Africa Region Findings & Good Practice Infobriefs

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These briefs report on ongoing operational, economic, and sector work carried out by the World Bank and its member governments in the Africa Region.

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    East Africa-South Asia : Learning and Exchanging Indigenous Knowledge
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2003-03) Mohan, P.C.
    The Africa Region's Indigenous Knowledge for Development Program promotes client/staff action learning through cross regional exchanges to learn about the impact of Indigenous Knowledge (IK) systems in development. The first such exchange and learning tour was organized in September-October 2002 between three East African countries (Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda) and two South Asian countries (Sri Lanka and India). The exchange involved several innovative features which are highlighted here. The learning exchange included 16 development practitioners from Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda (i.e., project staff from Bank-supported projects in early childhood development and medicinal plant projects, civil society representatives, a traditional healer, a parliamentarian and a minister) accompanied by 5 Bank staff working on these projects. The group visited counterparts in Sri Lanka and India, including projects using informatics for social sector development.
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    Gender and Law : Eastern Africa Speaks
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 1999-01) Gopal, Gita ; Adu, Elizabeth
    Gender issues, particularly with respect to women's status and rights, have for a considerable period, been in the forefront of donors' dialogue on social issues with Africa. While Africa countries have fully acknowledged the seriousness of the issues and the urgent need for action, the dialogue has been largely donor-driven and issues and priorities been donor-set. Recognizing the need for a new approach in this important area for Africa's progress, the Bank, in collaboration with the Economic Commission for Africa, initiated a Gender and Law Program, in October 1997, at a Conference held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Program shifts responsibility for identification and implementation of themes, issues, and priorities to in-country stakeholders rather than with donors. During the Conference, each country delegation voiced its priorities for change. The issues included land-related challenges, family law, violence against women, employment and labor, and decentralized governance frameworks. Land and the division of household property are prime areas where gender-based disparities marginalize and disenfranchise women of Eastern Africa. In an effort to improve women's social and economic life, two main themes emerged: the impact of customary laws and practices and the need for effective implementation. The delegates emphasized the need to initiate action for change at grassroots, institutional, and policy making levels.