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Improving gender-sensitive policing services through community dialogue and training
The long conflict in Côte d’Ivoire has led to serious gender abuse and violence that persists after the ended conflict. One vital public service delivery to ensure safety for girls and women is the police. But to improve the gender sensitive policing changes are required at the legislative level, within the police and an active participation of the communities. Moreover, a dialogue between the three levels is needed to identify the challenges and to formulate relevant policy recommendations.
The project created a dialogue between Parliamentarians, Police and Population on safety matters for girls and women in the post-conflict situation of Cote d’Ivoire and the role the police could and should play. The dialogue entailed both an awareness raising of the issue and a discussion and elaboration of prioritized policy recommendations to improve gender sensitive policing.
The project trained the media on how to report on security challenges for girls and women and the role that the police could and should play to ensure a better security for girls and women.
The project undertook a SMS polling to capture the voice of the population regarding what gender areas should be the focus of the police in 2015/16. This was a concrete result of two UNDP Ivory Coast colleagues participating in the SHIFT Week of Innovative Action in Rwanda. During the event, they concluded that an easy-to-use SMS polling application to capture the voice of the population was innovative in Africa, relevant to the project and needed to be tested regarding cost effectiveness and quality of the results. As such, the piloting could have a great impact on how to capture the voice of the population on public service delivery in Cote d’Ivoire and in other African countries.
The project organized a mini INNOVAFRICA event to report out/share the results of the use of SMS polling with the National Institute of Statistics and relevant ministries and partners. It used the occasion for other entrepreneurs to show case their innovations in order to generate both a specific debate on the use of SMS polling and a general discussion on the value of innovation in general.
The partners were the Parliament (Women’s Caucus), the Police, the Ethic committees and the media.
One open dialogue event between Parliament, Police and Population to elaborate policy recommendations on how to improve gender sensitive policing; One report with policy recommendations on how to improve gender sensitive policing in 2015/2016; One training for the media on gender sensitive policing (60 participants: 38 journalists); Media coverage of gender sensitive policing: One documentary (English subtitles), 24 articles, 3 highlights of TV news, 10 radio emissions); One SMS polling report (around 37.876 Orange subscribers were invited to participate in the SMS polling, 4.738 people accepted the invitation, and 1.510 replied to the SMS survey. The results of the SMS polling were that the following 3 areas (amongst 10) should be the priority of the Parliament and police: rape, domestic violence and circumcision; Gender sensitive policing mainstreamed as an activity in the new EU/UNDP police project; One mini INNOVAFRICA event to showcase innovation in the Ivory Coast.
It is powerful to have an open dialogue event between the legislative level, the public service implementing level and the beneficiaries. The three levels did not know the perspective of the other levels and hence having the necessary information to identify main priorities to improve gender sensitive policing; If the media is trained and supported to cover complex and sensitive issues they are capable of doing it; MS polling is complex and requires time. The SMS format requires reflection on how to motive people to answer and to ensure that the questions are posed so they are easily understood (we are still analyzing whether: a) the SMS polling is cost effective compared to classic household surveys, b) whether the results are reliable).
Troels Sorensen: firstname.lastname@example.org