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Establishment of competencies

Establishment of competencies

The framework conditions for successful implementation of Gender Mainstreaming (GM) in public administration organisations include the development of an implementation concept, the implementation of the top-down principle, training measures and the allocation of competencies.

The establishment of clear and effective competencies plays an important part in the implementation of GM. The general description of tasks related to GM in the Joint Rules of Procedure for the Federal Government (GGO) is the basis for allocating competencies in practice. Under Section 2 of the GGO, all ministries have the task of taking GM into account in all political, legislative and administrative measures of the Federal Government. Each ministry is thereby responsible itself for allocating competencies in such a way that the implementation of GM is ensured. A general instruction to the effect that all employees are now obliged to integrate gender perspectives into their daily work is not sufficient.

Experience of implementing GM in federal and state government administrations so far shows that employees need support in the task of integrating gender perspectives into their daily work. There is often a lack of any exact conception of how GM can be implemented in practice into their specific areas of work. The question of who is to fulfil which task and thus who is responsible for the completion of the task is answered in an administrative organisation by means of the Allocation of Competencies, which exists to assign responsibility clearly and permit tasks to be allocated in as meaningful a way as possible.

The question of enabling employees to perform new tasks should be clarified within the framework of training measures and, in the long term, of staff development. Responsibility for the following tasks for the implementation of GM should be allocated accordingly.

These three levels of competency dovetail into each other and errors at one level will have a negative impact on the other levels.

The following inter-departmental aspects should generally be taken into account when allocating competencies within a department.

  • Competencies must as a whole be allocated in such a way that they satisfy the requirements for a comprehensive and systematically steered process at all levels of administrative action. The allocation of a certain task within an official apparatus affects the way the task is carried out. When allocating tasks and competencies, consideration should be given to the various hierarchical and functional levels within a ministry, such as the differences from senior management level down to sub-departmental level. This means allocating tasks and competencies to each level in accordance with its decision-making possibilities. For example, process steering for the whole ministry can hardly be undertaken by a clerk in the personnel department. At any rate, this task can be much more effectively undertaken by an inter-departmental steering group or a planning staff. There are more details of this under competencies for process steering.
    Moreover, the formal organisation of a ministry, including the Allocation of Competencies, does not necessarily follow the actual power structure. To avoid marginalisation, the persons with competency for GM must possess the necessary formal and informal power to make decisions.

  • When competency structures are being established for GM, it should be taken into account that gender equality is a cross-sectional task which is not just important for any one specific policy field or subject area. In terms of content, it is a matter of establishing gender equality as a cross-sectional feature of the “mainstream”, which should also be formally reflected in the allocation of competencies. Consequently, no special structures, or “sidestreams”, or “extras” should as a rule be established, but instead existing structures should be used. In the case, for example, of gender equality-oriented staff development, the department normally competent for staff development, as a rule the officer competent for personnel matters in the central department should deal with this rather than a Gender Officer or Gender Mainstreaming Officer. If the gender equality skills necessary for gender equality-oriented staff development does not exist there, it is possible to develop this by means of training and the use of external support. The gender equality officer can in this case also provide advice internally. She will as a rule have the necessary knowledge of gender equality and of the organisation on the basis of her rights of participation in personnel decisions. The gender equality officer is not, however, competent for GM. You can find out more about this under competency for specialist area steering.

  • Overall, care should be taken to provide the necessary competence development for all staff when allocating competencies for the implementing of GM. Nobody can carry out a new task well if she or he has not been provided beforehand with the skills to do it. The necessary gender competence required for the implementation of GM should therefore be imparted by means of training of staff. Specialist competence development can also be acquired by involving external competence, for example external support, the involvement of experts and other skilled persons from civil society.

  • In the introductory phase of GM, it may, as an exception, be meaningful to make the topic of special structures visible by, for example, having GM contact persons or setting up GM project groups. As such a procedure can also result in marginalisation of the subject, this must be done with care. Special structures are often simply abolished after a while without their having or retaining any sustained impact, so as to show that existing structures do not need to be changed. Clear competencies should have been allocated and permanent organisational structures created by the transition period at the latest. This is indispensable if the new practice is to become the rule.

  • To make the seriousness of the enterprise of introducing GM visible, it is a good idea to identify the existing competencies, e.g. for process steering in the ministry’s organigram. The respective tasks in connection with the implementation of GM in the ministry should be incorporated in the catalogue of tasks of all staff. If GM is to be seen as a task for all staff, then gender competence must be included in job and function descriptions.

erstellt von Administrator zuletzt verändert: 02.01.2010 20:07