Capacity-building is essential to ensure that gender equality is effectively taken into account in project activities. All actors involved in the projects needs gender competence in order to make it possible for them to integrate a gender perspective, from the initial analysis, to planning and setting objectives, in the implementation process and in monitoring and evaluation. The capacity-building efforts may also need to include stakeholders and beneficiaries. A needs analysis of the type of capacity-building which is necessary for different actors needs to be carried out and a plan for implementation drawn up.
It is important to strengthen and upgrade the gender competence and understanding of the project team from the very beginning of the project. There are several possibilities for increasing staff know-how, which range from the traditional information exchange or short training to a very intensive process, involving the development of the organisation as well as the staff.
The awareness-raising, training, counselling or coaching being provided must be based on the needs and previous experience of the management and project staff on gender issues.
Long term, process-orientated competence development is a real process of change of staff mindsets, which aims to affect their attitudes, prejudices, values and knowledge on women and men, gender and gender equality..
The evaluator as well as the monitoring team needs to have different kinds of gender competence: theoretical knowledge, process competence, sectoral and methodological competence.
Reinforcing capacity on gender equality in Sweden
During the programming period 2007–2013, the Swedish Managing Authority financed the project ESF Jämt whose purpose was to assist other ESF funded projects with implementing gender equality. Between 2009 and 2012 eight project supporters and a national coordinator worked in ESF Jämt to make gender equality a central feature of selected European Social Fund projects and projects applying for funds. The methods used by the project supporters include:
- Initial talks and an introduction to gender equality;
- Concrete advice and ideas on how to integrate a gender equality perspective into the projects;
- Basic training and workshops in gender equality and gender mainstreaming.