Empowering Education Program – 2006
(Sustainability and development)
2006 – 2007


2005 was important year for the Empowering Education. The idea of loose association started 2004 should be approved or resigned this year.

The process of communications as well as common events and country activity showed high capacity on sustainability of the Program.

Following goals for 2006 - 2007 were planned:

-    to develop 3rd EE manual
-    to strength coordination in the network at loose base
-    to mainstream EE at different programs as a basic approach

We seek to achieve these goals by such objectives:

-    by development 3rd EE manual’s chapters including new areas
-    by advocating EE at different levels;
-    by evaluation EE in at least 3 countries
-    by disseminating the results of research and related information;
-    by analysis the experience of including EE in another programs.

These goals were achieved successfully.

As planned this year we finished the third Empowering Education manual.

Al meetings both national (4 meetings per year) and international (1 meeting per year) we discussed what supposes to be included in the new manual and consequently in the entire program, worked on edition and later on translation.

In the process of discussion we decided the new manual will not be published instead of the 2nd one. The second edition of the manual based at the comprehensive approach and could be considered as a basic now and in future. It also reflected in the introduction where we mentioned that the Empowering

Education became more “adult” and need to be more independent in details following the same approach in general.

Below is the table reflecting the manual’s composition.


The third manual development process had as usually participatory character – we worked in our countries developing some activities or chapters, sent it through the network, discussed it through e-mail. However the main part of discussion failed traditionally to the meeting what had place in Ukraine in October 2006.

This meeting served as a creative laboratory where we had opportunity to discuss the whole composition and details of activity, feasibilities of activity in different countries and organizational tendencies what suppose to be reflected in the manual.

After edition the manual was translated and now we have as usually the manual translated into Ukrainian, Russian and English. If Ukrainian and Russian translations passed through edition the English version need more edition on behind of native speaker.

First reflections on the new manual tell it will be new spiral’s stage for the Empowering Education Program as a whole and for the content development specifically.

The WICC organized the 3-days TOT under the third manual with participation of Georgian and Ukrainian trainers in Kyiv, Ukraine.

The manual will be sited at the new web site of the Empowering Education Program http://www.empedu.org.ua

2006 – 2007 was also important for strength coordination in the network at loose base.

We had one specific international meeting organized by the WICC in Crimea, Ukraine in October 2006. 22 women from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine participated in this meeting.

We also had some meeting organized during other travels with Empowering Education teams from Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Uzbekistan.

During the meeting participants discussed following topics:
-    current situation in countries of the network: challenges and achievements;
-    3rd manual – discussion, activities what bring us some difficulties etc.;
-    strategy of development of the Empowering Education Program for next 3 years – tendencies, forms, organization

Participants identified three main directions what could be preferable for the Empowering Education Development next three years:

-    Development program in schools and universities;
-    Gender research and gender analysis;
-    Gender mainstreaming and gender consulting.

It reflected transformational process of the program as a whole. The process of transformation started 2004. Then at the meeting in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan we decided that existed organizational structure doesn’t work any more effectively and need to be re-arranged. Then we didn’t imagine enough how it could work however further practice confirmed we did find appropriate way.

At the meeting in Crimea, Ukraine 2006 we decided to transform the network in so called “network of networks” named “For social justice and equal opportunity” extending the area of activity of the Empowering Education Program from just educational system (formal and informal) to related areas – analysis, advocacy etc. confirming again one of the Empowering Education definitions identifying it as “an educational movement”.

Each component is independent and interrelated at the same time. It gives opportunity to people to be involved in different kind of activity based at the same set of principles and extend borders of using the Program at some of them what didn’t explore before but what need more attention now considering its actuality.

Each component elaborated the list of activity (“loose” working plan) for next 2- 3 years.

Development program in schools and universities

-    TOT for new teachers organized by teachers of “later generations” – not by founders or/and so called “major trainers”
-    In-service training for trainers
-    Work with parents
-    Informing new schools and new teachers on the program

Gender research and gender analysis

-    Identification areas what could be analyzed
-    Tools development, discussion, sharing
-    Evaluation of the Empowering Education and areas identified for the research

Gender mainstreaming and gender consulting

-    Development module for the training on gender mainstreaming
-    Holding training on gender mainstreaming
-    Survey existing methods of gender consulting

These strategies of development were discussed and suggested for join implementation

It is interesting to mention that practically all planned activity started during this year. From another hand the activism in different countries if also different.

It has different causes. One of important belong to so called individual factor.

Tajikistan lost its leader Alisher Rakhmonberdiev who passed away in spring 2007. He was strong person and effective manager. His death brought the team in embarrassment and despair. They didn’t decide until now who will replace him. It is understandable from human position however it is also important for the country to have development of the program what was so successful. It could be good memory keeping for Alisher.

The EE Coordinator Natalya Kurganovska left Uzbekistan and moved to Ukraine. It is good “new comer” for Ukraine however it is not easy for Uzbekistan particularly because political situation in the country. I visited it in February 2007 invited by the UNDP to do gender mainstreaming trainings. I met many Empowering Education trainers who participated in the gender mainstreaming training and their reflections on possibility to work were not so optimistic.

The EE Coordinator Nurhzan Tulegabylova from Kyrgyzstan lost in accident her husband what also stopped her in many initiatives she started.

The Women’s Program Coordinator Gulnara Mamedova married and left Azerbaijan for Turkey. It also created some difficulties for the local team because Gulnara Mamedova worked actively and closely with Azeri team.

Despite all these difficulties countries try to work and develop the program.

In June 2007 Gulnara Mamedova and Gulyara Efendieva met with officers in the Ministry of Education of Azerbaijan where they received confirmation on starting the “Innovative hall” as in-service training structure for teachers involving the Empowering Education Program trainers and their experience. It also supposes to have distance learning tools what could extend the area of access for teachers in region.

The Empowering Education team in Kazakhstan continue their trainings based at the self-paid approach. They repeat again and again how helpful for them was financial support of the OSI NWP on translation into Kazakh language of the second manual.

The Georgian team decided to “renovate” the group of trainers. Supported by the Taso Foundation (spin-off of the Georgian OSI NWP) they asked the WICC to organize for their 3 trainers the TOT in Ukraine related to the 3rd manual and other important topics. This join TOT for Georgian and Ukrainian participants has place in Ukraine August 4 – 7, 2007. This TOT will help to trainers who didn’t study the empowering Education Program in Ukraine to upgrade their knowledge and to strength experience.

This year the EE followed its international development. Additionally to the above mentioned events the IIPE played important role. This year’s theme was “Identity, interdependence and non-violative transformation”.

I had plenary presentation “The role of civic education in bringing values of identity, interdependence and non-violent transformations – the Empowering Education experience”. I talked about our evaluation of the program and some its feasibilities wgat could be interesting for other people. Despite short presentation it had a lot of questions as during the plenary well as after it. So one of participants expressed his wish to include some parts of the Program in his training for youth on Israeli-Palestinian conflict and on Lebanon conflict.

Tara Hopkins from Sabanchi University, Turkey mentioned she is using some activity of the Empowering Education program for her work with youth in Turkey and for her training in Kabul, Afghanistan for the Afghanistan Institute of Learning in February 2007.

Empowering Education Program’s evaluation

Empowering education program has worked in Ukraine since 1996. Since 1999 it started developing at the international level, having expanded its activities now to 10 countries of the world. From 1999 to 2006 it has been supported by the Network Women’s Program of the Open Society Institute. For these years in Ukraine more than 15 thousand persons have got directly acquainted with the program, the main goal of which is forming gender sensitivity through school curricula and informal education. Women’s Information Consultative Center was the first among non-governmental organizations (and one of the two) to receive in 2001 the license of the Ministry of Education and Science for the right to conduct innovative activities in education (gender issues). The Ministry of Education and Science of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea approved the program as an optional course. The program is held in respect and high level of trust both among non-governmental organizations and among state institutions, which had opportunity to get acquainted with it.

Regardless of achievements and the long history of the empowering education the program has not been evaluated according to the criteria of changes in knowledge, skills and attitudes of trainers and trainees. Evaluations conducted earlier (2002, 2004) had a local character.

The planned evaluation has for the object to describe a general character of changes in the context of the chosen criteria.

One of such criteria is the list of basic competences acknowledged by the Ukrainian pedagogical science as an indication of efficiency of educational process.

Qualitative method is chosen for research. The goal of the qualitative research is as full as possible documentation and interpretation of all entirety of everything that has been ever studied in separate contexts from the point of view or a scheme of human relationships.

Among the used techniques there are the following – focus-group with trainers-organizers (1) and deep interviews (23).

We have identified methods of teaching gender sensitivity in the Program:

•    “Spiral” of cognition
•    Way through individual experience
•    Combining gender approaches, theories, conceptions with others
•    Analysis of risks of stereotypes
•    “Mirror principle”
•    Derolization
•    Complex examination of different sides and aspects of life

In the process of evaluation we also defined some peculiarities of organizational and contentual character.

Peculiarities of organizational character:

•    The program started from a non-formal idea of non-governmental organization for a small number of stakeholders, and in the course of time have grown into the program acknowledged at the national level with a wide areal of dissemination.
•    The idea, which appeared in Ukraine, found devotion in other countries, very different from historical, economic and social preconditions of the country of origin, and was able to consolidate in them.
•    The program realization in many situations is provided without financial support or for a very low payment.

Peculiarities of contentual character:

•    The program has developed from the stage of compiling Western methodologies and programs to finding own way and constructing integral conception with harmonious inner core.
•    Empowering education is built on the principles, which are the unifying idea for countries and groups with very different culture.
•    The program started as gender education, having embraced with time educational approaches on the whole and maintained gender as a crosscutting issue.
•    Empowering education corresponds its name, as it assists in getting empowerment, and particularly, helps powerless people, communities and organizations change into more aware of dynamics of power in the context of their own lives;
•    It encourages personal development, sense of efficacy, confidence, critical awareness and maximizes inner potential of every individual;
•    It helps develop skills of inter-personal influence and participatory capability with the help of solving problems in the group and collective actions;
•    The program leads people to perceiving themselves as capable and empowered to make decisions;
•    Empowering education gives opportunity to people and communities to change into more aware of own rights and responsibilities.
•    The program is the example of transformational education, which leads to changes and helps change own life.

The evaluation process gave to people involved in it (both – interviewers and interviewees) a lot of new emotions, thoughts, insight. It also gave us new tool what could be used for development new strategies and could be used not only for the Program but much broadly.

The final research translated and now could be presented in Ukrainian, Russian and English. It supposes to be displayed at the site soon.

Mainstreaming the Empowering Education at different programs as a basic approach continued 2006 and 2007.

This direction is also affiliated to new directions of the transformed network.

In Crimea the Empowering Education named “Introduction in Dialogue” included in the governmental program on gender equality for 2006 – 2010. It also officially included by the Ministry on Science and Education as a optional subject for schools. It is big success of the Crimean team as well as good criteria of sustainable development of the Program.

The WICC worked this period on development the module for the training on gender mainstreaming and did realize it at practice giving the 4-monthes courses for governmental officials supported by Kyiv City Administration. 14 persons graduating these courses wrote the gender analysis at topic they are interesting for. It will be published at CD and displayed at the Empowering Education site. This module based at the Program’s approach and included many activities particularly of the second manual.

Considering close cooperation of the WICC with many development agencies (USAID, SDC, UNDP etc.) as well as with NGOs we developed the manual on gender mainstreaming for countries of the region also based at the Empowering Education approach. It will be also displayed at the site.

Cooperation with Swiss Development and Cooperation Council (SDC) gave opportunity to include the Empowering Education approach in many projects of the agency. Past year individual work with the SDC war strengthened by establishment of the Gender Council what will help to the agency to mainstream gender in different projects. Half of the Council’s members are trainers of the Program. The gender audit procedure elaborated by this Council included all main principles of the Empowering Education program as well as it also engages its trainers for trainings on gender sensitivity for partners’ projects.

The Empowering Education chapter “Dialogue on Diversity” included also in the manual for future teachers and in-service training manual of the Civic Education Ukraine project supported by the EU. I am working for this program as a social justice and equal opportunity expert. Coordinators of the Empowering Education in regions are members of the working group of the project (Anjela Shilina, Svitlana Rybalko, Yaroslava Sorokopud).

And finally the project “Women and mothers with children in prison” supported by the SDC realized by the WICC together with the State Department of the Execution of Punishment also included the Empowering Education Program’s approach and activity in all its component particularly in the capacity development for staff of colony, imprisoned women and students of college preparing staff for the Department. First training done for the staff and college’s teachers were accepted positively and with enthusiasm.

Technical capacity

Some equipment of the WICC were upgrade – fax machine and lap top. It gave opportunity to use new technologies more effectively. Also old computer (2001) were up grade through hard disc and utilities.
The Empowering Education Program’s web site started 2001 (http://empedu.civicua.org is still hosted by the civic portal but its updating is difficult because many organizational problems. This year we decided to start the new site pilot version of what is already done http://www.empedu.org.ua Its address is familiar enough for the EE users and will be less troublemaker for its update.

Financial capacity

Co-funding of the WICC for these years increased a lot. So for 2006 – 2007 grants from about $150K of the total budget about $130K are from other then the OSI sources.

Main results of the year:

-    New manual finished
-    New manual edited in Ukrainian, Russian, English
-    EE evaluation finished and edited in Ukrainian, Russian, English
-    New web site started
-    More EE promotion at the international level
-    Increased co-funding


-    The support received by the Empowering Education Program during all period of support (1999 – 2007) played very important role for the development of the phenomena of the Program. It really opened door for many people around the world in countries with different political, social and cultural conditions. Intuitive, free development led to the situation that practically all the competencies are covered by the program tools – both contentual, technological and organizational. It could be possible particularly because great team of the OSI NWP who became real partners for the Empowering Education Program.
-    The program started as gender education, having embraced with time educational approaches on the whole and maintained gender as a through topic.
-    The program is the example of transformational education, which leads to changes and helps change own life.
-    Transformations had place last 3 years gave opportunity to the network survive, continue to develop and look for new perspectives.

Many thanks and best regards,

Olena Suslova