TAP is a mechanism to use Canada’s greatest resource – our people – to contribute to poverty reduction and contribute to achieving the SDGs
By Morag Humble, TAP-EDM Gender Advisor
The Technical Assistance Partnership – Expert Deployment Mechanism (TAP-EDM) project is a mechanism to use Canada’s greatest resource – our people – to contribute to poverty reduction and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) is a key driver for the project. When the Government of Canada launched the FIAP in 2017, it put forth a vision that promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls is the most effective approach to eradicate poverty and build a more peaceful, inclusive and prosperous world. TAP-EDM works like a living library, lending Canadian experts and leaders from a diversity of sectors, backgrounds, gender, cultural identities and regions across Canada to share their expertise with partner countries around the world. The project executes FIAP-aligned expert deployments in countries around the world, based on the needs identified by National Government Entities (NGEs) in those countries. All of TAP-EDM’s Technical Assistance Initiatives (TAIs) are aligned with both the SDGs and the six action areas of the FIAP.
TAP-EDM has the capacity to work in all ODA-eligible countries in a wide range of sectors providing that the initiatives are aimed at reducing both poverty and inequality not only from a gender, but also an intersectional lens. Once Global Affairs Canada approves a technical assistance request, Alinea’s TAP team mobilizes to find a Canadian with the right technical qualifications and prepares and supports that expert to share their expertise. Requests for technical assistance can be very broad – from strengthening national cooperative laws, to improving natural resource governance, to reducing plastic waste, and many other directions. With all the initiatives, we reinforce gender and social inclusion and work it into the technical assistance approach being delivered.
Why? There are so many reasons. Because, by eliminating barriers to equality and helping to create better opportunities, women and girls can be powerful agents of change and improve their own lives and those of their families, communities and countries. Because inequality has been growing for decades in almost every country around the world, and now contributes to the death of at least one person every four seconds, according to an Oxfam report released earlier this year. Because it reflects Canadian values and respect for human rights, our recognition of the inherent value of eliminating all forms of discrimination based on sex, race, ethnicity, place of birth, colour, religion, language, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, ability or migrant or refugee status. And because of the vast amount of evidence shows that improving gender equality, social inclusion and respect for diversity makes economic sense, leading to more sustainable, impactful projects and better development.
How? To begin with, Alinea’s TAP team of development professionals begins by integrating gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) into our recruitment processes and calls for experts, working to build a database of experts who truly reflect Canada’s many diversities. Then we work with NGE counterparts to build GESI into the Terms of Reference for the TAIs. Once the expert or experts needed for an assignment are selected, our team supports these experts to develop work plans that include best practices in good governance, environment, climate change mitigation, FIAP, human rights and other development priorities, regardless of the sector they’ll be working in. We provide the TAP experts with GESI-related briefing and training materials prior to departure, then provide an on-going help-desk function throughout their assignment, with regular check-ins, and coaching and mentoring where needed. The TAP team also supports each Canadian Expert throughout deployment and post-deployment with public engagement and outreach activities for Canadian audiences, to bring stories of the FIAP in action back to Canadians in their own words, and to amplify the voices of women and girl change agents from around the world.
“By eliminating barriers to equality and helping to create better opportunities, women and girls can be powerful agents of change and improve their own lives and those of their families, communities and countries.”