Comelec inks MOU with UNDP for women's greater political participation through digitalization

The Commission on Elections officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Tuesday, Sept. 27, with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), sealing the poll body's intention to forge a cooperative relationship which aims to advance women's political participation through digitalization and capacity building.

MB file photo

The signing was led by Comelec Chairman George Erwin Garcia and UNDP Philippines' Resident Representative Dr. Selva Ramachandran, for the COMELEC-UNDP Electoral Assistance at The Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros, Manila. Also there were senior officials as well as key people from both parties in attendance.

"This Commission has long championed gender equality and inclusivity within our own agency and in all our dealings with the electorate, as shown by the establishment of a Gender and Development policy in 2011. Since then, we have committed to put a premium on the role of women in nation-building through active political participation," Garcia said.

"As the COMELEC endeavours to adapt to an ever-changing technological landscape, this Project affirms our commitment to continuously seek innovative solutions in helping empower women leaders," he added.

Ramachandran added that UNDP Philippines is ready to lend a helping hand to the poll body by furthering its development activities in digitalization and capacity building, with the specific goal of supporting gender equality and inclusivity in the country through this Project.

Under the MOU, UNDP will assist in strengthening the data analytical abilities of Comelec, which includes data needs assessment, training of Comelec in data science tools and applications, and development of infrastructure with analytical dashboards with gender disaggregated datasets.

Both parties also aim to come up with evidence-based policy advocacy for gender equality, such as the formulation of a multi-stakeholder joint policy agenda on empowerment that would promote inclusivity, the development of a public data portal for gender-disaggregated data, and the development of advocacy of gender

equality policies.

Lastly, women leaders will be trained in order to increase their political participation. This training will involve inclusive training needs assessment, development of a leadership curriculum, training leaders via a digital platform, and development of a sustainability plan for the digital platform training programme.

As in all its activities and in the implementation of this Project, Comelec said that it is committed to protecting the data privacy of all individuals who may be involved.