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  • 1.
    Cortobius Fredriksson, Moa
    Södertörn University, School of Life Sciences.
    Involvement without Influence?: Theoretical and Organisational Premises for Women´s Empowerment in Development Programmes2011Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The objective of the thesis is to discuss how the theoretical and organisational premises of the gender approaches of development programmes affect their possibilities to empower women and to enhance gender equality. This will be done through a study of the gender approaches of six development programmes for democratic and economic governance in the water and sanitation sector located in Angola, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Paraguay and Philippines respectively. The programmes strive towards the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals and are financed by the Spanish Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund. The programmes‟ gender approaches are defined as: the way the programmes interpret the concepts of women‟s empowerment and gender equality; the way they incorporate the concepts into their programme design and organisational structure, and; the activities and strategies implemented to enhance women‟s empowerment and gender equality in the programme areas. The analysis of the gender approaches of the programmes will be centred on the five theoretical assumptions which together state that a) a gender approach based on a collective postulation, with; b) adequate mechanisms for women‟s influence and; c) a purposeful involvement of men, backed-up by; d) adequate resource and responsibility allocation, and; e) a gender integrated design enabling evaluation and monitoring, is more probable to empower women. The main findings of the thesis are that: 1) all of the six gender approaches of the programmes are fundamentally individualistic and driven by efficiency rationales; 2) women‟s possible influence is generally limited and partial because of inadequate scope of participatory spaces; 3) men are not considered in any of the gender approaches; 4) the responsibility allocation for gender issues is the most important organisational feature for the implementation of the approaches, but it is weak in the majority of the programmes; 5) the integration of gender in the programme design and the funding mechanisms appear to not affect the implementation directly. Based on the results of the thesis it is concluded that both the theoretical and organisational premises of the gender approaches create small possibilities for the programmes to empower women and to enhance gender equality. The results also point to what appears to be fundamental structural weaknesses in the present gender interpretation, integration and implementation of international development agencies.

  • 2.
    Cortobius Fredriksson, Moa
    Södertörn University College, School of Life Sciences.
    ProBenefit: Implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity in the Ecuadorian Amazon2009Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Legislation on benefit sharing dates back to 1992 and the commandment of the UNConvention on Biological Diversity, hence implementation still has few cases to fall back on(CBD, 1992). The case study of the project ProBenefit presented by the thesis highlights howlack of deliberation can undermine a democratic process. The objective of the thesis is thatProBenefit’s attempt to implement the standards of the CBD on access and benefit sharingwill highlight not only problems met by this specific project, but difficulties that generallymeet democratic processes in contexts of high inequality. To define if the project ProBenefitsucceeded in carrying out a deliberative process the project will be analyzed by the criteria:access to information, representation, legitimacy and involvement.The population in the project area of ProBenefit had a long history of social marginalization,which made it hard for foreign projects to gain legitimacy. The lack of independentorganizations and the late establishment of the project, which resulted in time shortage, madeit impossible to prevent the distrust of the local population. The failure of the projectcoordinators to ensure active participation of all stakeholders resulted in a late and lowinvolvement of the local participants. The absence of independent organization also madedemocratic legitimacy of the process questionable. Even if ProBenefit had a vision ofdemocratic deliberation the project was unable to break down the prevailing unequal powerdistribution which resulted in an unsustainable process and failure. The conclusion of thethesis is that the attainment of deliberation foremost depends on how a project deals with theexisting distribution of power and how it succeeds in involving all stakeholders.

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