Itad launches new Gender and Empowerment theme

Itad is pleased to announce the launch of a new Gender and Empowerment Theme, led by principal consultant Claire Hughes.

Our decision to launch a theme focused entirely on Gender is significant. We have worked on gender projects for several years but they formed part of our wider Empowerment and Accountability theme, so promoting gender equality didn’t always get the attention it deserves.  A dedicated theme reflects a growing demand for Itad’s monitoring, evaluation and learning services in this area, as well as Itad’s commitment to promoting gender equality across its work and within its own internal operations.  The theme will now have dedicated resources – a growing four-person team – to drive forward our work, establish new partnerships with like-minded organisations and consultants, and bring innovation to the measurement of girls’ and women’s empowerment.

The Gender and Empowerment theme currently focuses on three main areas.

  • Measuring changes in social norms, relating to gender equality, violence against women and girls, and female genital mutilation and cutting. We lead on results measurement on DFID’s innovative gender equality project Voices for Change in Nigeria, which uses a social norms approach to promote behaviour change.  It involves annual surveys to track shifts in public attitudes and practices on violence against women and girls, women’s decision-making and women’s leadership.  We are also providing support to the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting to strengthen their results measurement.
  • Assessing the value for money and cost-effectiveness of initiatives to empower girls and women. We strive to develop approaches that meaningfully capture the cost-effectiveness of girls and women’s empowerment.  This often means thinking outside the box to evolve existing approaches.  We are currently working with the Overseas Development Institute on the nine-year Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence Programme to put in place an innovative approach to determine, from a cost-effectiveness perspective, the most opportune stage to intervene in a girl’s life and the optimal duration of interventions.

We are also bringing together Itad’s significant expertise in gender and private sector development to build up work on women’s economic empowerment and are optimistic this will become a core area of work in future.

In addition to our project work, the Gender and Empowerment theme is also driving forward Itad’s commitments to strengthen our focus on gender equality across the organisation.  We announced these commitments in June last year and a pilot to support four of Itad’s themes to promote gender equality more consistently in their monitoring, evaluation and learning work will kick off later this year.  Watch out for more news on this in the next couple of months.

If you’re interested in reading more about the theme, its members and current projects, take a look at our 60-second interview with the Gender and Empowerment theme group.

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Carousel image © Peer educating communities to put an end to FGM/C. Photo Credit: Jessica Lea/DFID