of Social Development at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in London, gave a keynote speech. This was followed by an interactive panel discussion with gender consultants from various thematic backgrounds who regularly work with Femconsult. The panel shared challenges, best practices and lessons learned.

For the full report click on the link below:
FLOW: Funding Leadership Opportunities for Women (2012 - 2016)23 November 2012
The Femconsult-PwC team won the tender bid for the management of the € 80 million FLOW Fund (2012 – 2016). Femconsult in partnership with PwC has been awarded a contract by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs for providing technical expertise and support towards the administration, management and monitoring of the Netherlands FLOW Fund - Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women (EUR 80 million) covering 34 multi-country projects (2012-2015). FLOW aims to strengthen the rights and opportunities for women and girls in developing countries and focuses on three priority themes: security (violence against women and UN Resolution 1325), economic empowerment (emphasis on food security, land, water and economic rights) and political participation. In all three themes, female partnership is seen as an important instrument.

FLOW is the successor of the very successful Dutch Government funded MDG3 Fund (2008 – 2012). The aim of the € 77 million MDG3 Fund was “Investing in Equality to support activities that lead to concrete results with regard to improved rights and opportunities for women”. The Femconsult-PwC team has also provided technical expertise and support towards the management and monitoring of this Fund. With the MDG3 Fund much more has been achieved than anyone thought possible. It has supported work from grassroots to the region to the global, enabling impact at multiple levels.

In November 2012, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands organized the “Women Moving Mountains” conference. All grantees from the MDG3 Fund and the FLOW Fund, about 60 participants from all over the world, met in The Hague to discuss the results including best practices and lessons learned of the MDG3 Fund.

Click on the link below for more information about the FLOW Programme:

MDG3 Fund successfully completed (2008-2012)21 November 2012
Femconsult in partnership with PwC has been responsible for the management of the MDG3 Fund (2008 – 2012).
The Netherlands Government funded € 77 million MDG3 Fund “Investing in Equality to support activities that lead to concrete results with regard to improved rights and opportunities for women and girls in developing countries” was successfully completed in July 2012. The Fund supported 45 projects, with activities in a total of 99 countries. As the results were very promising, a new fund called FLOW (Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women) succeeding MDG3 Fund was launched in 2011.

The MDG3 Fund especially contributed to the following priorities:
• property and inheritance rights for women;
• gender equality in employment and equal opportunities on the labour market;
• participation and representation of women in national parliaments and political bodies;
• combating violence against women.

Priority target groups were:
• women and girls in situations of conflict;
• marginalized women;
• adolescents.

Key lessons learned were discussed at the “Women Moving Mountains” conference in The Hague on 21 November 2012 organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, where the grantees from the MDG3 Fund and the FLOW Fund met. The aim of this session was to formally open FLOW and close MDG3 thanking all grantees and the fund management for their work.

Please find below the link to the power point presentation of the results of the evaluation study of the MDG3 Fund conducted by AWID: