About Misean Cara
Misean Cara is an international and Irish faith-based missionary movement working with some of the most marginalised and vulnerable communities in developing countries. We are working to realise their human rights through delivery of basic services in the areas of education, health, livelihoods and income generation, as well as advocacy, networking and community mobilisation. Our movement is made up of 89 member organisations working in over 50 countries.
Our current Strategy 2017-2021 sets out key goals in the four thematic areas of education, health (including clean water & sanitation), sustainable livelihoods, and human rights. A fifth goal focuses on enhancing and promoting the missionary approach to development. The overall funding to projects supported across these areas in 2019 is outlined in the table below:
Sustainable Development Goal 5 aims to achieve Gender Equality and empower all women and girls. The Goal 5 targets include the ending of discrimination against women and girls, the eradication of early and forced marriage, of violence against women, and female genital mutilation. The UN has committed to ensuring equal access to health, education, economic resources, and ownership rights, and to “ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life”. Goal 5 contributes significantly to the other SDGs.
Ensuring that all men and women have equal access to health care and education is vital in the eradication of poverty (goal no. 1), the improvement of infrastructure (goal no. 9), and in increasing the productivity of agricultural plots (goal no. 15). The UN monitoring panel (2019) found ”insufficient progress on structural issues at the root of gender inequality, such as legal discrimination, unfair social norms and attitudes, decision-making on sexual and reproductive issues and low levels of political participation, are undermining the ability to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 5”.
Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will sustain economies and benefit societies and humanity at large.
In Ireland, the new Policy for International Development, “A Better World, Ireland’s Policy for International Development”1 recognises that women and girls along with other minorities often experience systemic levels of discrimination and marginalisation: “Gender inequality undermines the potential for transformative change: achieving gender equality could increase global GDP by US$12 trillion in a ten-year period.” And the policy reaffirms that “increasing levels of inequality further threaten the integrity of societies, destabilising peace and sustainable development, generating even greater humanitarian need.”
The same policy defines clearly its priorities: “Prioritising gender equality, reducing humanitarian need, climate action and strengthening governance are key strategies for directing Government development aid to target the furthest behind first. Gender equality is fundamental for transformation and reaching the furthest behind first. Women and girls remain hardest hit by the effects of extreme poverty, climate change and conflict. They are blocked from economic opportunity and women are disempowered by the burden of unpaid care and domestic responsibilities.” Women are underrepresented in social and political roles. They suffer from poor maternal and reproductive health, unequal education levels and are victims of gender stereotypes. The policy confirms that “the proven social and economic return of investing in women and girls also makes a strong case for prioritising gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in all facets of life.”
Misean Cara and Gender
Misean Cara’s Funding Policy (2019) prioritises interventions in support of marginalised communities, particularly key target groups including women and children, refugees and displaced people, and people with disabilities. Projects that provide healthcare services target women and children significantly. Gender is a cross-cutting theme in the Funding Policy, something that has encouraged project teams to design appropriate implementation strategies to ensure gender equality in target populations. An Innovation Fund, introduced in 2019, focussed on three thematic areas, one of which is girls’ education.
Misean Cara funded projects use various approaches to support gender equality, including:
- social and economic empowerment of women in sustainable livelihoods
- capacity development
- skills training
- girls’ education
- infant and maternal health
- social and political rights awareness
- elimination of harmful traditional practices (including FGM)
- prevention and protection from GBV and gender-based discrimination
- advocacy and policy influence.
The Mid-Term Review of the Strategy 2017-2021, conducted in late 2019, recommended that Misean Cara should develop a gender equality policy document. Identifying the current focus on women’s empowerment, the report recommends adopting a more inclusive approach to attain gender equality among target communities.
In relation to gender equality and women’s rights, members’ projects aim to address gender inequality and women’s economic marginalisation by upholding the rights of women in society particularly as a way to fight gender-based violence. It has been proved that sensitisation and promotion of the rights of women and girls contribute to the decrease of domestic violence and abuse. Gender education in schools brings an awareness among youth about the importance and the value of women’s role, thus initiating a process of gradual change of mentality in the target population.
Misean Cara members also provide capacity development to groups to ensure gender equality through specifically targeting women and girls. Projects promote girls’ education, social and economic rights of women with an emphasis on economic empowerment of women and the sensitisation of men about women’s rights.
A common feature of the projects funded by Misean Cara is our members’ commitment to the Missionary Approach to Development Intervention (MADI), which is characterised by a long-term, commitment to working with the most marginalised, excluded and vulnerable communities, and groups within communities. Inherently a faith-based approach, it adopts a holistic view of development, and seeks sustainable long-term solutions. The proposed evaluation will contribute to our understanding of how the various distinct implementation strategies used in the selected projects contribute to gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.
Tendering Procedure and Timeframe
Requests for the full invitation to tender document and additional information can be made via email to firstname.lastname@example.org in advance of submitting a tender proposal. A log will be kept of such queries and any additional information provided will be shared with other prospective tenderers. Preliminary indication by email of an intention to submit a tender proposal will ensure you are on this communication list.
Tender proposals will not exceed 12 pages in length, excluding appendices, if relevant, and will form part of the Terms of Reference in addition to this invitation to tender document. It is envisaged that the preferred tenderer will be selected within 2-3 weeks of submission deadline and contracts signed immediately thereafter.
Tender proposals must be submitted by email to Seamus Collins, Learning & Development Manager, at email@example.com with “Tender Proposal: Effectiveness Review of projects targeting gender Equality” stated in the email subject line.
Submission deadline for tender proposals is 18:00, May 11th 2020.