Cross-Cutting Themes

Cross-cutting themes to advance Canada's Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP)

The project has designed three cross-cutting themes (CCT) to mainstream during the implementation of TAP:

  • Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI)
  • Environmental and Climate Action (ECA)
  • Governance and Human Rights (GHR)

A strategy for each of these themes determines how they will be integrated into each Technical Assistance Initiative (TAI) undertaken by our Canadian Experts. A TAI is measured against a three-point scale to determine the level of importance for each CCT to the initiative: Central focus, significant focus or cross-cutting.


TAP-EDM is grounded in the Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) and will contribute to advancing the FIAP across all its action areas, with an emphasis on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

Gender equality and social inclusion are at the core of TAP-EDM’s theory of change: by building the capacity of partner country government entities to identify and address gender-related issues and unequal impacts of public policies, laws, budgets, programs and initiatives, these national government entities will become more gender responsive  and inclusive, as well as more effective, accountable, sustainable, and resilient, which in turn will lead to improved conditions and well-being for the poorest, most marginalized and vulnerable people, in particular the women and girls within these groups.

Our GESI Strategy is to guide the mainstreaming of gender equality and social inclusion thoroughly across all aspects of the project. It consists of two key elements  that relate to the content and objectives of TAIs, as well as to the engagement of the Canadian experts who will deliver the TAIs.

Element 1: Maximize GESI integration in TAIs through Process Entry Points

From the review of the Task Authorization Form from a GESI perspective to the Canadian Expert’s workplan, GESI issues are mainstreamed across all steps and processes in the TAP-EDM Adaptive Deployment Model.

Element 2: Maximize Canadian Expert Diversity and Canadian Engagement through Outreach and Communication

TAP will recruit Canadian Experts from a diversity of sectors, backgrounds, gender, cultural identities, linguistic groups, and regions across Canada to share their expertise with partner countries around the world. Canadian Experts will be linked to or provided with GBA Plus and intercultural awareness training as part of the onboarding process. Canadian experts will participate in public engagement activities to highlight their project and the Canadian international assistance efforts, particularly as they relate to FIAP.

TAP’s ECA strategy guides the TAP team and Canadian Experts as we facilitate and deliver responsive Technical Assistance with partners. The primary objective of the ECA  strategy is to maximize the positive and minimize and mitigate the negative impacts from TAP project activities along the implementation continuum.

The ECA strategy is a comprehensive but succinct, flexible, practical framework that allows for recognition of the unique nature and local context of the various TAIs, while ensuring Canada and International standards and expectations are met.

The strategy’s guiding principles are:

  • Environment and climate action is mainstreamed
  • Canada’s national and international safeguard policies, information systems and approaches are always taken into account
  • Flexible fit for purpose approach is applied
  • Do no harm to environment or climate is the goal
  • Evidence-based decision-making is utilized
  • Risk is identified and managed
  • Ongoing continuous improvement is incorporated
  • Accountability

TAP’s ECA strategy is aligned with the environment and climate opportunities outlined in the six action areas of Canada’s FIAP.

ECA is mainstreamed in the TAP project in two ways:

Project management and administration

There are three entry points where environment and climate action can be integrated into the project:

  • Alignment of the TAI with the 17 SDGs and their 169 targets.
  • Development of a TAP carbon emission and carbon offset calculator
  • Development of a TAP sustainable travel and sustainable meeting guideline and checklist

Technical Assistance design and delivery

It is critical that ECA is mainstreamed during Technical Assistance design and delivery. ECA will be both a core action area for specific TAIs and a cross-cutting theme for all other TAIs under TAP. There are nine key entry points where ECA mechanisms and approaches can be identified and mainstreamed.

However, perhaps the single most important action taken by the project is applying a hybrid model of T.A. delivery. The hydrid model of T.A. delivery requires both in person and in country accompaniment by the Canadian Experts and, and where possible providing virtual or T.A. from a distance. This takes the form of desk review, relationship building, training, mentoring and policy recommendations to be done online in a virtual environment.

TAP’s GHR Strategy will be applied systematically across all the TAIs implemented through the project. The TAP project is working to strengthen the institutional capacity of national government entities (NGEs); good governance practices are tantamount to helping strengthen the public service in a country while also respecting human rights and play a major role as the main guarantor of human rights.

Therefor, good governance and human rights are at the heart of TAP’s work with NGEs:

  • We provide a diverse range of qualified Canadian Experts with a sound understanding of the expectations on how to instil GHR approaches to their work.
  • Each TAI will be analyzed from a Human Rights Based Approach to determine which international convention and protocols have a specific implication in the nature of the technical assistance provided.
  • We strive to build the capacity of NGEs to identify and address GHR issues in policies, laws, budgets, programs, and initiatives.
  • NGEs we work with become more transparent, inclusive, as well as more effective, accountable, sustainable, and resilient
  • This work leads to improved conditions and well-being of the most marginalized in society and promotes public service provision that meets the needs of people and strengthens their confidence in their political leaders and the governments bureaucracies of their people.

The GHR strategy uses a rating system to determine the centrality of governance and human rights issue for a TAI: as a central focus, a significant focus or crosscutting. This will guide the level of involvement of the GHR advisor in the implementation of the TAI, supporting the TAI’s project manager and Canadian Expert.

There are nine entry points to mainstreaming GHR in each TAI, from an assessment of the Task Authorization Form to recruitment and monitoring, evaluation, learning and reporting.

Several GHR tools will be used throughout the project to ensure this cross-cutting theme is applied systematically across all TAIs.