Skip to main content

PRIF Gender and Social Inclusion in Infrastructure Development Report

This report, Inclusive Infrastructure in the Pacific, was commissioned by the Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility (PRIF) Coordination Office and carried out by the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) and Infrastructure Specialist.
The purpose of the report is to inform the practices of the PRIF development partners operating in the Pacific islands, by focusing attention on identifying and addressing gender equality and social inclusion in infrastructure throughout the project life cycle.
The report assesses current GESI practice in infrastructure in the Pacific, makes recommendations, and provides tools and checklists to assist development partners. The report aims to build on the 2016 Gender and Infrastructure in the PRIF Agencies report7 (GIPA 2016) by assessing the current situation, sharing examples and cases, and recommending tools and approaches for greater adoption and implementation of GESI. While gender equality remains a critical concern in infrastructure development, this report aims to bring other excluded groups to the fore and facilitate greater inclusion.
There are multiple groups that face some level of exclusion or discrimination in the Pacific that are impacted by infrastructure initiatives. Priority groups include women and girls, people with disabilities, rural and remote communities, residents in urban settlements (often migrants from rural areas), ethnic minorities, youth, and the elderly. The report provides an overview of priority groups in the Pacific, i.e., their characteristics and evolving situation, and then zeroes in on challenges and solutions specific to PRIF’s five targeted infrastructure sub-sectors: transport, energy, information and communication technologies (ICTs), water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and urban development.
Drawing on situational analysis, consultation with development partners and other stakeholders, and additional secondary research, the report presents key study findings around GESI in infrastructure. In particular, consultations with PRIF development partners identified critical bottlenecks that affect the uptake of GESI good practice in infrastructure development. Findings are described in relation to the infrastructure project life cycle: planning and design, implementation, management and maintenance, and monitoring, evaluation and reporting. The first two phases are especially critical for GESI mainstreaming.
In order to achieve the mainstreaming of GESI in infrastructure programming across the Pacific, a paradigm shift is required where all stakeholders place clients (users) at the center of planning and design and throughout the project life cycle. Recommendations are offered to achieve this goal, and are presented according to i) strategic areas, ii) key elements of each strategic area, and iii) suggested actions of a strategy for Inclusive Infrastructure in the Pacific. This strategy can be applied at the national, sector/sub-sector or program level, and reflects the situational analysis, sub-sector review, and findings. This strategy outline (summarized in the table below) also informs the recommendations and sets the stage for an inclusive
infrastructure toolkit.