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The Department of Interior and Local Government of Cotabato City in partnership with SPARK! Philippines conducted a Gender and Development (GAD) Trainer’s Training for Civil Society Organization leaders on January 29-31, 2014 held at the St. Joseph Retreat House, Cotabato City.

“The advocacy on mainstreaming GAD cannot be done alone by the government. We need leaders like the strong CSO network to help us carry out this initiative, after all, this is our own city” said Director Abdillah of DILG Cotabato City.

Twenty community development leaders from different areas from South Central Mindanao responded to the call and attended the training. The Gender and Development (GAD) approach aims to provide Philippine government agencies, partners and donors with a common set of analytical concepts and tools for integrating gender concerns into development programs and projects. The training includes Gender Sensitivity, Gender Analysis, and Gender Mainstreaming, Tools for Gender Mainstreaming andGAD Plan and Budget components. It aims to capacitate LGUs through its development partners in the community in creating their GAD Plan (Gender and Development Plan) to address gender issues and concerns in their respective sectors and constituents as mandated by RA 9710. The highlight of the said activity was the introduction of the recently-signed Joint Memorandum Circular 2013 – 01 issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department and Budget and Management (DBM) and the Philippine Commission on Women on the Localization of the Magna Carta of Women.

As a result of the 3-day training, the 20 GAD trainers together with the city government commits to federate the civil society organizations and non-profit organizations to formally create an alliance that will significantly contribute to policy making and city planning particularly on mainstreaming GAD.

The participating NGO’s and CSO’s include: Noorus Salaam, LIPAD, Kadtuntaya Foundation, Inc. (KFI), SoLD Pax, Advocacy for Advancement and Development Mindanao, Advance Progress, Magbasa Kita Foundation Inc., Kapagawida Development Services Association, Inc. (KDSAI), and MTB- Mindanao Tulong Bakwet among others.

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