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Reflecting on our shared GEM experience in Bato, Leyte and Binalonan, Pangasinan CeCs


By ajoramos - Posted on 29 November 2009
The National Computer Center, in partnership with the Association of Progressive Communications (APC) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), has successfully implemented the piloting of the Gender and Evaluation Methdology (GEM) in two Community eCenters in the Philippines. The workshops were conducted by the Molave Development Foundation, Inc. This innovative, unique, and value process has enriched knowledge and awareness amongst the different stakeholders and participants that ICTs and CeCs are not gender-neutral. While at the surface, women in the Philippines seem more empowered compared to those in other countries in the region, the evaluation has shown that women actually use the Internet and the CeCs differently from men. They have different information and learning needs, and even access the Internet at different times. The pilot study has also shown that CeCs need to be more proactive in promoting its services, and that there is a need to communicate more to members of the community, particularly with groups such as farmers, fisherfolk, businessmen and senior citizens. But the most compelling outcome of the GEM process is that there is a need to use the evaluation results to effect change in the management, capacity-building and sustainability of CeCs. And these changes need to occur at several levels: • Changes on how CeCs evaluate themselves • Changes on gender equality practice, through undertaking gender planning, coming up with a gender policy and through gender training • Changes in ICT practice – more initiatives should be carried out, such as capacity-building, ICT policy advocacy at various levels of government and other sectors, research and critical understanding of gender and local issues, sharing of best practices and lessons learned, and greater role of CeCs in resource mobilization. Finally, MDFI would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the CeCs of Bato and Binalonan for being the pioneers and prime movers of gender and GEM for CeCs, and to extend our appreciation to CeC Managers Ms. Marvin Amatorio (Bato), Ms. Elizabeth Aquino (Binalonan), as well as their amazing staff, for their superhuman talents in coordinating these workshops with their local government and constituents. We look forward to these managers presenting and sharing their experiences in the next Knowledge Exchange Conference. Kudos also to Ms. Eloisa San Mateo of NCC for her monumental understanding and patience, and her able guidance to all of those involved. Mabuhay kayong lahat! Mabuhay ang CeC knowledge workers!
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