UN Women’s partnership with NIRDPR on the issue of gender and governance dates back to 2011 when a three year programme entitled “Promoting Women’s Political Leadership and Governance in India” was launched aimed at empowering elected women representatives in local governance to make public policy and resource allocation patterns responsive to women’s human rights. In Phase I (2011-2014) the aim was to create an enabling environment to empower Elected Women Representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) to become change agents in political decision making for promotion of gender equality. The project identified training needs of the elected women representatives and PRI and engaged in training material development and intensive capacity building in a cascading manner in six states- Karnataka, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. It also built a training team at NIRDPR and the six states to handle the required capacity building at different levels for strengthening the institutions of local governance.

In Phase 2 (2015-2018), UN Women has once again partnered with NIRDPR to consolidate and build on the impact of the first phase by creating a body of evidence, to inform and enhance the capacity of governance institutions to better respond to the real opportunities for gender equality and women’s empowerment that have been created through progressive legislation, policies and programmes. The programme/project entitled “From Opportunities to Capacities: A Multi-Sectoral Approach to Enhancing Gender Responsive Governance” effective from December 2016 is in its final stages of implementation.