Project Factsheet
Tools for » Setting things right -towards equality and equity
Project ID:00067161Description:MDGF-1710-B-NAM Setting things
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 5 Sep 2007
MDGF Gender Equal & Empowermt
End Date*: 12 Jul 2012
Country: Namibia Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   Multiple


The JP was intended to promote gender equality and empower women and girls in Namibia. In order to achieve this objective the project was articulated under three outcomes: 1) Increased awareness and capacity for protecting the rights of women and girls, with UNDP and UNICEF support, 2) Increased mainstreaming / integration of gender in national development policies and frameworks, under UNFPA lead, and 3) Enhance the well-being of targeted women and girls through food security and livelihood improvement initiatives, under FAO Lead. The JP made significant achievements as a whole but was limited by the design of outcome 3 that did not integrate activities under outcomes 1 and 2 in deliberate, consistent and comprehensive manner.  Significant contributions were made towards sensitization and awareness raising of gender in the Namibian society by the development of gender syllabi in tertiary institutions, particularly for journalism students. An important achievement was made through the strengthening of the law enforcement in Namibia by operational support to the Women and Child protection units (WAPCU) and training in gender responsive laws to law enforcement officers.

The JP also contributed towards the mainstreaming of gender into national development frameworks through the development or finalization of key instruments and documents, in particular the finalization of the National Gender Policy (NGP), the guiding framework for gender in Namibia, and the National Gender Action Plan that was developed and approved.

The JP contributed significantly to the well-being and empowerment of poor female heads of households and other vulnerable communities, through the provision of skills and knowledge to produce food and generate income and provision of productive assets to 107 women and girls. This was limited by the lack of togetherness of the JP in integrating some activities under outcomes 1 and 2 that would have enhanced attainment of the outcome 3, such as social mobilization activities of the Community Capacity Enhancement (CCE) programme.


Outcome 1:

Increased awareness and capacity for protecting the rights of women and girls (including reproductive rights).

Outcome achievements:

  • The actual outcome of increased awareness could not be measured in such a short life span. However a number of outputs are likely to contribute to achieving this outcome over the longer-term. This is based on interventions two-fold: a) development of the capacity for gender training in the country with various entry points and materials at the tertiary level (gender syllabi), at the law enforcement level (gender sensitive modules for Namibian police curriculum, a gender toolkit for media houses, training toolkits in gender based violence and male involvement (manual and Training of Trainers – TOT); b) Establishment of a platform for engagement in gender based violence through the development of the Gender Based Violence (GBV) plan of action and training of service providers. This has set the base for long-term continuous training in gender among university students.
  • The capacity for protecting the rights of women and girls was considerably strengthened by having the JP improve law enforcement in the country through a) increasing the capacity of the Ministry of Safety and Security (MoSS) to provide protection to women and children by equipping the WACPU and providing paralegal training in gender responsive laws and data to WACPU officers; b) Increasing the capacity of MoSS to investigate sexual assault offenders by revision of the rape kits for the forensic department and training health service providers in their use; c) Support to MoSS for the review of the Police curriculum to improve police responses to women and child protection cases. The support to WACPU contributed to increasing the visibility of the police in communities and raising awareness of women and children’s rights because the WACPU centers were made more user-friendly and accessible (secured type shelters with police officers and social welfare officers); d) support to a local shelter and guidance document developed to assists the MGECW (Ministry of Gender, Equality and Child Welfare) in scaling up shelters; e) support to Lifeline/Child line to strengthen the 116 phone help line and other supporting services.
  • In addition some of the specific outputs that contributed to the results included the training of 5 media houses on reporting sensitively and regularly on gender issues and GBV; develop and implement zero tolerance campaign for the protection of women and girls from violence, exploitation and abuse; the training of community volunteer groups in 7 regions on GBV and SRH.


Outcome 2:

Increased mainstreaming/integration of gender in national development policies and frameworks; and implementation of gender responsive Key Results Areas (KRA) policies, programmes and budgeting.

Outcome achievements:

  • Major strides were made in increasing mainstreaming of gender in national development policies and framework through the development of key guiding instruments, gender responsiveness assessments of sub-sectors and gender budgeting analysis of a further five ministries.  The National Gender Policy (NGP) was reviewed and approved and the National Gender Plan of Action was developed and approved. The NGP will play a crucial role in enhancing the mainstreaming of gender in national development policies and frameworks. Assessment of strategic sub-sectors for gender responsiveness in Education, Health and Agriculture, leading to the development of a gender needs assessment and strategy (completed in Education). The strategy identifies gaps in gender responsiveness that will provide evidence for planning and resource allocation budget requests fro gender related programmes and activities in the ministry. Gender budgeting analysis of the Youth, Trade and Industry, Safety and Security, Justice, and Lands, Resettlement and Rehabilitation ministries were undertaken for gaps in gender responsive budgeting. 40 government ministerial staff and 26 management staff from the Ministry of Justice were trained in Gender Responsive Budgeting and Gender Analysis respectively.


Outcome 3:

Enhancing the well-being of targeted women and girls through food security and livelihood improvement initiatives.

Outcome achievements:

  • 107 Poor Female Headed Households and other vulnerable communities were provided with skills and knowledge of how to produce food and generate income, as well as productive assets. However this success was limited by the lack of adequate preparatory activities and interventions to prepare the communities for these new concepts – for both vegetable gardens and livestock farming. There has however been continued support and follow up field training and extension service from the Ministry of Water and Forestry (MAWF) and regional monitoring by the MGECW. In terms of specific outputs nine income-generating projects were implemented in four of the study regions to benefit women and girls.


Best practices:

  • The Community Capacity Enhancement (CCE) facilitators were very successful in engaging communities, raising social development issues and taking them up to the municipalities and regional councils for intervention. Increasingly these have been including gender and HIV issues. The CCE facilitators proved a strong resource to keep community members active.
  • By strengthening and equipping the WACPUs the JP made a significant contribution to the provision of protection to women and children. Creating user-friendly spaces for women and children in residential communities makes it easier for abuse survivors to report cases.
  • UNESCO assessment of community radio stations and provision of training and basic equipment provided a powerful media platform for disseminating information on gender and GBV.


Lessons learned:

  • Livelihoods and other economic empowerment projects worked, well, with very little investment. They work better in mobilized communities that remain engaged with the development process, and when ethno-sociological factors are considered in the choice and management of projects. Further agro projects worked well when MAWF established longer-term relationship through the rural development centers that are manned by dedicated extension workers providing framers training and advisory services, and practical demonstrations at field level.
  • CCE methodology is potentially very good when entering communities and introducing projects relatively new to people.


More details can be found in the final project report:

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If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Namibia or the lead agency for the programme. The MPTF Office Portfolio Manager (or Country Director with Delegation of Authority) for this programme:

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