It’s that time of year again! Girl panels are about to kick off as the final phase of the With and For Girls Award judging process begins. Next week marks the start of the girl-led panels, starting with one in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, followed by panels in San Cristobal de las Casas in Mexico, Manchester in the UK, Beirut in Lebanon and Delhi in India.
The shortlisted organisations come from 34 countries and will be interviewed by a panel of approximately four girls and two expert adults. Like last year, each panel will select up to two larger and two smaller organisations for an award, totalling up to 20 winners globally.
Having successfully trialled the panels in 2015, it will be interesting to see what comes from the 2016 panels. Each panel takes approximately four days to complete and involves two days of training beforehand, where girls get to know each other, learn about the Award and reflect on the feedback given to the shortlisted organisations.
The inclusion of girls on the judging panel is in line with the Collective's core belief in girl participation. Panellists aged 16 to 19 have final decision-making power over the choice of winners, not funding partners.
Critically, the winning organisations will either be run by girls themselves or will be working in close partnership with girls, ensuring that girls are not only receiving the support that they need to realise their rights but are active participants in the design, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the work.
This year, two winners from the first round of Awards, that took place in 2015, are running panels – Insan Association from Lebanon and Melel Xojobal from Mexico. Empowering locally-led organisations and promoting the participation of girls as decision-makers is at the heart of the Award. With these two panels it will be great to see girls who benefited from last year’s funding judge the 2016 cohort.
In addition to the delivery partners who are Award winners from last year, we will also be using 3 of the same delivery partners as we did in 2015 - Restless Tanzania for the Tanzania panel, the Challenge Network in the UK and EMpower in India.