The first days of the Summer School, which was held at the end of June as part of the Innovative Uzbekistan project, participants learned how to write projects for donor assistance to implement social and environmental initiatives. Even then, such a concept as “cross-cutting values” surfaced. It is often found in modern applications and it is important to be able not only to write down these values, but to be ready to put them into practice. This was analyzed at the training by an environmental expert from Belarus Daria Chumakova, as well as the head of the ODB Brussels Alyona Lis.
The summer school was held as part of "Innovative Uzbekistan" project, implemented by ODB Brussels (Belgium) in partnership with Eco Forum of Uzbekistan (Uzbekistan), the New Diplomacy (Czech Republic) with funding from the European Union.
Trainer from Belarus Darya Chumakova
When filling out an application to international donors, for example, for an environmental project, one can often see questions: how will you take care of the topic of gender, how will you ensure inclusion. Or, for example, a child protection project, and the application will ask how the organization will take care of the environment. All of these are examples of cross-cutting values.
As part of the training, which tells which cross-cutting values to pay attention to and how to implement them in practice, they considered three types: inclusion, ecology and gender.
Inclusion: make it comfortable not only for yourself, but also for those who are nearby
There is a lot of talk about inclusion at different levels. But still not everyone understands that it concerns not only people with disabilities. Some participants already knew this and shared a common definition of inclusion. It represents a comfortable participation of all citizens in the event, regardless of their additional needs: people with disabilities, parents with small children, pensioners, people with special needs.
For now, having a 100% inclusive event is a dream to strive for. Very often, even external conditions do not allow this. For example, it is difficult to find a room with a ramp and a separate toilet for people who use a wheelchair. But, as Daria Chumakova said, there is one modern way out: to conduct an online broadcast of any event. “In our organization, we know a lot about inclusion and try very hard to keep it. But it doesn't always work out. Then we decided that each of our events was additionally always broadcast online and everyone could join it. In our time, in the post-COVID-19 era, when many have mastered online tools for work, this has become even easier.”
What can be done as a first step towards event inclusiveness? For example, ask in the registration form what additional needs your target group has. In order to take the place of representatives of different target groups, who may have a variety of difficulties when attending an event, Daria played an interactive game with the participants. “I often come across the fact that the organizers claim that they know their target group and they do not have any additional needs. Such confidence is a very big mistake. Then I suggest that for the next event, let's make a questionnaire with the appropriate item and check how comfortable the participants really are.”
Gender lens of the project: what is it?
Alyona Lis introduced the participants of the Summer School to the concept of the gender component of the project. It turns out that 50% to 50% is not always about ensuring gender equality. Although donors often agree with this ratio, it is rather a formal approach. The percentages may vary depending on the target groups. It is common, for example, to ensure 30% participation of women in countries where they have limited access to events. In Belarus, for example, the other side is that the third sector is dominated by women and it is necessary to work on ensuring the presence of men at events.
“Gender equality is a fundamental value of the European Union,” Alyona says. - All acts and programs include this component to make society healthier and happier. In gender theory, there are not two genders, but the EU perceives gender as male and female.”
Alyona emphasized that it is important to learn how to calculate this component not formally, but so that it really affects the stability of the results. It is necessary to analyze both at the planning stage and at the implementation stage. At the planning stage, it must be understood that the results of the project will affect men and women differently. At the implementation stage, think about your target group. For example, if these are women with children, then do not put training on a weekday evening when they spend time with their families.
Cross-cutting values are goals in their own right and a comprehensive approach is needed to achieve them. They require action in various areas and therefore should be integrated into many EU programs and projects. It is important not only to prescribe them in the project, but to implement them as fully as possible in your project activities.
Text: Valeria Nikolaychik
Photo: Alyona Lis
This material has been prepared within the framework of the project "Innovative Uzbekistan" implemented by ODB Brussels (Belgium) in partnership with Eco Forum of Uzbekistan (Uzbekistan), the New Diplomacy (Czech Republic) funded by the European Union.
|The content is solely the responsibility of ODB Brussels and does not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.|