Egyptian women's citizenship Initiative
The Ministry of State for Administrative Development

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
The Women Citizenship project was initiated with the goal to ensure women's basic citizenship rights during the democratic transition in Egypt, through assisting poor and disabled women and those in rural or marginalized areas to have an impact on the political choice as voters and their economic and social identity as citizens The project's main objective is that of increasing women's political participation and enhancing their economic positioning through supporting the citizen initiatives aiming at facilitating the ongoing national registration process for the issuance of national ID cards to women. The initiative’s scope includes the marginalized poor, illiterate, disabled, and elderly women. The importance of the Initiative stems from its responsiveness to the needs and condition of Egyptian women, as well as from its fostering a culture of inclusion that is a critical to a democratic transition that is founded upon the rule of law, equal citizenship, and respect for human rights and dignity. The possession of ID cards will provide women with a voice in the political arena in terms of the decision-making process and the shaping of policy. In this sense, the Initiative is a model for gender sensitive mechanisms of service delivery and outreach to marginalized communities, especially to poor and illiterate women. The nationally-led Initiative is based on an approach combining awareness raising about the importance of ID cards, information about the registration process and documents required to register for an ID card, facilitating the process of registration and issuance of the ID Cards and linkages to different micro and small credit schemes Women's low participation and lacking visibility in the public sphere is often due to the absence of official documents, such as ID cards. Millions of Egyptian women are unable to apply for a job in the formal sector, to access government services including public health facilities, literacy programmers, financial services and employment positions, or obtain property titles and deeds. For millions of poor women living in Egypt, to exercise their rights as full citizens without IDs and birth certificates is impossible. And, while there have been initiatives supporting the issuance of ID cards to women, the number of women without ID cards across the country remains at a high of approximately 5 million according to the mapping study of the Civil Status Registry at the Ministry of Interior,, 80% of which are in rural areas where social traditions, lacking awareness, and logistical obstacles have combined to undervalue the participation of women in the public sphere therefore depriving them from exercising their citizenship rights. The desire of men to curb women’s mobility is a main reason behind the fact that so many Egyptian women do not have ID cards as is the cost of issuing an ID card. Women are usually only encouraged to register for ID cards if their male relatives perceive a financial benefit from their doing so. Moreover, there are allegations that a number of political parties have been issuing IDs to residents of poor and rural areas in exchange for their vote in the parliamentary and presidential elections and in the referendums around the constitution

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The “Citizenship Initiative”, has been started and funded through the UN Women Global Programme “Gender and Democratic Governance: Delivering Services for Women.” The Global Programme is a joint initiative of the United Nations Development Fund for Women and the United Nations Development Fund Democratic Governance Group, Bureau for Development Policy. Its purpose is to enhance women’s influence and participation in the governance of service delivery. The focus of this programme which is grounded in country level practice is on building a body of knowledge about the challenges and solutions to the gender sensitive governance of public services. This programme is a frame of reference for the Initiative which has received support from Austria, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Ireland, Japan, Australia, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the European Union (EU). The importance of the Initiative stems from its responsiveness to the needs and condition of Egyptian women, as well as from its fostering a culture of inclusion that is a critical to a democratic transition that is founded upon the rule of law, equal citizenship, and respect for human rights and dignity. The possession of ID cards will provide women with “a voice in the political arena in terms of the decision-making process and the shaping of policy.” In this sense, the Initiative is a model for gender sensitive mechanisms of service delivery and outreach to marginalized communities, especially to poor and illiterate women. The joint program between UN WOMEN, UNDP, Social Fund for Development (SFD), Ministry of Sate for Administrative Development (MSAD), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) was signed on the 15th of November 2011 MSAD’s mandate is to enhance the efficiency of governmental machinery so that it can deliver quality public services to citizens. The vital statistics system in Egypt is a centralized one with MSAD being the repository of all national data bases MSAD added different implementation models, implementing through Social Fund of Development, National Council Women, governorates, and NGOs The “Your ID Your Rights” implementation follow these steps, analyzed and designed by the project team, to assure the efficiency of the project goals, to target correct women group. A coordination Unit (CU) was established within MSAD and is headed by a general manager, and manned by a project management team, IT and financial and legal affairs staff. This CU is responsible for communicating and coordinating the input of relevant government stakeholders, including governor offices. In that context local authorities are proving to be invaluable allies providing access to the villages and local units as well as providing logistical support as needed. In addition a dashboard portal is being developed MSAD to include information on the women who have registered as well as basic information on their economic and social status. This dashboard will be used as a tool for managing the project, and for outreach and monitoring purposes The communication campaign and awareness raising strategy was formulated to include Public Services Announcements (PSAs), jingles, songs, documentaries, printed materials (banners, sticker posters and t-shirts) as well as a social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter, and a documentary showing testimonials from women who obtained their IDs through the Initiative

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
The women citizenship initiative employs strategies, mechanisms, models, messages, and forms partnerships (e.g. mobile registrars, ambassador groups, field-testing of citizenship campaign messages, local unit employees, community leaders, etc. ) that help marginalized women access their basic citizenship rights in the following ways: • The outreach to women relied on door to door and face to face interaction with the women, also the initiative provides a free of charge service for the targeted who cannot afford the cost of the ID card ($2.5) • A Coordination Unit inside MSAD has been established, to effectively manage the implementation of activities and progress • Different outreach models were developed to ensure that the initiative is efficiently delivering ID cards to the targeted women. • A power mapping exercise is conducted in each governorate to asses and identifies the best / most suitable implementing partner, which ensures a swift ID issuance process. • The use of social media tools for the campaign (PSAs, jingles, songs, media monitoring, Twitter and Facebook) is successfully reaching a wide range of people and making the project extremely visible. ADashboard Management System and Data Base have been developed to contain information( marital status, address, disability status, breadwinners or not,etc.) about the women targeted throughout the ID cards registration and issuance process to even include those who were not eligible to issue their ID cards for a later targeting and assistance.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The Coordination Unit Team at the Ministry of State for Adminstrative Development designed a workflow of the issuance process originated by the initiative, as it contains essential steps to achieve desired results. The following diagram illustrates the process to issue Id cards in the Your ID Your Rights initiative: • A safe and culturally accepted environment was established for the women who did not need to travel distances to register for IDs, or deal with complicated bureaucratic procedures. The process was simplified and convenient arrangements were made to ensure that women remained within their comfort zone. • Awareness Campaign, by communicating with citizens and women regarding national campaign details; benefits, rules, and outcomes • Registration phase: register women who have no National ID card issued before, building complete database with all women registered in the campaign. • Nominations phase: Check civil registry records for women to join campaign: to ensure there are records for them or in case they have no birth records , we flag them for further work. • Targeting Phase: Prepare a list of the eligible women to issue their IDs based on the report of the Civil Status Registry, which is then distributed to the outreach partner who inform the targeted of the dates of the photo-shoot in the respective village. • Issuance Phase: Mobile Registrars (mobile units) are sent to the villages to take photos of the targeted women to issue their ID cards. The rules and required papers are communicated to them before photo-shoot day. • Delivery Phase: After two from the issuance phase, women receive their ID card with the assistance of the implementing partner. Also, the following model shows different implementations models experimented: 1. SFD/ NCW Model In this Model, a protocol is signed off between MSAD and implementing partners, and they assign project implementation to their regional offices or branches in different governorates 2. Governorate Model In this Model, a protocol is signed off from MSAD and Governor, MSAD works directly with Governorate office, and technology centers to work on the execution plan (training for collecting data, data entry to registration applications on campaign application, then following-up with women to be photoshooted, then delivering them the ID cards), as they have outreach to women in villages as all technology centers’ employees are originally from such villages so they are reach women easily. MSAD the role of execution leadership, and monitoring as well. 3. NGO Model This model is operationally as the MSAD-Governorate one, the difference is that UNWomen handles the financial cycle and liabilities with NGOs or women based volunteering groups. As for the management and coordination working engine, which is used and following by the coordination unit in MSAD, in order to manage the project activities, and monitor and control any issues occurred, to reach the project planned results, this process is: 1. Initiation phase of project phase 2. Planning phase of project phase logistics and procedures 3. Execution phase 4. Monitor and control project activities, and 5. Closing the phase (target, milestone, governorate,)

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The implementation involved stakeholders were: Initiative main strategic partners; 1. MOFA: Ministry of Foreign affairs 2. MOI: Ministry of Interior (civil state organization) 3. MSAD: Ministry of State For administrative Development 4. SFD: Social Fund of Development 5. SIS: State Information Service 6. UN Women: United Nations Entity for Gender Equity the empowerment of Women 7. UNDP: United Nations Development Programme Outreach Implementing partners in field: 1. NCW: National Council of Women 2. Governorates (Local Units) 3. MOLD: Ministry of Local Development 4. NGOs: different NGOs in different governorates for the outreach activity
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
UN Women is leading the mobilization of resources to implement the citizenship initiative free of charge with a target of 2 million ID cards by 2015. The Citizenship Initiative has been funded by Spain, Austria, the EU, the USAID and the UNDP. The estimated cost per an ID card is around $3.5 which includes the outreach costs ($2.5 for the purchase of one ID application Form +$1 for the outreach costs). In addition, there are other costs related to the staffing of the Coordination Unit, the missions in rural Egypt, the development and management of the Data Base, the awareness raising tools and orientation sessions. Since 2011, UN Women mobilized approximately 2.4 million dollars. This amount can only issue around 460,000 ID cards between 2011 and 2015. More resources is needed to reach the target of 2 million ID cards by 2015.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
Coordination mechanism and Implementation models: UN Women developed a coordination unit within the Ministry of State and Administrative Development to synchronized efforts and procedures between the government partners to provide mobile units to marginalized areas as well as different execution models to facilitate the issuance of ID Cards in the different governorates of Egypt. Database and dashboard portal that includes information on the women who have registered as well as basic information on their economic and social status. It is used as a tool for managing the project, for outreach and monitoring purposes. The database also contains information on women not eligible to receive the ID cards, so that action can be taken in the future. Public Outreach Strategy relying on door to door and face to face interaction with women and involvement of Citizenship Ambassadors Groups to communicate to the women the importance and benefits of applying for ID Cards. Mapping study process to identify and target women with no ID cards in rural and marginalized areas as well as the best outreach implementing partner in the targeted governorates Communication campaign and awareness raising strategy, including Public Service Announcements, social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter, jingles and songs, as well as documentaries. (Two toolkits have been developed to inform illiterate/literate women of the benefits of having their economic, political and social rights. They are composed of two parts: an activity booklet conveying messages regarding citizenship rights in a format that suits the needs of illiterate/literate women and an info-graphic video with 2D, 3D, and live shooting components.)

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
The progress was monitored by different means; the major ones are the numbers of outreached women, numbers of ID cards issued. As for the working workflow implementation, and project coordination activities, the initiative were monitored by different tools: - Project Dashboard Monitor - Field reports - Quarter reports - MOMs - Protocols and MOU signed to initiate work - Execution planning documents for issuance phases - Progress reports Evaluation and controlling the progress differs from partner to another, from a functional partnership scheme to another, the project CU team implemented different scheme on that base.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
- Country political and security unstable situations are critical for big national projects in such a period, we managed this by planning for testing the project by a pilot phase in Qalyoubeya governorate, chosen due to good reference and support for governorate and his technical office team. After this, we started p - Many governmental bodies and agencies are not cooperative or responsive after the revolution, so it was not easy to plan for project execution in cooperation with different agencies’ effort. We are trying to manage this challenge by carefully choosing agencies whose management team is knowledgeable and with high interest in promoting for project objectives with their work field vision and activities - Project budgetary amounts were underestimated for some activities at the beginning of the project implementation, and other items were not planned for, we managed this to test financial resources needed in the pilot phase on a small scale, and check results after this phase to adjust. - The economy and the post revolution deceleration constitutes a significant challenge to the scaling up of the Initiative nationally and to the adjustments that will have to be continuously effectuated to maintain the efficiency of the process and its continued relevance. Being fully cognizant of this considerable obstacle, UN Women and UNDP have followed a number of measures designed to make the process cost effective. - Civil State of Organization was not giving much capacity and support to the project in such country situation, being iterative in implementation helped the Coordination unit to manage accordingly - As for the technological part, and data quality, most of implementing partners were not recognizing the importance of consolidating all women information in database and having all project activities counted in a systematic or organized manner over different tools, training was the only way to reach these points.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
As the initiative awareness campaign and motto message tells: Your ID Your Rights, these are the major key benefits of the initiative, women cannot obtain any of their social, political, or economical rights without being identified as citizen first, and issuing National ID cards is the basic and mandatory entrance for them to start receiving any of their rights. Women were able to start getting their basic health services, social pension, food subsidies, etc. Targeted women are contacted enroll in economic and legal assistance schemes by the SFD and the NCW to receive micro- credits or small project loans As for the working process and implementation side, benefits were clear in the data collection and outreach, awareness increase, and having a complete and updated record of women status along the project implementation, which helped in the easy communication and reach-out to women, and added more value to the statistical and analytical part of the process.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The Women Citizenship Initiative has been chosen as a solution in the first Arab States south-south development Expo, hosted by the government of Qatar in Doha as it could be replicated in other Arab countries facing the same political and development challenges. The initiative also attracted many national partners to support it and received support from the National Women Machinery, Ministers, Governors and the Deputy Prime Minister. The initiative is sustainable because it is nationally led and owned and has also received attention and support from the United Nations and the Donor Community. The implementation of the initiative started in 4 Governorates and now it is being scaled up to reach 20 more governorates. The initiative is also enhancing the responsiveness of the Government’s services to promote women citizenship rights through technical support for the Government with the mobile registrar units and the establishment of mapping and coordination mechanisms inside MSAD which makes the initiative sustainable even with the end of the funding period. In addition, a Women’s Unit has been established within MSAD to ensure the mainstreaming of gender in the Ministry’s projects as well as leading women’s centered project which ensures ownership and sustainability of the concept inside the government. According to national statistics, there are 5 million women with no ID cards in Egypt (around 6% of the population), thus they are excluded from the political, economic and social development plans. To address this gap, the women citizenship initiative aims “to ensure women’s basic citizenship rights during the democratic transition in Egypt” by enabling poor and marginalized women living in rural or marginalized areas to issue their national ID Cards and thus access their full rights as citizens. Once this objective is achieved, women will be able right away to access polls, vote, and seek membership in political parties. The ID Cards will also enable them to access government services including medical care in a public hospital, processing for a property title or deed, literacy programs, banking services, working positions and loan programs. Thus, the initiative has an immediate impact on the women’s lives.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
• Political will as well as the security on the ground are the determinants of an enabling environment in the implementation of the citizenship initiative. • Developing different outreach models were found effective in ensuring that the initiative is efficiently delivering ID cards to the targeted women. • Conducting a mapping exercise in each governorate to asses and identify the best / most suitable implementing partner ensures a swift ID issuance process. • The mobilization of young people gives them an opportunity to become active citizens through their engagement as supporters and volunteers in the implementation of citizenship initiative. • Collaboration between the United Nations agencies via UN Women as the lead agency and the Government of Egypt via MSAD has ensured mutual understanding and efficient collaboration. Identifying clear roles for UN Women and MSAD early in the project ensured that there was no duplication of effort and helped produce synergies from both partners. • Proper and timely documentation of project achievements has ensured having updated records of project documents and is expected to support the project for future resource mobilization. • The use of social media tools for the campaign (PSAs, jingles, songs, media monitoring, Twitter and Facebook) is successfully reaching a wide range of people and making the project extremely visible. • Further attention is required in the training of field officers so that they can contribute to effectively raising the awareness of the community about the importance of the ID as a tool to exercise their citizenship and access their rights. • Coordination is a definite challenge but also an important lesson learned during the implementation of such an intervention, especially when multiple government organizations and partners are involved. Any failure in delivering on commitments proffered or even delinquency in the process would entail loss of interest in the Initiative and worse, loss of trust in the governments’ willingness and ability to deliver citizen centered responsive services. • Establishing the CU as a backstopping mechanism was therefore critical to the management of the process, ensuring that each of the partners is performing its role and that the implementation of sequential activities, is proceeding according to plan. • The clear identification of roles at the onset of planning for the Initiative ensured that there would be no duplication but rather synergetic cooperation between the partners. • The implementation of activities relies to a significant degree on existing resources of government and civil society partners which maximizes the cost effectiveness of the initiative. • The initiative has encouraged volunteer participation in the ground implementation of activities which also created momentum and widened the scope of the initiative to include values of citizenship rights.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   The Ministry of State for Administrative Development
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Heba Rizk
Title:   Women Sector Projects Manager  
Telephone/ Fax:   +202 24000116 / +202 22628003
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   13 Salah Salam St,
Postal Code:   11763
City:   Nasr City
State/Province:   Cairo

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