Strengthening women and youth voices for climate action

Project
Active
August 2018 to April 2020

The 'Strengthening Women and Youth Voices' project will develop tools to enable women and young people to identify and articulate gender transformative priorities in response to climate change in Zanzibar and Northern Tanzania.

Women collecting clean water at a water pump

Men, women, and young people are affected by climate change in different ways. Their varying gender and age-related roles within households and in society mean that environmental impacts affect them in different ways. As a result, men, women and young people are likely to have different priorities when it comes to responding to climate change. 

Women and young people in particular are key to long-term social and economic development; it’s imperative to capture their voices, priorities and knowledge for effective climate change responses. Their needs are often marginalised because of social and cultural factors that reinforce structural inequalities, and their effective participation in public or community engagements is limited, regardless of the policies available. 

This project will develop a community-based learning tool that can be used by local government, community members, cooperatives and civil society organisations to identify gender-responsive and climate-specific priorities of women and young people, and how well those priorities are being met.

The participatory discussion approach will enable spaces for women and young people to fully articulate their priorities to organisations responsible for policy, planning, budgeting and investments to drive socially just, gender transformative and effective climate responses.

The project aims to build on the foundations laid by the development of Devolved Climate Finance (DCF) mechanisms in Mali, Senegal, Kenya and Tanzania and Zanzibar. 

The tool will also support local governments to evaluate how well their existing programmes respond to local priorities for gender-responsive climate investment, leading to more informed planning both for governments and cooperatives, as well as ongoing development of the DCF mechanism to new ecological contexts. 

To promote the evidence that the tool will generate, the project will establish a cohort of young leaders to advocate for gender and youth responsive climate-resilient investment. A peer-mentoring scheme for women and youth leaders will encourage activists and community leaders to maintain regular communication with each other and support continued activity, mutual problem solving and sharing ideas and learning. The scheme will utilise new, simple technologies that can facilitate communication between partners. 

Objectives

  • Develop and test a learning tool for civil society organisations, local governments and producer cooperatives that will help improve decision making on climate investments and national climate policies by recognising women and young peoples’ priorities, as well as how well these priorities are being met in Tanzania and Zanzibar
  • Build a cohort of women and youth leaders that can engage in campaigns by taking forward evidence and learning to influence policies at local and national scales in response to climate change, and
  • Improve decentralised climate finance mechanisms by establishing processes that guarantee genuine responses to women and young people’s priorities on climate change. This processes will deliver climate-resilience outcomes that are effective, socially just and gender transformative. 

Workshops in Zanzibar in February 2018 and Tanzania in February 2019 have brought partners including NGOs, community representatives and local government together to understand their interests in the tool, risks and appropriate format. 

What is IIED doing?

We will provide technical support to local partners, bringing a community-based participatory research approach to developing the tool and incorporating it into local governance and decision making. We will also support the testing of the tool in alternative contexts beyond Tanzania.