The relationship among decentralization reforms, local development processes and women’s empowerment is the core theme of Universitas Forum, a publication of Knowledge, Innovations, Policies and Territorial Practices for the UN Millennium Platform (KIP). The publication highlights case studies from the perspective of those who actually contributed to empowering women and who engaged in development issues.
According to Sara Swartz, director of KIP and coordinator of the Universitas Forum, “Knowledge is central to empowerment and this theme is treated from different angles in many of the case studies in the publication. Women’s knowledge, and that of poor rural women in particular, is often not acknowledged as such, and as part of the processes to strengthen women’s personal, economic and political empowerment, much effort has been made to help existing knowledge emerge and gain legitimacy. This has produced concrete benefits for women involved and for their communities. Their knowledge of traditional plants and indigenous vegetables are just two examples”.
The editorial materials in the publication are products of research projects jointly undertaken by KIP with Husiron Commission, International Development Research Center of Canada, UN HABITAT and UN Women.
Previously, KIP and Devnet agreed to cooperate through their respective programmes, namely IDEASS and WINNER, to build the supply of information innovations for human development and to disseminate the same to as many countries as possible, particularly throughout the developing regions of the world. Committed to work within the framework of the UN MDGs, both networks have wealth of field experiences, particularly in the areas of practical and improved technology and best practices in stimulating sustainable development.
The IDEASS Programme (Innovations for Development and South-South Cooperation) works in collaboration with territorial human development programmes implemented by UNDP, UN Women, ILO and UNOPS in such countries as Albania, Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Sri Lanka, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. On the other hand, Devnet undertakes activities that contribute to the economic empowerment of women that stimulates sustainable economic development in selected countries in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America.