| 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
● Progress of implementation
- The articles on GIAs were first introduced in the Framework Act on Women’s Development in 2002. First pilot projects were implemented on 10 projects by 9 organizations.
- The GIA initiative was expanded to central government agencies and regional government organizations in 2005. The number of participating organizations and projects increased from 53 organizations and 85 projects in 2005 to 292 organizations and 2,954 projects in 2011.
- The initiative began to be applied to local government agencies in 2006 and the regional and local offices of education in 2007.
- The Act on the Gender Impact Assessment was enacted on September 15, 2011. . The Act mandates that all new and revised legislation, mid- and long-term plans, and major government programs should be subject to an ex-ante gender analysis. Prior to the act, only limited numbers of programs were subject to GIAs. In March 2012, specific guidelines for the Act on the Gender Impact Assessment were introduced.
● Detailed process of the initiative
[Central government agencies:]
- The department in charge of GIAs in each agency submits a checklist for GIAs on relevant legislations, mid- and long-term projects over three years, major policy schemes to the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family (MOGEF).
- The MOGEF reviews the submitted checklist to make a decision on whether the project is exempt from the GIA reports and notifies the results. When the project falls in the exemption category, the process ends here. The criteria for exemption from GIA reports are outlined in the checklist form of the Guidelines for GIAs.
- When required, a GIA report is completed and submitted from the relevant departments to the Ministry.
- The MOGEF responds with feedback. Opinions from the Ministry are divided into two categories: approval on the initial report and the suggestions for improvement.
- The department revises its report and submits the final report. When the MOGEF informed suggestions for improvement, the department applies the suggestions and reports the revised plan to the Ministry.
[Local and regional government institutions:]
- The department in charge if GIAs in a local or regional government agency submits a checklist for GIAs to the Gender Impact Assessment Officer assigned for the agency. Usually, the Gender Impact Assessment Officer is a director-general level public servant appointed by the head of local/regional government.
- The Gender Impact Assessment Officer reviews the submitted checklist and makes a decision on whether the project is exempt from the GIA reports. When the project falls in the exemption category, the process ends here. The criteria for exemption from GIA reports are outlined in the checklist form of the Guidelines for GIAs.
- When required, a GIA report is completed and submitted from the relevant departments to the Officer.
- The Gender Impact Assessment Officer responds with feedback on the reports.
- The department revises its report and submits a final report to the Officer.
[The Comprehensive GIA report]
- Central government agencies and local and regional government organizations report their annual outcomes on GIAs to the Minister of Gender Equality and Family in the following year.
- Based on these reports, the Minister presents the results in the cabinet meeting and submits the comprehensive GIA report to the National Assembly.
[Special Gender Impact Assessments]
- For central, regional and local government projects that are closely related to the enhancement of women’s status, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family conducts the special GIAs and informs the outcomes to the agencies in charge of the projects.
| 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
● Central government agencies and local and regional government organizations conducted gender impact assessments on their projects and the results of assessments were mirrored in further policy making.
- The heads of central government agencies and local/regional government organizations appointed one of their staff members as Gender Impact Assessment Officer. The gender impact assessment officers at local and regional government organizations have responsibilities to review and provide feedback on the initial GIA reports and make suggestions on improving the projects.
● The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family oversees the whole process of reviewing the GIA reports and providing the feedback for the central government agencies. It also offers consulting services and hosts a number of education programs.
● The Korean Institute for Gender Equality Promotion and Education provided education and training programs on GIAs for public officials in charge of GIAs and the gender impact assessment officers.
● The Gender Impact Assessment Centers: The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family designated national and public research institutes and research centers at universities as Gender Impact Assessment Centers. There are 17 Gender Impact Assessment Centers, 16 at regional level and 1 at central government level. The Centers provide consulting services to relevant agencies and organizations working on GIAs.
| 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
● As of 2013, the total budget of 2.1 million USD was spent on the operation of the Gender Impact Assessment Centers, research on GIAs, and special GIAs.
● The Gender Impact Assessment Centers
- There are approximately 50 gender expert working at the Gender Impact Assessment Centers in the central government and 16 local areas. 250 experts in gender impact assessment trained in different policy fields are affiliated with 17 centers to support work of public servants on GIAs.
● The Online GIA System (http://gia.mogef.go.kr)
- The overall process of gender impact assessment is conducted on the website: creation of checklist/gender impact assessment reports, provision of feedback and reviews on the reports, and submission of revised reports after the review.
- The information on current status and statistics are provided on the website.
- Online consulting services offered by experts in the online system.
| 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
● In 2013, 20,372 projects conducted gender impact assessments.
- These are divided into 12,740 GIAs on legislations; 125 mid- and long-term projects; and 7,507 government programs.
- The increase in the number of projects under GIAs from 2,954 in 2011 to 14,792 in 2012 can be attributed to the enforcement of the Act on Gender Impact Assessment in 2012.
● The results of GIA reports show that 13,957 projects (68.5 percent of total) gained approval on the initial reports while 3,306 projects (16.2 percent of total) received recommendations for improvement. There were 3,109 projects (15.3 percent of total) that were exempt from gender impact assessment reports. The high level of initial approval was possible because many projects sought policy improvement measures in the first stage of writing the GIA reports. For legislations and regulations, their comprehensive traits provided less gender-related problems, which led to higher level of initial approval.
● Many revised their reports according to the feedback and opinions provided on their initial reports.
- Among 3,306 projects, 2,773 reports (83.9 percent) reflected on the feedback and revised their schemes.
| 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
● The establishment of online GIA system (http://gia.mogef.go.kr)
- The overall process of gender impact assessment (1) submission of checklist/gender impact assessment reports → (2) receipt of the feedback and reviews on the reports →(3) submission of revised reports after the review) is operated in the online system. Each stage provides online consulting services. In the online GIA system, all the relevant processes of GIA are shared with stakeholders, statistic data are produced, and outcomes of education are monitored.
● The Committee on Gender Impact Assessments
- The Vice Minister of Gender Equality and Family is the chair of the Committee on Gender Impact Assessments, which consists of 15 members from the Ministry of Strategy and Planning, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Security and Public Administration, and the private sector.
- The committee evaluates and coordinates GIA policy. Its quarterly meetings provide an arena for discussion on yearly schemes and reviews. Also, members discuss various ways to increase inter-governmental cooperation in the meetings.
● The annual report on gender impact assessment
- Central government agencies and local and regional government organizations report their annual outcomes relating to GIAs to the Minister of Gender Equality and Family each year. Based on these reports, the Minister submits comprehensive GIA report to the National Assembly. From 2014, the results are open to public following the revision of the law.
- The National Assembly can require other information on GIAs when necessary and provide audits and reviews on the initiative.
| 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
● Lack of understanding and awareness concerning GIAs by public servants was the major obstacle.
- During the introductory stage, the initiative was not substantially implemented due to lack of interest and knowledge by public officials at both central and regional levels. They had troubles when identifying suitable projects for GIAs and writing gender impact assessments reports.
- To address this problem and to ensure objectivity in the selection process, MOGEF has provided a checklist for selecting GIA projects.
- In addition, the Ministry has provided training for public servants to raise their awareness on GIAs and equip them with practical skills knowledge to help them carry out GIA-related duties.
- Finally, the Ministry has made efforts to enhance public awareness on GIAs by publishing a book on the best practices and by strengthening policy advertisement through the Internet platforms and traditional media coverage.
● Lower level of public awareness and participation:
- To reflect women’s needs and demands on women’s policy making, some regions created ‘the monitoring group for gender mainstreaming’ that engages homemakers, female students, and women’s rights activists. The Gender Impact Assessment Centers are taking initiatives.
- During the selection process of programs for special gender impact assessments, the partnership-based resources such as public contests that emphasize citizens’ participation are widely used by the government.