This paper is a report of a Workshop on Aid Effectiveness and Gender Equality in South East Asia, Bangkok, April 2007. It presents lessons from case studies in Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam and Timor Leste.
Workshop participants questioned how far the cause of gender equality is owned within most Asian societies and government. They called for more research and evidence on gender issues, including gender-disaggregated development statistics. The workshop concluded that (contrary to the views of many women’s NGOs) the Paris Declaration is a potentially useful framework for making aid work better for women. However, some of the changes associated with the Paris agenda, such as the reduction in donor staff capacity associated with the shift to programmatic spending and the diversion of effort into technical aid-delivery issues, have reduced the space for gender work. Aid efficiency arguments tend to favour large programmes over small targeted interventions with civil society that may have greater impact on gender.