Advancing Gender Equality Through Decentralization and Local Governance: DeLoG Gender Analysis 2023

Making Decentralization and Local Governance Gender Inclusive

As of April 2022, the DeLoG Secretariat, hosted by the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Global Affairs Canada (GAC) signed a special agreement to enhance the exchange on gender equal­ity and women’s rights as well as to diversify the exchange around decentralisation and local govern­ance (DLG) by including voices of the Global South into DeLoG.

For Canada, governance is inclusive – and therefore, more effective – when it equitably serves and engages all people, especially women and girls, in all their diversity. Inclusive governance means that approaches are informed by gender-based analysis, which also recognizes the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination experienced by persons, based on identity factors, such as gender identity, sexu­al orientation, age, race, ethnicity, disability, among others. It means that policies, services and institutions at the local level are accessible and responsive to the differential needs of all members of the society, and the institutions setting these policies and providing these services are held accountable for ensuring their approach is inclusive.

With this paper, the Development Partners Network on Decentralisation & Local Governance (DeLoG) aims to contribute to a better understanding of the current sta­tus, processes and challenges involved in establishing a more gender responsive and transformative approach of decentralisation in the network. It is the result of a series of DeLoG activities in the field of decentral­isation and local governance (DLG) with a particular focus on gender equality.

In conclusion, it outlines a new approach to discussing DLG and gender equality at the local level with the related support of Development Partners. Additionally, it highlights a selection of prac­tical implications and recommendations for the network and the ways in which DeLoG should proceed.  The full, meaningful, and effective participation of women and girls, in all their diversity and of others who face multiple and intersecting forms of discriminationin is a top priority for DeLoG, as set out in the 2030 Agenda, especially as targets under goals 5 and 16.


I. Assess to what extent DeLoG’s institutional structures and objectives integrate gender equality and have capacities in the field of DLG and gender equality

II. Understand how to operationalise DLG and gender equality as a focus theme for further collaboration

III. Recognise practical implications for next steps towards joint objectives for a more inclusive DeLoG

In chapter 2, the paper illustrates gender related fundamental concepts and definitions. The purpose of chapter 3 is to sketch out the existing links between decentralisation, local governance, and gender equal­ity. Chapter 4 takes an internal look at the structures and processes of the Network, such as the internal governance structures and the joint learning activities. Chapter 7 and 8 will summarise the current state and future directions for the network with regards to DLG and gender equality. The chapters will highlight trends as well as gaps and in conclusion discuss a selection of practical next steps and recommendations for the network’s way forward.’


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