The following information was submitted by CARE offices in the countries reviewed in the report to provide additional context and detail.
How The Netherlands Scored on Our Report Card
What The Netherlands Is Doing to Support Women and Girls in Crisis
At around 0.61% of Gross National Income for 2020, the Netherlands’ ODA level is below the international commitment of 0.7%, though generally above many other OECD member states. This level has increased in recent years due to funds mobilized to combat the COVID-19 crisis. Development cooperation policy focuses increasingly on preventing conflicts and combating instability and insecurity in countries closer to the Netherlands and the European Union. Objectives include the reduction of poverty and inequality and the promotion of inclusive growth and climate action worldwide.
There is one overarching objective on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls (UN Sustainable Development Goal 5). The agenda for this objective aims at (i) increased participation of women in (political) decision-making and women’s leadership, (ii) economic empowerment of women, (iii) prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls and (iv) strengthening the role of women in conflict prevention and peace processes, and in protection in conflict situations. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has a Taskforce on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, with a network of gender focal points, advising all departments in the ministry and embassies on embedding gender in policy-making and in the organization.
In the humanitarian field, the Netherlands is a signatory to the Grand Bargain. There is innovative cooperation of the government as a donor and 15 aid organizations in the Dutch Relief Alliance (DRA). This has proven a successful formula for coordination in humanitarian interventions and for a quick joint response to crises. With regards to localization, an increasing percentage of funding flows directly to local actors with the aim of reaching 35% by 2021, although there could be a bigger push to fund gender and women’s organizations within humanitarian response.
The Dutch MFA works with civil society organizations through strategic partnerships that focus on lobby and advocacy as part of the Strengthening Civil Society (2021–2025) framework, which aims to promote women’s rights, gender equality and inclusion as crosscutting themes. The Power of Voices program focuses on strengthening civil society organizations and their contribution to an inclusive and sustainable society. The program underlines the importance of ownership and strengthening the role and influence of organizations in developing countries in designing and implementing programs, with the hope of fostering equal relations between organizations from different countries.
This Power of Voices is an innovative approach to donor–civil society relations. It includes programs for women’s voice, SRHR, and Women, Peace and Security. The national Gender Platform WO=MEN, the largest gender platform in Europe, is the main NGO platform used for joint lobby on Women, Peace and Security and gender equality, and links around 50 organizations and 125 professionals.
In December 2020, The Netherlands launched a fourth National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (NAP1325-IV, 2021–2025), with policy commitments in both the national and international arenas. This fourth NAP has a higher level of accountability on the government’s side, linked mostly to UN Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals 5 (gender equality) and 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions).