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How gender-sensitive are the National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) of Sub-Saharan African countries? A gender-scan of 31 NAPAs

Nathalie Holvoet and Liesbeth Inberg

No 2013.02, IOB Working Papers from Universiteit Antwerpen, Institute of Development Policy and Management (IOB)

Abstract: The recent (draft) decision of the 2012 Conference of the Parties (CoP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recognises that a more balanced representation of women from developed and developing countries in the UNFCCC process is important in order to create climate policies that are responding to the different needs of men and women in national and local contexts (UNFCCC, 2012). In the context of the UNFCC, countries that are most vulnerable to climate change list their priority adaptation projects in National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs). Guidelines for drafting NAPAs have been made gender-sensitive drawing upon equality, effectiveness and efficiency arguments. More specifically, climate change affect men and women differently and therefore, policies and programmes that do not take into account the particular needs and capacities of both men and women will fail to be effective and may even worsen the already existing male bias. Against this background of increased acknowledgement of the importance of gender mainstreaming in climate change policies, we aim at confronting rhetorics with reality. Our study investigates to what extent and in what way the 31 available Sub Sahara African NAPAs integrate a gender dimension into the different phases (diagnosis, selection of projects, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation) of the NAPA cycle and the different sectors that are especially related to climate change (in addition to the energy sector, these are the agriculture, forestry, water and sanitation and health sectors). Additionally, we also analyse the degree of participation of women and gender experts in diagnosis and decision-making as well as the gender sensitivity of the format used for participation. The findings of the gender scan among others demonstrate that there is a decline in gendersensitivity throughout the cycle, which is particularly outspoken when translation priorities into budgets and indicators. Next, processes have been more gender sensitive than the actual content of NAPAs which hints at the fact that the gender actors around the table in NAPA decision making have not always been able to influence the content of the NAPAs. This could among others be related to a low track record of these gender actors in the area of climate change. Local climate change experts on the other hand often lack operational ‘gender’ tools and approaches which are framed in their own terminology. When it comes to an integration of gender issues in climate change budgets, our study suggests that the insights, approaches and tools of gender budgeting could be particularly useful.

Keywords: Sub-Saharan Africa; National Adaptation Programmes of Action; NAPA (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr, nep-agr, nep-dem and nep-env
Date: 2013-03
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