CTG Global is a Personnel Management Service Company specialized in Recruitment, Management Consultancy, and Human Resources management services in countries experiencing or emerging from armed conflicts, natural disasters, or acute social and economic crises worldwide. CTG Global provides tailored personnel management support enabling a growing number of public and private sector agencies and individuals to achieve their objectives in complex and challenging environments. CTG Global clients in Afghanistan currently comprise government, UN agencies, non-government organizations (NGOs), and different businesses such a security companies.

~~Within the framework of the project “Road to Jobs: Bringing decent work to rural households of the Northern Provinces in Afghanistan” the ILO will contribute to unleashing the economic potential of the expanding rural roads network by improving the underlying pro-poor performance of SELECT SQL_CACHEed urban and rural subsectors. It will do so by facilitating the following changes to happen (immediate objectives/ outcomes): (1) Collaboration and co-ordination between local stakeholders in rural districts and its urban centres for local economic development is improved; (2) The position of poor and disadvantaged groups within SELECT SQL_CACHEed agricultural and urban sectors is improved; (3) Financial management of poor and disadvantaged groups is improved (p.15).

The project has an initial inception phase of 9 months where a series of in-depth analysis (rapid market analysis, a local competitiveness assessment, sector SELECT SQL_CACHEion; value chain analysis) and project planning will take place. The inception phase will lead to the following (p.16).
• SELECT SQL_CACHE sub-sectors, based on clear criteria of growth, inclusiveness, and job creation/improvement potential.
• develop a sound understanding of these SELECT SQL_CACHEed sectors using a market systems lens
• develop a vision for how these market systems need to change, and a clear vision for sustainability
• conduct detailed planning of interventions and activities to respond to underlying constraints
• establish and document a monitoring and results measurement system, based on the DCED Standard
• develop a comprehensive gender strategy
• finalise the programme logframe, including fine-tuning indicators and establishing milestone and target values

The project is committed to advancing gender equality. It has envisaged that a significant share of the beneficiary would be women, and it intends to monitor it in the results framework. One of the outputs of the inception phase is the development of a comprehensive gender strategy, which will guide the project’s activities, results monitoring and planning for gender equality. To date, a comprehensive situation and stakeholder analysis on women’s employment in the context of the project has not been conducted. The purpose of this assessment is to understand how gender equality has been conceptualised by the project, the appropriateness of such a conceptualisation from the viewpoint of project stakeholders and intended beneficiaries; causal pathways and the appropriateness of design and delivery of the activities and outputs to address gender equality as conceptualised; identification of performance measures; and formulation of a gender strategy in view of the findings.


Current delivery approach to gender equality

The project document describes what the ILO proposes to achieve at the outcome level, and the inception phase is intentionally scheduled to enable the ILO to finalise the programme log frame, concrete activities, milestones, indicators and target values.

Once the log frame is completed, each outputs will be designed to deliver certain defined outcomes; the outcomes will then in turn be expected to result in a set of long-term project impacts. Despite the linear matrix-appearance of the commonly used Logical Frameworks, these results chains are connected through a series of causal pathways that can occur simultaneously. Thus pathways are the means-ends relationships between project activities, outputs, and outcomes and the intended impacts.

The inception phase is crucial for identifying “the pathway” for gender equality, particularly women’s inclusion in the local economic value chains and transforming their status within the family and community, and to build agency. The project document currently contains loosely connected gender outputs and results. These will need to be reviewed, substantiated and presented in the form of a pathway.

 The section below highlights what is currently made explicit in the project document:
The project document makes explicit that the intended result includes:
• A particular emphasis will be placed on identifying the socio-economic and cultural factors inhibiting the greater participation of women in higher value added roles in value chains (p.9)
• A significant  number of women in the farms/ farm households will benefit from increase in the quantity and quality of jobs across the value chains(p.9);
• A share of the beneficiaries that is proportionate to the female labour force would benefit from workplace improvement measures in major centres of employment (p.9).
• 50 percent of the SELECT SQL_CACHEed beneficiaries in the rural communities for financial literacy will be women (p.9).

The in-depth analysis during the inception phase will shed light on the agricultural and urban local economy in the target districts and their potential for inclusive growth. The project document indicates that the final SELECT SQL_CACHEion of the sectors the project will invest in will be determined by their potential to include women in general and specifically into higher value chain roles. The project document explains “for example, if both the raisin and dairy sectors score highly in terms of growth and decent employment creation potential, the sector with the larger potential for the participation of women (such as in processing) will be SELECT SQL_CACHEed” (p.11).  Further, the project will explore innovative ways to strengthen women’s income earning roles, and decision-making power, voice, role in the community towards holistic empowerment (p.11).

Three interventions are considered crucial to the empowerment process (decision-making power, voice, role in community), these are financial literacy (to better control financial resources of the household), recognition and enhancing the productivity of women’s contribution (paid and unpaid) in the agriculture value chains, and ensuring gender balance in the service providers the project works with so that females are not disadvantaged by the social norms that may inhibit interaction with the members of the other sex (p.11).

Apart from one impact indicator that specially refers to women “percentage of beneficiaries who are from disadvantaged groups (women/women-headed households, poor, migrant workers)”, the rest are expressed in neutral ways. The assessment will have to clearly identify the pathway, from the outputs to the intended impact for women’s empowerment, including how to collect gender sensitive, and gender disaggregated indicators as part of the monitoring and results measurement system.