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How CRS and 5 partners are integrating gender in policies, programs and procedures

These women in Ethiopia participated in a gender analysis that strengthened local programming and informed CRS’ global gender strategy.

Catholic Relief Services and five partners have launched a new report to help other NGOs make the case for integrating gender considerations in their policies, programs and procedures.

2014 Storybook: INGO Experience with Gender Integration     

The report, 2014 Storybook: INGO Experience with Gender Integration (PDF, 1.5 MB), summarizes how CRS and five of our partners have approached the difficult but important task of integrating and mainstreaming gender.

The publication includes insights and lessons learned from ACDI/VOCA, CRS, Lutheran World Relief, Mercy Corps, Project Concern International and World Vision. USAID’s Technical and Operational Performance Support (TOPS) program provided funding for the Storybook initiative.

A three-pronged approach

Although each agency’s situation was different, the organizations typically used a three-pronged approach to address gender issues:

  1. Formal mechanisms: The agencies used formal tools such as mission statements and policies to emphasize the importance of gender mainstreaming and organizational change.
  2. Programming: The agencies integrated gender considerations in each of their sectors (such as agriculture, emergency response and health).
  3. Standalone gender programs: Half of the organizations developed programs that specifically addressed gender issues.

Lessons learned

  1. Audits: Gender audits were game changers. They revealed the importance of gender integration and mainstreaming.
  2. Senior leadership: All of the agencies noted that senior leadership’s support was essential to success. As with any initiative, gender integration requires funding and staff time.
  3. Working groups: Internal working groups brought staff members together to strengthen capacity and build support.
  4. Donors: The donor community’s support for gender integration has facilitated organizations’ gender initiatives.
  5. Sustained funding: In general, it has been easier for agencies to create organizational change when they devoted sustained funding to gender mainstreaming.

For more information, download the full report or contact Valerie Rhoe Davis.

Related resources

Engaging Men to Improve Maternal and Newborn Health
   Engaging Men to Improve Maternal and Newborn Health
Gender in Agribusiness

Gender in Agribusiness: An Analysis of Gender Dynamics in Cash and Food Crop Marketing Clubs in southern Malawi

Empowering Women through Savings Groups
   Empowering Women through Savings Groups: A Study from the Wellness and Agriculture for Life Advancement (WALA) Program
A Sample Gender Analysis
   A Sample Gender Analysis: Abridged Version

Posted on March 26, 2015

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