The Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney, University of Rajshahi, and World Vision Bangladesh (WVB) met together from 9 to 11 February 2020 in Dhaka to workshop a co-design process of a gender-transformative social accountability model and support start-up within WVB’s SHOMOTA project.
World Vision’s social accountability approach ‘Citizen Voice and Action’ (CVA) and current guidance was used as a basis upon which to strengthen and integrate gender and social inclusion considerations.
The workshop was attended by SHOMOTA project and WVB staff. SHOMOTA project staff and local government representatives from the three project implementation sites attended; WVB CVA Focal Points; WVB sector advisors; gender and social inclusion specialists; and two representatives of the USAID funded Nobo Jatra Program also joined the workshop.
The workshop participants provided important insights into the practical application of a gender-transformative social accountability (GTSA) approach in the SHOMOTA project sites. Through several SWOT [strengths-weakness-opportunities-threats] exercises, participants reflected on various proposals for strengthened gender and social inclusion across each phase of CVA. Our process was to ensure a GTSA model was contextualised to on-the-ground realities by those who will implement it.
Training activities within the workshop were also designed to increase capacity of SHOMOTA staff to effectively pilot the gender-transformative social accountability approach. The workshop included orientation on concepts of gender transformative change, social inclusion and social accountability. We also focused on principles of ‘do no harm’ and promoted the need to plan ahead to mitigate risks and unintended consequences from GTSA, particularly for marginalised people.
Participants were engaged by an energising roleplay activity to put into practice some of what they had learned about the GTSA model in the workshop. One group role played a ‘public speaking training’ for women and marginalised group, while another group role played ‘engagement of men to support women’s participation in the CVA working group’. The group used interactive activities and facilitation strategies effectively to sensitively deliver messages about gender equality.
We will be refining the gender-transformative social accountability model in the coming weeks, to provide guidance for WVB and partner staff implementing CVA within the SHOMOTA project.