This strategy aims to have impacts at the institutional and policy levels, to inform the energy ministries and influence the content as well as the direction of the national energy policies in order to make them (more) gender-sensitive.
The main vehicle for policy influencing in Africa have been gender audits of national energy policy. The first three gender audits of national energy policies ever were held in Africa under the TIE-ENERGIA program, an EU-funded project with a strong focus on capacity building and policy influencing that ENERGIA led in Africa.These audits were held in Botswana, Kenya and Senegal.
Current policy influencing activities build on that experience, like the gender audit of the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) that has been finalised. Innovative approaches are also applied, such as a gender-sensitive organisational audit of the Ministry of Energy in Ghana.
Objectives of Gender Audits
- Assess the extent to which all internal policies, procedures, systems and practices address gender equality.
- Assess the general level of understanding and knowledge on gender and development among the energy ministries staff.
- Assess existing gender expertise, competence and the required capacity building/development.
- Identify gaps in organisational policy and practice on gender equality
- Assess the extent to which actions by energy ministries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals have taken gender issues into consideration.
- Develop a gender strategy/action plan that will assist the energy ministries to work towards addressing gender gaps.
Value of Gender Audits
- In-depth analysis of energy planning, budgets.
- Institutional capacity of ministries to implement gender-mainstreaming strategies.
- Links between gender, energy and the national objectives for poverty reduction strategies and for meeting the Millennium Development Goals.
- Identification of specific ways in which gender issues are addressed.
- Critical gender gaps in existing national energy policy formulation and implementation.
- Validation workshops to reach consensus of findings.
- Recommendations and actions with specific targets and time frames.
- Baseline information
- Recommendations on how to address gender related gaps
- A gender strategy / action plan that outlines activities to address and implement recommendations
- Development of key indicators to be measured during implementation of the activities
- Identification of training needs and opportunities to strengthen capacity of staff and management to deal with gender mainstreaming
- Report of process, methodology, findings and recommendations to address gaps, endorsed by ministries of energy.