Advancing gender equality: ECOWAS and UNDP training on data-driven initiatives
July 25, 2023
Saly, 17 July 2023 – The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Gender and Development Centre (EGDC), in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), successfully concluded a regional training on operationalizing the ECOWAS Gender Observatory (ECOGO). The three-day training, held from 13 to 15 July, witnessed the participation of 38 EGDC focal points, who received their certificates upon completion.
The training focused on equipping participants with essential skills and knowledge to effectively utilize the ECOGO platform, which is set to enable them the entry of statistical data on gender and development in their respective countries and generate reports.
Led by expert facilitators, the comprehensive instruction covered critical topics like data entry, gender data analysis and reporting. Hands-on experience with the digital platform strengthened participants' knowledge and skills, while group discussions fostered sharing of challenges and best practices for effective implementation. Furthermore, the three-day workshop addressed the challenges women face in the region, particularly the unequal access to essential social services, such as health, education and sanitation.
Data collection challenges are often a hurdle in advancing gender equality initiatives. “Inadequate reporting associated with most of our member states often leads to the lack of reliable, consistent and real-time data on the impact of its activities. Therefore, the Gender Observatory will facilitate effective tracking of progress, challenges and lessons learned on gender equality and women empowerment commitment in the region,” noted Njoya Tikum, Njoya Tikum, Director, UNDP Sub-Regional Hub for West and Central Africa.
Inadequate reporting associated with most of our member states often leads to the lack of reliable, consistent and real-time data on the impact of its activities.Njoya Tikum, Director, UNDP Sub-Regional Hub for West and Central Africa
In this regard, the ECOGO platform was developed to systematically address challenges and improve data-driven policymaking on gender-related issues. Additionally, it will amplify the visibility of ECOWAS Gender Development Centre’s (EGDC) tireless efforts in promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls in the region. Sandra Oulate Fattah, Director of the ECOWAS Gender Development Centre, highlighted the platform's significance, emphasizing how it will vastly improve systematic, real-time monitoring, evaluation, and reporting of EGDC's programmes and activities across member states.
In September 2023, the ECOGO Platform will be officially launched, with the participation of various regional and national stakeholders.
The training workshop, led by ECOWAS and UNDP, was made possible through the generous support of the Government of Canada and the European Union, specifically through the Spotlight Initiative.
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ECOWAS is a 15-member regional group with a mandate of promoting economic integration in all fields of activity of the constituting countries. The aim of the Community is to promote co-operation and integration, leading to the establishment of an economic union in West Africa in order to raise the living standards of its peoples, and to maintain and enhance economic stability, foster relations-among Member States and contribute to the progress and development of the African continent.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) works towards eradicating poverty, reducing inequalities, and building sustainable societies. UNDP-RSCA (Regional Service Centre for Africa) provides strategic support to UNDP's country offices in Africa, focusing on policy development, knowledge management, and program coordination.
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