Renforcement des capacités de formation en leadership pour renforcer la participation des femmes dans la vie publique (Algérie)
The project’s principal objective was to build the capacity of women who are involved in NGOs, trade unions and political parties so that they have the confidence to participate in governance, particularly in local bodies in Algeria. This was to be achieved through leadership training in eight districts for at least 500 women; and a series of four seminars on women’s role in public life for at least 300 women. While the project was relevant, it was only partly effective, not efficient and difficult to judge its impact and sustainability.
Lessons from Project
A community and resource centre open not only to women refugees but also to local women is a significant opportunity to fight xenophobic sentiment and discriminatory discourse.
Projects aiming for a sub-grant component should research local law regarding fundraising and grant-giving at the design stage to prevent issues at the implementation stage.
Using social media tools for psychosocial support enhances interaction with academia around the world and thus strengthens both the project and similar networks worldwide.
A strong commitment by a refugee empowerment project to humanitarian principles of impartiality, neutrality and independence gains them trust and respect among both internal and external stakeholders, and will help them operate smoothly in the long term.
Involving host country citizens in the leadership of a refugee empowerment project is a good model of coexistence and sharing, allowing for refugees to build a relationship with the host community while maintaining links with their home country.
One of the expected mechanisms of sustainability foreseen – the training of trainers – did not take place. The concrete outputs – a video documentary and a “study” based on an opinion poll – are not of sufficient quality to be usable in Algeria. Although some of the women who participated came together in an informal “network”, experience suggests that the sustainability of such a network will depend entirely on the efforts of those involved in it and/or of a strategic approach to its maintenance by the grantee.
There were considerable delays in implementation which necessitated a project extension of eight months and a relocation of three of the four seminars to Tizi-Ouzou. Some of these delays were unavoidable however it cannot be argued that the fasting months of Ramadan in 2011 and 2012 were an acceptable excuse for inactivity. These should have been taken into account in the planning and time-tabling of events from the beginning.
The grantee persisted with the organization of training and seminars even when it became obvious, early in the project, that a shift in the exchange rate in Algeria would leave the project short of funds. The grantee became aware early in the project that a shift in the exchange rate would leave the project under-resourced but did nothing to review the workplan.
While the project was relevant at the time it was conceived and implemented, the introduction of quotas for women in Algeria significantly changed the status quo after 2012. It is not possible to gauge whether the projected multiplier effect did in fact take place. Nor is it possible to judge with absolute certainty whether participation in the project actually prompted more women to stand for election at any level.