From Silos to Synergy: Learning from Politically Informed, Gender Aware Programs - Derbyshire, Slow, Gibson, Hudson, and Roche (2018)


This paper provides guidance for future development programmes that are seeking to be gender aware and politically informed, by analysing previous political analysis case studies that have used a gender focus. From these case studies, key practical lessons are drawn out. Most donor organisations have policy commitments to gender equality and to women’s and girls’ rights.  Development programmes will often incorporate these commitments into their objectives and activities. However, more often than not, the strategies for incorporating gender into political analysis use a top-down approach, which is often donor-driven. This limits the capability for local ownership within the development project. This paper argues that if these approaches were to come together, a deeper analysis could be employed, which would strengthen practice and improve development results. The paper draws together reflections, approaches and practical lessons from 15 development programs that are, in various ways, seeking both to be gender aware and to understand and engage with power and politics. The paper concludes by providing practical suggestions and implications for donor organisations.