In March 2015 the Gender Concerns Regional Coordinator travelled to Afghanistan to attend and assist the first inception workshop of our project “Bayan II – Inclusive Governance and Improved Security through Policy in Afghanistan”. For this project Gender Concerns International formed a consortium in The Hague with Oxfam Novib and Cordaid, and works together with eight local Afghan partner organisations. Gender Concerns International is responsible for the long-term outcome to get more qualified female politicians. To achieve this Gender Concerns works with two local partner organisations Women Human Rights and Media Organization (WHMO) and Development and Support of Afghan Women and Children Organization (DSAWCO).
The inception workshop on 2 March was the first time that all eight local partner organisations came together to meet and discuss their views on the project. After a short introduction with some general information about the structure of the project, the workshop quickly evolved into group discussions on how NGOs can make a bigger difference in Afghanistan. Each local organisation gave an explanation regarding their planned project activities and their desired outcomes. The induction workshop concluded with a brainstorming session between all the organisations about how to improve the project, how to coordinate the work of various organisations and combine expertise and reach a larger audience.
That same week a second workshop on lobby and advocacy was held. Each partner was asked to present their organisation's lobby and advocacy strategies. Plans were then discussed and analysed in groups to see how they could be adapted, improved and optimised to fit the project. In the afternoon the consortium provided a short presentation on how they approach lobby and advocacy. After this presentation the participants brainstormed on how to link the different tactics to each other to have a greater outreach and impact.
The workshop outcome was positive and the atmosphere was excellent. The project consists of very active and dedicated people who want to make a true difference in Afghanistan. We are confident that this project will be a success and are looking forward to the next implementation steps of the project.