ICLEI South Asia, under the Climate Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) programme, organised a virtual session on ‘Social Inclusion in Climate Resilience Planning’ at the ICLEI World Congress in Malmo, Sweden on the 12th of May 2022. The CDKN programme is supported by International Development Research Centre, Canada and the Royal Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The session aimed to highlight innovative means and solutions for social inclusion in climate resilience. It also presented a practical methodology of incorporating social inclusion in local resilience planning processes.
The CDKN Asia team led the discussions, where speakers described their experiences in creating and implementing gender strategies for climate programmes while developing policies and also on-ground implementation at various levels such as local, national and global. Ms. Kalyani Raj, Member-in-Charge (Environment and Climate Change), All India Women’s Conference, India; Dr. Nurun Nahar, Joint Chief & Project Director, National Resilience Programme, Programming Division, Bangladesh Planning Commission, Ministry of Planning, Government of Bangladesh; and Ms. Patricia Velasco, CDKN consultant were the panelists in the session moderated by Ms. Mairi Dupar, Senior Technical Advisor, Overseas Development Institute and Gender and Social Inclusion Lead for CDKN.
Some of the concerns and challenges shared by the speakers included the need to mainstream ‘third gender community’ into climate resilience programmes, robust data and strong monitoring and evaluation to ensure that the various programmes, policies and implementation are actually gender and socially inclusive.
“In terms of gender inclusion, there is a need for community participation that will make a huge difference. This is a social issue and it needs people-centric solutions,” said Ms. Raj.
Dr. Nahar focused on the importance of data. “There is social inclusion in our national policies, but having data will help us understand the gaps. We need more data related to social issues, which will help us get a perspective,” she said.
The speakers discussed the challenges faced and opportunities explored while working with the community (split gender groups, for instance) and the need to strengthen women’s confidence as spokespeople and advocates, in addition to strengthening donors’ and governments’ understanding of gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) issues in diverse contexts.
“In terms of interventions, we try to break the gender stereotypes and raise awareness. We encourage women’s participation, especially in the rural areas,” said Ms. Velasco.
“Gender requires consistent attention throughout the programme and project cycle for women and girls to have equal outcomes, to be equally climate-resilient as men and boys,” said Ms. Mairi Dupar.
A CDKN publication titled ‘Gender in Climate Action Training Pack – A Resource for Practitioners’ was introduced to help climate and development professionals to integrate gender perspectives into climate projects and programmes.
Towards the end of the event, the audience entered breakout rooms to play the ‘Climate and Society’ Game, which offered an interesting approach for sensitising participants by putting them in different ‘roles’ and ‘situations’, thereby improving their understanding of various intersecting community needs and the urgent need to promote gender and socially-inclusive climate actions. Both the training pack and the Game were very well received by the audience.