Gender Alliance for Development Centre
The Gender Alliance for Development Centre (GADC) is an Albanian non-profit organization operating all over Albania. GADC is a voice for Albanian women and a force for change. Our organization works to empower women and to create an equal and just future for low-income girls and women to get out of poverty and exclusion all over Albania. In order to stand up for the women’s rights and to empower them, GADC raises funds in Albania as well as internationally.
GADC‘s main thematic areas of expertise lie in:
· Ensuring women’s economic empowerment; Women’s Entrepreneurship
· Empower citizens to monitor local gender agenda
· Expanding women’s participation in politics and decision making
· Building peace and ending gender-based violence
· Advancing women’s rights in rural areas
GADC’s mission is to promote real and effective equality between women and men in all spheres of public and private life, across Albania.
Vision and values
GADC is committed to a vision of Albanian women and men having equal rights and equal access to opportunities, as well as full enjoyment of their personal integrity and choice. GADC works to empower women to move from one level of achievement to thenext into a peaceful and respectful environment.
The mission of GADC is achieved through:
· collecting and processing opinions and views of groups that benefit from the planning, implementation and evaluation of different projects;
· raising the awareness of different groups on gender issues;
· addressing problems that Albanian women face in different areas, such as: poverty, low participation in decision-making, domestic violence, trafficking, low access for information, etc;
· gathering, processing and distributing information on social issues;
· consolidating the network of collaborators all over Albania; studying social problems from a gender perspective;
· promoting and supporting women participation in decision-making;
· increasing the beneficiaries’ number (organizations and individuals) through expanding and improving services provided.
GADC’s main areas of expertise are:
Strengthening capacities of civil society. GADC provided support to many local CSOs in monitoring and influencing local agendas and policies. GADC has proudly supported tens of CSOs to get established, set up management systems, develop constituencies, network, fundraise, and advocate. This include CSOs that are now at the forefront of efforts to advance gender equity, free and fair elections, and vulnerable groups empowerment, such as the center “Vatra” in Vlora, “Women in Puka” association, Albanian Women Empowerment Network, and the Coalition for Free and Fair Election and for Sustainable Democracy. For the latest two organizations, GADC served as incubator for the first two years of their life. When the new law on NGOs entered into force, GADC assisted CSOs to understand and implement it in everyday life. On another instance, GADC assisted grassroots CSOs and media to promote and facilitate public demand on women economic rights, especially targeting vulnerable and marginalized communities in rural, informal, and urban areas. This included providing training to build capacities of local and small CSOs to influence local and national policy agendas. GADC has also offered networking opportunities to these organizations with their peers in other cities and countries, in order to extend their networking opportunities, experience sharing and lessons learned. During 2000 – 2004 GADC, with support by ILO, trained 300 women all over Albania to startup businesses and improve their managing skill.
Advancing human rights, antidiscrimination, and gender equity. Since its beginnings, GADC has served as a defender and promoter of human political, economic, and social rights of Albanian women and girls, and has supported advocacy initiatives benefiting other socially excluded groups such as the poor, Roma, the disabled, and LGBTI persons. This includes public support and contribution to the activities of the PRO LGBT organization and the Alliance against the Discrimination of LGBT Persons. GADC serves as an important actor and partner within Albania and in the wider region in initiatives to fight gender based violence, promote economic rights of women and men in the Albanian society, stands for gender equality and equity, respect of diversity and antidiscrimination in public service delivery, and encourage good governance.
Ensuring broad civic engagement in democratic development. GADC has expanded its work to entail citizen participation in ensuring free and fair elections and good governance, including improving public service delivery. In 2013, GADC set up the Coalition for Free and Fair Election and for Sustainable Democracy. 350 citizens monitored the 2013 elections, while in 2014, 550 observers monitored health services delivery in 12 regions of Albania and provided recommendations for improving this services. The Coalition also monitored the local elections in June 21, 2015, with 1000 monitors distributed randomly allover Albania. Currently, GADC is working in 10 municipalities to engage citizens and CSO representatives in assessing local governance performance.
Managing mid-size and large donor-funded programs. GADC has managed capacity development, advocacy, and public education programs funded by nearly all donors that support civil society development, democratic development, and good governance in Albania. For example, during 2007 – 2011, GADC implemented the ADA-funded project “Equity in Governance”, while in 2005 – 2008, GADC implemented the Institutional Capacity Building Project supported by the Open Society Foundation for Albania (Soros Foundation). GADC has received very good evaluation from CSOs beneficiaries and donors that have supported GADC work. To name one, Ms. Zineb Toumi Benjollun, former United Nations Resident Coordinator in Albania said: “GADC is a leading civil society organization in Albania that stands for human rights and for democracy.”
GADC has put in place its new strategic plan for 2017 – 2020 focusing on the following four strategic objectives: (i) provide high quality research and data to support better informed and evidence based decision-making by policymakers and other key stakeholders; (ii) manage knowledge produced by GADC to enable timely and innovative communication that meets the targeted needs of key stakeholders; (iii) meet the highest administrative and financial standards while supporting the needs of GADC’s personnel; and (iv) engage the unengaged.
GADC is led by an Executive Board; has set up organizational management policies and internal control systems; and conducts annual financial audits. Since 2002, GADC has, by its own request, been evaluated twice by external evaluators. Though GADC is professionally staffed, some aspects of the GADC’s work is carried out by its highly motivated volunteers. Most of GADC volunteers are university students, and GADC greatly benefits from their knowledge and motivation.
Highlights of the methodology used by GADC:
· Data gathering and analysis – baselines/studies/researches that build on desk research, interviews, focus groups, questionnaireadministration, Scorecard Methodology and SWOT analyses.
· Empowerment through Capacity Building – offering concrete support by providing capacity building activities that are tailor madefor the audience, follow-up with counselling and monitoring for long term impacts.
· Awareness raising – providing a strong component of awareness raising through central and local level direct interventions, real life examples and change agents; as well as TV and radio media debates and discussions.
· Networking – identification of all relevant actors and factors, active participation of stakeholders and grassroots organizations during project implementations steps.
· Lobbying and Advocacy – conducting lobbying activities in all areas of interest to women, monitoring the use of gendermainstreaming in policies to build the ground for lobbying for change and improvement, writing policy documents, petitions, open letters and position papers, providing successful implementation and ensure impact of the actions through the use of lobbying and advocacy techniques and consensus building.
Through the years, GADC has become an asset of Albanian civil society in the field of gender trainings, like: gender and development, women economical empowerment, gender sensitization training; advanced concepts on gender and societydevelopment; gender analysis and planning for programs and projects; gender training of trainers; gender mainstreaming in publicpolicies; gender and community development, etc. In addition, each year important campaigns on combating gender based violence, raising women participation in the voting process have been organized; conferences on women and economy, domesticviolence, minority issues, trafficking of women and girls have been held. GADC has already created its tradition on conducting and publishing researches on gender issues. Also, GADC is well- known for its publications in many issues of gender equality and women’s human right.