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Workshop: Review of the Strategy for Gender and Community Development Network in Phase 2007-2011 (Mar 13, 2012)

Gender and Community Development Network (Gencomnet) is a voluntary network of non-governmental organizations, researchers, managers and practitioners who cooperate in the areas of activities for gender equality and equity, contributing to the development and implementation of gender equality policies of the State in Vietnam. Gencomnet is ending its strategy in the period 2007-2011 and preparing a strategy for a new phase. A review of the past activities and roles of Gencomnet is extremely important, particularly in the changing economic, political, social contexts which have exerted strong impacts on the operation of organizations in civil society networks.

On 13 October 2011, the workshop “Review of the Strategy of Gender and Community Development Network in the period 2007-2011” was held in Hanoi. The workshop aimed to summarize and evaluate the Gencomnet Strategy in the period 2007-2011 and identify areas of focus and orientations for development of a strategy in the period 2012-2015. The workshop attracted the participation of many individuals and organizations who were members of Gencomnet.

The period 2007-2011 observed many achievements of the network from the time of its establishment. The network conducted many practical activities and gradually demonstrated its role and position in the course of gender equality promotion in Vietnam. Through these activities, the network has created a certain voice in the policy advocacy process and has become known to many organizations as an active network in the fields of gender equality and community development. Gencomnet has increasingly strengthened its position in the relationships with partners, government agencies and regional networks. The network has quite stable relationships with donors such as ActionAid, UN Women, Embassy of Switzerland, Swiss Development Cooperation Agency (SDC), PyD and others. Some other donors, including the Embassy of Belgium, Oxfam UK, PACT Vietnam and the World Bank are also in a process of exploring the network.

However, cooperation with foreign and domestic partners has remained at participation and organization of conferences, workshops or conferences. Many member organizations have hardly involved in any training activities or their staff has not participated fully. The initial, successful steps have been small and the results have not been promoted to many donors. Consequently, Gencomnet could not expand its relationships with new donors. Although the network has built a gender database and a website but due to shortages in human and other resources, these activities have not been well implemented and results have been few. General evaluation shows that approximately 80% of the targets of the strategic plan have been implemented and achieved.

These results were initial achievements. The workshop considered that to have more solid progress and to overcome constraints, Gencomnet should develop a feasible operation strategy to attract the participation of its members. The network should maintain its internal and external relations more actively to fulfill its role in promoting women’s rights and gender equality in Vietnam and around the world. The network also needs a long-term, stable strategy on finance and human resources to maintain its operation better.

Huong Tram

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