Towards building Inclusive, Gender Sensitive Public Services

NLEAP hosts Stakeholder meetings to review two training manuals that will enhance Public Sector Services and Communication

A stakeholder consultation was organised by NLEAP, on the 15th of September 2022, to present two draft training and facilitation manuals to its partner Institutions: The National Languages Division of the Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Government (The Ministry), the Official Languages Commission (OLC), the Department of Official Languages (DOL) and the National Institute of Language Education and Training (NILET). Titled ‘Valuing Non-Language / Non-Verbal Communication Facilitation Manual’ and  ‘Training Manual for Key Trainers: Gender Equality, Women’s Empowerment and the Nexus with Language Rights’, the two ‘Training of Trainer’ (TOT) manuals will form a core part of the training and facilitation curricula of these institutions that play a lead role in ensuring the effective implementation of the Official Languages Policy.

As Mr. M. Thirunavukarasu (Project Deputy Director, National Languages Equality Advancement Project, NLEAP) noted in his welcome speech, the development of these two manuals is integral to the Technical Assistance provided by NLEAP to NLD and its Partner Institutions to develop gender-sensitive and diversity inclusive strategies to address non-language communication barriers that impede the effective delivery of public services. In outlining the purpose and objectives of the session, Ms. Veena Verma (Canada-based Project Director & Human Rights, Gender and Governance Advisor, NLEAP) encouraged the participants to be as candid and transparent as possible with their feedback on the manuals which would hereon form a core part of their respective training curricula. As Ms. R. Wijialudchumi, (Additional Secretary -The Ministry) noted, the use of these manuals in language planning trainings and induction of new public servants would help raise awareness of non-language and non-verbal communication barriers and promote inclusive, gender sensitive service provision in Public Service Institutions.  The manuals would also greatly empower translator trainers of DOL and second language teachers of NILET to include in their teaching curricula elements of GEWE, diversity, inclusion as well as intercultural communication.

The ‘Valuing Non-Language / Non-Verbal Communication Facilitation Manual’ was presented by Ms. Malraji Wanniarachchi (Capacity Development & Governance Specialist, NLEAP). Developed in collaboration with the Centre for Intercultural Learning(CIL) this manual is designed to provide trainers with a framework they can use to provide highly participatory, face-to-face, learning experiences.

  The ‘Training Manual for Key Trainers: Gender Equality, Women’s Empowerment and the Nexus with Language Rights’ was introduced by Ms. Saama Rajakaruna (Local Gender Equality Specialist, NLEAP) as  a resource for key trainers working on promoting Language Rights to incorporate Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GEWE) in their work spheres. The manual is designed to enhance their understanding of concepts related to gender and gender equality,  as well as provide insight into the nexus between gender equality, women’s empowerment and language rights.

Each presentation was followed by group discussions and the feedback received from each of the partner institutions provided insights invaluable to the final draft. On the finalization and validation of the two manuals, NLEAP will organise a training for the key trainers of these partner institutions to familiarize them with the content and enhance their capacities to promote and foster inclusive and gender sensitive service provision by Public Servants.