The Asian Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW) and Danish Family Planning Association (DFPA) have kicked off the first ever innovation lab in Kuala Lumpur to equip civil society to find solutions for climate change that impact women and young people in our region.
The lab is part of the Women & Earth Initiative (WORTH) – an innovation programme and fund that ARROW and DFPA jointly launched at the Conference of Parties in Poland in December last year – to mitigate the catastrophic impact of climate change on women and young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). This is first of two labs that the participants will attend.
“Women and young people in our region, particularly from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Pakistan and the Philippines are the hardest hit by climate change,” said Sivananthi Thanenthiran, Executive Director of ARROW. “The current political environment and complex global challenges demand new solutions to gender inequality in all our countries. Innovation is critical for our work, especially in the execution of our ideas. Hence, our aim is to carve out a space for driven CSOs, who have some big ideas, and enable a process which allows them to go through ideation, prototyping and then test the execution.”
The first workshop with CSOs from Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines began on Wednesday and will run through this week. The participants will be part of the five-month WORTH innovation training, which will comprise of online and physical workshops, where new ideas for integrating gender equality, SRHR and climate change adaptation efforts will be developed, tested and improved.
At the workshop the CSOs will identify challenges, inspirations and opportunities and dive deep into the process of design thinking through mind mapping and sketching ideas. The lab will conclude with prototypes that the participants will come up with, which will be pilot tested during the time between the first and second labs.
After completing the training, they will become eligible to apply for grants from the WORTH fund to implement their innovative ideas developed during the training. The fund, which will run until 2021, will support the realisation and implementation of innovative projects developed during the labs. The end goal is to analyse these ideas and scale them up for innovative projects regionally and internationally so we can work on global solutions.
“WORTH was co-founded by ARROW and DFPA to enable SRHR and environmental organisations to think about the interlinkages of climate change, gender and SRHR, and think about the challenges it poses to the world we live, and how innovative advocacy around this issue can be created to put attention to these critical issues which affect the lives of women,” added Ms Thanenthiran.