Within a reasonable timescale (not to exceed 2 years) following the date of the signature of the Charter, your local or regional authority commits itself to develop, adopt and implement an action plan.
How to prepare your action plan?
One does not build an action plan on one’s own! Surround yourself with a team, for example:
- Use an existing equality committee (if it exists)
- Establish a steering group, responsible for developing and following-up the action plan, ideally composed of administrative staff and elected representatives from all main services involved in the implementation of the actions and external representatives from civil society
- Ensure that any such group has the political support and the authority to hold others within the council to account for meeting the priority objectives
- Ensure that the group either has involvement from elected members of the authority, or has clear ways of reporting to the elected member(s) responsible for equality
Make sure that there are budgets available to deliver the priorities including for consultation.
Do not neglect follow-up and evaluation! Agree now how progress will be reported and reviewed: agree on indicators of progress towards the objectives with timescales for delivery, foresee a population-based survey and a gendered analysis of credits. This will be more efficient if it is integrated with existing planning and performance monitoring processes.
Before you start discussing what further actions that need to be taken, remember to identify the competencies of your local or regional authority and to establish a list of actions and policies already made in your municipality, in the framework of equality between women and men, which constitutes a step forward in making your municipality more equal.
Secondly, prioritize the new actions planned in a consensual and objective way and establish criteria to evaluate them (e.g. impact of the action, logistics, financial means, political acceptability).
Thirdly, keep in mind that this is about implementing actions to promote equality of women and men and not only of women!
How to transfer your actions into an action plan?
Your action plan should at least present:
- your objectives
- your priorities
- measures to be adopted
- ressources to be affected
- proposed timetable
In order to structure your action plan, you can use the following items for each planned action:
- concise description of the action to perform
- elements found during the diagnostic
- description of the purpose
- reference to the article that it is meant to relate to
- person, department or organisation in charge of the implementation of the action
- supporting the implementation of the action
- deadline for the implementation of the action
- state of the implementation of the action (new, on-going or achieved)
- logistics and finance to mobilize
- communication and training plan foreseen
- indicators to measure the impact of the action
Once the action plan adopted by your local or regional authority, publish it widely.
- Make all elected members and employees aware of the plan by taking it to the highest body of the authority
- Publish it on the web site or other regular communication with the electorate
- Send it to those who have taken part in the earlier consultation processes
- Inform local NGOs and media
- Offer to attend meetings with local organisations etc. to discuss the equality action plan
You could also join a copy of your action plan in your signatory form on the Atlas of the Observatory website.
The work on the action plan does not stop at this stage. You should:
- report, on regular basis, publicly on progress made in implementing the plan
- revise your action plan as circumstances require and send it for approval to the decision-making bodies of your local or regional authority
- draw up a further plan for each following period