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As part of the Pathways West Africa research project monitoring and evaluating the implementation of UN Resolution 1325 in Sierra Leone, Hussainatu Abdullah took part in a training workshop on Gender and Peacebuilding in early July. International Alert in collaboration with Civil Society Peacebuilding Engagement Committee (CSPEC), Sierra Leone organised the joint monitoring and evaluation training and cross-regional learning workshop in Freetown, Sierra Leone on 8-9 July 2009.

The objective of the workshop was to equip participants with skills that will enable them to develop measurable gender-sensitive indicators that can be used to monitor the implementation of projects supported by the Peacebuilding Commission/Fund (PBC/F) and in the development of a National Action Plan (NAP) on UN resolutions 1325 and 1820 in peace consolidation processes in Burundi, Liberia and Sierra Leone. These three countries are recipients of the PBC/F and have experience in developing NAP. Liberia is one of the first conflict ridden societies to launch a NAP on resolutions 1325 and 1820, while the other two countries are in the process of drafting their NAPs. Burundi has extensive experience in monitoring PBC/F supported projects.

Prior to the workshop, a brainstorming session was organised on the 7th July by Liberian and Sierra Leonean participants to identify priority issues in resolutions 1325 and 1820 for the Mano River sub-region (Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone). It was agreed that in addition to the objectives of the workshops, civil society organisations (CSOs) should:

- actively engage with sub-regional institutions such as the ECOWAS, the Mano River Union and the ECOWAS Women's Parliament to advocate and lobby for the genderisation of peace consolidation policies and programmes;

- be proactive and ensure their presence in policy initiatives on gender equality in the Mano River basin.

Hon Jenneh Kandeh, the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children's Affairs opened the workshop. She stated that the government is committed to achieving the objectives of Resolution 1325 and that it is central in the government's strategic gender plan 2009-11, its road map to achieving gender equality in post-war Sierra Leone. The workshop started with the operationalisation of key concepts in monitoring and evaluation techniques. This was followed up with exercises to help participants develop gender-sensitive indicators that are relevant to their contexts and a presentation from Burundi on their experience of monitoring PBC/F projects. The workshop ended with a round table discussion on NAPs on 10th July.

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